Thursday, April 29

Tag: Animation

Review: Tom and Jerry (2021)
Movie Review

Review: Tom and Jerry (2021)

With a long-standing feud that has lasted for nearly 80 years, the infamous Thomas Cat and Jerry Mouse return for another showdown in what's become their second feature film (after Tom and Jerry: The Movie in 1992). In aftermath of the slow-moving development hell, Tom & Jerry finally arrive under WarnerMedia's cahoot with HBO for a hundred-minute slapstick bonanza between a couple of love-to-hate feline and rodent. This time, their story comes as a live-action and animation hybrid a la Roger Rabbit with Tim Story directing and Chloë Grace Moretz starring alongside the animated duo. (more…)
Review: Soul (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Soul (2020)

Jamie Foxx behind Joe Gardner in Pixar's Soul (2020) With Soul—released straight to Disney Plus on Christmas Day, Pixar grows more mature and sophisticated, but never loses the heart. Co-directed by Pete Docter (Inside Out) and playwright Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami), this jazzy soul-seeking odyssey between New York and the hypothetical astral field is like an adult-oriented drama version of Docter's 2015 work. That being said, kid-friendly feature works on surface level; but, underneath, there's a more philosophical and subliminal layers that only appeal for adult viewers grasping the meaning between life, death, and ideas beyond those distinctions. (more…)
Review: Wolfwalkers (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Wolfwalkers (2020)

With The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner all nominated in various Oscars seasons, Irish animation studio, Cartoon Saloon, keeps on knocking on the door. Along with American stop-motion studio, Laika, the studio has established themselves as serious contenders for prominent names like Pixar, Dreamworks, and even Ghibli. Their new animated feature, Wolfwalkers, directed by their first-in-commande, Tomm Moore, and veteran art director, Ross Stewart, is likely to be following the path of its predecessors with its heartwarming story and compelling visuals. (more…)
Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)

Stephen Hillenburg's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) was supposed to be the series finale for its third season (and possibly for the whole show for good). The commercial and critical success of it, however, has rekindled interests towards the franchise before finally sparking tons of additional contents (commonly described as land-sliding seasons in terms of quality). Nobody from the 2004 production might have predicted that the story continues and sparks many seasons plus two movies, including Paul Tibbitt's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) and, the latest, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. (more…)
Review Onward (2020)
Movie Review

Review Onward (2020)

When discussing any Pixar movie, the words 'magical' and 'heartwarming' have almost been sacred words to define the studio's finest movies. Pixar's latest tenure, Onward, brings the magic into its literal sense in a world where mythical creatures from various mythologies survive the test of time and make it to the modern world. Here's the thing; the magic in this world has long gone and been forgotten by the dwellers. In a movie about the magical world where the magic has vanished, will Pixar's magic still alive? The answer to such a question lies in the story of two elven brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt), as they discover a newly unraveled chapter of their lives. Since their father passed years ago, they are raised by their single-mother, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfo...
Review: Frozen II (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Frozen II (2019)

Back in 2013, Frozen was a surprise giant. Continuing the streak of past-participle-titled Disney princess’ movies, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck’s animation is a warm tale about the snow queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell). While formulaic, the movie makes a breathtaking breakthrough—introducing two Disney princesses at once, powering the story with the shade of feminism, and shooing away the notion of Prince Charming. Critics, studio execs, and audiences jeered over with excitement back then. After several one-shots, including Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the sequel is a certainty. Eventually, we are back to the Kingdom of Arendelle once more—where Queen Elsa rules alongside Anna. Frozen II moves further back before the events in the first movie,...
Review: The Addams Family (2019)
Movie Review

Review: The Addams Family (2019)

Sausage Party directors—Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan—attempt to recreate the transcend the utter absurdity of their R-rated cult animation with a more established material. They think that the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and ooky Addams Family by Charles Addams might be it. The half-century-old material, which has spawned multiple incarnations—including multiple animated series, long-running television series and the reborn, as well as several movies—might bear the absurdity the directors are looking for; but, The Addams Family's first venture in 3D animation is a banal adaptation. Portrait of the extended Addams Family in The Addams Family (2019) The character design combines the over-the-top scale of the 60s cartoon with the characters' look in their recent embodiments—mo...
Review: Abominable (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Abominable (2019)

You might have heard and seen the archetypal stories of a bizarre creature befriending teenage humans and embarking on a life-changing journey that will forever affect both parties. You have known this kind of story in many forms; be it Steven Spielberg's E.T., Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, Stephen Chow's CJ7, and many others. DreamWorks Animation, with Pearl Studio (Kung Fu Panda 3), brings the familiar story again for another magical journey in Abominable, a story about a mythical Yeti and a teenage Chinese girl voyaging all the way from the Mainland to the Himalaya. The blue-eyed, white-furred Yeti breaks loose from the forced captive before it roams around the urban-jungle of Shanghai. At the same time, Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet, née Wang) tries to cope with the grief o...
Review: Weathering with You / 天気の子 / Tenki no Ko (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Weathering with You / 天気の子 / Tenki no Ko (2019)

Reverberating the idyllic fantasy romance of Your Name that transcends time and space, Makoto Shinkai crafts another coming-of-age romance. If Your Name serves as the spiritual answer to 5 Centimeters per Second; his new animation, Weathering with You a.k.a. Tenki no Ko is undoubtedly the spiritual answer to his rain-soaking The Garden of Words. The parallels to Shinkai's works in this weather-bending romance are crystal clear. Weathering with You, strange as the title sounds, plays out with another Shinkai's wildest dream. The narrative dances in the rain from the very beginning making such a cold welcome to its protagonist. It follows a runaway, Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo), fleeing his island to neon-bathing Tokyo that has rained for days on end. Despair for living, he's sheltered and hire...
Review The Lion King (2019)
Movie Review

Review The Lion King (2019)

Jon Favreau’s photo-realistic remake of Disney Renaissance’s magnum opus, The Lion King, is best described as being nonurgent. As a matter of fact, it’s unquestionably prone to exoticism and aesthetic in terms of visual or musical, even more than Favreau’s vibrant rendition of The Jungle Book in 2016. Notwithstanding the artistic breakthrough, the redux, which might not be fair to be called as a live-action adaptation (since everything is computer-generated), lacks of originality and sense of purpose. Back in 1994, The Lion King has proven the worth as the magnum opus of Disney Renaissance, becoming the highest grossing traditionally animated films of all time. Boasting Shakespearean drama in the midst of African wildlife, the tale of Simba paved its way to become an instant classic. 2...
Review Toy Story 4 (2019)
Movie Review

Review Toy Story 4 (2019)

After the nearly perfect closure Toy Story 3 (which scored a Best Picture nomination) back in 2010, John Lasseter (first two Toy Story movies, A Bug's Life, Cars series), right before his departure from the studio, writes with Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Finding Dory), incorporating inputs from Pete Docter (Monster Inc., Up, Inside Out) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Coco) along with Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, to craft a story—a pure passion for the love of the characters. After some rewrites and the departure of Lasseter, leaving Josh Cooley (Head of Story in Inside Out) with sole directorial duty, Pixar has literally gone "to infinity and beyond" with Toy Story 4—a story that feels more than some expansion, but rather a completion. (more…)
Review The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
Movie Review

Review The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

Upon the release in 2015, The Secret Life of Pets introduced nothing particularly new. While heartwarming, the titular narrative is familiar and formulaic at best. Even by glancing, people keep comparing the narrative to the first Toy Story with pets substituting the toys. The movie was a well-intentioned comedy spawning super-cute and likeable characters with less distinctive, non-merchandise-minded designs. Unable to develop an intriguing story to follow up the first movie, The Secret Life of Pets 2 decides to focus on the overly cute characters (more…)
Review The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
Movie Review

Review The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

“Everything’s not awesome…,” half-way through the second act of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, some characters join forces in a choir to sing this bleak rendition of Oscar-nominated ‘Everything Is Awesome.’ At some points, the chant admits what might have gone wrong with the direct sequel of Christopher Miller & Phil Lord’s 2014 masterwork. However, the lyrics that follows—“…doesn't mean we shouldn't try… to make everything awesome…”—confidently shows how this sequel acknowledges its weakness and making a leap out of it, then moves on with its awesomeness that hasn’t rusted off. (more…)
Review Christopher Robin (2018)
Movie Review

Review Christopher Robin (2018)

Review Christopher Robin: Disney’s new rendition of Christopher Robin reminds me of the twist that Mark Osborne has done to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince in 2015. At some points, the story development also has similarities to Mr. Holmes. However, if there’s an invention to make to retell the century-long centuries of the titular character along with his animal friends, Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, Marc Foster’s Christopher Robin serves its purpose. Read more
Coco (2017) – Review
Movie Review

Coco (2017) – Review

Review: Seven years in making with thorough research in Mexico along with solid team led by Lee Unkrich to celebrate appropriate representation (including writer, Adrian Molina, who got eventually promoted into co-director), Pixar's nineteenth feature, Coco, results in a highly respectful tribute to Mexican culture and tradition, specifically, 'Dia de los Muertos' a.k.a. The Day of the Dead. (more…)

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