Shape of Water, The (2017)

“Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere.”

 

In order to understand The Shape of Water try to imagine a retro-futuristic 1960’s government bunker housing top secret assets and all orchestrated by the creative Guillermo del Toro.  Naturally, you are left with an amphibious, human-like, creature with the power to connect people in a way that the 60’s American establishment is unable to cope with.  At the height of the Cold War, and with racial tensions and intolerance at a high, there is little room for love and acceptance; except, perhaps, through the determination of the minorities and overlooked members that build the framework of society.

WALL·E (2008)

” Just needed someone to look after you, that’s all. “

Left alone on a planet, a trash compacting robot searches for meaning in an endless loop.  In a sea of meaningless nostalgia, Wall-E fantasizes about companionship and a sense of belonging.  His adventure leads him on a quest for love and to preserve hope that Earth will once again be inhabitable.  Wall-E provides a vision of a post-consumerist world, neglected and void of any responsibility.  It does this through vivid dystopian landscapes and social commentary that, at times, seems closer to reality than fiction.

Zootopia (2016)

It is hard to imagine that a crime thriller about prejudice, corruption, and the viral spreading of misconceptions, is above all else a family-friendly animated adventure comedy.  Zootopia brings a beautifully exotic world to life in a way that we are accustomed to expect from Pixar, not Disney.  For the adults, the film is an overt allegory for intolerance and how fear can be used as a weapon, and for kids it is a story about perseverance and never letting others hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

I was a little nervous going into this film.  With the resurgence of Star Wars films in the last 17 years there has certainly been some ups and downs and more downs than ups.  I enjoyed the recent addition to the saga, but was unclear as to how this film was going to fit in with the Star Wars story.  My initial impression was that this film would be the first part of a new trilogy, but I am glad that this is a standalone piece that fits in spectacularly with the original trilogy.

Little Prince, The (2016)

The Little Prince is a creatively reimagined retelling of the original novella, written by Antoine deSaint-Exupéry.  While not a direct adaptation, Osborne still succeeds in capturing the essence of the 1943 tale that is engaging enough for children and thoughtful enough for adults.  The film blends together a modern narrative, in the 3d animation format, and an interspersed recollection of the story “The Little Prince”, in stop motion.