Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

Toy Story 4 – **(*)

Posted: July 2, 2019 in 2019, Animation, USA, XX1/2

Finally time for a visit to the theatre and, hm, the only interesting picture showing was Toy Story 4. 

But hey, the first three were great fun.

This fourth installment however, just doesn’t have the same wow effect.

All the toys we know from the past now belong to a new kid called Bonnie, who’s not all that interested in Woody. Shit happens. She’s more interested in other toys. And her favorite one is a kind of toy she created during initiation day at school: a spork with self made arms and glued-on smile and eyes and wooden sticks as legs. Fun! Forky thinks it’s trash and just wants to find the nearest waste bin. But Woody tries to tell him that – at this moment – he (?) is the most important toy for Bonnie!

But then Forky goes missing and Woody is looking for him (?) and ends up in one adventure after the other, encountering all kinds of new toys from scary dolls in an antique store to strange looking stuffed animals at a fair attraction.

It’s a fun movie. But it’s made for kids. There are not that many jokes or references that appeal to adults. Nor does the story conjure up emotions for grown ups. It’s never boring. It’s quite action packed. And there are plenty of laughs. (don’t leave the theatre during the end credits!) But 10 minutes outside again and you’ve kind of forgotten about it already.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1979376/

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Dumbo (1941) – **

Posted: April 1, 2019 in 1941, Animation, Children/Family, USA, XX

Watching this with a smart ass kid in 2019 is great!

  • Why are storks bringing the babies ? Are the animal babies orphans?
  • Why are the animals happy going into their cages?
  • How can the mouse speak the same language as the elephant and the ringmaster and the crows?
  • Why are the elephants afraid of the mouse?
  • Elephants don’t drink water with their trunk, they suck it up and then spout it into their mouths
  • Crows don’t wear glasses and don’t smoke cigars!

Hm. Hopefully the live action remake will make a bit more sense. This one hour Disney ‘classic’ is only good for three year olds and younger.

It’s harmless nostalgic charm. It just doesn’t make any sense.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0033563

Christopher Robin, the kid from the Winnie De Pooh stories, is a grown man now. He has lost the ability to get lost in his fantasy world. All that matters is his job. And there’s a crisis going on at work, making him cancel the travel plans he had made with his family.

In the fantasy world of Christopher’s childhood Winnie De Pooh has lost his friends. He’s waiting for Christopher Robin to come help him find his friends, but he hasn’t seen Christopher in such a long time and decides to look for him as well. Via a magical door in a tree, the bear arrives in post world war London…

What follows is 90 minutes of boring characters in boring scenes. Maybe it’s a nostalgic trip for those who were fan of the Pooh stories as a kid. And maybe really young kids will like it. But in general, it’s obvious why this wasn’t a huge blockbuster: boring, sad and humorless! The visuals are great though. So that’s something.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4575576

Isle Of Dogs – *(*)

Posted: January 2, 2019 in 2018, Animation, Children/Family, USA, X1/2

Overrated 2018 movie #1

The trailer is promising. The mayor of a fictional Japanese city expels all dogs to an island full of waste. They are carrying a virus that is threatening humans and need to be quarantined. Preferably exterminated. A little boy decides to venture out to the island and look for his dog and encounters a pack of canines that will help him in his quest.

The actual movie is a bore. The stop motion technique is fascinating. But the story is just lame. It’s set in Japan. Yet the only person resisting successfully against the Japanese ruler is a foreign exchange student. Really? The Japanese speak Japanese, but the dogs speak English. Really? It’s a mess.

But it’s well liked by critics all over the world. So, give it a shot.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5104604

Ready Player One – *(*)

Posted: November 21, 2018 in 2018, Action, Animation, USA, X1/2

Steven Spielberg may be 70 or so, but he still knows how to make movies that appeal to a younger moviegoing audience. Respect. The idea of this movie isn’t bad and the execution isn’t either. But most of the story is set in a second life like alternative reality and that’s a big turn-off if you’re not part of the target audience. If you grew up playing video games (or if you are still a gamer), this may be a lot of fun. If you didn’t, it’s chaos.

The future looks horrible. It’s 2045 and people live in skyscrapers made out of trailers and cars and other unstable stuff. Life sucks and the only way to escape it is to enter the ‘Oasis’, a virtual reality place where everyone can be who they want to be. The creator of this second world has passed away and left a few keys in his creation that need to be found. Whoever owns the keys will get control over this alternate society. So far, so good. Wade is a teenager who is obsessed about this quest and is – like many others – determined to find the keys. By clever thinking, he finds the first one, but then the troubles start. Suddenly he starts having enemies and his life in both realities is in danger. So far, still good.

But then the real action and adventure starts and it is filled with references to pop culture. The references to other games are legio and are very confusing. The references to recent movie classics are fun, but not too subtle. The references to music are a joke.

It’s not a bad movie, it’s just… well… not for me.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1677720/

The Incredibles – **

Posted: June 25, 2018 in 2004, Animation, USA, XX

Quite the Pixar hit 14 years ago, The Incredibles finally has a sequel in the theaters. But was the original really that good?

Kinda.

It’s action packed. It has fun humor. The animation is top notch. Yet, something is missing. The soundtrack suits a Mission Impossible / James Bond movie more, but is distracting. The characters are a bit one dimensional. There’s little emotional drama. Coco or Inside Out it isn’t.

Let’s see what the sequel brings…

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705

Coco – ***

Posted: January 15, 2018 in 2017, Animation, Children/Family, Mexico, Musical, USA, XXX

A little Mexican kid dreams of being a mariachi musician, but his family is very much against a music career. This disgust for music and musicians dates back to a time when the father of his great-grandmother Coco left the family to pursue a music career and never came back.  The kid is a bit of a rebel and wants to perform at a local music festival, organized during the yearly Dia De Los Muertos holiday, when Mexicans remember their deceased loved ones. Something goes terribly wrong and little Miguel arrives in the land of the Dead …

This is just another marvelous Pixar movie. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be overwhelmed with the animation. But it’s still a kids movie. Just like with the equally excellent Inside Out, the story is not only aimed at adults and certain scenes and characters are added to also please the little kids. That’s fine. But it prevents the movies from being absolutely flawless.

The soundtrack is great. And the animation is brilliant.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2380307