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Recently watched Kubo and the Two Strings, which came out in theatres back in August. I highly recommend it as it's a very beautiful stop-motion film and is the first film I've ever seen that made me cry so many times (my face was snotty throughout the movie). You will understand the "two strings" once you finish the movie and it's a very appropriate title for that. I wonder if Laika's marketing department really went all out for it, as the only time I've ever seen any marketing of Kubo was via a trailer while watching another movie (I think it may have been Warcraft, I don't recall). Granted, I am a huge stop-motion fan so I should've eventually stumbled upon Kubo one way or another, but it certainly deserves some new stop-motion fans. I will never understand people who can't distinguish stop-motion animation from 3D animation. Stop-motion has such an organic look to it that 3D animation can never hope to replicate no matter how much motion-capture they shove into it. And it certainly pains me that crass movies such as Sausage Party got more attention than Kubo. But I suppose in the end it all comes down to DVD/Blu-ray sales, which I'm sure Kubo will definitely sell more.

Someone commented that stop-motion animation has always had a consistent budget from movie to movie, but 3D animation has gotten more and more expensive. I can't understand how handcrafted methods like stop-motion can end up being less expensive than computer-generated imagery, which just needs high-end hardware to render. I guess that adds up in the end, while stop-motion has innovated newer technology like 3D printing to remain a viable film medium.

That's not to say I hate 3D animation. When used to make artistic films like Paperman and Feast, the medium does well to explore and make use of different art styles. What I hate about 3D animation nowadays is that animators are so focused on making their movies look like live-action flicks, that they lose sight of the artistry of film-making. Of course, considering how Sausage Party got more money versus Kubo, it does speak miles of what the lowest common denominator of the general public has become. I think a part of that is the apathy towards animation as a story-telling medium has caused it to be reduced back to slapstick comedy like how it was in Walt Disney's day. He fought hard to make animation into a beautiful method of film-making, only to have it be reduced to how it was before about 60 years later. It's sad to see studios like Disney waste such beautiful animation on shorts instead of full-length films.

Speaking of sad, I saw a Korean commercial for World of Warcraft in Korea and it was 100x better than what GRAVITY commissioned for Ragnarok Online. Just take a look at a sample of Blizzard Korea's humorous advertising campaign compared to GRAVITY's pitiful attempt. Both convey a sense of a hidden hobby, but the way Blizzard Korea did it came across SO much better than what GRAVITY did. I feel rather ashamed to be playing RO with commercials like that. To this day, I STILL don't know what this commercial was trying to get across. Is it saying RO players should act crazy in public? I think there was supposed to be some special effects in there, but the budget ran out or something. At least the Blizzard commercials made sense in the real-world side of things; having players just randomly act out in the real-world and expecting fellow players to know what's going on is unbelievable and not amusing in the least.