Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a 2001 American computer-animated science fiction film directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi (pictured), creator of the Final Fantasy series of role-playing video games. It was the first photorealistic computer-animated feature film and remains the most expensive film inspired by a video game of all time. Featuring the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, James Woods, Ving Rhames, Peri Gilpin and Steve Buscemi, The Spirits Within follows scientists Aki Ross (Wen) and Doctor Sid (Sutherland) in their efforts to free a post-apocalyptic Earth from the Phantoms, a mysterious and deadly alien race. Square Pictures’ staff of 200 rendered the film using some of the most advanced processing capabilities available at the time, taking about four years to complete it. The film debuted to mixed critical reception, but was widely praised for the realism of the computer-animated characters. It greatly exceeded its original budget, costing $137 million and recovering only $85 million at the box office. The film has been called a box office bomb and is blamed for the demise of Square Pictures. (Full article…)
The red-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus) is a large species of bee-eater found in the Indo-Malayan subregion of South-East Asia. This colorful species feeds predominantly on insects.
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