Rick Dempsey

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Porco Rosso Review


Excellent
Even Hayao Miyazaki's biggest fans are unlikely to have seen Porco Rosso, one of his most delightful -- and socially important -- works.

Title character Porco Rosso is, well, a man with the head of a pig, the result of a curse placed on him in some unknown earlier era. In 1930s Italy, he works as a bounty hunter, living on a quiet island beach in a little tent. When the phone rings, he jumps in his red prop plane and heads off to save whoever's calling from pirates, keeping his cool (as voiced by Michael Keaton in the U.S. dub) all the while.

Continue reading: Porco Rosso Review

Howl's Moving Castle Review


Good
Similar to Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle is a sumptuously illustrated fairy tale with a pro-environment and anti-war slant, though unlike those modern classics, the animé titan's latest suffers from a narrative confusion that bogs down its initially effervescent spirit. A gloriously animated fantasia blessed by familiar Miyazaki hallmarks - vibrant, ethereal artwork, whimsical creatures, a rural world in which mysticism and technology happily coexist - the film (being released in both subtitled and dubbed versions, the latter of which I saw) has a light aura of juvenile romanticism and a manic, tangible physicality that stands head and shoulders above anything previously crafted by the maestros at Japan's legendary Studio Ghibli (including Katsuhiro Otomo's recent Steamboy).

The story of a young girl who, after being changed into an elderly woman by an evil witch, joins forces with a petulant playboy wizard against a nefarious sorcerer, Howl's is akin to a cluttered, cacophonous childhood dream come to life. However, as with dreams, Miyazaki's film is also far-too-often a bewildering jumble of intriguing ideas and ingenious images that never fully coalesce into a moving or compelling whole.

Continue reading: Howl's Moving Castle Review

Disney Bosses Worried About Bacall's Reaction To Cartoon Witch


Lauren Bacall Rick Dempsey Jean Gwyneth Paltrow Blythe Danner

Disney bosses were terrified of showing movie great Lauren Bacall her animated witch character in new movie HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, because they feared the actress would take exception at the disgusting crone.

The actress agreed to provide the grunting, wheezing WITCH OF THE WASTE with an English language voice in the Japanese movie, but movie executives fear she'll scrap the project if she realised just how terrible her character was.

Rick Dempsey, the animation director for Disney, says, "We thought Lauren Bacall would be absolutely perfect for this witch and she was on her book tour, but we were really concerned how she would respond when the witch starts to transform into the blob with all this fat dripping.

Continue reading: Disney Bosses Worried About Bacall's Reaction To Cartoon Witch

Disney Hire 'Stunt Grunters' For Voice-Saving Tricks


Disney Rick Dempsey Lauren Bacall Jean Simmons Blythe Danner

Disney bosses hire "stunt grunters" in a bid to save the stars' voices when they're making animated movies.

The voice extras are called in to add vocal sound effects to save the stars from developing rasps after talking into a microphone for long periods.

Rick Dempsey, the animation director for Disney, reveals the grunters are also called upon to save executives asking movie icons to make revolting sounds.

Continue reading: Disney Hire 'Stunt Grunters' For Voice-Saving Tricks

Collins Thrilled Disney With His Bi-Lingual Skills


Phil Collins Disney Rick Dempsey

Phil Collins amazed Disney bosses when he agreed to sing his songs for the studio's films TARZAN and BROTHER BEAR phonetically in a number of different languages.

Rick Dempsey, the animation director for Disney, feared the company would have to hire foreign singers to croon the former GENESIS star's tunes, until the rocker thought it would a good idea for him to have a go.

Dempsey recalls, "That was my highlight because I was a huge Phil Collins and Genesis fan.

Continue reading: Collins Thrilled Disney With His Bi-Lingual Skills

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