Browsing: Animation

Reviews Kubo and the Two Strings

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…

Reviews Petes Dragon

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…

Reviews Sausage Party

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…

Reviews Ice Age Collision Course

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…

Reviews Ratchet and Clank

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..

NP Approved The Fantastic Mr Fox

There’s a lot of Wes Anderson in his 2009 adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox, possibly as much authorship as Roald Dahl, the author of the book on which the film is based. From the first frame, we can tell that the story is going to be told on a plane, with 90 degree angles being the sharpest turns we take, from the whip-pans of…

Reviews The Good Dinosaur

For the better part of two decades, Pixar has been synonymous with quality-driven animation, technical innovation, and four-quadrant appeal, a combination few, if any other, animation studios could claim with any consistency. That combination was, once again, evident just several months ago when Inside/Out…

Reviews Hotel Transylvania 2

There is a point early on in most family features where you know exactly who the film was made for, be it just for the kids or for everyone in the audience. Hotel Transylvania 2, director Genndy Tartakovsky’s sequel to 2012’s Hotel Transylvania, really doesn’t know…

Cannes thelittleprince_1-1

The second and only other animated feature that screened in Cannes in an out-of-competition slot besides Inside Out was the first ever animated adaptation of one of the most beloved children’s books directed by Mark Osborne: The Little Prince. The timeless story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry about an aviator who meets a small prince and learns about his…

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