Animany94

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Reviews

Over the Moon
(2020)

A mixed bag.
The gorgeous animation mostly made up for the so-so execution of story and some very familiar family film ingredients. In short, it's an animated Disney musical not made by Disney.

An otherwise solid message about letting go of the past, creative designs and the world building makes for an immersive and rewarding experience, but is too often interrupted by unnecessary musical numbers and some less than appealing characters to keep the up the pace and flow of the movie.

Good, not great, but certainly a visual spectacle!

Raya and the Last Dragon
(2021)

Tank the remakes and let's have good movies like this.
Raya And The Last Dragon proves that Disney is still capable of telling powerful stories with beautiful animation and lovable characters.

Characters are each relatable with how the magical world of Kumandra split their families and left them either on their own, haunted by issues trusting people, stealing to survive or a combination of two or more.

Main character Raya and Namari being the most compelling with their personal connection, but not much about any character seems out of place. The titular dragon can be a little awkward when Awkwafina tries to be funny, but that's minor.

Action packed, heart-felt and immersive non-musical from Disney which shows that if they actually try, we can get new original content for us to cherish for years to come instead of rehashed and hollow remakes of older properties for quick bucks to be forgotten immediately afterwards.

Soul
(2020)

Pixar surpasses itself yet again.
Every time I think Pixar can't get any better they do it anyway in some shape or form.

The hype surrounded how "Soul" bore similarities to earlier output "Inside Out" which is my favourite by the studio, so of course I was excited.

It didn't disappoint! It might even be Pixar's deepest movie to date with a thoughtprovoking take on what happens before life, between lives and most importantly during one's life that makes it worth living which is illustrated beautifully by the dynamics between every single character, but with musician Joe Gardner and troubled soul 22 taking center stage.

Add in Pixar's masterclass animation which contrasts the living world's realism with the abstract world of the souls. A new masterpiece has made into our world which makes our lives worth living!

Klatretøsen
(2002)

Questionable premise but good for children.
I liked this movie for its plot, despite its improbability.

Ida is a young girls who got a passion for climbing from her father who climbed Mount Everest before she was born. Because of an accident where he fell down, he isn't too happy to see his daughter climbing. That accident haunts him and ends up critically numbing his entire body and without an affordable cure in immediate sight Ida arranges a bank robbery to get the money.

When the plot is in undivided focus it keeps your interest with its steady pace and great build-up with atmospheric music and some surprises along the way. The determination expressed from the main actress to save her dying father is what drives the plot and its action along with her friends' support.

But I can't deny that the acting could be pretty wooden especially from the younger actors. The lines can be pretty corny, but at times when the lines are supposed to be, it's possible to make me chuckle. The romance subplot serves its purpose and works in the context of the movie being for children and acted by children as well.

So to sum up, a good movie for children with a cool plot despite its impropability and some wooden acting here and there.

The Lion King
(2019)

Won't watch, don't care, pointless cashgrab...
Why should I spend money on watching a by-the-numbers remake of one the best animated movies ever made when everything that made it a masterpiece in the first place is absent?

Yes, there is no point! This is the worst, laziest bottom-of-the-barrel garbage in this seemingly neverending line of pointless cashgrabs which shows that the House of Mouse has no creative ideas to bring to the table.

Yeah, the visuals are good blah-blah-blah, I don't care! This is complete garbage!

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
(2010)

Not much new, but still enjoyable.
While Alien Force was a surprise by adding much more depth to the characters and expanded the world, Ultimate Alien continued in the same vein but didn't add enough to reach its full potential. The angle of having Ben's identity revealed to the public and how it affected his sense of judgement was quickly dropped and not picked up later.

But I enjoyed the new ultimate alien forms provided by the ultimatrix and as I stated earlier the same qualities of its predecessor were still there. Much to enjoy and appreciate by longtime fans.

W.I.T.C.H.
(2004)

This was a good show!
This was more than just your average teen girl show. It wasn't just a group of bland stereotypes, but actually felt like people. They had their distinct personalities, yes, but with enough nuance and subtlety to make you care about them.

Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hey Lin are attending the same school, but ends up as the chosen ones to guard the so-called veil between the ordinary world and the mythical world known as Meridian. In the latter there is a war going on between the evil Phobos and a rebellion led by Caleb and his loyal allies.

The show has an engaging atmosphere when in the mythical world which is strengthened by a highly detailed animation style filled with vibrant colours and creative creature designs. And the superb voice acting add a lot of menace both to our big baddie, Prince Phobos and his right hand goon, Cedric.

But the most engaging part of season one is the complex relationship between this girl named Elyon and basically everyone else. Phobos using her affiliation with our protagonists against them hits you in the feels and makes you pray for the best outcome for her.

While season one follows this war pretty strictly, season two goes more into exploring the role as a guardian of The Veil and its history, taking both a more introspective angle and building more on the world which is a nice change of pace without sacrificing some action or cutting out a big baddie.

"W.I.T.C.H." was a really good series for youngsters with enough of everything to appeal to both girls and boys. It has enough character depth to make it engaging without taking itself too seriously. Recommendable for fantasy-lovers.

Kari-gurashi no Arietti
(2010)

Beautiful adventure with the little people.
Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale Thumbelina, this movie makes the most out of a typical story of two being separated and not meant to be together. It gets spiced up with lovely world-building making it a grand and immersive expirience.

And even though the story of not being meant to be together is the over-all narrative, there is a touch of creativity by how the main characters' families have always somehow known each other which adds to the strong but somehow unknown bond between them.

That keeps the movie interesting even with the addition of a villain which seemed kind of shoe-horned in. Good movie with enough creativity to make a well known type of story interesting.

Jaws
(1975)

Good movie.
A well made movie with a good build-up towards the inevitable confrontation with its menacing shark.

The tension increases at a reasonable pace whilst simultaniously building up the main character Brody and his conflict with the city mayor to protect the beach-goers. Thanks to the unforgettable music score by John Williams for making the under-water scenes nerve-wrecking!

Hooper provides exposition regarding sharks to further build up the excitement and tension that along with the music make the well paced glimpses of the shark more effective. And with the humorous Quint added to the mix you have a colorful cast to go hunting for sharks and telling sea stories.

My only criticism is that when Quint enters the picture Brody gets increasingly sidelined and isn't doing much until the very end which was a good ending though. A good movie that is never boring.

Batman Beyond: Untouchable
(2000)
Episode 2, Season 3

Another cautionary tale with an extra layer.
Sci-fi has often been about how the use of technology can become a threat when in the wrong hands or if it developes a mind of its own, but here the writers used both pros and cons of an invention.

It's about a repelling forcefield intended to help people with a deficiency in their immune system to move around freely and feel almost like regular people. But an unknown baddie is using it to his own advantage and gain.

There's a romance angle with Terry and a patient which itself has thought put into it, but is cut a little short by the limited time. But it has a funny conclusion that will make you chuckle.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War
(2020)

A strong end to a line of hit-and-miss movies
Not all movies in the DCAMU are fantstic to be honest, but after seeing them all come together in this fittingly dark and emotional ending feature you can accept the other movies for what they gave to the project.

Darkseid triumphs partially by defeating the Justice League once, but with the unshakable willpower from Superman he makes the remaining members fight their way to put a stop to his tyranny.

This movie pulls no punches, so don't expect a light watch, because this is a battle against the greatest threat to humankind ever! And for once it feels as if it is just as long as it's supposed to and do not rush anything.

Many plot elements from earlier entrances in the DCAMU is are concluded in here, and therefore I was thoroughly satisfied by how well it all was handled without feeling shoe-horned in.

Scoob!
(2020)

Could have been something, ended up as a corporate mess.
First of all, the animation was excellent with enough details to make it look huge at times and enough stylised characters to avoid being uncanny.

But sadly, that's the most positive thing I have to say about it, because even though I consider it to be better than the live-action movies from the early '00's, it just isn't good enough to be more than mediocre for different reasons but one in particular:

The corporate footprint is enormous! This is most obvious in the cast which is all a-list celebrities even though the usual voice-cast for the many earlier and ongoing iterations of the beloved gang is still available, but I guess they weren't popular enough.

It's also a superhero themed movie and a supposed start of a Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe. Superheroes are huge, cinematic universes are a big trend and the MCU is huge. These considerations make it feel more like a product of statistics and market analysis than its own thing.

For the kids it might be fun and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy at least some parts of the movie like the villain and his good humour and sympathetic motivations, and I think the set-up for an HB cinematic universe was surprisingly well done considering all the cameos there were in the movie.

Lower your expectations, because even if "Scoob!" isn't terrible, it's pretty generic and bares a big corporate mark.

The Legend of Korra
(2012)

The writers had a lot on their minds.
Avatar: The Legend of Korra is by no means as good as the phenomenal The Last Airbender, but you can tell that the team behind it had a lot on their minds regarding the Avatar universe. And that may be its biggest flaw.

What I mean is that all the elements that made its predecessor so great is still in here, but at the same time it's trying to be its own thing which ends up making it feel all over the place with world-building, character arcs and romance plots either scattered across all four seasons or hastily concluded without feeling fully developed.

The first season is in my opinion the most successful at blending it all together with Korra coming to Republic City to discover a colorful crowd amongst the many inhabitants and what they do in their leisure time and the way the higher-ups run the city. And a dark side of a seemingly peaceful place for all which include the chilling Amon on top of a rebellion.

So, while there is a promising premise for season two about the spiritual side of being the Avatar which leads to an epic conclusion and an interesting result, it is here it all starts to jumble together with various subplots which makes it feel disjointed and rushed.

In the character department we have Korra as the main character, a young woman with a temper who sadly often comes off as arrogant and bratty. She learn throughout the series, but is also a victim of the messy writing. The characters are a mixed bag overall.

Animation is still top-notch, and when the series keeps its focus, we get an expanding look into the world of the Avatar and the people attached to her/him.

Scooby-Doo
(2002)

Pretty bad...
Nothing new was really added to the worn-down formula in the first live-action adaptation of the beloved canine and the gang of mystery-solving teenagers.

Add in some horrendous fake-looking CGI and cringe-worthy humour. Heck, even the cartoon didn't settle this much on fart-joke level... but even if the CGI is awful, the sets are nice and the villain is pretty cool.

If you are a fan of Scooby-Doo, there is something to enjoy, but others will find the characters bland and uninteresting quickly.

Hook
(1991)

A beautiful movie with a good message.
I remembered watching trailers for the film on old VHS tapes and thought to myself 'why not'. I loved the movie!

It may not be the exact story of Peter Pan, but the premise was fitting with Robin Williams playing the character of Pan but as a grown-up worrying father without much time on his hands to be with his family which is hurting his children.

And when the children are taken away by Capt. Hook, it's up to Peter to get them back, but that's easier said than done. His memory of how he came to be, and especially his time in Neverland, isn't intact and it takes a lot of effort from everyone and especially himself to regain it.

And let me say that the sets and the backgrounds of Neverland still haunt my mind. So colourful and at times atmospheric. The shots of the island in the sunset with the lying in the bay is probably one of my favorite shots in a movie, period.

A sweet movie with high production value and a good message of keeping your inner child.

Horton Hears a Who!
(2008)

Colourful fun with Jim Carrey's fast-paced antics and not without heart.
While being a kids movie filled with the usual backdrops of that, it's enjoyable enough with a good heart to make it worth a watch.

Jim Carrey is known for being a living cartoon himself, so that's what you get when he lends his voice to a kids comedy, but just like the movie itself he's funny and innocent and slows down when needed.

And while there are some weird choises made here and there to show us Horton's eagerness to bring the clover with the entire civilization og the Whos on it to a safe place, he shows admirable selflessness to make you root for him. The odd choises is solely in the animation which is obvious when you see it, but only that one time, luckily.

And the animation itself is mostly pretty impressive with nice shots to show the grand scale between sizes of either the Whos and the jungle or the different obstacles Horton goes through on his quest. It can be a little chaotic at times, but an animated Jim Carrey comedy must be expected to be so. But the biggest creative achievement in the animation is in the city of Whoville with its many gadgets and gizmos to make up the happy life of its inhabitans.

The movie could easily have been just your usual "bring this from A to B to save something" story, but it injects enough heart and has a good message of speaking up to make your voice heard to elevate the quality.

Turtles Forever
(2009)

The best Ninja Turtles movie out there!
The 2003 series is my favorite rendition of the famous Ninja Turtles outside the comics, so this was a masterfully satisfying conclusion to a great series.

Filled with fan service of all generations, from the Mirage Comics, the 80's TV-show, the then present TV-series on top of a solid plot of stopping the One True Shredder who despite his eternal exile to a lonely asteroid in outer space.

And even though the art style is style of the weaker side of the show, the animators' put in a lot of work to make each generation true to its respective tone and style with some surprised thrown in to finish it off.

This is a must see for every Turtle fan!

Stuart Little 2
(2002)

The rare sequel improving upon its predecessor.
Stuart Little 2 does actually improve upon its predecessor with higher stakes, grander camera shots when they go through the city and a villain voiced by James Woods! Count me in!

And believe me, after Stuart meets his new friend Margalo and goes to the city to find her, we see breathtaking camera movements. Speaking of Margalo, she's a nice and addition to these troubled characters who struggle with their alliances, like Snowbell in the first movie, who may be a little watered down to mostly a joke-spewing comic relief which is hit or miss. Not that he's annoying, because he gets a piece of the action too.

And James Woods as a villainous falcon needs no description, because he's cool and menacing and has a firm grip on everyone he sees fit to work for him. Badass!

Even though the rules in this world about what animals the human characters could talk to and understand started getting a little confusing now we out of nowhere get acquainted with a bird who's capable of this while Snowbell isn't puzzled me, I enjoyed this sequel very much.

Stuart Little
(1999)

Simple story but okay execution.
Stuart Little succeeds as family entertainment with a simple story with fun and heart and impressive CGI effects made for its title character and the mouth movements on the cats.

Nathan Lane as Snowbell was hilarious with his sarcastic remarks and conflicted personality by being a house cat with a mouse as a superiot compared to his alley cat friends who eat them. His character was by far the most interesting and had the best lines.

Otherwise the acting was servicable, even though some scenes meant to be emotional were rather flat. But the movie was enjoyable enough to me engaged.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
(2010)

Good upgrade to a done-to-death formula.
Scooby-Doo is cute and all that, but after years of the same formula done over and over, we got a reboot with a darker tone, rounder personalities to the gang and more complex relationships between them and the supporting characters.

Fred especially is hilariously obsessed with traps and is super awkward when he is to express his feelings towards Daphne who is all over him and their interaction make the biggest laughs in the entire series.

And the usual villain in a mask is expanded to span all 52 episodes with clues spread all over to add up to one big mystery with many great turns and twists along the way making this easy to binge. Not everything or everyone is necessarily what it appears to be.

Along the way, we also see funny takes on the franchises own tropes and frequent inclusions of different pop culture elements in an often hilarious mockery way.

While I wasn't that keen on the character designs which at times could be uncomfortable in their pointy abstract nature, I can't say anything bad about this well done upgrade in the storytelling of the done-to-death formula of the orherwise beloved gang.

Spider-Man 3
(2007)

Too many villains and a questionable take on the symbiote, but not terrible.
Spider-Man 3 carries a reputation for being the worst movie in the Sam Raimi trilogy, and while that's true, the movie itself isn't all terrible.

The movie has a strong message of putting the needs of others before your own which is most prominent in the relationship between Peter and Mary Jane who were about to get serious, but clashed with Peter being Spider-Man.

And that theme could have fitted into the story with the symbiote. But with both the symbiote, Harry Osborn and Sandman, the movie seemed rather contrived and could easily have been split up into two movies. But even if it all seemed contrived and underdeveloped, the ending still made me feel something.

But how the writers handled the symbiote was pretty stupid. It's feeding on its host's negative emotions like anger, desperation and sadness and doesn't make people act like hotshots and do lame dance moves in doorways. That was the biggest let-down and wasn't really saved by Eddie Brock's bonding, because of some out-of-character lines that took the menace away from him.

But at least it's better than the train-wreck of a movie which shed disgrace on the character of Venom in 2018.

The Zeta Project
(2001)

Who's a threat? Robots or humans?
As a sci-fi series, The Zeta Project takes up the ever interesting question if robots will acquire emotions of their own. In here the government infiltration unit known as Zeta doesn't want to do what it was initially programmed to, search and destroy.

He's at a constant run from government agents Bennet, Raj and West, the former being hell-bent on capturing him because of his belief in the dangerous nature of such robots.

Zeta teams up with an orphan girl on his quest to find his maker to prove him not dangerous. This girl named Ro takes advantage of Zeta's abilities while she traches him to navigate among humans. They play off each other pretty well with Ro's snarky sarcasm and Zeta's shaky understanding of human behaviour giving us some good laughs.

As a spin-off of Batman Beyond the duo also comes across Neo-Gotham and Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis in one episode which is nice.

While the animation can be rather flat with little shadow on the characters and a cliff-hanger ending without a satifying conclusion to the overall goal of the series, it is a worthy entry to the DCAU.

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
(2014)

Good movie.
Not much Tinkerbell, but a good movie overall taking some risks by being a little darker in tone and not afraid to be emotionally poignant.

The plot isn't very new, but the execution makes it fit well into the world of Pixie Hollow and expanding its lore with the Legend of the Neverbeast.

Fawn is the star of this movie along with the beast she names Gruff. Fawn is an animal fairy who often gets caught in taking a liking to rather problematic creatures and therefore ends up hiding the Neverbeast from the stern Scout Fairies.

But there's more to the beast and it ends up being quite the opposite of what it's said to be.

The animation reaches a new height here especially in the climax with a great use of effects backgrounds looking grand. The fur on the beast is also quite well textured and the facial expression makes him convey convincing emotions with no need for words.

One of the best Tinkerbell movies even if Tink takes the backseat.

The Pirate Fairy
(2014)

Prepare for familiar faces.
Basically, it's the same story as the first movie, but that's not entirely a bad thing for this fifth enstallmen in the fairy franchise. We do get to see how Capt. Hook and his crew came around.

But the story is this misunderstood fairy gets in trouble and is banished from the Hollow. She joins up with the pirate crew to get it her way, but ends up getting stabbed in the back. But luckily she is rescued by Tinker Bell and her friends who are not amused by her ways as a pirate.

Entertaining movie, maybe not that much to grab adult viwers, unless you're a Disney fan like I am. But credit to the creativity by incorporating familiar faces into the movie to make it more connected to Peter Pan.

Secret of the Wings
(2012)

Visually stunning and heartfelt.
Tinkerbell is not all alone in the sunny Pixie Hollow. Well, she never was, but here she sees an opportunity to come to another part of the Hollow where it is winter.

There she discovers unknown things about herself and a mysterious happening called 'sparkling wings' which lead to great character interactions and animated sequences not unlike Disney's at the time upcoming Frozen.

When I see movies like this I wonder why they do not get a wide theatrical release, because they are sooo good! This one and The Great Fairy Rescue made it to a release with the latter appearing in UK and Ireland theaters, but yeah, the former only a limited US release.

Check it out, it's on par with some of the earlier theatrical movies by Disney.

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