5 Animated Films

Ever since Steamboat Willie, the world of animation has become so broad that it can take many styles, ranging from innocent films like Finding Nemo to serious ones like Neon Genesis Evangelion to abstract films like Fantasia. Although animation is unjustly dismissed as childish, some of the greatest and most influential films came from the world of animation. So then, what films are timeless enough to be the best out there? Let’s find out.

Honorable Mention: How To Train Your Dragon (2010): This film needs to be mentioned as a recent of example of how awesome movies can be with enough thought and heart. It is also a prime example of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” because the first time I saw the giant poster at the movie theater, I thought to myself, “Wait-that looks more like a bat than a dragon-This is going to suck when it comes out!” Ironically, the design is easily one of the most intelligently designed characters I’ve seen in any animated flick.Since the morals are of education, mystery and the pursuit of knowledge vs. ignorance (in this case, killing out of fear), the dragon isn’t the overblown, crimson ridden beast that is meant to be feared; it is subtle and dark, something you want to learn about. It’s definitely a message that needed to be said, especially in these times of ignorance. In this way it is also a motif of the curiousity of Hiccup as a young boy trying to deal with the world. The movie is, of course, flushed out by an excellent series of characters, a deep and dramatic plot and excellent animation.

5. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi-”Spirited Away” (2001): Hayao Miyazaki has been considered the Steven Spielberg (Pre-2000 of course) of Japan, and with good reason. The film is amazing in the way that it brings beauty out of strange creatures with music and color. The film is centered around Chihiro, a young girl who stumbles upon a strange amusement park with her parents, finding along the way a stand with food. When her parents eat the food they turn into pigs and Chihiro must enlist the help of a young boy named Haku and several other spirits to escape the park and defeat the owner, a witch named Mari Natsuki. Although the film has a fantasy setting, there are many subtle little details that contribute to fleshing out the characters and ironically the film that much more. With such a well fashioned and produced story, it’s easy to suspend your disbelief.

4. The Incredibles (2004): This film achieves the dream of many filmmakers in satisfying all audiences: the kids will love Dash and Violet and connect with their own struggles, parents can connect to Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, comic book fans can spot and laugh at the comic book references, even the 300-loving action junkies can love the creative action scenes. The villain, Syndrome, is actually on the better side and you can sympathize with his character, thus making him believable and strengthening the conflict between Mr. Incredible and this former Comic Book Fan, so much that there is even ambiguity. Even Samuel L. Jackson is awesome without having to say a single bad word. This film is quite, well, incredible.

3. Wall-E (2008): Yeah, I know, thanks for the obvious pick from the “fanboy,” but Wall-E truly is an epic backlash against all the poorly made movies of our generation, proving that an animated, infant-like robot with no actual dialogue can be more human and lovable than Street Kings or any of the other films that have invaded in recent years. It balances the social critique of a consumer culture with several references to other films ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Hello Dolly to even Blade Runner. Wall-E could be seen as parallel to Charlie Chaplin, in which the silence makes the character more expressive and not as soulless as others.

2. Iron Giant (1999): The Iron Giant may have been overwhelmed with the plethora of other animated films coming out that year, but would in time rise up to become a commercial and critical success. The film is set in the heart of the Cold War, where paranoia and fear run amok. Such a theme sets up the hostility directed at Hogarth’s new friend, a large iron robot who feasts on metal and can express emotion. He becomes a companion to Hogarth and gains a preference for Superman comics. However, the government deems it a threat (because every goverment according to movie logic is evil) and the Iron Giant goes into assault mode, fighting the Army. The movie can be preachy to the impatient, but the way it conveys the themes of Cold War paranoia is very beautiful and tragic. It leaves us with the message that we all have a point in life where we can choose who we want to be.

1. Toy Story 2 (1999): The original film was quite the spectacle four years ago; it speaks volumes that this film is considered even better. Toy Story 2 follows Woody, Buzz and Co., but it opens up more grounds rather than treads the same areas, setting up Pixar’s record of being innovative.The characters, old and new, are all refreshing and memorable. Although it is a simple story about toys, the film is also much deeper, exploring identity to flesh out both Woody and Buzz Lightyear. You root for them at the end as they encounter situations no ordinary person (or toy) could possibly survive. Oh wait what’s that you say? Toy Story 3 this summer? That one song from Top Gun in the trailer? Yeah, you better go see that film.

10 Things to do before you die

Many residents of El Segundo have complained about the monotonous boredom that has entrenched their lives in this quaint little town. With summer vacation looming just along the horizon, here are some excellent activites to take part in to break these melancholic days of life.

10. Tour each of the Seven Continents
– Of course, traveling the world is something that everyone must accomplish in some form or another. But, most people have traveled across Europe and Asia, neglecting the more exotic locations of the tropical jungles of South America, the scorching desert and savannas of Africa, as well as the frigid Antarctic summits. For once, explore the every aspect of the world you live in, from the sylvan Isle of Skye of Scotland, to the serene cherry blossom viewing of Japan, to the hidden ancients of Machu Picchu in the highlands of Peru. Become a true world traveler.

9. Have some type of writing published, be it just a poem, a short story, an article, or a novel
– Express yourself! Show the world who you are and the meaning of your individual and your life. Perhaps your writing will change the world, or maybe it will change just one person. But in any case, these writings will remain in the world in some shape or form. And in a way, they immortalize you, leaving you a timepiece in the world after you are long gone.

8. Become a contestant on a game show.
– “Deal or no Deal!” or “Jeopardy” or “Who wants to be a Millionaire.” And for the truly prepared, become a contestant in the infamous Japanese Game shows such as “BRAIN WALL” (Known in non-Japanese cultures as “Human Tetris” and “Hole in the Wall”).

7. Spend one hour, several hours, or nearly an entire day riding up and down an elevator.
– Pick a busy lift, and just stand inside while you go up and down the building. Say “hello” or “good day!” to everyone you see. It is a great way to meet a wide variety of different people from different backgrounds as they proceed with their days.

6. Eat something strange, weird, interesting.
– Life is about surprises! Along with meeting new people, be daring and venture into the world of quirky, less-known foods of the world. Try, perhaps, a crispy tarantula seasoned with garlic and salt; or maybe enjoy a nice, mephitic “king of fruits,” the durian. And for the most reckless, eat the notorious Japanese Fugu, the infamous puffer fish that must be thoroughly prepared correctly in order to remove the lethal traces of poison it contains. No matter what, enjoy a new, different type of food, rather than the regular, unhealthy meals of fast food.

5. Compete in and complete a triathlon.
- Test your physical strength and stamina in three daunting tasks under a blazing sun. First, swiftly swim through icy cold water; next, quickly cycle up and down hills on two wheels during the cycling section. Finally, take off running toward the finish line in the third and last trial of the triathlon: the run.

4. Learn a form of self-defense
– You never know when adversity will suddenly appear on the road of life in the form of a large, hulking behemoth carrying a big stick or a sleek, charismatic assassin with a poison-laced dagger. Defend yourselves using the Eight Gates and Five Steps of Tai Chi Chuan, the sweeping kicks and ginga of Capoeria, or possibly the quick strikes and counters of Krav Maga. One day, all the training will pay off when you find yourself in that certain precarious situation.

3. GO OVER 200 MILES PER HOUR IN A CAR (of course, under safe and prepared conditions)!
– Ever wonder why car manufacturers develop their speedometers to go up to high speeds above 150 miles per hour? So, test the power of your car on a clear, wide, open road; accelerate quickly as you and your vehicle fly down the long road of life.

2. Send out a message in a bottle.
– Sometimes, people become so caught up in the fast-paced mainstream society, that they begin to lose sight of the many small, intrinsic quirks of life. One of these is the simple message in a bottle. Simply take a waterproof container( preferably a glass bottle), write a little message, or a long letter, and send the message into the vast, open ocean. See how far the small note can travel along the flowing waves, before it is finally carefully fished out by a curious soul.

1. Do something for the something bigger than yourself; for the greater good; for the next generation.
– Contribute to a larger cause, whether it be as small as planting a tree or helping find an organization dedicated to the preservation of the environment. Donate to charity or volunteer for an organization, consistently! Help create a better world for not only the present, but also for the many future generations to come.

Life is Short. There is never enough time to live life perfectly, but there are many opportunities to find meaningful aspects that have been glazed over in this fast-paced life. Above all, live a life with no regrets, never asking yourself what might have happened. Do everything you want before it is too late.

Prom Location 2010

Prom Location 2010 –by Emma Smith

The Los Angeles Natural History Museum. The 2010 prom location was kept under wraps until the assembly yesterday, per ESHS tradition. Now, juniors and seniors (plus a few underclassmen) who have been looking forward to prom can finally fill in the background of their “night to remember,” checking to make sure outfits will not clash with the décor. As with each annual unveiling of the prom site, doubts linger in the minds of many students; what makes this one location so special? Or, in more general terms: What were the ASB officers thinking? This, at least, can be cleared up immediately; with their funding sources threatened by the economy’s implosion, the junior class managed to snatch victory from the jaws of financial defeat, fashioning what will surely be an inspired prom experience.

The Natural History Museum certainly has good credentials on paper. According to its website, the museum boasts an extensive, valuable collection of natural and cultural history comprised of more than 35 million objects spanning 4.5 billion years. This sense of preserving time fits in flawlessly with the general concept of prom night, as well as this year’s theme: history in the making. As an added bonus, the outside of the building is quite impressive, providing the perfect dramatic background for pictures. The grandiose feeling does not end at the door, either. Those who associate the Natural History Museum with field trips gone awry should think again. How many people get to dance the night away amid two enormous dueling dinosaurs (a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops)? At the very least, these extra prom attendees will offer an interesting anecdote in later years. Often cited as a marvelous locale for upscale wedding receptions, the museum’s Grand Foyer (definitely included in the prom experience) displays marbled columns, twin half domes and travertine marble floors. In short, this seemingly unlikely spot provides all the elements of a night straight out of a romanticized movie –with an added quirkiness on the side.

If that’s not enough to inspire ticket sales, the junior ASB members have added incentives to buying bids early. Those who purchase their tickets during the first week of sales get the chance to win via raffle a MAC $50 gift card, a free corsage and boutonnière (from International Gardens), a manicure from Princess Nails, or a 55-minute facial (from Beach Massage). ASB has also managed to snag a 15% discount at International Gardens (on corsages and boutonnières) for all students who say they are from El Segundo High School. So what are you waiting for? Take one day off from homework and AP testing; live a little instead.

Did You Know?

Men can read smaller print than women; but women can hear better.