It has often been observed how malleable a character Batman is. Over the past several decades he has found himself equally at home busting the heads of petty street criminals and out-witting cosmic menaces with (new) god-like powers. What unities such diverse plots is a common interest in the humanity of the hero. The tone of the narrative might emphasize oppressive bleakness or optimistic redemption, yet what all the best Bat-stories have in common is an interest in who the man is beneath the cowl. This is true of the movies as well; for example, Christopher Nolan’s masterful Bat-trilogy is as, arguably more, concerned with Bruce Wayne than it is with Batman. In many ways, The LEGO Batman Movie liberally skewers the melancholy tone of Nolan’s films, while sharing with them an interest in the hero’s personality. Amidst the bonanza of gags, Chris McKay’s new film has something to say about Batman’s character.
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Just when it seemed comic creator Dash Shaw’s debut film might disappear into cinematic limbo, Gkids comes to the rescue. Shaw’s animated film, My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, made the rounds of the fall film festival circuit earlier this year, garnering plenty of rave reviews along the way (read Cosmo’s from the New York Film Festival here). However, while other acclaimed films got snapped up, Shaw’s remained unclaimed. Just this past week, the movie site Indiewire included it on their list of best films of 2016 without distribution. Thanks to Gkids, at least one entry can be scratched off that list.
Gkids is a company that specializes in releasing both independent and foreign animated films. Past releases include such stellar features as Sita Sings the Blues, Chico & Rita, Ernest & Celestine, and Up from Poppy Hill. Several of their movies have been nominated for Oscars. They also own the rights to Studio Ghibli’s back catalogue. So, My Entire High School is in very good company.
Gkids is planning a spring 2017 release. For more info see Deadline.