Cinderella (1950)

Cinderella Movie Review

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Cinderella Movie Review

Cinderella is a 1950 animated musical fantasy film which is Disney’s 12th animated feature. It truly is one of the better Disney films of all time.

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They can’t order me to stop dreaming

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Cinderella Movie Review

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After almost a decade of low-quality package films, Disney is back with a classic Cinderella, the film which will prove to be one of the best Disney films and one of their most fondly remembered pictures decades later. It surely has its obvious flaws, but the strengths are abundant that they mostly render those flaws minor.

First, the characters. There is a plethora of characters in this movie – from the innocent protagonist to wonderfully evil villains to the prince and his silly father to the mice, the necessary sidekicks. Cinderella is, like Snow White – kind, pretty, a good singer and great with animals, but unlike the first Disney Princess, she has a bit of a feisty and rebellious attitude making her more believable and modern. She is not too developed, but still a solid early Disney Princess who is actually much more active than people nowadays give her credit for. She actually went to the ball and managed to find her own happiness instead of waiting for it to happen.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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Prince Charming is unfortunately a non-entity as the most underdeveloped character in the film. It is a shame, but at least all of the other characters are strongly developed and he would have been more utilized had the film been longer in length, but more on that later on.

Charming’s father is an interesting attempt at comedy proving to be quite an unexpectedly funny creation. He is very desperate in his need for grandchildren which is realistic given the time period portrayed and he is a needed comic relief, influencing the fathers in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in the process.

Now, the mice. They are at times funny, at times sweet and always helpful. Their chases with Lucifer should prove entertaining for children and a pleasant diversion for adults. Those action scenes are definitely cartoony, but still done so well and pleasantly reminded me of classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. Bruno is particularly memorable as this fat, food obsessed but also very endearing mouse.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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Their voices are awfully squeaky and they more than occasionally feel as if they were the protagonists thus ruining the film’s pacing a bit and greatly contributing to Cinderella’s lesser screen time. But still they are endearing enough that the film did not suffer too much for having them appear too often. Plus I liked that this is the ultimate Disney Princess animal film as here Cinderella not only speaks to animals and helps them, but it is a mutual relationship as they help her too and they do help her a lot. The relationship is wonderful and important in terms of storytelling too.

Lucifer is one of the most villainous animal characters in all of Disney films thanks to his mean personality and negative attitude towards the protagonist. I do think that this film is not for a cat person as they are very much the villains here whereas the dogs are heroes, but still I liked that archetypical approach as here it worked in its favor and fitted the film really well. And he truly is a great animal villain or henchman should I say.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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Grand Duke is a funny counteract to the King and I really liked their amusing interactions. Fairy Godmother is of course very endearing and such a wonderful character. She is great both as a necessary story point and as the necessary magical element in the film. Anastasia and Drizella are very funny as these ugly, incompetent and stupid stepsisters.

But the one character who totally stands out is Lady Tremaine. She is mean, cold and just plain evil, coming across as even scary in some noir-influenced scenes. Her attitude along with her voice work and actions make her one of the very best Disney villains, probably better than Maleficent and the Queen because she does not need powers to be scary and evil. She is at the top or near the top of the list of best Disney villains and definitely the most underrated villain as well. A very menacing presence and even more disturbing for being a real, non-magical person.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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This famous fairy tale is very well adapted here as Cinderella is enchanting, magical, endearing and always mesmerizing to watch. The highlights of course include the ball dance, some of the cat and mouse chases, every scene with Lady Tremaine and the dress making scene which is an unforgettable, simply beautiful Disney sequence. The film should have been much longer in length as the mice took too much of the screen time this way and the second half felt somewhat rushed. The first act is prolonged and the third is rushed but despite weaker pacing, the story is great and wonderfully traditional that it in the end works.

While the animation is not on par with the studio’s first couple of films, it is nonetheless far better than the package films thanks to an interesting beginning, colorful style and an artistic ballroom sequence. The character design is excellent and the interiors look great, but to me the highlights here are the exteriors. This is a rare animated film which feels like a concept-art come to life as some scenes (especially the outside ones) are so elegant, artistic and dreamlike in their quality that they almost felt like paintings. I loved that artistic angle here.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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Cinderella’s soundtrack grew on me over time. I still think that it is one of the weaker of the Disney Golden Age soundtracks, but still quite solid with some great songs. Cinderella serves its purpose as the opening of the film with that classic book added. The lyrics are too descriptive and spoilery, but the song is quite okay and catchy in a traditional way.

Sing Sweet Nightingale is way too short in length, but again it serves its purpose in terms of storytelling and as a showcase of the contrast between Cinderella and her stepsisters. The Work Song is the weakest song in the film which is accompanied by a wonderful scene where the mice make her a dress, but their squeaky voices ruined an otherwise catchy number. So This is Love is a forgettable Disney ballad again accompanied by a wonderful scene, but the song itself is too short and not memorable, catchy or romantic enough.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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Of course the two best numbers here are Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo and A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes. The former is such a wonderful children’s song which is incredibly catchy, fast and irresistible to sing along to while the latter actually grew on me over time as at first I did not care for it, but now I really like it. It is the classic “I Wish” Disney Princess song and the ultimate moment for the main character. The lyrics are great, the song is wonderfully traditional and so well sung with the highlight being the last chorus. I loved its scene too.

Thanks to superb villains and their awful actions, you can’t help but feel sad for the main character, making the film one of the darker films in the canon because of its evident sense of danger and sadistic intentions of Lady Tremaine.

The tearing of the dress scene is unforgettable in its brutal and heartbreaking imagery. Even though Cinderella’s characterization is not particularly strong, you always root for her and you are happy at the end when everything turns out fine. Lady Tremaine, like all of ‘Pinochio’s villains, ends unpunished and she has never made a single mistake making her one of the best villains ever to come from Disney.

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Cinderella Movie Review

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The humor is quite good at times and I loved the film’s diverse tone and also its elegant score. It is abrupt in its ending, but flies by how short and incredibly engaging and wonderful it is. The best part of the film is its emotional aspect. So in the end, the film is not quite on part with some of Disney’s previous classics, but it was still a great, important step in the right direction for the studio and certainly one of their better films out there.

It is certainly way too short in length and somewhat rushed, but Cinderella was nonetheless a phenomenal return to form for Disney with mostly strong character development, evident emotion and sense of danger, engaging story, solid humor and such an elegant, artistic animation style to it. The soundtrack is weaker than most of Disney’s Golden Age soundtracks, but it still features two classics in Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo and A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes. The mice take away too much of the screen time, but I still really like the classic cartoon animal chases here. It has its minor flaws, but it is still one of the better Disney films thanks in no small part to Lady Tremaine who truly remains one of the finest and most menacing Disney villains of all time.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Cat Returns (2002)

The Cat Returns Movie Review

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The Cat Returns Movie Review

The Cat Returns is a 2002 anime fantasy film from Studio Ghibli. It is one of their most pleasant, most underrated works.

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I respect a woman who stands up for herself.

Even if she does like sticking her nose in other people’s business!

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The Cat Returns Movie Review

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This film is about a directionless teenage girl Haru who, after saving a young cat prince from certain death, is brought to the cat kingdom where she is supposed to marry a prince. I adore this film. It is actually one of my childhood favorites and I still love it now as an adult. The story reminds of Disney Princess movies as here we basically get a Ghibli princess which was awesome to witness.

The plot is similar to ‘Spirited Away’ in a sense that the protagonist is changed after going on a fantastical journey and is now a more responsible, more adult person. I loved that they repeated that journey and message and they did it wonderfully once again. But it is different than the aforementioned film because it is much more fun, childlike and jokey in its approach.

Let’s talk about the characters. Haru is an excellent protagonist. I really liked her and she is such a likable, sweet person. Her mother and her friend are solid for the little screen time that they received, but this is the movie about cats and they are the strongest characters here.

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The Cat Returns Movie Review

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The Baron is absolutely fantastic. This movie is literally a spin-off of ‘Whisper of the Heart’ as in that movie this character was just a figurine, but now we get him in full flesh. I loved that connection between the two movies even if they are the complete opposite of each other. He is badass, cool and like a dashing hero of yesteryear. The relationship between him and Haru is sweet, if a bit creepy when you think about it.

I really liked Toto as he is a wonderful bird. Prince Lune and Yuki are a great couple and I loved her backstory. The Cat King is such a great throwback to classic cartoon villains from decades ago – he is villainous, but very funny and over-the-top which I loved.

And of course Muta is the very best character in this film and the highlight for me. His constant obsession with food brought us many funny moments, his bickering with everyone else was great, I liked his very amusing backstory and the highlight was seeing him get angry mostly for being called fat. He is a phenomenal sidekick for sure.

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The Cat Returns Movie Review

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The Cat Returns is very well animated, but it is just not up to par with Ghibli’s previous classics in my opinion as it is never as moving or as memorable or as artistic. Still, the imagery is frequently beautiful, the action is so well executed, I loved the sky scenes and of course the highlight was the cat kingdom with the castle and especially the labyrinth and the tower. I also really liked the character design of the cats and the cats themselves were fairly realistically portrayed here in both their animal design and their moody, selfish behavior.

The Cat Returns has a bunch of memorable sequences so let me say which ones are my favorites. I loved the beginning and the scene where she rescued the cat prince was so well done. Baron’s little house was so cute and the attention to detail was so overwhelming in there. Overall, the architecture in this film is beautiful to witness.

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The Cat Returns Movie Review

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That scene where the king threw some cats from the window because they did not provide proper entertainment was hilarious as it was basically murder but portrayed amusingly. It was both dark and funny. The labyrinth was of course absolutely fantastic. I loved the king’s cheating and how The Baron realized that. This film is such a wonderful, enchanting adventure and those labyrinth and tower scenes are the best examples of that. And of course the descend through the sky is gorgeous to watch and the ending itself is poignant and emotionally satisfying.

The Cat Returns has absolutely brilliant voice acting. Yes, this is one of Ghibli’s strongest works when it comes to acting as each performance is phenomenal and everybody did a great job with the highlights being Tetsu Watanabe and Tetsuro Tanba as Muta and The Cat King, both very funny characters.

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The Cat Returns Movie Review

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Yes, the humor in this film is absolutely terrific and it probably is Ghibli’s funniest film as I laughed out loud many times while watching it. The film is so poignant, sweet and emotionally resonant while also being very funny and wonderfully childlike in its approach. The only problem is the pacing which is rushed as the film is just way too short in its runtime which was unfortunate. But the dialogue is strong and the score is particularly great with a wonderful closing number. It is one of Ghibli’s best and most underrated films.

The Cat Returns is overly rushed in pacing owing to ridiculously short runtime, but it remains one of Ghibli’s better and definitely most underrated works thanks to brilliant voice acting, excellent characterization (Muta, Haru, The Cat King and The Baron are all great characters), a wonderful story and terrific humor as it made me laugh so many times definitely being the funniest film from the studio. It is wonderfully childlike in its quality, very adventurous and enchanting in its journey and highly resonant emotionally. It is such a wonderful follow-up to ‘Spirited Away’ thematically and such a successful spin-off to ‘Whisper of the Heart’.

My Rating – 4.5

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Top Ten Disney Revival Songs

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Top Ten Disney Revival Songs

The Revival period for Disney thankfully revived not just the studio in terms of quality, but it also revived their traditional musical format and to stellar results. Half of these movies are not musicals at all which means that this list is not going to be as strong as the characters list, but still they brought musicals back after a hiatus in the 2000s (those movies had songs but weren’t musicals) and there are enough good songs here to fill up a top ten list so here we go.

 

10. Friends on the Other Side

It start off pretty slow and basically consists of slow singing/talking for a while there, but ends on such a strong, effective and highly catchy note that it truly is one of the better Disney villain songs out there. I loved the descriptive lyrics and the imagery which accompanies the entire affair. It works great as a plot point and as a song too.

 

9. Dig a Little Deeper

The Princess and the Frog gets another song on the list because it has a damn strong, highly underrated soundtrack. I’d take as much of Mama Odie as I can possibly get and this is basically her only sequence and she is great in it. Again the lyrics serve the plot and character development superbly and it is just such a catchy number accompanied by colorful animation.

 

8. For the First Time in Forever Reprise

This is one of those scenes where the characters sing the words and an almost entire conversation is sung. I know that most do not like that, but I do and this is one of the better examples of such an approach. The singing from both is great, the words are mostly terrific and the entire sequence is not only powerfully sung, but highly intense and emotional as well.

 

7. I’ve Got a Dream

I really adore this catchy number. The lyrics here are actually funny. Not just funny, but some lines are even hilarious! The thugs are awesome, Flynn got a great, funny moment and Rapunzel is wonderful here. The entire sequence in this tavern is childlike and sweet with the song being innocent in a good way and immensely entertaining.

 

6. For the First Time in Forever

Frozen has a pretty overrated soundtrack with only a couple of good songs and this is one of them. The reprise is great, but here we got a full, longer version and it is probably the sequence which best describes Anna’s character in such a short time. She is infectiously amusing and likable here and the song is catchy but also quite grand in its last moments where both sisters sing together.

 

5. How Far I’ll Go

It actually isn’t the best Moana song, but How Far I’ll Go remains a pretty great “I want” song in its own right. This is the defining scene for the movie and especially for Moana’s character and it is beautifully built up through excellent imagery and action on screen. The lyrics are fine, but it is the singing that is the highlight along with its fantastic last chorus which was perfectly accompanied by animation and action on screen. A classicaly done, wonderful song.

 

4. Almost There

Almost There, on the other hand, is not classic Disney at all. It isn’t a ballad and it isn’t pop. It is a jazz number and while I usually tend to not care for this genre, here I loved it. We get to see the entire suffering and hard work Tiana puts and what he dreams of – opening a restaurant. I loved that artistic animation employed here, really well done. The number is infectiously catchy, beautifully sung and with particularly strong, descriptive lyrics. It is a fun, different kind of Disney song that benefits from being faithful to the time period and setting of the film.

 

3. We Know the Way

I know that Moana came out so recently, but I have to put this song so high on my list as it is absolutely magnificent. It is the highlight of the film and although the transition from scene to song was not smooth at all, the sequence itself is terrific. It showcases the culture of its people so well and it actually uses the Tokelauan language in its lyrics. In tone and in language, it fits to its setting much more so than ‘Frozen’ ever did. But it is above all else incredibly, hugely catchy and I know it by heart and I have listened to it a hundred times by now. It is by far the catchiest, most entertaining song out of these ten.

 

2. I See the Light

I See the Light is a contemporary, but wonderful love ballad. I loved how it was a return to those classic duo songs from the Renaissance and it reminded me wonderfully of Kiss the Girl from ‘The Little Mermaid’ as it is similar in imagery. Finally here their love has blossomed, both Rapunzel’s and Flynn’s singing is excellent, the words are very good and fit the story and their characters well and seeing those lanterns lift in the sky provides a beautiful, exceedingly romantic experience. It is such a wonderful moment from Tangled when the entire film just starts and your breath is taken.

 

1. Let It Go

This is a cliched choice, I know. But sometimes what majority thinks is actually right. Some may hate on this song because it has certainly been overplayed by now, but nobody can deny its power and its sheer spectacle. The entire scene is breathtaking and one of the best in Disney history, but the song is the standout aspect there as it gives Elsa excellent development and a moment to shine alone. It is a transcendent scene and a kind of majestic Broadway song which is beautifully sung by Idina Menzel. But the reason why it is so great lies in its lyrics which are absolutely amazing, clever, descriptive, almost artistic and just perfect in every way. Probably the most poetic and sophisticated of all Disney songs, Let It Go certainly is one of the best of all time and undoubtedly the best of the 21st century.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Try Everything – This is the only song from Zootopia which closes off the film in such a fun fashion. It is very catchy and fittingly worded for the film.

Gonna Take You There – This is another strong song from this underrated soundtrack that is too short, but incredibly entertaining and catchy.

Everything Is Honey – This Winnie the Pooh outing is not all that memorable, but it is accompanied by a great scene and features a pretty good, stellar final chorus.

Do You Want to Build a Snowman – This Frozen number is overly childlike and short, but it works in the context of the story and is very sweet and heartbreaking.

Shiny – This is far from Moana’s best songs and I do not like that it is rap basically. However, it is very amusing, funny, catchy and a pretty memorable scene overall.

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Top Ten Disney Revival Characters

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Top Ten Disney Revival Characters

Probably the biggest reason why this current Disney Revival period is so great and a fantastic return to form lies in the character development which is actually terrific in almost every of its eight films so far. With that in mind, I am going to choose ten best characters from this period and this is going to be a highly personal list that will coincide pretty closely with my best movies list as usually when I love a film I love it because of the characters.

 

10. Baymax

Big Hero 6 surely is the weakest Revival film, but I cannot deny how wonderful this character is. Baymax is sweet and also quite funny at times. The relationship between him and Hiro is the heart and soul of the movie. He definitely has a very interesting design to him and is essential for the movie so he takes this tenth spot deservedly.

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9. Prince Naveen

There are a lot of truly wonderful characters from The Princess and the Frog with whom I could easily populate half of this list with, but the central duo has to be the highlight. Naveen is a different kind of Disney Prince as he is lazy, rich and spoiled at first and has to learn how to better himself. His interactions with Tiana were great as the two are so different from one another.

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8. Elsa

I know that the eighth place for Elsa might seem too low for many but she is just not that much in the movie and remains a mystery purposefully. Everything she stands for is important and great, her relationship with Anna is moving and she is such a memorable, kickass magical queen. It’s just that Anna is the main and more important character for the film.

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7. Flynn Ryder

Flynn Ryder (or Eugene as is his real name) is another excellent Disney Prince. He is the type of modern, overly confident, fun and selfish dude who influenced Maui from ‘Moana’ who is a pale imitation of him. Flynn is a lot of fun and quite funny at times and I loved Rapunzel’s relationship with him and how nuanced it felt.

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6. Anna

Anna is crazy. Not as much as Kristoff, but still pretty crazy and foolish. But that is why she is great as she makes mistakes and realizes them and we follow how much she changes and grows up throughout this story. Spunky and energetic, funny yet sweet, she gives Disney princesses a fun, contemporary make-over.

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5. Tiana

I love Tiana and she is an enormously underrated Disney Princess. The mix of contemporary and traditional is phenomenal here which is why I like her more than most subsequent princesses. She is the only princess who is a worker which is very important, but she also learns to have fun in the end and changes her wardrobe the most out of any other princesses. Determined, yet sweet while being very complex, she is what every little girl should strive to be.

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4. Rapunzel

And my favorite modern Disney Princess is Rapunzel. She is spunky, fun and definitely capable of defending herself, but at the heart is a traditional princess – warm, caring and immensely kind and charming. Not to mention that she is the most beautiful and cutest princess after Ariel. I cared for her and I rooted for her which is a testament to her great personality and portrayal.

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3. Mother Gothel

Yes, the best character from Tangled is actually Mother Gothel. Wow, is she awesome. She used Rapunzel for years, she managed to trick her and Flynn later on and she never made a single mistake. Scary, creepy, but non-magical and a real person which makes her all the more menacing – she truly is one of the best villains that the studio has ever had.

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2. Vanellope von Schweetz

This crazy kid is terrific. She is also a Disney Princess surprisingly enough, but much more than that. Feisty and brave, yet also vulnerable and sweet, she is a realistic, tough and admirable kid who got one heck of a backstory here. I rooted for her constantly and wanted her to succeed so badly. That is how much she had an impact on me. And her relationship with Ralph is simply wonderful.

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1. Ralph

Speaking of the devil, Ralph is definitely the best character on this list. He had a tough job beating up so many great characters here, but he did it as he is the most nuanced, most complex of the bunch and such a perfect Disney hero who should prove influential to others in the future. He is never too good or boring and bland and is thus rather realistic and again with an excellent backstory, goal and interactions with every other character in the film. He, along with Vanellope, carries most of this awesome film on his shoulders and in no small part thanks to such a wonderful performance form John C. Reily who assured him the first place on my list.

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Honorable Mentions:

Charlotte – She easily could have been just a dumb wealthy Southern debutante, but she has a giant heart and was a wonderful friend to Tiana. Loved her.

Judy Hopps – Although overly aggressive at times, Judy is a memorable protagonist who made mistakes and apologized for them which made her all the more human. Ironic for a bunny.

Nick Wilde – Nick is also very well developed and quite complex of a character who has a fantastic, nuanced relationship with Judy which is the best thing about Zootopia.

Moana – Although not all that memorable and at times not likable, Moana is still a solid, competent heroine who got a particularly entertaining and perilous adventure.

Mama Odie – This is a somewhat different, crazier version of the Fairy Godmother character and it worked entirely as Mama Odie is funny and silly, but wonderful all the time.

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Ranking Disney Revival Films

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Ranking Disney Revival Films

Disney Revival is the most recent period in the history of Disney Animation which consists of films released from 2009 up to today. It is basically a second Disney Renaissance after their dark period during the 2000s. Finally the studio went back to its roots and paid more attention to characterization and emotion while also going back to animal pictures and especially the princess movies. Although not as great as the Renaissance period of the nineties, this is still one of the better periods for the company. Some movies here are overly modern, but some will also prove to be timeless. This is also the only period which I basically followed almost from its beginning and most movies I have watched in theaters as well. So without further ado, this is my (very personal) ranking of all eight Disney Revival films released so far.

 

 

8. Big Hero 6

As is the case with all great periods, this one also does not have a single bad or even weaker film. Case in point – Big Hero 6 which is perfectly solid, but is dead last on this list because it is so much weaker than the rest of the entries as it is so flawed. I loved Hiro and Baymax, the action is actually superb as is the animation and the emotional investment, but the supporting characters are ridiculously underutilized, the story has its many typical plot points and the pacing is awfully rushed owing to its very unfortunate shorter runtime. It’s a perfectly solid and quite moving film, but another proof that Disney just do not know how to make great anime films as this is their third decidedly flawed attempt at that.

Big Hero 6 Movie Review

 

7. Winnie the Pooh

2011’s Winnie the Pooh is without a doubt the most atypical movie from this period as it is the only sequel so far (that will change soon) and it is the only flick geared toward children and one of just two films that are hand-drawn. I absolutely adored its simplistic animation and the humor is so sweet. This is a movie that is very simple for better and for worse meaning that it is too short and definitely lacking in real conflict and story, but also thus exceedingly charming and wonderfully childlike. It is a very old-fashioned film that is respectful to its characters and legacy without ever doing anything too modern with it. Overall, it is best suited for children, but those with a childlike wonder and mind might also appreciate its inherent heart and charm.

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

 

6. Frozen

This is going to be the most controversial placement but here we go. First of all, I like Frozen quite a bit and there was a time when I loved it actually. The characters are excellent with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff all being very memorable and so well developed. Let It Go is an undisputed classic and that entire scene is one of the finest in Disney’s history. It has a good twist (though unfortunately it proved to be too influential on subsequent movies) and it is great for women and especially those who have sisters. However, the soundtrack is for the most part very lackluster, the animation is not as detailed, the pacing and structure of the film are all over the place and the film is so uneven in almost every regard that it truly is unfortunate how amazing it often is, but how problematic it is at other times. It isn’t a bad movie as most say; it isn’t a great movie as most would say too. It is just a very flawed, but good film and that’s it.

Frozen Movie Review

 

5. Zootopia

Zootopia is probably the most critically acclaimed film out of all these. And while I personally do not agree with that sentiment as I found its politically correct overtones and approach just too on-the-nose and preachy, there is no denying its absolutely breathtaking, meticulous world building, sheer originality and excellent character development with two great main characters. The animation is one of the best when it comes to CGI and the film is quite emotional, adventurous and also very effective in the mystery department. It is one of the most authentic and sophisticated Disney outings, but also one of the most timely and I do think that it is not going to stand the test of time all that well because of its politics.

Zootopia Movie Review

 

4. Moana

Now Moana is the better of the two Disney films released in 2016, at least in my opinion. It isn’t great, but it is a return to those high adventure movies of yesteryear with such a fun, spirited adventure and again phenomenal characterization. Moana is a very well realized protagonist and the rest of the characters are also pretty good. The animation is of course beautiful, but the highlight is the soundtrack with future classics such as We Know the Way and How Far I’ll Go. It has no villains or love interest and thus relies on dialogue which should have been better plus some of the meta humor was awfully annoying, but it’s still a very pleasant adventure which I ended up liking quite a bit.

Moana Movie Review

 

3. The Princess and the Frog

This is probably the second most controversial choice as, I don’t know why personally, but The Princess and the Frog is pretty much disliked and by some even hated Disney movie. To me it certainly has its flaws as the villain is particularly ineffective, but I absolutely loved most of its characters ranging from excellent Tiana to superbly developed Prince Naveen to hilarious, sweet Charlotte to wonderful Mama Odie etc. The hand-drawn animation is beautiful and the soundtrack is actually one of Disney’s best of all time with hits such as Almost There, Friends on the Other Side and Dig a Little Deeper. It is the film that mixes traditional with contemporary the best out of all the movies here and thus it gets its deserved third spot.

The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

 

2. Wreck-It Ralph

It was a pretty close race for the first place, but eventually I decided to put Wreck-It Ralph in the second spot. Still that is not to say that it isn’t great as it is an absolutely terrific feat of filmmaking and one of the best Disney films of all time, certainly in the top 15 or so. You need heart, characters and story to be a non-musical Disney classic. You’ve got it all here. The film is extremely moving and sometimes it almost made me cry, the character development is magnificent with Ralph and Vanellope being outstanding and I adored both of them plus the story is a one of a kind take on video games with unprecedented originality to its approach and extraordinary world-building. It is a modern, different kind of animal, but a future classic for the studio all the same.

Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

 

1. Tangled

And the number one has to go to Tangled! This is without a doubt one of the best Disney films of all time and certainly the best in the Revival era. I’ve seen it three times by now and I love it more every next time I see it. As in the case above, this again has everything. Rapunzel is a wonderful Disney Princess and Flynn Ryder is a competent Disney Prince. The animal sidekicks are fun and memorable and Mother Gothel is one of the most menacing and brightest Disney villains ever. The animation is beautiful and the score and songs are so good with I See the Light being a wonderful ballad and I’ve Got a Dream being such a cute, charming tavern song. It has an excellent, traditional story and many unforgettable, moving scenes such as the romantic lantern scene and the parent reunion scene. Tangled truly is a modern Disney classic and thus a winner in my book.

Tangled Movie Review

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Big Hero 6 (2014)

Big Hero 6 Movie Review

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Big Hero 6 Movie Review

Big Hero 6 is a 2014 animated superhero film which is the 54th Disney animated feature film. It is one of the weaker Disney entries. Solid, but highly flawed.

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There are no red lights during car chases!

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Big Hero 6 Movie Review

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The story of a young robotics prodigy who forms a superhero team to fight a masked villain is pretty typical and not all that interesting. This is a basic superhero origin story which felt very rushed and abrupt in its execution. The film flies by quickly and its pacing is absolutely horrible and from it stem all of its biggest problems.

It is frenetic and hectic with too much action and not enough substance. Well, there is a big heart at its core, but all of those great emotional scenes were rushed in favor of the all that prolonged action. The assembling of the team was so incredibly rushed, the entire death of a brother felt unnecessary and your typical emotional manipulation from Disney and the twist at the end was another one of those by now typical Disney villain twists previously done much better in ‘Frozen’ and ‘Wreck-It Ralph’.

It may seem that I am trashing and hating on Big Hero 6 but I am not. The story is not bad, it is perfectly serviceable. It is the execution that is far from great. As for its characters, the main ones are great and the supporting ones are quite mediocre so let’s first talk about the good ones.

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Big Hero 6 Movie Review

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Hiro Hamada is excellent. What I liked about him the most is how he wanted to kill the villain for killing his brother. He had a moment of darkness in him which was excellent and realistic. He is a typical teenage modern geek, but at least he is very well portrayed, complex and quite likable.

Tadashi was so likable and even though I really disliked his death and how it was handled, at least he is a very strong brother character and the two share an awesome relationship. We got a strong brotherly bond for once without any petty arguments and fights which was fantastic.

Baymax is easily the heart and soul of the film and, needless to say, the standout character and overall aspect of the entire movie. His big marshmallow design is actually very original for a robot and I also really liked his fighting costume. He helped Hiro deal with all of his problems so wonderfully and all of their scenes were wonderful to behold. He is one of the best movie robots recently and maybe even of all time.

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Big Hero 6 Movie Review

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But now we come to the supporting players and they are all very weak. Again that stems from rushed and frenetic pacing as they had no time to be properly developed. They were fun as a team, but individually each one of them was underutilized.

Fred is the best of the bunch, but still a typical geek and hippie. GoGo is an awfully annoying, overly strong feminist character and Honey Lemon is likable, but too girly in my opinion. As for Wasabi, he is easily the most underdeveloped character in the movie and basically a token black character for the team. Krei was forgettable and Professor Callaghan’s reason for becoming a villain was fine, but he also was underutilized severely. He looked cool and had some great action scenes, but the twist reveal was disappointing. Aunt Cass, on the other hand, is very likable and endearing and I loved the portrayal of aunts as great, lovely parents.

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Big Hero 6 Movie Review

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Big Hero 6 is very well animated. The animation here is frequently exceptional and quite gorgeous. I loved the imagery and the flight sequences were the most beautiful for sure. The film is very modern as it revolves entirely in a giant city and the animation delivers as the city looks great with an excellent attention to detail and a great use of a darker color palette. The character design is also pretty strong and good across the board.

Now this film is Disney’s third attempt at basically making an anime film. I would say that it is obviously an improvement over ‘Atlantis’ and quite on par with ‘Treasure Planet’. But still they dropped a giant ball once again and did not deliver on the promise of a great superhero anime film.

San Fransokyo looks cool and I loved the mix of American and Asian in character design and aesthetics of the entire city. The mix was fine and definitely somewhat different for the studio, but still the characterization and the humor are never as strong as in anime counterparts.

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Big Hero 6 Movie Review

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I found the dialogue to be solid, but the humor is not all that great and was rather repetitive at times. The direction is weak and the film’s runtime is awfully short and this story needed two hours and not just an hour and a half. That is why the entire thing is so damn rushed in execution. The action sequences are actually very well executed, entertaining and quite clever at times and that is why it did not bother me too much that the movie was heavy in terms of action. The voice acting is excellent and the film is mostly well made with obvious care, but it still ended up being one of Disney’s weaker films.

Big Hero 6 has frequently gorgeous animation, very good voice acting, strong character design and imagery and actually stupendously executed action sequences. It also has a big heart at its core with a couple of highly emotional sequences. Hiro Hamada is a very strong protagonist and Baymax steals the show as the highlight of the film. However, all of the other supporting characters are almost entirely underutilized and underdeveloped, the film’s overall story with the tragedy, the twist and the origin story is very unoriginal and the film is just terribly rushed and abrupt in its execution. All of those problems stem from overly short runtime and thus this is by far the worst Disney Revival film.

My Rating – 3.5

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Cars 3 (2017)

Cars 3 Movie Review

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Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 is a 2017 animated film which is the third installment in the Cars franchise and the overall 18th Pixar film. It is a solid and at times admirable, but flawed sequel.

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Don’t fear failure.

Be afraid of not having the chance,

you have the chance!

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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The story is actually very strong this time around and that is one of its biggest strengths and the reason why it is so much better than the previous film which remains Pixar’s absolute worst entry. It is still quite weaker in comparison to the first, very underrated film, but it least it is a step in a good direction.

Lightning cannot adapt to new technology and newer, advanced racers and he starts losing his matches. He doesn’t want to quit racing yet, but eventually he doesn’t have a choice and he thus becomes a trainer and his student takes over the race herself with him in training charge. And of course they win.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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Now even though Cruz is just a basic Mary Sue and there is no way she could have won her match that easily, this was still a terrific ending that made the whole somewhat weaker journey to get there quite worthwhile. I loved the film’s message. In the real world, sports players get old and cannot continue playing but most continue their legacy through training or managing. That is exactly what happened here and it was very realistic and just perfect for this character.

So I loved how they took a different, more serious instead of sugarcoated approach and it worked fully in the film’s favor. I also really liked the film’s beginning as it was again a very realistic story of dealing with new technologies and new obstacles and how you should constantly strive to reinvent yourself in order to stay in the game. Again a great message and I admired the use of branding and merchandise in this movie which were again so well touched upon.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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But, and this is a big but, the second act was just such a bore to sit through. The other two are so good that the movie would have been very strong if the second one delivered but it did not unfortunately. It was a typical journey with not a single memorable sequence and it utilized on the more forgettable characters there. It was very slight and forgettable and it ruined the film for me.

Cars 3 makes the fatal mistake of introducing too many new characters and relying too much on them instead of having bigger roles for the older crew. I thought that was a very poor, unfortunate choice for the third installment. Cruz Ramirez is your typical Mary Sue as she became a major racer just like that – basically for a very short time she went from being weak to being awesome. That was some very lazy storytelling and characterization. And I just did not care for her whatsoever as she could be quite annoying.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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Jackson Storm is also not great as he is your typical bad guy and new competent racer and he is actually quite underutilized in the movie. Sterling is fine and he has his moments, but the rest are just so forgettable. Lightning McQueen is great and his journey in this franchise is actually superbly told and excellent. Here he gets to grow quite a bit and he has to learn how to continue staying relevant in the business. Excellent characterization for him, but the others from the old crew are basically missing here as Sally gets only a couple of scenes as does Mater. The former is boring and the latter is annoying.

The animation is strong here, but far from the studio’s best works. The models are very well animated and detailed in execution, some of the scenery was quite wonderful and the film looks polished and modern. But there is nothing truly remarkable in terms of animation here and the film is just very competent without ever being breathtaking and not to mention artistic.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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Cars 3 is very weakly directed by a weak director and the pacing is just so mediocre. The film features some very strong dialogue, but the humor is very weak and unfortunately rarely hitting the mark. The action is okay but for a movie about racing, it should have been stronger. The adventure elements were lacking and only as a drama the film succeeds quite a bit. In the end, it is one of Pixar’s weaker films, but still a solid movie that has a lot to offer from time to time.

Cars 3 is undone by its very dull, slight second act and a very unfortunate reliance on new characters instead of the old crew. Most new additions are not that good and Cruz Ramirez is the worst offender being basically a giant Mary Sue. However, the film is actually very clever in its first and third act as it explores branding, merchandising and constant reinventing to stay relevant in the changing industry. The ending is (discounting Cruz being too great of a racer) absolutely terrific as it shows Lightning having to give up racing and start training and continue his legacy that way. I loved that message as it is very much grounded in reality and the film thus avoided sugarcoating. It’s a shame that the rest of the film wasn’t as great.

My Rating – 3.5

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Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away Movie Review

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Spirited Away Movie Review

Spirited Away is a 2001 anime fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is the best Studio Ghibli film and one of the best films ever made.

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Once you do something, you never forget.

Even if you can’t remember

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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I have seen Spirited Away at least three times by now and upon this fourth viewing I again confirmed its greatness. Rare are films that get better and better upon each subsequent viewing and this is one of those films. It has an amazing replay factor. I have always watched it in a dubbed version as that is how I first saw it so I cannot comment upon the Japanese sub acting, but the dub is actually one of the better anime dubs.

Let’s first talk about the story and the highlight scenes. This film is obviously influenced by ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and it is a much darker, much better crafted version of it. It managed to eclipse that story due to a sheer epicness of it. It feature an amazing use of Japanese mythology and spirits and every creature here looks great and is highly memorable.

The beginning is excellent and very eerie in its atmosphere. Highly mysterious and otherworldly. All of Chihiro’s first sequences in this world are great and a wonderful build-up for the rest of the story. As for the stink spirit scenes, they are slightly extended, but still very memorable and the character is fascinating. So the film sometimes feels like a series of vignettes, but those vignettes are all fascinating and the editing is great so it still ended up being tight and well structured.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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Then the story gets much more intriguing with the introduction of Yubaba’s sister. The second act and mostly the latter half of it features a terrific use of build-up to the action and it rises the tension and stakes superbly.

Of course my favorite act is the third one as it is the culmination of everything we had learned previously about this world. That train is just breathtaking, those travelling scenes are transcendent in quality and the imagery is unforgettable.

Then we have the greatest scene from this film which is of course the goodbye scene between Zeniba and Chihiro and then the marvelous dragon flight which includes a great realization and an excellent, fascinating answer to the mystery of how she and Haku met. The final test was great and of course everything about that ending rings awesome. Beautifully filmed and immensely resonant in terms of emotion. The film reward you for taking this long trip with such a moving, deep final scene.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the film’s characters. Chihiro is a one of a kind protagonist and quite possibly the studio’s best creation. She is spoiled, clumsy and childish at first, but upon taking this amazing, fantastical journey, she becomes much more independent, stronger and more responsible and brave. It is an archetypal hero’s journey, but the one done infinitely better than most as it takes its necessary time to develop and thus feels all the more special.

Haku is also excellent despite appearing in not so many scenes. His mystery backstory is intriguing and very well resolved and his dragon form is striking and his job is very well utilized. The relationship between him and Chihiro is never overly emotional and just right.

Yubaba is such a hilarious character. At first menacing and all-powerful, but later deconstructed to a mean old lady. I loved her interactions with each of the characters. Her giant baby is so funny and her story with Zeniba is realistic and a lot of fun. Her sister is the polar opposite of her and a good witch. Loved her and her heartwarming relationship with Chihiro.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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No-Face is fascinating. He is a famous Japanese spirit, but he can be interpreted as being the metaphor for loneliness which many of us deal with and people are struggling much more these days and thus he is very relatable and endearing. I loved his many forms and how his backstory remained a mystery. I also loved that he stayed with Zeniba in the end as both need some company. Certainly the film resolved each of the characters’ stories successfully.

Boiler Man is very sweet and caring and I just loved everything about his working steampunk environment and those employees of his are so incredibly cute and feisty. Chihiro’s parents serve their purpose and to me Lin is wonderful as this on surface calculated, yet ultimately very caring and good friend to Chihiro. Every character here is great and every spirit and creature is memorable even if they are not too present.

Spirited Away features absolutely breathtaking animation. What is there yet to say that hasn’t already been said? This film utilizes on the power and pure imagination and art of hand-drawn animation superbly and rare are animated films with better animation than this one. Only Walt Disney’s earliest films can compare honestly.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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The film is colorful in just the right amount, it is both dark and light in equal amount both in terms of animation and atmosphere and it has absolutely terrific character designs with each spirit being fascinating, different and unique. The humans also look great. The various sets are amazing, each one of its locations is beautifully explored and mesmerizing and the action is so well executed.

It has some of the best world building that I have ever witnessed. I felt as if I really went into this spirit world and I felt as if I also learned something and became more adult just like Chihiro. The movie gives the child in all of us the opportunity to dream again and because it is so dark and serious at times while being funny and lightweight at other times, it manages to be perfect for both children and adults. A perfect mix of everything that the best of animation can offer.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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In terms of the humor, it succeeds. It is rarely used, but quite enjoyable and endearing when it happens. I loved the cutesy factor here, but I also admired the inherent darkness of this world as well as it reach themes which span from growing up to greed (best exhibited in those bathhouses) to environmentalism (refreshingly subdued here for Ghibli) to Japanese folklore. The film truly is very smart and consistently deep and transcendent.

The action is never overwhelming and is excellent and sparingly used. The runtime of two hours is perfect for this film and it never feels long despite for animation long runtime. That is because this world and this story are so rich that they needed more time. And the pacing is excellent.

The tone is diverse and the score is phenomenal! I loved this score and in my opinion the dragon flight scene is the best scene in the movie not in small amount thank to that gorgeous, moving and highly transcendent score which is honestly magical in its quality.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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The attention to detail is magnificent, the dialogue is terrific and the film is unforgettable in its every aspect. Hayao Miyazaki directed Spirited Away marvelously and it clearly is a work of art and magnum opus from this famous director who was clearly making a masterpiece here. It thankfully got its Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and it is critically acclaimed for all the obvious reasons I stated above. It is the best that both Studio Ghibli and anime have to offer and one of the best overall film of all time.

With breathtaking, absolutely wondrous animation, stellar direction, meticulous world-building with an overwhelming attention to detail, terrific character development and extremely powerful score which is honestly one of the best in film history, Spirited Away is an undisputed masterpiece and one of the rare films that can easily be called art. The story is well crafted with great influences, a diverse tone which ranges from cute and endearing to dark and atmospheric, high emotional resonance and a great character journey for the protagonist. The film manages to be magical, sometimes serious, at times funny, but always engaging and simply fascinating. The entire, wonderful new world is created here with an impeccable attention to detail which is a reason why it has such a lasting appeal and endless replay factor. Consequently, it is a pure masterpiece and undoubtedly one of the best films ever produced.

My Rating – 5

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Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 animated fantasy adventure film which is the 52nd Disney animated feature and one of the best of all time.

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Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Yes, I absolutely love this film!! This is one of my favorite Disney movies which is definitely in the top 15 Disney films list for me. The greatness of this movie lies in its great replay factor. This is the third time I’ve watched it and it is even better now than it was before and every next time I watch it, I put it a little bit higher on my Disney list.

It is about an arcade game villain who wants to become a good guy and be respected as everyone else. He sets out to get a medal in another game, befriends a young girl and uncovers the conspiracy behind the whole Sugar Rush game. To me this film has that wonderful, traditional friendship and heart at its core, but is set in a modern video game world and thus it achieves a perfect mix of contemporary and old-fashioned.

It is without any doubt one of the most original films of the decade as its plot is absolutely brilliant and so incredibly authentic and inventive. It is an action-packed, but always entertaining and heartwarming film and always so original in almost every way. It features some of the best and most intricate world building that I have ever seen as every little detail is thoroughly thought out here and all of those 80s video game references should prove delightful for their fans.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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The beginning features narration, but is essential here and thus a good choice. I loved everything about that Game Central Station as it was brilliantly conceived and I just loved the rules of this universe. The human players play them and everybody has their own role but if they step outside of their own game, they could die for real and not regenerate. Great rules.

Hero’s Duty is not my favorite scene as it was too dark but still refreshingly so for an otherwise lighter film. The danger there was well conveyed and the first person shooter elements are so well realized. I loved how Ralph and Venellope met and those scenes where he builds a kart and teaches her how to race were wonderful.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Ralph breaking her kart was such a dark, unexpectedly brutal sequence which was emotionally devastating and one of the movie’s highlights for sure. I loved the mystery here and how Ralph uncovers it, the twist with the villain is actually very interesting and well executed. The final race was fine, but the twist with Venellope being a princess was actually fantastic. The fact that they managed to sneak in their usual princess formula into this different, non-princess film is highly admirable as that development honestly worked. Loved it. And of course the ending is one of my favorites as seeing Ralph watch Venellope from his arcade and the two smile and wave was just so emotionally rewarding and I was incredibly moved by it which is a testament to how strong emotion and characterization here is.

Yes, the character development is superb across the board as is the voice acting. Ralph is one of the best Disney protagonists in my opinion as he is that great. He is relatable, very well developed and likable without being too heroic. John C. Reilly was perfectly cast for this role and he did a phenomenal job.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Venellope von Schweets is even better! She is again not too likable and a realistic modern kid, but so well developed and I admired how the two shared the same dreams and goals and that strengthened their relationship. She is such a moving character with a terrific backstory and their friendship is the heart and soul of the entire film and its driving force. Sarah Silverman’s husky voice bothered me at first, but then I grew to like it and she really did an outstanding job in the role.

Fix-It Felix Jr. could have easily been an insufferable, one-note character owing to his inherent heroism but I loved that Ralph was the protagonist and he was in the back and he definitely became better and better as the movie progressed. His relationship with Sergeant Calhoun is so silly, but it honestly works. She is a very memorable, strong female character and they are the exact opposite of each other but that is maybe why their relationship felt so entertaining and strong. And I loved her backstory. This movie is a textbook example of how to properly do character backstories.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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All of the other characters are not all that memorable though they did serve their purpose really well such as all of those bratty girls, henchmen and of course the various famous video game characters were so well incorporated with the highlights being Q*bert who is so cute and tragic and Zangief who is absolutely hilarious.

As for King Candy, I honestly wasn’t thrilled with him. I have to be honest. He is the weakest aspect in the film and he really held it down quite a bit. Now I loved his backstory which was once again very strong and the twist that he is Turbo is great, but the problem with him is that he is obviously meant to portray a feminine gay guy stereotype and this is the 2010s and this type of villain is no more excusable.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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The animation is fantastic in Wreck-It Ralph, absolutely gorgeous. It is undoubtedly the finest computer animated film so far from Disney because the character design is very strong as all characters look very authentic and the way they movie and look is very much like a video game character fittingly. But the film is so polished, it looks fittingly modern and high-tech and I adored how colorful it is, especially Sugar Rush. The film looks beautiful and is a rare movie that gives CG animation a good name. Plus those video game scenes were fittingly very retro and realistic.

Wreck-It Ralph isn’t perfect. The villain is weaker, the action is at times slightly overwhelming and the humor could be immature (some of the banter between Venellope and Ralph was too childish). But most of the other humor is actually very strong and the action is mostly fantastic and a lot of fun to watch. The film is briskly paced, but never rushed and it is an absolute blast to watch. It is unfortunately over too soon and you want more so I am glad that we are getting a sequel as this world is just so rich with endless possibilities.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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The film has no songs but it doesn’t need them as it isn’t suited for a musical. That one song from Rihanna is here (Shut Up and Drive) and I wasn’t a fan of it nor was I the fan of the other songs with the only exception being Celebration which was well incorporated. The score itself is terrific and pleasantly retro which I loved, especially in those earlier scenes. It is a memorable film with strong dialogue, amazing world building and very high emotional engagement as some scenes moved me so much. Needless to say, it is, along with ‘Tangled’, the best modern Disney film.

The characters in Wreck-It Ralph are amazing despite a weaker villain. Fix-It Felix Jr. and Sergeant Calhoun are such a fun couple and of course Venellope and Ralph are the heart and soul of this film. The animation is so beautiful and so phenomenal that it gives computer animation a good name for once. The emotion is overwhelming and some scenes moved me tremendously. And above all else, it is fueled by one of the most original and intricately plotted stories in recent memory filled with excellent character backstories and simply extraordinary world building. It has its small flaws, but it is mostly a brilliant film which is, along with ‘Tangled’, the best modern Disney film and one of the best of all time as well. A future classic that only gets better with each subsequent viewing.

My Rating – 4.5

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Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

Winnie the Pooh is a 2011 animated family comedy film which is the 51st Disney animated feature film. It is such a pleasant, childlike, wonderful flick.

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Oh thank you, Christopher Robin.

And now I don’t think I shall be

hungry again for a good long while.

Oh bother.

Silly old Bear

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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The plot is very simple. The Hundred Acre Wood residents embark on a quest to save their friend Christopher Robin from an imaginary friend. He left a note that he would come back soon as he went to school and our heroes misinterpreted back soon as Backson the monster. Meanwhile, Pooh deals with his hunger issues and Eeyore has lost his tail.

Needless to say, this is a highly simple plot, too simple and lacking in any real conflict whatsoever. It is predictable naturally how it will end and it doesn’t have any real stakes. However, that is mostly a positive thing as thus it led to a much more charming, simple and childlike adventure which should prove awesome for both children and Pooh fans.

I liked the entire first act and of course the ending is simply beautiful in its imagery and sweetness with a phenomenal final dialogue. I really enjoyed the Eeyore/Tigger subplot as their pairing proved to be excellent, funny and sweet. A clever clash of personalities. Pooh’s quest for Honey provided us some excellent and amusing scenes. But what is easily the finest scene in the entire film is the sequence in which everybody is in a pit and it is up to Piglet to save them. The combined stupidity of Piglet and Pooh with Rabbit’s frustration made my day as it was hilarious.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Let’s talk about Winnie the Pooh’s characters. The greatest thing about this film is how all of its characters are basically intact and they felt like their classic counterparts from the sixties and seventies. That was amazing to witness in 2011. It does have too small set of characters and maybe one new character was needed, but its small set led to better development for everyone so I am not complaining all too much about it.

Pooh bear is as cuddly and as lovable as usual. He is still not my favorite character in this franchise, but here he was better than usual actually as many of his lines were immensely funny and he made me laugh how silly and stupid he is. And I loved his quest for honey and how it led to him becoming a better person and realizing that Eeyore’s tail is more important than his meal and he eventually did get a reward for his good heart. This is a great message for kids.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Tigger is as awesome as he always is. He continues to be my favorite character and here he got a pretty good ark for himself. I would have liked to have heard the entire The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers song but the bit that I got was still nice. As I said above, his pairing with Eeyore proved to be a winning streak in terms of the humor and heart as they were wonderful together.

Speaking of Eeyore, he is strong here and his depression is high per usual. That one line in which we learn that he is still not happy after getting his tail back, but he says that the tail is fine was very funny and quite in-character. Piglet is funny and likable and as for Christopher Robin, he is fine, but not present all too much this time around.

Kanga and Roo are as forgettable and as underutilized as usual, I liked the narrator as his narration was mostly excellent and sweet and the post-credits scene where we get to see the real Backson was such a fun, inventive and memorable scene. Owl is even more insufferable than before in this movie as he deliberately stole Eeyore’s tail and that felt excessive, even for him. And of course Rabbit is quite good and very funny when dealing with the never-ending stupidities of Pooh and Piglet.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Winnie the Pooh features beautiful animation. Yes, most people think that ‘The Princess and the Frog’ is the last traditionally animated Disney film, but that title belongs to this 2011 charmer. I absolutely adored this animation. It may prove too old-fashioned and simplistic to some, but to me that choice was fitting as anything else would be bad for this property. The character design is strong, the use of color (especially yellow) is accomplished and the film has such a fine classical feel to it not just in designs, but also in backgrounds, colors and the movements. The use of the book and its letters was also superb.

The soundtrack is unfortunately the film’s weakest aspect, I have to admit. The Tummy Song is fine, but short and a too typical Pooh song. A Very Important Thing to Do definitely gave me a strong 60s and 70s vibe, but it is again too short and forgettable. However, I did like that all these songs employed the old-fashioned tone to them.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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The Backson Song is pretty solid, but definitely lacking in comparison to Heffalumps and Woozles from the previous Pooh movie in the canon. It’s Gonna Be Great is okay and particularly strong as an emphasis on Tigger’s character, but it felt very repetitive to me.

The Winner Song is very annoying and I really disliked it and how it was repeated for so many times. And I have to say that the only pretty good song in the movie and the only standout one is Everything is Honey. This is a very fun, catchy tune which is accompanied by gorgeous honey and pots imagery and it is the kind of detour that is very successful, entertaining and a superb character moment. And the titular song sung by Zooey Deschanel is solid, but the original was much better.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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This movie is very short, clocking in at just an hour with the credits included. But even though it was very short, it was sweet and very engaging. The humor is actually stupendous as it made me chuckle quite a number of times and the dialogue is pretty strong. The voice acting is very good across the board with only Christopher Robin’s and in some way Tigger’s voice being not that great, but Jim Cummings is amazing as Pooh. Overall, it is such a wonderfully traditional, very good film which is a great return to an old-fashioned Disney film even if it falls short in comparison to ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’.

Winnie the Pooh is a very short, but sweet flick. This 2011 Disney outing is wonderfully and competently traditional in every sense as both its characters (Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore are the highlights) and animation were pleasantly old-fashioned. This is regrettably the last hand-drawn Disney film and it looks simply beautiful with a wonderful use of color and a great simplistic approach to it. The soundtrack is weak and the plot is overly simple and lacking in any real stakes and conflict, but the film is pleasantly childlike, sweet and charming with a surprisingly strong humor with many funny lines. It is an often overlooked, but very strong Disney entry indeed.

My Rating – 4

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