REVIEW: Epic [2013]

“Moist is what we do” Children’s author—and Academy Award winning animated short film director—William Joyce continues to make his rounds throughout the industry’s ever-expanding studio ranks with an adaptation of his book The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs with Blue Sky. Having already seen his work turned into feature length films with Pixar (Meet the Robinsons) and DreamWorks (Rise of the Guardians), it’s no surprise he would reteam with Ice Age director Chris Wedge in a larger creative capacity than was had as production designer on Robots. While…

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REVIEW: Rise of the Guardians [2012]

“Merry Christmas! Happy Easter! Don’t forget to floss!” It was only a matter of time before someone turned our favorite holiday-bound mythical creatures into superheroes. Unsurprisingly it’s William Joyce who did. By no means a household name, he isn’t a stranger to the world of youthful fantasy with credited work as a conceptual artist (Toy Story and A Bug’s Life), television show creator (“Rolie Polie Olie”), and author of cinematic adaptations earning box office success (Meet the Robinsons inspiration A Day with Wilbur Robinson). His latest project coined The Guardians…

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REVIEW: Wreck-It Ralph [2012]

“Who doesn’t like a brat with dirty hair?” The news that Disney bought Lucasfilm for four billion dollars had me thinking about another of the powerhouse’s key acquisitions—no, not Marvel and its potential for crazy property crossover. To me Mickey and friends’ best move this past decade was ensuring that Pixar Studios and its unparalleled team of creative visionaries would be their in-house animation studio with John Lasseter at its head. Not only would he have the foresight to re-open Walt Disney’s 2-D animation shingle, but he’d also find himself…

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REVIEW: Madagascar [2005]

“Just smile and wave boys. Smile and wave.” Made as though in opposition to Pixar’s brand of magical storytelling, Dreamworks Animation’s Madagascar ushered in the studio’s want for broader comedy and adolescent appeal. With Shrek, they found a franchise that subverted Disney’s use of fairy tales for cinematic fodder and created a nice hybrid of laughs and story with an underdog hero inside an ugly duckling tale. But after a steady stream of Pixar work including Monsters Inc. and the previous year’s The Incredibles, you have to believe that Dreamworks…

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REVIEW: Tangled [2010]

“Goldie, look at all the blood in his mustache” How long does it take to grow your hair so that you can use it with a pulley system to lift a person up a good hundred feet? Well, if Disney’s Tangled is to be believed, eighteen years. I don’t think it hurts having the golden locks also be magical; the whole ability to heal living creatures does lead you to believe it will constantly heal itself and not get dry, brittle, or manifest loose ends. But then that’s what happens…

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REVIEW: Bolt [2008]

“You’re a degenerate creature of darkness” It’s a little strange to me that it took Pixar becoming Disney’s new animation studio before the Mouse House itself started releasing new animated films of quality. Starting with the highly enjoyable Meet the Robinsons, Disney has carried on the eccentric comedic bent with this year’s Bolt. This is no Pixar film, don’t get me wrong, but it is very entertaining. Trying its best to capture the heart prevalent in each of their films, Bolt succeeds with a marginal surface sentimentality, tugging at the…

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REVIEW: Enchanted [2007]

“The steel beast is defeated peasants, you are free” Who better to deliver in the family friendly genre on Thanksgiving than Disney with their new animated/live action hybrid Enchanted. This movie is very cute and quite good at being both wholesome for the kiddies and tongue-in-cheek for the adults. You need to appreciate a studio being able to poke fun at itself. By using the classic stories of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, all made famous in their own right by the Mouse House, we are given some big…

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REVIEW: Meet the Robinsons [2007]

“Keep moving forward” The greatest compliment I can give the new Disney film Meet the Robinsons is that I never left the story wondering whose voice was lent to each character. Usually the big names come through and you start trying to figure out who is who, leaving the words and the story behind. With this film, besides the fact that I could only recognize the great self-parody from Adam West, we are given a cast of no-names, (not to disrespect Angela Bassett or Laurie Metcalf, but they had five…

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