REVIEW: Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe [2015]

“Make a wish” It’s amazing that the Ice Age series is still going on let alone the solitary adventures of little Scrat and his acorn. The studio may be just as surprised too since they’ve had to relegate their latest short to UFO conspiracies. Yes, Mike Thurmeier’s Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe sees everyone’s favorite pre-historic squirrel shoving his delicious prize into the yolk of an alien spacecraft frozen within an iceberg. Attempts to free it allow the entire vehicle to escape through our atmosphere and ultimately form our solar system by happenstance.…

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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: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [2008]

“I find it pretty and slightly hypnotic” It’s amazing what happens when filmmakers craft a plot for their characters. I’m not saying I approve of sequels with lame flashback origin prologues trying to make up for the lack of story in their predecessors, but I won’t complain if such contrivances help ground the jokes into a cohesive three act structure. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa isn’t hampered by the need to remove its leads from their fabricated habitat, instead starting off the reservation and relying on everyone’s intrinsic desire to return…

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REVIEW: Rio [2011]

“Sing it, Lionel” Always playing third fiddle to the powerhouses of Pixar and Dreamworks, Sony Pictures’ Blue Sky Studios has held their own with the Ice Age franchise and a couple supporters. Their newest endeavor, Rio, looks to try and recreate a bit of the magic from their competitor’s Madagascar, setting the tale in an exotic locale—Brazil—and populating it with a blend of random humor, violin playing sentimentality, and an eccentric hoard of hive-mind beasts for slapstick entertainment. The music is unfortunately not up to snuff, giving a film aimed…

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REVIEW: Despicable Me [2010]

“Oh yes, I have pins and needles I’m sitting on” Yet another hat is thrown into the ring. Illumination Entertainment joins the stiff competition of Hollywood animators, bringing along with it a stellar voice cast and the ever-present 3D format. Christopher Meledandri—the man behind Fox’s steady rise into becoming one of the top three studios of the medium alongside Pixar and DreamWorks—left his executive job to head up this new company, pilfering artist Chris Renaud to co-direct the firm’s debut Despicable Me with Pierre Coffin. Let’s just say that it’s…

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REVIEW: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown [2006]

Ice Age came out in 2002 giving me no real inspiration to go check it out. Of course I finally did and found it to be well voiced and scripted. So, when Ice Age 2: The Meltdown debuted, I had a bit more interest in seeing it, even though the idea of sequels usually doesn’t hold much clout in my eyes. To my surprise the film kept most of what worked from the original. The performances from Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary are all humorous and heartfelt. The…

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