“Tom and Jerry” were never my favorite series of classic animated shorts. With this movie, though, I had hope that maybe a modern take on the characters could result in a fun family flick mixing live action with animation.
I was so, so wrong.
As the title suggests, this follows the well known cat and mouse duo of Tom and Jerry. The film starts off with the two now living in New York City. In the Big Apple, Jerry is considering where he’d like to live, while Tom has a dream of being a piano player and has been working on his craft in Central Park. The two eventually run into each other, though, and a bit of chaos ensues.
Eventually, through a series of events, Jerry finds himself at a fancy hotel and decides to settle down. At the same time a young woman who’s looking for work and is known for hustling, ends up getting hired at the hotel just as it’s ready to hold a celebrity wedding. The woman, Kayla (Chloe Grace Moretz), starts the job and is soon tasked with getting rid of Jerry, as the hotel’s reputation can’t handle a mouse being there. To help the situation, she enlists Tom to help.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Tom and Jerry’ is a total loss”
Swords, princesses and dragons aren’t exactly new to Disney animated films. But how they’re portrayed here in “Raya and the Last Dragon” is somewhat refreshing.
The movie follows the story of Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran), a young woman exploring a rather desolate land that is made up of five tribes. In the past, the land was much more tranquil and lively, but an event between the five tribes led to an important stone being shattered, which led to the release of evil beings which can turn people to stone.
Only a legendary dragon named Sisu can destroy the evil by putting magic back into the stone once it’s back together. Early in the film, Raya does succeed in finding Sisu (voiced by Nora “Awkwafina” Lum). However, a larger task is getting all of the stone pieces, each held by leaders of the different tribes, and none of them trust each other. Raya and Sisu set off on adventure to accomplish this task, though.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is an enjoyable, mythical ride”
The year 2020 hasn’t been my favorite for animation and unfortunately, “Over the Moon” hasn’t helped that case.
The picture, released on Netflix, tells the story of Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), a young girl who became fascinated by the Moon because of stories told by her late mother. At the film’s outset, following the death of her mother, Fei Fei is working with her father at their small pastry company.
Life seems to be carrying on for the family, but the pain of loss still lingers for Fei Fei. That pain is reinforced when her father begins spending time with a woman, Ms. Zhong (Sandra Oh), as the Moon Festival approaches. Eventually, she learns that her father plans to marry Ms Zhong, and as a result, she will likely be getting an annoying step brother in the deal.
Hoping to fix the situation, she builds a craft capable of reaching the moon to speak with an ancient being who resides there. The plan goes a little haywire, though, when it turns out her step-brother-to-be, Chin (Robert Chiu), tagged along for the ride.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Character issues make ‘Over the Moon’ a misfire”
This movie is about the legendary Wolfwalkers, not to be confused with the Timberwolf Walkers, who mainly gather at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
This animated feature takes place in an Irish city during the 1600s and follows a young girl named Robyn (Honor Kneafsey). Robyn’s father Bill (Sean Bean), has been tasked by the city’s ruler (Simon McBurney), to eliminate the area’s wolves, which have threatened livestock and people alike.
Wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps, Robyn also wants to go out and hunt. When she attempts this, though, she comes face to face with the dangerous wolves. However, she is protected by a young girl, Mebh (Eva Whittaker), who has a connection to the wolves. It turns out that Mebh is a wolfwalker who can take the form of the wolf at night. After meeting the two become friends.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Wolfwalkers’ is a wonderful film with a sweet story”
Pete Docter is no stranger to emotional animated features, having directed “Up” and “Inside Out.” He makes another attempt at one in his latest picture, “Soul.”
Jamie Foxx voices Joe in “Soul,” a middle-aged jazz artist and part-time music teacher. One day as he’s about to get a gig he’s been waiting for, he accidentally falls down a manhole. As a result, Joe has an out-of-body experience where his soul travels to a gateway to what’s called the Great Beyond.
Opting not to go, he instead takes another path. There he ends up in the Great Before, where souls form before going to Earth. Not long after his arrival, he meets a stubborn soul named 22 (Tina Fey), who doesn’t find Earth too appealing. The two end up having to work together as the plot develops, though.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Soul’ is mostly a sour experience”
The latest big screen adaptation of “Scooby Doo” isn’t flawless, but it was a refreshing cinematic experience after those terrible live action pictures from the 2000s.
The first minutes of “Scoob” serve as an origin story, showing how Shaggy (Will Forte) met his dog and best friend Scooby Doo (Frank Welker). A short time later, they meet three other kids, Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Velma (Gina Rodriguez). After the group uncovers a plot involving a fake haunted house, they continue hanging out and become Mystery Inc.
The movie then shifts to the present day where the crew is finding more success, but Shaggy and Scooby are feeling left out. When the two get separated from the other three, they get roped into a mission to save the world by the hero Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and his robot dog Dynomutt (Ken Jeong). Eventually, the combined Blue Falcon squad and Mystery crew have to team up to take down the villain Dick Dastardly.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Scoob’ doesn’t have full charm of classic series, but still satisfies”
This movie is all about magic, but doesn’t necessarily have that Pixar magic.
Tom Holland voices Ian in “Onward,” a young elf living in a world that, despite fantasy and magic elements existing, has become like our own modern society. A high schooler, Ian lives with his mom Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and his older brother Barley (Chris Pratt) who hasn’t exactly found his way in life.
Ian’s father Wilden passed away before he was born, something that weighs heavily on him. When he turns 16, though, he receives a staff for his birthday and finds a spell to bring back his dad for one day. He starts the spell, but is only able to bring his dad’s legs back. Knowing they only have a day, Ian and Barley decide to go on a quest to find a way to complete the spell.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Onward’ offers a dull quest”
This is a series called “Best of the Decade.” It’s a list including 10 movies that I found to be the best in a specific genre from 2010-2019.
A Disney resurgence and solid work from other studios meant that the past 10 years had a lot to offer when it came to animated features. Here are my favorites. Also I’m doing 11 for this because this is my list and I’ll do what I want with it.
Continue reading “Best of the Decade: Animation”
“Frozen II” may not have surpassed the first film, but it managed to get another song stuck in my head. So, mission accomplished?
The history and lore of the Arendelle Kingdom, details about the world’s magic, along with the relationship between royal sisters is all explored in this sequel to Disney’s smash hit from 2013. The movie is set about three years after Elsa (Idina Menzel) became queen, learned how to harness her powers and with the help of her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), managed the Southern Isles crisis.
At the movie’s beginning, the kingdom appears safe and the returning protagonists seem happy. However, Elsa begins hearing a voice in the distance and the power of nature stars wreaking havoc on Arendelle. Determining the voice she hears and the kingdom’s history are connected to what’s happening, Elsa sets off on a journey to an enchanted forest with Anna, Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) to set things right.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Frozen’ sequel doesn’t burn as bright, but is still mostly magical”
Dreamworks’ animated features have had their ups and downs, and “Abominable” comes in at about the middle.
The movie follows Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet), a teenage girl who’s motivated to work several jobs to save money in order to go on a trip across China. Her motivation comes from her late father, who wanted to take Yi on the trip himself before he passed away.
One night when she’s on the roof of her apartment putting away her saved money and to play her violin, though, Yi is greeted by an abominable snowman. While frightened at first, Yi eventually befriends the yeti. The problem, though, is that the yeti is being chased by goons from a billionaire who collects exotic creatures. Determined to keep the yeti safe, Yi and a few friends decide to help it get back to its home on Mount Everest.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Abominable’ looks great but suffers from poor characters”