Treasure Planet (2002)

Treasure Planet Movie Review…………………………………………………

Treasure Planet Movie Review

Treasure Planet is a 2002 animated science fiction film which is the 43rd Disney animated feature. It is a solid, but very flawed film.

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Look at you! Glowing like a solar fire.

You’re something special, Jim. You’re gonna rattle the stars, you are!

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Treasure Planet Movie Review…………………………………………………

The film is basically a modern retelling of Treasure Island, but set in space. That is a high-concept idea of mixing old with new that is pretty clever in my opinion, but it’s a shame that it was never executed to the fullest degree. It never utilized on its great potential. In my opinion, Disney copied Star Wars too much here with all the robots, space adventure and weird alien designs. The film is engaging to watch and sometimes quite charming, but it’s just never as adventurous as it should have been.

The characters are a mixed bag here. Some work, others not at all. Jim Hawkins is a solid hero as he is more modern than usual for Disney. I also liked that he wasn’t as heroic and as good as usual and that was refreshing. He is definitely an even more modern version of Aladdin. John Silver is excellent and he is the finest character here without any doubt. I loved his accent and his constant shifting from good to bad was very interesting to follow. The relationship between the two again reminded me of ‘Aladdin’. In that film Al and Genie were best buddies and their friendship seemed like a bromance. Here it is exactly the same and although not done as well, they are still a very charming, wonderful duo and the heart and soul of this film.

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Treasure Planet Movie Review…………………………………………………

Delbert Doppler is a hit-or-miss character who still could be funny at times and Captain Amelia is a tough female character and of course Emma Thompson killed it in the role, but the two just weren’t as well developed as they should have been which is a shame as both had potential. But their pairing was fun. And even though I liked Emma in this role, it was still too obvious that it was her and to me the voice casting here should have went to the unknowns.

Mr. Arrow is underdeveloped, but his death was still pretty tragic. Jim’s mother is typical, but still it was great that finally a Disney hero has a mother and the fact that his father did not die but left them was also pretty refreshing. Scroop is a pretty striking spider villain and some of his scenes verged into horror territory which was an interesting and ultimately successful approach. Morph is so cute and I loved all of his scenes. His design is interesting and he’s a wonderful sidekick. The same cannot be said for B.E.N. who is such an annoying robot that is an obvious rehash of C3PO from Star Wars that it was quite shameful. His jokes did not work and he was so annoying and unnecessary that he totally ruined the second half of the movie.

Treasure Planet is beautifully animated as it features a very pleasing mix of hand-drawn animation with computer generated imagery. The use of Deep Canvas from ‘Tarzan’ is also put to good use. I loved the looks of the different aliens and especially of the ship itself. The color palette is gorgeous as the extensive use of blue and purple was great as it led to a pretty interesting looking and different film.

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Treasure Planet Movie Review…………………………………………………

But it’s such a shame that, as I said in my review of ‘Atlantis’, Disney just never managed to properly make an ”anime” film which is basically what they tried here. The attempt is certainly admirable, but only half-successful unfortunately.

As for its score, it is excellent and its theme is very uplifting and memorable. Whenever it appeared in the movie, it lifted those scenes emotionally. And its basically only song I’m Still Here is an interesting departure for Disney as it is a rock song for once. I liked it personally. It isn’t great, but it is catchy and serves its purpose in terms of emotion for the relationship between Silver and Jim.

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Treasure Planet Movie Review…………………………………………………

Treasure Planet isn’t as emotional as it should have been overall and only the main duo provides charm and emotion here. The humor is hit-or-miss. The film is awfully frenetic in pacing and the action is solid, but certainly overwhelming. The film is not well edited at all and the entire second half is rushed and not as great as the build-up demanded it to have been. Overall, it succeeds as a solid and even underrated in a way sci-fi tale (similar in quality to underrated ‘Titan A.E.’), but it is still far from great and another proof that Disney never quite managed to make a successful movie when it departed from fairy tales and animal pictures.

The bromance between Jim Hawkins and John Silver is interesting and charming, the visuals are frequently mesmerizing and the film features a fine mix of new and old ideas. But it has too much action, it is badly paced and the supporting characters are not as memorable. It was also influenced by Star Wars a bit too much. So Treasure Planet is in the end a solid and admirable sci-fi effort, but a very flawed one indeed.

My Rating – 3.5

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Castle in the Sky (1986)

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review

Castle in the Sky is a 1986 animated adventure film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is the first Studio Ghibli feature and one of their best in my opinion.

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There’s nothing worse than having your pigtails shot off!

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

The plot is so good here. The film is a fantasy, but above all one grand adventure film and rarely have I seen this spectacular an adventure before. Such an amazing experience this movie provides. As is the case with most Miyazaki films, this one features a strong ecological theme and message to it which was great. The film is admirable for being very long, clocking in at two hours which is quite a lot for an animated film, but here it was worth it as the story is so majestic and big that it needed this much time to be told.

The beginning is intriguing and I liked how it started briskly and with an action sequence. Then the rest of the first act was a bit slow, but that was essential for providing character development, atmosphere and build-up. The second act is very good and that is where we get some of the best moments from the pirates. And of course the third act is the highlight as we finally see Laputa. It was fascinating to see the entire island and city on the sky. The details are remarkable, but more on that later. I loved the ending with the spell of destruction being used. It was dark, tragic and yet necessary.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

The character development in Castle in the Sky is solid, but not the greatest. To me Sheeta is a typical protagonist, but an interesting case of a strong female character and sort of a Studio Ghibli princess. Pazu is a bit boring and too good, but he serves his purpose. The two are too heroic and sometimes bland, but the relationship between the two is sweet and they got some charming moments together.

As for Colonel Muska, he is a typical over-the-top and power-hungry villain. However, the fact why I liked him quite a bit lies in the twist in his background which was well executed and in his actions which were capable and he actually was a very competent, strong villain who posed some serious danger for the protagonists.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

But Captain Dola is easily the highlight. Her entire pirate team is a lot of fun and I love her dynamic with her sons and husband. But she is so interesting and unforgettable not only in her looks – pink pigtails is a refreshing look for an old woman – but also in her character as she is good, but still treasure-hungry and she ended up taking a lot of treasure from Laputa in the end. She is simply hilarious and all of the film’s humor comes from her and her many funny lines. She is certainly one of Ghibli’s best and most endearing creations.

The animation in Castle in the Sky is something extraordinary. As I said before, the world building here is simply amazing and the attention to detail is unprecedented. But the animation is so great that it managed to give us all of this world in the best way possible – through old-fashioned hand-drawn style. The character designs are good, the use of color is great and Laputa is breathtaking to witness. I loved its original look, those robots also have an authentic look to them, the nature is beautiful here and the city and its magical properties are so well explored. Everything looks gorgeous in the titular castle, but Pazu’s village is also beautiful to witness and very cozy. This film honestly has one of the best animations ever, that’s how powerful it is. Not only wonderful and detailed, but also stylistic and even artistic. It’s certainly miles above anything Disney produced during this time.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

Castle in the Sky sometimes has overwhelming action for sure, but still that action is surprisingly well executed and it is in fact one of the best action oriented animated films. A lot of the set pieces such as the train scene and the final confrontation on Laputa are instantly recognizable and so well done. The movements are polished and the action is as exciting as the story is engaging.

And the score, oh how wonderful the score in this movie is. It is honestly breathtaking and timeless in quality as it lifts the material and animation to even greater heights and having in mind that both were excellent to begin with, the end result is nothing sort of astonishing. A perfect, well rounded package this film is. The entire score is great and I loved the song in the end, but naturally its theme is the standout here – simply gorgeous and unforgettable. Whenever it appeared in the movie, I was mesmerized.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

So it has its problems such as the protagonists and the dialogue should have been stronger as the script demanded it, but the message is great and this is an ecological movie done right. To me this is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s finest movies and a proof of how strong his direction could be. It is also one of Studio Ghibli’s best and such a phenomenal first feature for this amazing studio.

Castle in the Sky has weaker main characters, but the villain is solid and Captain Dola is one of Ghibli’s funniest and most endearing characters. The story here is excellent, so well told and with a great ecological message. The score is simply beautiful, the world building is extraordinary and the animation is artistic, meticulous in detail and simply mesmerizing leading to one of the best animated films ever in my opinion. It is such an epic, grand adventure that is one of Miyazaki’s best and such a terrific first feature for wonderful Studio Ghibli.

My Rating – 4.5

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Dinosaur (2000)

Dinosaur Movie Review

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Dinosaur Movie Review

Dinosaur is a 2000 animated adventure film which is the 39th official Disney animated feature. It is unfortunately one of Disney’s weakest offerings.

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Some things start out big,

and some things start out small,

very small.

But sometimes the smallest thing

can make the biggest changes of all

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Dinosaur Movie Review

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It follows an orphaned Iguanodon who along with his family of lemurs moves in search of a new home after the asteroid hit. Now, the plot is fairly simple and very ordinary. Of course the setting and the creatures are great. Who doesn’t like dinosaurs? I myself like them a lot as most people do and I especially love everything ancient and prehistoric which is why this movie was intriguing to me and why that asteroid sequence was the highlight, so well done.

Another major highlight has to be the beginning which is just incredible! It is one of Disney’s better openings and although a bit too much inspired by ‘Tarzan’, it was still great. Watching the egg go from predator to predator and then end up at the lemurs’ place was a phenomenal way to open the movie, it instantly hooks you in the story. But it is then such a shame that the rest of the film is a failure. It is so slow and so typical in its conflict and very uninvolving in its overly standard journey story that it was just one giant snoozefest to witness.

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Dinosaur Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. Well, they are not the greatest to put it mildly. The character development is so weak and uninspired that not a single character leaves a bigger impression after you watch the movie and all just fade away. Aladar is as boring of a hero as you could possibly be. Typically selfless and heroic, but without any other attributes to him. As for the lemurs, all of them are forgettable and the mother is basically Kala as the similarities to ‘Tarzan’ continue to pile up. And that womanizing lemur was cringe-worthy with his humor. As for the other dinosaurs, Neera is as basic and forgettable of a love interest as they go and Kron is just so over-the-top and typical. Such a clichéd and dull brute. The conflict between him and Aladar was so boring.

The voice acting is atrocious and possibly the biggest blow to the quality of the entire film. I don’t know what went wrong here as Disney’s films usually have great acting in them, but this one features such terrible or bland at best voices and whenever the actors and actresses had to sell those more emotional sequences, they failed miserably time and again. They definitely hurt the movie the most in the long run.

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Dinosaur Movie Review

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Dinosaur had groundbreaking animation for its time and it is worth noting that it is the first ever Disney movie to feature CGI and again Disney won’t use computer animation more prominently until 2005. But here lies the big problem – the film is dated. Yes, obviously it must have been absolutely incredible to watch when it came out, but nowadays, the animation is telling of its age. And that is the problem with computer animation, it is just never as timeless or as artistic as hand-drawn animation is which again goes to show that all of today’s animated films are going to be very dated in just a couple of decades. Such a problematic medium to use. Another problem here is that the use of live-action scenery also felt dated and to me not pleasant at all as it created a jarring look to it. Very frustrating.

Where Dinosaur excels is in the score which is amazing. I just loved its theme which was gorgeous, majestic and epic in the style of Disney’s best scored movies. It certainly helped to elevate many of its scenes to greater and more epic heights. It doesn’t have any songs in it, but the score is so good and it accompanies the scenes so beautifully and fittingly that it is the most memorable aspect of the entire film.

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Dinosaur Movie Review

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It isn’t well paced and it isn’t particularly well directed. The dialogue is as ordinary as these types of films usually have. And I have to say that the humor was also lacking and the film was overly serious and whenever it tried to be funny, it mostly failed miserably. Also the emotional investment isn’t the greatest. Yes, some of it was moving, but most wasn’t. I appreciated its realistic approach to the character designs no matter how dated they look now and I liked its apocalyptic and adventurous overtones, but the film was ultimately too ambitious for its own sake and it is one of Disney’s weakest films for sure. It was evident by now that they have entered their darkest period yet.

Dinosaur definitely is realistic and ambitious, it has a couple of awesome sequences with the beginning being the highlight plus the score is the major standout being uplifting and majestic, but the CGI animation here is dated by now, the characters are beyond forgettable, the story is dull and the voice acting is bland leading to one of Disney’s more lackluster efforts.

My Rating – 3

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a 2001 animated science fiction adventure film which is Disney’s 41st animated feature. It is one of their weakest outings.

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“You are a scholar, are you not?

Judging from your diminished physique

and large forehead,

you are suited for nothing else?”

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

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I don’t know how they could have screwed a premise like this – A crew in 1914 goes to search for Atlantis, the lost civilization. They find it, but the trouble arises when their captain wants to use its resources. It definitely had a lot of potential, but the execution is so muddled that it ended up being one of Disney’s weakest films ever. Now I changed my mind upon second viewing and now I do not think it is bad but rather passable. But still that is very weak for Disney’s standards.

It is crazy to think about, but James Cameron basically ripped this movie off when making ‘Avatar’ which is just too similar to this storyline. That is because this is a good story that deals with important issues and themes. I liked its adventurous tone and it is also the first science fiction film to come out from Disney. But the storytelling isn’t the greatest and the film ended up being too simplistic and way too fast paced for it to work.

Let’s talk about the characters. They are unfortunate as the character development is Atlantis’ biggest flaw. The voice actors admittedly did a very good job plus it is a very interesting cast of characters as it is so diverse. There is a Black/Native American character than a Puerto Rican one and also an Italian and French guy. The movie is surprisingly ethnically and gender diverse for a Disney flick.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

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But that ultimately did not matter as the film is overstuffed with too many characters and neither of them ever get properly developed and they are all thin as a tissue paper and very forgettable. Milo James Thatch is such a boring central character who is actually more annoying than sympathetic. Rourke is such a typical villain who did pose some threat near the end, but is mostly forgettable.

Kida is a typical native love interest who is weakly developed and overly sexualized. Vinny is the most forgettable of the bunch and his jokes did not work. Sweet is highly likable, but also underdeveloped. Helga is interesting and has some great scenes, Ramirez is also interesting albeit not particularly likable and Mole is just too ridiculous of a comic relief and never really funny. But Packard was funny as this elderly bored lady and she is the only character who made me chuckle here.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire is gorgeously animated. This is the first movie from the studio to be heavily influenced by anime as they really wanted to employ that Japanese style here. And they definitely could employ it successfully so it’s a shame that character and plotwise, all three Disney anime films are very weak (‘Treasure Planet’ and ‘Big Hero 6’ are better than this one, but still so problematic).

I loved its hand-drawn animation, the character designs are very good and particularly the scenery is gorgeous. Some scenes such as that last sequence were stunningly beautiful and that was probably the highlight of the movie. I loved the city, I loved the water and everything looked awesome. The attention to detail that went into this production is staggering as the Atlantean buildings are very unique and they even created an entire language for them. That was very fascinating to witness.

Even though Atlantis is not a musical and doesn’t have any songs whatsoever, it still features a stellar score. The sound is great, but the score is excellent from beginning to end and very atmospheric and grand. It pleasantly reminded me of those old adventure flicks and in that area, it managed to recreate that adventurous feel. That theme near the end is stunning.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

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So in the end it is a three-star movie and one of Disney’s weakest for sure. It is awfully fast in pacing and that is why it was a bit dull at times as I dislike excessive action and the third act here suffered from that. But the first act is very rushed too. I just wanted fewer characters in its cast and more time to breathe with more quality dialogue and emotion. This movie is so cold emotionally that it infuriated me. Disney movies are supposed to be heartwarming. So it is an okay film and intriguing, but ultimately frustratingly weak.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is one of Disney’s most intriguing experiments with a gorgeous anime-influenced animation, excellent score, an impressive attention to detail and a winning premise, but it ultimately failed to become a great sci-fi adventure as it is too fast paced, too emotionally cold and filled with way too many characters who are all very weakly developed. It is a film that had great potential, but is so frustratingly misguided that it ended up being one of Disney’s weakest efforts.

My Rating – 3

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Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Movie Review

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Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Movie Review

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown is a 1977 animated adventure comedy film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the third Peanuts film.

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“Why can’t I have a normal dog like everybody else?”

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Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Movie Review

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Now this is going to be a personal review as always. I realize that non-fans of this property would find this movie boring, but I am a big Peanuts fan and I honestly liked it a lot. That is why I give it four out of five instead of 3.5 or even lower as most would rate it. It is a low 4, but still a four.
Yes, the overarching plot here involving the rafting competition between the Peanuts gang and the bullies is typical and actually only serves to provide the gang to go on this great, fun adventure. But that is why I didn’t have a problem with it. Yes, it was rushed in its execution (especially in the ending), but that is unimportant as it gave us such a fun, spirited and highly cozy adventure which I just adored. I love when the entire gang is on an adventure together and this movie gave me that in such a wonderful fashion.

Let’s talk about the characters. Charlie Brown himself is as good as usual, although not utilized as much this time around. But the beginning and ending where he is left alone and Snoopy provides him a ride are typically brutal and memorable sequences for him. Linus is thoroughly underutilized here and I expected more from Lucy as well, but Sally got some funny lines and Peppermint Patty is here at her best and I loved her interactions with the entire gang, especially Chuck.

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Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Movie Review

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As for Snoopy and Woodstock, they are actually superb in this flick. Their shtick can usually get old pretty quickly, but this time around they never got dull despite the prolonged screentime because they have some wonderful gags here and they work great together. Their relationship is probably the best utilized in this particular movie.
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown has a pretty weak animation which is actually cruder than usual and that is problematic, but the scenery is beautiful and, as I said before, I loved the river setting here. The highlights were the rafting scenes which were incredibly entertaining and the cabin scene which is the most charming in the film.

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Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Movie Review

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It is a very weakly edited flick with such a mediocre first act, but the rest of the film is so effervescent that I liked it a lot nonetheless. It isn’t as good as ‘Snoopy, Come Home’, but it is still a worthy addition to the Peanuts filmography which actually turned out much stronger than I expected. These films are definitely worthy and some even better than the specials themselves.

The first act is certainly not the greatest and the entire storyline here is weak and just an excuse to have a fun adventure with the gang, but what an adventure it is. I loved its setting, the character interactions are very good and it is such a charming and wonderful Peanuts flick that I honestly liked it a lot despite its many obvious shortcomings.

My Rating – 4

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Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Lilo & Stitch Movie Review…………………………………….

Lilo & Stitch Movie Review

Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 animated science fiction comedy film directed by Chris Sanders. It is Disney’s 42nd animated feature and a pretty good film in its own right.

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Ohana means family.

Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

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Lilo & Stitch Movie Review…………………………………….

So this is an interesting mix of sci-fi and family drama and comedy. I thought that the sci-fi elements were childish, yet charming and a lot of fun. The humor is good, but the film isn’t as funny as critics have been saying it is. It succeeds the most as this family drama of two sisters and their relationship. That is where the heart and soul of the movie is along with Stitch’s place in the new family. To me the film used that ohana quote way too often to the point of verging into childish preachy territory, but it’s still such a great, memorable quote from the film that is wonderfully pro-family, but in a very modern way. I thought it was also quite emotional in some scenes, but also in a good, heartwarming manner. And by the way, I got some serious ‘Men in Black’ vibes from this movie which was interesting.

Lilo is an interesting protagonist for the fact that she is far from perfect and is actually a very problematic individual. A parentless orphan is a Disney cliché by now, but it was still done really well here with a lot of emotion and seriousness. Her personality is quite different than the rest of Disney protagonists and she is more relatable and realistic because of it. Nani is sometimes annoying, but still a positive, respectable character and the relationship between these two sisters is moving, so well established and quite sweet.

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Lilo & Stitch Movie Review…………………………………….

Stitch is an interesting case as well. Both him and Lilo are unusual Disney characters in that he is for once an ugly creation and that was great to see and only further brought a lot of charm from him. His change in personality was expected, but still well handled and the relationship between the titular duo is quite wonderful. He could have been funnier, but he still ended up being a lot of fun.

Dr. Jumba Jookiba is a good sidekick, but in my opinion Pleakly is better and funnier. This duo is surprisingly solid in their own right. Cobra is memorable and I liked the twist in his background. Captain Gantu and David Kawena serve their purpose and David is a likable dude, but way too underdeveloped unfortunately. The voice acting is pretty good in this flick.

Lilo & Stitch is interesting for featuring watercolor animation which is a style the studio rarely does. And that’s why I really enjoyed it. The colors are pleasing and very inviting and to me the Hawaiian setting is gorgeously utilized here both in terms of animation and storytelling. The character designs are pretty good and the highlights are some of the more artistic and painterly color palettes and landscapes.

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Lilo & Stitch Movie Review…………………………………….

Lilo & Stitch is not a musical, but it does heavily utilize on its soundtrack. It has quite a lot of Elvis songs in it and I am a fan of his so I liked that choice quite a bit. It fit so well within this world in my opinion. Suspicious Minds is the highlight as not only do I love this song, but the sequence itself is unforgettable and very inventive and funny.

There are two original songs to be had here and I have to say that I liked both of them and they are quite underrated if you ask me. Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride is a lot of fun. It is such a cool and laidback Hawaiian song and I really enjoyed its rhythm and the accompanying scene. But to me He Mele No Lilo is even better and such an unfortunately underrated song. I learned it by heart by now and I really enjoy it for being such a catchy tune and for being a good introductory opening for the character of Lilo.

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Lilo & Stitch Movie Review…………………………………….

This script demanded better dialogue as what we got here is too preachy at times and way too simplistic. I liked its themes of course, but better dialogue was needed nonetheless. And the pacing is all over the place. The film is fun and it flies by quickly, but its overly extended beginning and rushed ending are super troublesome as they significantly reduce the enjoyment of the film in my opinion. But it is still such an endearing, fun flick that is one of Disney’s best in this decade, certainly the finest after ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’.

Lilo & Stitch has weaker dialogue despite a couple of instantly recognizable lines and its pacing is all over the place as the beginning is overly extended and the ending is rushed. However, this is still one of Disney’s best 2000s efforts owing to very good characterization with interesting and different main characters than usual, fun sci-fi elements, pleasing watercolor animation, good score and a heartfelt, well explored family drama.

My Rating – 4

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Fantastic Planet (1973)

Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..

Fantastic Planet Movie Review

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 French animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux. It is the best animated sci-fi film ever made.

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What a shame we can’t play with her anymore

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
The story is fascinating and incredibly original. Blue giant humanoid Draags rule the planet Ygam and they use human Oms as pets until they eventually rebel. Needless to say, the film deals with a lot of interesting themes such as the relationship between different species, ignorance, racism and yes, even genocide.
It isn’t only sophisticated in script, but also very engaging and simply riveting to watch. It is one of the most purely imaginative and fantastical sci-fi films that I have ever seen. The level of detail exhibited here is just meticulous. The world building is extraordinary and I in the end felt that I have just set foot on this planet myself. That is how inviting this movie is.
That vastness and variety of space is beautifully conveyed through the use of absolutely fabulous hand-drawn animation with such a wonderful comic-stip sensibility to it that I just adored it. The character design is some of the the best that I have ever seen and of course the film is psychedelic and weird at times, but always beautifully animated and filled with a high level of detail that I believed this planet entirely.
The harshness and brutality of the Ygam planet is so well established as all of its animals are dangerous and all of the plants are carnivorous. The designs of all these creatures is weird, yet incredibly authentic and unforgettable. The color palette is also fantastic and the use of blue is overwhelming and interesting.

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
I loved everything about Draags. Their way of living is pretty interesting. I loved their method of learning, very advanced. How they used Oms as pets raised many ethic questions about keeping smart species as pets, but I have to say that the relationship between the two species isn’t established as properly as it should have been. Some plot holes are irritating. How the Draags did not realize that Oms can speak? How did they not realize sooner how intelligent they were? All of these questions are never answered and they remain pretty obvious plot holes.
But as I said, I loved their technology and I really liked every ritual that was present here with both species. I would have gone with less nudity, but I guess it was required and the sexuality/mating element definitely was important for the story.
The character development is weak in Fantastic Planet as it doesn’t bother with creating fully personalized Draags or Oms. However, this is one of those sci-fi stories that do not need individualized characters as it is epic and deals with the whole two species and thus it does not require fully realized individuals in it. The voice acting is very good and believable. But I have to say that the mouth movements weren’t well synhronized with the dialogue and that is the only apparent flaw in an otherwise stellar animation.

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
Speaking of dialogue, I definitely wanted more of it, but what we got was still great and some discussions are very interesting here. Fantastic Planet is awfully short and its ending is just way too abrupt, but I liked that it ended on a positive note and to me the highlights were the intriguing beginning, those lessons as well as the exploration of the planet. Those adventurous scenes were the standouts. Despite it being short, the editing is actually very deft and of course its score is very evocative of its mood which is dreamlike and strange. René Leloux directed this movie brilliantly and he surely is one of my favorite animation directors. I would definitely call this movie a work of art.
With beautiful, stylistic hand-drawn animation, extraordinary world building, an admirable attention to detail and such an imaginative, yet thematically sophisticated story, Fantastic Planet is also very dreamlike and strange accompanied by such a great score and phenomenal creature designs. Consequently, this artistic French classic is one of the best that both animation and science fiction have to offer.

My Rating – 4.5

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) (1980)

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) Movie Review

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is a 1980 animated family film which is the last and to me the weakest of the first four Peanuts feature movies.

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The last time you went away, big brother,

your team won three games in a row

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

I don’t know about this one. I have to admit that I wanted to give a four star rating to every Peanuts sequel and unfortunately I just can’t do that this time around as this is a solid film, but definitely weaker than all the rest of the Peanuts entries.

Charlie Brown along with his friends goes to the French country side where he was invited by a girl to stay in the chateau. Eventually, the mystery is revealed – Charlie Brown’s grandfather helped the baron during World War II. That’s it, that is the story here.

Naturally it is interesting and the mystery is handled well, I guess. Plus the setting is a lot of fun. But it isn’t suited for a Peanuts adventure and I just always had the feeling that it lacked the entertainment factor almost entirely. There are some gags here and there, but the film is mostly devoid of humour and adventure, but rather settles on this mystery. So disappointing.

Another disappointing thing about Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is its very narrow set of characters. I mean a Peanuts movie without Lucy isn’t a Peanuts movie in my book. And Sally is basically not here either. Of those characters that went on this adventure, Charlie Brown is the most disappointing as he is never the loser he is supposed to be here. In some scenes he is pathetic and funny, but mostly he is too dull.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Linus is also pretty forgettable. Pierre has his moments and that girl Violette is likable, but also forgettable. Peppermint Patty and Marcie, but mostly just Patty, save this movie. The highlights were all of Patty’s sequences here for sure. The one where she is sitting with Chuck in the class and tormenting him is hilarious and of course the final scene where Snoopy kisses her is also very funny. Marcie is an expectedly great sidekick too.

Speaking of Snoopy, surprisingly enough, he is another one of the highlights here. He and Woodstock of course. The duo has some surprisingly hilarious scenes here and none of them stall the movie as usual, but add a lot of the charm and pleasant humour to the table. The airplane scene is the funniest, but then again each scene with these two was very good this time around.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is well directed and edited. Some of the lines cracked me up and as I said the characters here are half-good as half of them deliver, but the other half is thoroughly lacking. I liked the French and chateau setting quite a bit and I liked the journey to there with the driving and flying sequences being a lot of fun. And the mystery is fine, but I wanted this flick to be more of a comedy adventure and it too many times failed in that department. So it ended up being a solid flick, but easily the weakest of all five Peanuts features.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown has some very funny sequences, the mystery is interesting, the setting is nice and Peppermint Patty stole the show this time around along with Snoopy, but all of the other characters were lacking in my opinion and the film is rarely as adventurous and as comedic as I would have liked leading to unfortunately the weakest Peanuts feature.

My Rating – 3.5

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Snoopy, Come Home (1972)

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review

Snoopy, Come Home is a 1972 animated family comedy film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the second full-length Peanuts film and it is such a sweet, very enjoyable flick.

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What an independent dog.

He comes and goes as he pleases,

but I have to stay home and fix his supper

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Here Snoopy goes to see the girl who was his previous owner and is now sick in hospital. Charlie Brown gets sad because of his absence. This is definitely one of the most emotional Peanuts stories as the film is so depressing and very serious. It deals with its subject matter in an admirably realistic tone which I loved. Especially its second half and of course the ending were so moving and this is one of the best Snoopy stories for sure.

Yes, he is awesome here. Although not as funny as he should have been, I still liked that he was serious and so dramatically and emotionally utilized for once. He is the most mature and most loving here and his cries at his farewell party were just so heartwarming. Charlie Brown is also great and I just loved the emphasis on their loving relationship. I would go so far to say that this just might be their best outing yet.

But the problem with this movie is that it is overly serious. Yes, I loved that, but it still needed humor in it and unfortunately it only has a couple of somewhat funny moments, but certainly not enough. That was very troublesome to me as I’ve come to expect great humor from the Peanuts gang.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

And because it focuses so strongly on Snoopy and Chuck, we unfortunately do not get to see the others from the gang particularly often. Yes, they are there, but they just serve to support Charlie Brown and nothing else. It was interesting seeing Lucy be good and caring to him, but that was still unbelievable and unrealistic having in mind how awful she usually is. Woodstock has his moments of course, but Peppermint Patty and Sally are seriously underutilized with only Linus being good and reliable as Charlie Brown’s friend. As for Snoopy’s girl owner, she is sweet, but just a plot device nonetheless.

Snoopy, Come Home isn’t a musical, but it has a couple of songs in it which was problematic as almost all of them were dull and uninspired. The Sherman Brothers wrote the songs and that was unbelievable to me as most of them are so underwhelming and I wonder why they didn’t do a better job having in mind how they killed it in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’.

All of them are forgettable and even No Dogs Allowed! is forgettable and underutilized with only its accompanied humor being good. But the titular song Snoopy, Come Home is phenomenal. It is the only great song here, so catchy, so beautifully sung and so melancholic that it works wonders for both the plot and their relationship.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The film is solidly animated, albeit it is nothing great except for a couple of really interesting scenery in some sequences. Even though the first act has some overly prolonged Snoopy scenes, the film is mostly well paced and quite involving to watch. I liked the dialogue and I found the script to be surprisingly thoughtful and mature. And of course the flick is very emotional which was great. In the end, it is most certainly not up to par with ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’, but as a second film, it is still surprisingly respectable and mostly satisfactory.

Snoopy, Come Home is overly serious with not enough humor and it needed to focus more on the rest of the Peanuts gang, but the focus on Snoopy and Charlie Brown brought a lot of very emotional scenes and it is probably their best story yet. The songs are subpar with the exception of its titular song which is great, the film is surprisingly mature and thoughtful and it features many heartwarming scenes leading to a mostly satisfactory second Peanuts film.

My Rating – 4

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Sing (2016)

Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Sing Movie Review

Sing is a 2016 animated musical film from Illumination Entertainment. It features the voices of Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon among others and it is such a good movie.

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When you’ve reached rock bottom,

there’s only one way to go, and that’s up!

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

It is about a group of animals who enter a singing competition which is hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater. I really liked this story. Yes, we’ve seen this stuff before and certainly the film is both clichéd and predictable, but because the characters are so good and because it is so well made as a whole, I still ended up loving it a lot.

Let’s talk about those characters first. The character development in this movie is actually quote stupendous. It has such a high number of characters in it and yet it manages to pull each of them off and all are well developed and interesting. Buster Moon is excellent. I loved his character and I really liked the interaction between him and his group, so heartwarming.

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Mike is a problematic character. He is basically a villain, a sort of a villain, and the movie tries to portray him as one of the guys and it just never worked. I do not understand what they were trying to do with him, but I just never saw him as one of the good guys and that was troublesome. Rosita as a pig with 25 piglets is awesome. She is such a relatable character to all of the mothers out there and I loved how the husband finally came to appreciate her in the end.

Ash is quite typical, yet really well done. That is this movie in a nutshell – all of its characters are either familiar or full stereotypes, yet they are portrayed so well that you end up loving them anyway. Ash as a porcupine who suffers from a bad breakup was annoying at times, but I really liked her toughness and how she, along with everyone else, killed it with her song in the end.

To me Johnny and Meena are the most relatable characters whom I just adored. Johnny is a teenage gorilla who just doesn’t want to be in his father’s gang and I loved how the film lovely portrayed the troublesome relationships between fathers and sons and how they sometimes expect different things from their sons and do not accept their differences. So moving. Meena was even more relatable to me as I was also shy like her and watching her trying and eventually managing to overcome her shyness was so emotionally rewarding.

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Gunter is annoying, Eddie is fine, Ms. Crawly is charming and Nana Noodleman is a typical, yet expected plot device. The acting is great here as everyone did such a good job and I never guessed who they were which was awesome. Matthew McConaughey is so good and emotional in his role, Reese Witherspoon is great too and Scarlet Johansson is surprisingly good and she should appear more in animation as she surely delivered in the role of Ash. Seth MacFarlane is typical Seth and all of the others are forgettable with the exception of Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly who are quite good in their great roles.

Sing is so well animated. The animation is polished, beautiful and well detailed. They brought the theater to life wonderfully and I loved its overall design. As for the animal designs, they aren’t the most original, but are quite memorable and I liked how all of them looked and acted. The diverse number of species here is also pleasant.

Sing features a great score. Yes, almost all of these songs are not original, but here it worked in the context of the movie. I disliked some choices here, but most of the songs were great and they fitted really well within the story and for characters themselves. The film is also very well directed by Garth Jennings and featuring some pretty good dialogue.

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

It definitely is an overly familiar movie that leads to a pretty typical ending, but that ending was still a bombastic blast to watch and emotionally rewarding. The film is a bit too frenetic, but I still admired how they managed to put in so many subplots and character development into such a short running time. The backstories for the characters were particularly well utilized. Overall, I loved this Illumination Entertaiment movie which is miles above ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ from the same year and I wish they continue with these original stories in the future.

Although definitely overly clichéd and predictable in its plot and quite fast paced, Sing is still such a good movie with a plethora of familiar, yet memorable and so well developed characters with Meena and Johnny being particularly relatable to me personally. The film is also a musical blast to watch, so entertaining and so emotionally rewarding and it deals with a couple of really relevant themes with such great backstories for most of its characters. Illumination Entertainment surprised me with this one and it definitely is one of the year’s best animated films.

My Rating – 4

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