Browsing: Animation

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It’s usually a sign of desperation, creative bankruptcy, or likely both to introduce a long-lost, hitherto unknown sibling or relative into an ongoing series or franchise. It’s an old soap-opera gimmick, but it made the jump to the big screen more than twenty-five years ago when Star Trek: The Final Frontier, easily the worst of the…

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6.5
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It’s been six, not-so-long years since Pixar’s second-to-last major misstep (The Last Dinosaur gets the most recent nod), Cars 2, arrived in multiplexes to thrill and entertain moviegoers, albeit with an ulterior intention foremost in Pixar’s collective minds: Sell more Cars-related merchandise. Between Cars in 2006 and Cars 2…

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7.5
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Not all superheroes wear spandex. Not all superheroes wear their underwear on the outside (Superman did until recently). Some superheroes only wear underpants and nothing else. Correction: Only one superhero wears underpants without a spandex costume underneath and – appropriately enough – he goes by Captain…

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8.5
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If there was any doubt we’re living through a second Golden Age of Animation, 2016 has all but erased it. A year that began strongly with Disney’s Zootopia and continued with The Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, and Kubo & the Two Strings (and one or two others we might have missed along the way) is far from being…

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7.0
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Depending on who you ask, we’re either in the Second Golden Age of Animation or stuck in a dangerously over-saturated market that will crash and burn in the near future (if not sooner). Alternatively, maybe both perspectives are more right than their individual proponents would like to admit. Wherever you stand – or sit…

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8.0
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A young, reedy voice gently admonishes us, “If you must blink, do it now,” a clear signal or signpost that the story we’re about to see and hear will not just entertain us, but entrance and quite possibly enlighten us as well. That’s a big promise to offer seconds into a film, regardless of the age of the speaker, a born…

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8.5
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A remake of a lightly regarded, little remembered live action/animation family-oriented film seems like an unlikely path for a major Hollywood studio to pursue, but the economics of big-budget filmmaking dictate otherwise. Remakes, reboots, and sequels, not to mention prequels and spinoffs, remain the norm, not the…

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7.0
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Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Hell is other people.” In Sausage Party, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s raunchy, R-rated animated comedy (Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon co-directed from a screenplay credited to Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir), hell isn’t other people. Hell is people, full stop. Humans are the…

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4.0
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If there was an award for “Most Creatively Bankrupt Series or Franchise,” Michael Bay’s Transformers series would be at or near the top, but the Ice Age franchise most certainly ranks a close second, possibly even first after the nadir-setting fifth entry, Ice Age: Collision Course. Devoid of ideas, devoid of imagination, and devoid…

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6.0
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Adapting video games into films seems to be tricky business for some reason. Many games now have such intricate and even cinematic storylines and cut-scenes (the story advancement between gameplay) that taking those stories and eliminating the gameplay should be a reasonably easy task, yet time and time again..

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