Category: "Animation/Family"

Review: Happy Feet Two

There’s little rhyme or reason to anything in the “Happy Feet” universe. If it sings, dances, looks cute and enhances ethnic diversity, it flies. Except penguins of course — penguins can’t fly, everyone knows that. But that doesn’t mean they can’t creatively problem solve through self-determination, tap-dancing and passionate arias. Okay, so nothing makes sense […]

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On DVD: Cars 2

The Pixar library stands as modern animation’s most impressive by far, partly due to both the studio and Disney’s belief that sequels should only be made with the right artistic reasons in mind, namely a good story. That’s why, to date, we have just “Toy Story 2,” “Toy Story 3” and … “Cars 2” … […]

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Review: Real Steel

Never underestimate robot boxing. Despite reaching for nearly every cliché in the family-oriented sports underdog drama handbook short of titling the film “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots,” DreamWorks delivers a undeniable crowd-pleaser with “Real Steel.”

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On DVD: Rio

Animated talking-animal films since the dawn of CGI have gotten much more prolific. Now that animals can be illustrated with ease and superb realism (namely in textures such as fur, feathers and scales), the supply can meet the demand and almost every major movie studio has either its own animation division or a relationship with […]

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On DVD: Tangled

It seems to have taken until the eleventh hour, but Disney has finally found a way to make its classic fairytale stories work in the 21st Century. Thanks to longtime Disney animator Glen Keane (serving as producer) and directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard (“Bolt”), the film stays true to Disney’s long line of rich […]

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Review: Rango

We all face an existential crisis at some time or another, just usually not when we’re seven, which will likely be the mean age of children watching this newest non-Pixar non-DreamWorks animated feature. No, “Rango” won’t challenge kids to contemplate their role in the cosmos, but that’s precisely the predicament of its main character, a […]

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On DVD: Despicable Me

It’s always nice when a movie surpasses expectations. It’s even nicer when that better-than- expected film negates the potential title-related puns that critics could have used to lambaste it. In other words, there’s nothing despicable to say about “Despicable Me” other than the title’s overall irrelevance and potential roadblock to making more money.

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On DVD: Shrek Forever After

No matter which way you shake it, “Shrek Forever After” amounts to nothing more than a way to capitalize on a profitable franchise for a fourth time. Many fans will see this as proper closure to the franchise, but that’s the closure *they* need, not that the films needed. “Forever After” feels much more like […]

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On DVD: How to Train Your Dragon

Watching “How to Train Your Dragon” on DVD, I had my first (and what could well be my last) case of 3-D regret. Watching the young viking Hiccup soaring on the back of his new pal Toothless the dragon made me seriously wish I’d seen the film in theaters and yes, in 3D, a medium […]

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Archive Review: Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

It will always remain a mystery as to what took so long for just a good old computer animation version of a Dr. Seuss story. “The Grinch” and “The Cat in the Hat” had their entertainment value, but the confines of the real world simply don’t reflect the towering imagination of one Mr. Theodor Geisel. […]

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Review: Toy Story 3

Pixar has taken the animation genre literally to infinity and beyond in the 15 years since “Toy Story” first changed the game forever. So when the ground-breaking production company decided to return to an old friend in 2010 after three straight years of cutting-edge family film-making, you had to know there was a compelling reason […]

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On DVD: Fantastic Mr. Fox

There really is something a bit fantastic about Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animation debut “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” The quirky spirit of the Roald Dahl book could only be captured by a filmmaker with a deep and unforgiving wit. Anderson’s dry and subtle sense of humor might not translate into big dollars (at least by comparison to […]

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On DVD: G-Force

I don’t have anything against talking animals. I love Disney movies like the rest of them. I’ll take talking toys, bugs, bears, penguins, fish, you name it — but an elite force of special unit guinea pigs in a live action setting is not something that screams fun for the whole family. No doubt that […]

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On DVD: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is about the closest any major CGI animation studio has come to a classic cartoon done in a modern style. It would appear that somewhere between “Looney Tunes” and Pixar’s “Up” that animation has lost a bit of its rule-bending nature. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, co-executive producers of […]

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Review: The Princess and the Frog

In a decade where CGI has dominated all animated forms of entertainment and a year where 3D has exploded into prime time, Walt Disney Studios steps back, reaches into its old bag of tricks and pulls out its first hand-drawn feature in five years. The decision might feel like a ploy to boost Disney merchandising […]

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