Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map – Seas, Lakes, and Bays Oh My! Update Large Map Download

Turkey map of Civilization VI Gathering Storm featuring The Ottomans, Georgia, and Phoenicia

Below you can find the large download of our full world map of Civilization VI Gathering Storm

To See The Original Civilization VI Full Map Click Here

To See The Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Map Update Map Click Here

To See The Civilization VI: Gathering Storm – Seas, Lakes, and Bays Oh My! Update Map Click Here

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Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map – Seas, Lakes, and Bays Oh My! Update

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map, this time with Lakes, Seas, and Oceans

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Article

This week we got the latest update to Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, and along with the boosted Industrial Zones and several pages of patch notes there was the announcement of the game adding water features to its growing list of geographical features. We have mapped Civ VI in the past as part of our Map-It Project, and I am always a completionist, so I thought it would be quick to add in a couple of lakes. Well three solid days of work later and it was not the quick job I expected, but it was a rewarding one as I got to learn more about the geography of the Earth while brushing up on my Māori.

 Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.


We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the map in this update, if you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.  

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data. Also a quick shout out to sonicmyst, God of Kings, Eagle Pursuit, Zaarin and SeelingCat over at the Civfanatics Forum for helping me with some of the obscure lakes I was having trouble locating.    

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Movie Review – The Wolf’s Call (Le Chant du Loup)

TL;DR – A submarine film that knows how to be a great submarine film and have you sitting on the edge of your seat.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Wolf's Call. Image Credit: Pathé.

Review

It has been a while since I have watched a good military film, let alone one set on a submarine. There is a level of tension that you can rarely get in other films as two ships hunt each other in the dark. It is a scenario that you can really use to your best advantage if you have the cast that can sell it. Well, today we look at a film that is taking all of these elements, but can they pull it off, well let’s take a look.

In the not too distant future, where America has isolated itself and Russia is on the rise, we open in the waters off Syria. A commando team has been watching the Russian Port at Tarsus and is in need of an evacuation. Luckily France has a submarine offshore for that very reason. However, as the submarine gets into position Chanteraide (François Civil) the ship’s Acoustic Warfare Analysist can here something else out there other than the Iranian frigate, but as there is no submarine with four props it is discounted. That is until it lights the ship up with a sonar blast, alerting the Iranians to the submarines position and everything gets messy real quick. Back at base, everyone is on edge because Russia has invaded Finland, and there are threats of nuclear war. Chanteraide is certain that what he heard was not a drone, but time is running out.     

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Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Animated Films of All Time

TL;DR – There are so many great animated films and I struggled to limit them to just 10

Countdown

Last year I went through and made a list of my Top 10 Films of All Time, and it was only after I posted it that it occurred to me that no animated films made it into my Top 10. This was an odd revelation because I loved animated films and while a couple came close to getting into that 10th position and I think today that my top animated film would be on that list somewhere, I thought it was time to give animated films the showing they deserved.

There are so many animated films released every year and a lot of the time there are just awful, when you are aiming your films at 5-year-olds quality it seems is not high on the list. However, every year creative geniuses throw that stigma aside and create works of art that sit in my head and make me think of them years later. So today we are going to look at my personal top ten animated films of all time, but before we start a couple of quick notes. Firstly, these are my favourites and they may be different from your favourite films, so let me know what ones I missed in the comments below. As well as this, they are current to when I am writing this list in 2019, it may change in the future, and the top three are mostly interchangeable, but I had to put them in some sort of order.

As with all our lists, there has to be some kind of criteria or else there is just no way you can keep it to just 10 entries. So for this list, they are:

  • Films that are examples of beautiful art
  • Films that use the medium to tell interesting stories
  • Films that are always re-watchable
  • Films that have added to my love of the art of cinema

Now before we begin the list here is our list of ‘Highly Commended Animated Films That Almost Maybe Could Be On The List, Oh No I Am Rethinking Everything’ are: An American Tail, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Big Hero 6,Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Fern Gully, Finding Nemo, Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder, Inside/Out,Ghost in the Shell,  Kubo and the Two Strings,Kung Fu Panda, Monsters Inc, My Neighbor Totoro,Mulan, Pete’s Dragon, Princess Mononoke, Robin Hood, Shrek, Space Jam, Spirited Away, Tangled, The Incredibles, The Jungle Book, The Cat Returns, The Great Mouse Detective,The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones,The Land Before Time,  The Lego Film, The Lego Batman Film, The Nightmare Before Christmas,The Prince of Egypt,Titan A.E., Up, Wallace and Gromit, WALL-E, Wreck it Ralph & Zootopia. Well before I re-question all my list let’s dive in and explore my Top Ten Animated Film of All Time, and no they are not all going to be Disney, and there may be some spoilers in there for the films.

10: Emperor’s New Groove

Emperor’s New Groove. Image Credit: Disney.

Much the same as our number 10 entries in the all-time favourite films list, this was actually one of the most difficult entries to pick. For a time Tangled, Up, Coco, Mulan, and others were here, but in the end, I set in on the film that should not in any way work, but goodness does it ever.

Emperor’s New Groove tells the story of Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) the then leader of the Incan Empire who learns the lesson of being humble when he is accidentally turned into a Llama by Yzma (Eartha Kitt) and her henchman Pacha (John Goodman), I say accidentally because they actually intended to kill him. Though a series of amusing events he ends up at Pacha’s (John Goodman) house, and the pair embarks on a quest to save his village and turn the emperor back to a human.

I mentioned that this film shouldn’t work, and I mean it. It is a Buddy comedy, complete with dinner scene, set in the Incan Empire. It is a film that wildly shifts in tone throughout the film. Also, it might have had the most difficult production of any of the recent Disney films with such gems in its Wikipedia page as “[T]hough Sting declined by telling them that he was too old to sing it and that they should find someone younger and hipper. They instead went with Tom Jones, who is eleven years older than Sting

However, I have to say that I just love this film. The voice work is some of the best in the business, and they nail the off-quilter comedic moments. The art style is unique and had things like animating a rotating log in rushing rapids in 2D and still make it look good. The story, while yes not being in any way shape or form Incan, is still a delight. Indeed, the fact that they got anything workable given the issues is amazing, the fact that it is as good as it is, well that is even better.         

Director: Mark Dindal
Writers: David Reynolds, Chris Williams & Mark Dindal
Based On: Kingdom of the Sun by Roger Allers and Matthew Jacobs
Music/Songs: John Debney & Sting
Cast: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick, Kellyann Kelso, Eli Russell Linnetz with Bob Bergen, Tom Jones, Patti Deutsch, John Fiedler and Joe Whyte.
Production Company: Disney Animation   

9: Aladdin

Aladdin. Image Credit: Disney.

Our next film takes us back in time to a more magical place (or forward in time if you hold to that one particular theory on the internet), a place of sand, the Cave of Wonders, fabulous palaces, and of course a magical Genie.

Aladdin tells the story of in fact Aladdin (Scott Weinger & Brad Kane) a humble street urchin (street rat) that lives in the city of Agrabah. While he lives on the street he only steals what he can’t afford (That’s Everything!). Meanwhile, up in the palace Jafar (Jonathan Freeman), the evil Grand Vizier is plotting to take over the kingdom by getting something hidden away that needs a diamond in the rough. All of this collides one day when Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin & Lea Salonga) takes a stroll in the markets and finds out very quickly that the reality of palace life and real life are not the same.

This is one of those films that might be on this list because it is one of those movies that defined my childhood. I could sing all the songs from this film (and did so just last night at the time of writing) and probably tormented my parents with that soundtrack like I assume any today who was unlucky enough to have children during the Frozen times. These songs are iconic, which is why hearing them remixed in the recently released film is fun, but it loses some of its impact.

Look, in many respects, I could say that this film is one this list for Robin Williams’ performance alone and how that performance was interpreted by the animators. He brings real life into this film with that bombastic energy that can jump to every reference under the sun and still have it work. It is a pity that Disney backtracked on their agreement with Williams setting off a decade long conflict. It has a fun story, some interesting characters, fantastic award winning songs, just an all-around good time.          

Directors: Ron Clements & John Musker
Writers: Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
Based On: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp from One Thousand and One Nights
Music/Songs: Alan Menken, Howard Ashman & Tim Rice 
Cast: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale, Jim Cummings, Charlie Adler, Corey Burton, Brad Kane & Lea Salonga     
Production Company: Disney Animation            

8: Chicken Run

Chicken Run. Image Credit: Aardman.

In our next entry, we move away from traditional 2D animation and into stop-motion animation with Aardman’s first feature film and one of my all-time favourites Chicken Run. Which combines the best of that style of animation with one of the most quintessentially British films ever made. As a kid growing up I had loved Aardman’s animated Wallace and Gromit short films which I found one day in my mother’s Art College library. So when I heard that they were doing a feature length film I was really excited and of course, it ended up on this list. 

Chicken Run tells the story of a bunch of chickens that live on an egg farm run by Mr. (Tony Haygarth) and Mrs. (Miranda Richardson) Tweedy. The chickens are not just content to sit there and lay eggs because if their production slows down, they become Sunday night dinner. Under the leadership of Ginger (Julia Sawalha) the chickens try many unsuccessful attempts to escape, that is until one night when a surprise Rocky Rhodes (Mel Gibson), a Rhode Island Red rooster, lands in their farm and enters into a bargain with the chickens, they will protect and hide him, and in turn, he will teach them how to fly, so they can escape.

Aardman has a very particular design to their character models, which helps to both make the most of the stop-motion animation, but it also becomes a signature so no matter what film you ware watching you know it is an Aardman film. Here is no exception, when we get a cavalcade of unique and interesting characters. I don’t know how many time I have said “I don’t want to be a pie … I don’t like gravy” but it always gets a chuckle. Add to that “Mrs Tweedy, the chickens are revaluating” “Finally something we agree on”.

Where the film really shines is in its story, which might be one of the best homage films in the business, just pipped at the finish line by Hot Fuzz. If you have watched The Great Escape, you will delight at all the little nods to it here and there, and if you haven’t, well watching it after seeing Chicken Run turns it into a real delight. This is a story with real stakes, which we see right from the start, even before the pie machine turns up there is only one outcome left to the chickens. All of this is helped by the strength of Ginger who is one of the strongest characters in film, with a sheer determination to save not just a few of her friends but all of them. This is one of those films that if I am channel surfing and see it on, I will always stop and watch.          

Directors: Peter Lord & Nick Park
Writers: Peter Lord & Nick Park
Music: John Powell & Harry Gregson-Williams
Cast: Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson, Tony Haygarth, Benjamin Whitrow, Timothy Spall, Phil Daniels, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton & Lynn Ferguson
Production Company: Aardman            

7: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Even before I had firmed on my criteria I had a suspicion that there would be at least one entry here from DreamWorks Animation. However, what is really surprising is how if I had done this film last year I don’t think it would have been a How to Train Your Dragon film, but now I can’t see how it ever could have not been there.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World continues and maybe ends the story of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his friend and companion Toothless a dragon. Hiccup has never been the model Viking, wanting to use machines and new technologies to make the lives of people easier, and the people just want to do what they have always done. But then he meets Toothless and discovered every part of their society and how it relates to dragons was wrong. Over the last two films, he had to take up the mantle of leadership, and in this film, he faces its toughest challenge yet.

This is one of those films that is just a joy to watch from start to finish and there is so much skill on display here. There are so many moments where you just see all that talent on show. Like when they create fire that looks both realistic but also works within the artistic style. Or when they zoom through Beck and you see the sheer about of detail that they created for this world. Also, every one of the dragons is perfect, just perfect and add to this John Powell’s score and wow.   

While the story has always been one of HTTYD’s strong spots, here they take it to a new level when they come across a threat that they can’t fight. To save their community they have to leave their homes. Is Beck in Beck, or is it where the community is? It also is that moment where Hiccup has to find out what leader he is like when things are going wrong and his support network is failing. Add to this the most interesting villain of the series so far, and some interesting romantic beats. This is one of those films where you sit back and enjoy the proceedings until all of a sudden you find yourself in tears because the film has perfectly hit every single one of the emotional moments it was exploring.  

Director: Dean DeBlois
Writers: Dean DeBlois
Based On: How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida CowellMusic: John Powell
Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, F. Murray Abraham, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Justin Rupple, Kit Harington, Gerard Butler, Julia Emelin, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, James Sie, David Tennant, Robin Atkin Downes, Kieran Elliot, Ashley Jensen & Gideon Emery                
Production Company: DreamWorks Animation

6: Moana

Moana. Image Credit: Disney.

Next is the second film on this list from Ron Clements & John Musker, one of only two repeats on the list. This is one film that I really liked the first time I watched it, but didn’t think much until I watch it again, and again, and again, and again, well you get the picture.

Moana tells the story of well Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho), I think I am starting to see a theme here with their films. She is the daughter of the village chief, and next in line to lead her people. In her heart, Moana has always been an explorer, but her father forbids her from leaving the protection of the reef that rings around the atoll that they live in somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. When danger strikes the island, Moana seeks the advice of her Grandmother Tala (Rachel House) who tells her of her people’s secret past great voyagers. So Moana sets out to find Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and to return what was once stolen so all can be made right in the world.

From a technical perspective, it is clear why Moana is here from the very first frame, look at that water, I mean just look at it. Water is one of the more difficult substances to get looking perfects because it is something we intrinsically know, so it can easily fall into the uncanny valley. But here it is absolutely perfect, it looks almost photorealistic in places, while still working within the world they have created. This flows on to nearly every other feature of this film. It was clear that they took a lot of this responsibility seriously, up to and including creating new technology to faithfully animate Polynesian hair and landscapes.

This is all supported by one of Disney’s best stories based around one of their princesses. This is a story about Moana finding who she is inside, not what others label her as, finding strength in places she didn’t know she had, and calling people who should have known better about their rubbish. It is also the story of confronting those things that deeply scare us, and finding a way to succeed. All of this while it is delving into Polynesian mythology and history, an area that that has been woefully ignored by filmmakers and there are so many stories that could be drawn from there.

Also, while this is not a requirement to get on this list, it does not hurt that Moana has some of Disney’s best songs brought to life. The combined work of Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Opetaia Foa’i make this a film that just sits in your head for days to come. Seriously all I have to say is “You’re Welcome” and you are there.             

Directors: Ron Clements & John Musker
Writers: Jared Bush, Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell.
Based On: The Maui Stories from the Polynesian Islands
Music/Songs: Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Opetaia Foa’i
Cast: Auliʻi Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk, Oscar Kightley, Troy Polamalu, Puanani Cravalho, Louise Bush & Christopher Jackson              
Production Company: Disney Animation            

5: Porco Rosso (紅の豚)

Porco Rosso (紅の豚). Image Credit: Studio Ghibli.

We now dive into the top five and away from western animation and into the east, specifically into the realm of Hayao Miyazaki and his teams at Studio Ghibli. This first film is not one that many have at the top of their best of Ghibli lists, but for me, it is one of the best films they have ever made.

Porco Rosso tells the story of Marco Pagot (Shūichirō Moriyama/ Michael Keaton) or has he has become known as Porco Rosso. Marco was an ace fighter pilot during WW1 and now lives in the islands of the Adriatic Sea making a living as a bounty hunter protecting people from air-pirates or recovering things they have stolen. Marco is the best at what he does, but he lives with a curse that has turned him into the visage of a pig.

I have talked in the past with how much I love the films from Studio Ghibli, and Porco Rosso is a really good example of this. You first see it in the animation that gloriously captures the harsh and beautiful landscape of the Adriatic Sea. Getting planes to look like they are flying at speed is something that is incredibly difficult to do, or at least have it look effective. Yet here we have extensive dogfights throughout the landscape with multiple people attacking and it comes off flawlessly. Also, it should go without saying that most of the frames of this film could be works of art because there is that attention to detail in the small features that bring the world to light. 

This is supported by a story that is more subtext than most Ghibli films, even though it is dealing with some of the common themes. Besides the curse, that is not really explained, you just go with it, this is a film that is rooted in both a real place and time. This is a film that is dealing with the rise of fascism in the area, and what that does to the existing power dynamics. This is a theme that Studio Ghibli had come back to time and time again but nowhere do they really sum it us clearly as they do in the defining quote of Porco RossoI’d rather be a pig than a fascist.”       

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Based On: Hikōtei Jidai by Hayao Miyazaki
Music/Songs: Joe Hisaishi
Japanese Cast: Shūichirō Moriyama, Akio Ōtsuka, Tokiko Kato, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Sanshi Katsura, Akemi Okamura, Reizō Nomoto, Osamu Saka & Yuu Shimaka       
English Cast: Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes, Susan Egan, Brad Garrett, David Ogden Stiers, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Bill Fagerbakke, Kevin Michael Richardson & Frank Welker      
Production Company: Studio Ghibli

4: The Lion King

The Lion King. Image Credit: Disney.

No matter what happens in the future, up to and including the remake that is going to come out later this year, The Lion King will always have a special place in my heart, because it was the first film that I ever watched in the cinemas back in 1992. We went as a family into Brisbane to the now demolished Regent Theatre one of the old grand theatres with hanging chandeliers, a truly massive place to a seven-year-old and watched Scar (Jeremy Irons) just be the worst.

The Lion King tells the story of young Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) who is the next in line to the throne, as his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) lets him know after a pretty heavy justification of authoritarianism before noting that there is one place that he can’t go. Which as a young person it means once song later we are there and we learn that Scar is trying to take over. One “Long Live The King” later and Simba is exiled, and one “Hakuna Matata!” later and while Simba (Matthew Broderick) tried to flee his responsibility, nobody can run form their past forever.

This was the film of my youth, it was also the first time I had seen the potential of computer animation in the sequence as the wilder beast stampede down the canyon. That first time you hear and well feel that rumble and see the thousands and thousands rumble past, it comes into your body and reverberates. Every part of this film is designed to make those moments hit because you care about the characters. This is because they worked to make the characters designs feel both as animals but also through some clever anthropomorphization as people.  

I have seen The Lion King so many times that I think I could recite the script at this point, well I can sing all the songs so close enough. I think at times I almost take it for granted, especially how wonderfully the story works. Sure you could say it is just animal Hamlet, well I have seen Hamlet put to screen in all different ways, and I’ll take The Lion King over all of them.   

Directors: Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff
Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts & Linda Woolverton
Music/Songs: Hans Zimmer, Elton John & Tim Rice
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Joseph Williams, Jason Weaver, Jeremy Irons, Andreas Deja, James Earl Jones, Moira Kelly, Sally Dworsky, Niketa Calame, Laura Williams, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Madge Sinclair, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings & Zoe Leader                        
Production Company: Disney Animation            

3: Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3. Image Credit: Disney/Pixar.

Now we get to the top three, and to be perfectly honest, these are all interchangeable. I was thinking of just doing a three-way tie, but the drive to have a nice neat list won out in the end. I know for a lot of people, if they were putting their list together it would be Toy Story 2 that would make the spot, and I can see it, I can, but for me, nothing matches that emotional 2-by-4 that is the end of Toy Story 3.

The story of Toy Story 3 is that after years of being Andy’s (John Morris) toys, he is about to go off to college so it is time for the toys to go into the attic. This is devastating for Jessie (Joan Cusack) who feels like she is being abandoned all over again because that is what is happening. The always leader of the group Woody (Tom Hanks) tries to keep them positive, but tragedy happens when Andy’s mum (Laurie Metcalf) mistakes the attic bag for rubbish and throws all the toys out. Escaping the rubbish truck, Buzz (Tim Allen) and the rest decide to go to a Day Care facility than be stored away only to find out that sometimes appearances can be deceiving.    

When putting this list together, I knew there would be something from Pixar, because if any animation understood how to employ emotion it is them. What was interesting to me was that after all said and done (and spoiler for our top two) there is only one Pixar film on this list even through Up did spend quite a bit of time at number 10. I have had a lot of emotional experiences in the cinemas but very few things have compared to the ending of Toy Story 3.

Pixar as a company as shown not only is it not afraid to explore death in what is a children’s film, but they are willing to shine a light on it in a way we have not seen since maybe Bambi’s mum. So that moment as they are going into the furnace and all hold hands in the coming oblivion is one of those moments I will never forget. But before you even have a chance to catch your breath Andy gives his toys away, it was the perfect ending to a trilogy, and there are very few perfect final films in a trilogy. I honestly don’t know what to think about a Toy Story 4, but I will always have that moment where I was glad I watched the film in 3D because those terrible cinema 3D glasses covered the horror show that was my face at the end. You’ve got a friend in me, indeed.     

Director: Lee Unkrich
Writers: Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich
Music: Randy Newman
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, John Morris, Don Rickles, Blake Clark, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Michael Keaton, Jodi Benson, Emily Hahn, Jeff Pidgeon, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Garlin, Bonnie Hunt, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Angel, Jan Rabson, John Cygan, Laurie Metcalf, Lori Alan, Beatrice Miller, R. Lee Ermey, Teddy Newton, Richard Kind, Bud Luckey & Javier Fernández Peña
Production Company: Pixar Animation            

2: Howl’s Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城)   

Howl’s Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城). Image Credit: Studio Ghibli.

Our penultimate film and second Studio Ghibli film on this list is a film that will always have a special place in my heart. It is beautiful, yet haunting, it is both silly yet also profound, completely not subtitle with its message, and will make you both frustrated yet also care for the annoying manchild that is Howl (Takuya Kimura/Christian Bale) but more so it will show the strength of character that comes from within.

The story of Howl’s Moving Castle starts not with Howl but with Sophie (Chieko Baisho/ Emily Mortimer) who works in her mother’s hat making shop. She is someone who enjoys working at home and not going out, so if you think I immediately feel for her than you are right. One day she is out in the local town when she runs into Howl who is gallivanting around and gets accidentally caught up in his capers. Later that night as she is closing up her shop she gets a visit from the Witch of the Waste (Akihiro Miwa/Lauren Bacall) who places a curse on Sophie and when she wakes in the morning she is an old lady. Well, there is nothing else for Old Sophie (Chieko Baisho/Jean Simmons) to do but walk up into the mountains find Howl and get him to cure her curse.

Like all Studio Ghibli films, Howl’s Moving Castle is an absolute work of art from start to finish. There are some scenes that every nook and cranny is filled with detail, there are others where we peer out over the landscape and they are so gorgeous that I would happily hang that up on my wall as a work of art. Even in its dark places, this is a film that uses art to explore and document horrors as well as beauty. The design and implementation of the walking castle is something that will always be with me as one of those moments where you have your whole world changes with what is possible in a film.

This is also a film that is not in all subtle in what themes it is trying to convey. One of the key plotlines and also where it devolves from the source material is in how it explores war. You can see the destain it has about the useless waste of war and how it turns good people into monsters, here the literal monsters, but refereeing to at least the metaphorical ones as well. There is all the pageantry of going to war, but also the harsh realities as shops and towns get bombed to oblivion over what we discover is no real reason. Given the time when it was released, you can almost feel a rage underneath the surface about the world. It is one of those films that is more than the sum of its own parts, and its own parts were already really good to begin with.        

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Based On: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Music:  Joe Hisaishi
Japanese Cast: Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura, Akihiro Miwa, Tatsuya Gashūin, Ryūnosuke Kamiki, Haruko Kato, Yayoi Kazuki, Mayuno Yasokawa, Yō Ōizumi, Rio Kanno, Akio Ōtsuka & Daijirō Harada         
English Cast:      Jean Simmons, Emily Mortimer, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal, Josh Hutcherson, Blythe Danner, Jena Malone, Mari Devon, Crispin Freeman, Liliana Mumy, Mark Silverman & Daijirō Harada                
Production Company: Studio Ghibli

1: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Image Credit: Sony/Marvel

It is our top film and it is also one of the newest entries on this list and I completely did not see it coming. When Sony announced that they were doing an animated Spider-Man film I think a lot of people, me included, responded with a resounding sigh. It just felt like Sony was taking another shotgun to the Spider-Man franchise hoping something would stick before they had to sell it back to Disney. It took two minutes of watching to realise that I was completely wrong, and another five to realise that I was watching something truly special.

The story of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is trying to navigate life in Brooklyn that is both familiar to use but also different because this is a parallel universe.  He is someone who is going through a crisis of identity as he is starting in a new school away from his parent and friends. His father Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry) a police officer in the PDNY, and his mother Rio (Luna Lauren Velez) want the best for their son, even if it means he is away at school all week. Miles is trying to fit into a new school, but it is hard, so he slips out at night to visit his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) who does not really talk with his more straight-laced brother. Together, they go down into the subway to a cool wall Aaron knows about so Miles can create his art, little did they know that down in that subway there was also a spider, a spider that will change Miles’ life. It is funny, it is sad, it is profound, and most of all it is moving.

Of all the films on this list, I feel like nothing quite hits every single one of our criteria as Into the Spider-Verse does. To start with let’s look at the art, I am pretty sure that you can take a still frame from just about any second of this film and it would look like a work of art that you could frame. There have been a lot of attempts on adapting comics into a film in both an animated and live-action form, Spider-Verse is the best comic adaptation by a country mile when it comes to adapting the art. It honestly felt like I was watching a comic book that had come alive in front of me. On top of that, they decided to integrate three different art styles on top of the main one, because Bumping the Lamp once was not enough.

To add to this the story showed that you can do something familiar but yet different and have the best of both worlds. The Spider-Man origin story is something we are so familiar with at this point that Homecoming wisely did not even bother showing it instead they jump right into the action. Here we get four and more origin stories with different spins on the Spider-Man mythos, all of them brilliantly presented. But at the heart of the film is the story of a kid that does not know where he belongs in the world being thrust into situations that were out of his control. You immediately want to help Miles out, so every high is amazing and every low you feel it. I could watch this film over and over again, I even went out of my way to see it twice at the cinemas which is not something I normally do. It is without a work of art, a work of technology, a work of love, and I can’t wait to see more.           

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
Writers: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman
Based On: Spider-Man by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko and Miles Morales by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli
Music: Daniel Pemberton
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine, Natalie Morales, Lake Bell, Oscar Isaac, Jorma Taccone, Joaquín Cosio, Marvin ‘Krondon’ JonesIII & Stan Lee
Production Company: Sony Pictures Animation            

Well that is our 10 ten animated films, let us know what we missed or what your favourite are in the comments below

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

What are your favourite animated films?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.

TV Review – Jinn Season 1

TL;DR – It has an interesting premise that sucks you in, great cast, great locations, but the story was a bit hit and miss at times.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jinn. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In a world full of stories you can use to draw inspiration from, it is surprising that more shows don’t make use of the mythology and stories from the Arabian Peninsula. It feels like it starts and stops with Aladdin at times, at least in shows that make it to the west. But there are such a variety of narratives that you could draw from to tell interesting stories. Today we are looking at a TV series that is taking that opportunity with Jinn.

So to set the scene, we open in on Amman, Jorden as a school group gets ready for a bus ride to Petra. You have the usual clicks appearing, you have Tarek (Abd Alrazzaq Jarkas), Omar (Mohammad Hindieh), and Nasser (Mohammad Nizar) who are part of the popular crowd and who are happy to torment Yassin (Sultan Alkhail) who they think is telling on them to the teacher Ms Ola (Hana Chamoun). You have the power couple in Mira (Salma Malhas) and Fahed (Yasser Al Hadi), the mythology nerd Hassan (Zaid Zoubi) that just won’t shut up about Jinn. When they get to Petra they start messing around and Tarek takes pleasure in tormenting Yassin, but later that night after a few drinks tragedy strikes when Tarek falls down a canyon wall. However, the question remains, did he fall, or was he pushed, and if he was, what or who pushed him? Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Men in Black: International (MIB: International)

TL;DR – A film that is funny in places, has some good effects and cast, but can’t escape its boilerplate plot    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Men in Black: International. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

Back in the day, oh goodness, 1997 was over two decades ago, I had no idea that a moth floating through the air was going to lead to something just magical. That first Men in Black film was like lighting in a bottle, hell I still have that theme song playing in my head from time to time. However, since then the follow-up films have never been able to capture, or even come close to that first film (though the cartoon series almost did). Flash forward to last year when I heard that they were taking another shot at the series, honestly, I felt a bit mostly meh. But then they announced that it was going to be headed by Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. Well if there is a way to get me instantly interested in something it is to cast Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and let’s see how they did.

So to set the scene, back in 2016 Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) arrive in Paris to stop a catastrophe, for the Hive, a destructive species, was about to use The Eiffel Tower to gate onto Earth and take it over. We then find ourselves with a young girl called Molly (Mandeiya Flory) who got to see the Men in Black in action and hid so she never had her memories wiped by the Neuralyzer. Now in 2018, all grown up Molly (Tessa Thompson) tries to find the MIB and after a lifetime hunt, she is given status as a probationary officer and sent to the London Branch where something does not seem right.      

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Movie Review – Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

TL;DR – An interesting juxtaposition of the past and present, through music, Bob Dylan, and a very particular look at the 1970s.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Recently I’ve been listing in to a weekly Twitch podcast about music, exploring all the different genres that had no experience with. This has gotten me more interested in exploring the world behind music and Hollywood’s recent biopic spree has helped a bit in this regard. But when you find that a film about Bob Dylan has dropped on Netflix, by Martin Scorsese no less, you stop what you are doing and jump back to the 1970s.

So to set the scene, Rolling Thunder Revue tells the story of Bob Dylan and friends tour across New England and beyond during 1975. This was a year where America was at crossroads, Nixon had just resigned, the Vietnam War debacle was still in everyone’s mind, and economic recession had started in places of the Rust Belt. All in all, it is a time very similar to the one we find ourselves in right now. It is at this moment of flux that Bob decided to get a group of folk/rock pals and do a tour, something he had not done in a while, and we get to see it all.

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