An animation Mount Rushmore would arguably include the faces of Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, Ralph Bakshi, and Matt Groening. However, there could be a case for filmmaker Richard Linklater.
The director of films like Dazed and Confused and School of Rock has been making heads explode with his groundbreaking rotoscope feature films Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, changing the game of American animation over the past few decades. With its last animated film released more than 15 years ago, Linklater fans were excited to see Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood.
Apollo 10 ½, released on Netflix, is an adult-oriented drama that explores the life of the first human to land on the moon’s surface. With a cast led by Jack Black, the film explores how a childhood dream of going into space becomes a reality. Or is it? Like Linklater’s previous animations, the coming-of-age feature uses a rotoscoping technique, tracing the animation from a live-action film. Unsurprisingly, thanks to its refreshing, inspired spirit, Apollo 10 ½ presents an honest challenge for best animated film of 2022.