REVIEW: ‘Missing Link’ is a short and sweet crowd pleaser

Not going to lie. After sitting through “Hellboy,” “Little” and “After,” getting to watch “Missing Link” was actually a nice treat.

“Link” is the latest from the animation studio Laika, which made a personal favorite of mine called “Kubo and the Two Strings” a few years back. The movie tells the story of Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a crypto-zoologist who tries to dig up evidence on mysterious creatures on Earth, such as the Loch Ness Monster.

His latest endeavor brings him to the northwest corner of the continental United States on a search for Sasquatch. Interestingly enough, Frost not only meets the creature, but learns that the Sasquatch can speak English and actually has a goal of his own. The Sasquatch, who comes to be known as Mr. Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), wants to make it to the Himalayas to connect with Yetis, who he believes are his own species.

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REVIEW: ‘Wonder Park’ is a forgettable animated adventure

I expected “Wonder Park” to be one of the lesser animated pictures of 2019. I didn’t expect it to be so bizarre.

The film primarily follows June (Brianna Denski), a young girl with a creative imagination who pretends to run an amusement park with her mom (Jennifer Garner). However, when her mom becomes sick with an undisclosed illness, June stops playing with the imaginary world of Wonderland.

Just when it seems her creative spark is gone, though, through a series of events, she actually stumbles across the park from her imagination. But the park isn’t all that great. In fact, it’s seemingly fallen into disrepair. As a result, June needs to team with her imaginary friends to restore the park.

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REVIEW: Third ‘Dragon’ ends the series on a positive note

It seems like the dragons are trained by this point, but the name still rolls off the tongue nicely.

In the third and likely final film in the series that started in 2010, the main character Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), an expert dragon trainer and rider is now chief of Berk. Since the events of the second picture, the island village where vikings reside has become a sort of safe haven for dragons. Because the people of Berk have become experts in handling dragons, thanks largely to Hiccup’s efforts in the past two movies, the dragons are able to live in relative peace.

However because of how many dragons are coming to the island for safety, the land is becoming overcrowded. This is on top of the fact that there are antagonistic forces who want to eliminate dragons, seeing them as a threat. In response, Hiccup decides to find the so called “Hidden World,” where dragons can live safely without being found.

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REVIEW: ‘Lego’ sequel is satisfactory

Like the original, while not perfect, “The LEGO Movie 2” puts together the building blocks in a nice enough way to create a pretty good movie.

The first Lego movie was released in 2014 and the five year difference is reflected in the sequel. The protagonists of the first film, having seemingly saved the world, came under an immediate new threat right away, this time from other types of Lego blocks. As a result, Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and the other heroes are forced to live in a world that looks like “Mad Max” in Lego form.

The situation only gets worse when several characters, including Lucy, are kidnapped by the new foe. As a result, it’s up to Emmet to go on a rescue mission and save his friends.

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REVIEW: ‘Spider-Verse’ is a fine entry to the webslinging series

Just to recap, in about 16 years, we’ve had a “Spider-Man” trilogy, a two-movie “Spider-Man” reboot, another “Spider-Man” reboot with a sequel on the way, and now an animated feature that is completely separate from everything we’ve seen before. Quite the history.

As previously stated, this latest adaptation of the comic book is completely animated and is set in a world where Spider-Man has been a longtime hero and even became a celebrity. The film’s focus, though, is on the character Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a teenager who is just starting a private school, but still enjoys getting into mischief.

On one of those occasions, Miles is bitten by a radio-active spider, just like the actual Spider-Man. Later, the two actually meet by chance when Miles comes across some villains who are trying out a device that can open portals to other dimensions. One thing leads to another and a whole group of Spider-Man superheroes from other worlds appear. As one might guess, they all have to work together to foil the villains’ plot.

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REVIEW: While ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ has its moments, the movie stumbles too much

The streak, unfortunately, is over.

For roughly a decade, I gave movies made by Disney’s animation studio very high marks, usually a 4/5 or higher, and regularly included them in my top 10 lists at the end of the year. However, “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” which certainly isn’t bad per se, has ended that consistency, as it’s simply mediocre.

More on that in a moment, but let’s look into what this sequel is all about. Unlike this summer’s “Incredibles 2,” which picked up immediately after the first, “Ralph breaks the Internet” is set in the present time and acknowledges the six years that have passed since the original picture, released in 2012.

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REVIEW: ‘Teen Titans’ on the big screen is plenty of fun

It’s no secret that Hollywood today is mostly dominated by films adapted from comic books featuring superheroes. And while most of the films in the genre have been above average lately, it remains a category of movies ripe for comedy.

Enter “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” which spends nearly its entire hour and 30 minute runtime taking aim at superhero films, mostly under the DC Comics banner. For the most part, it ends up being a success.

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REVIEW: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ has its moments, but lags behind rest of series

The third “Hotel Transylvania” film, like the second in the franchise, provides some fun moments and creates laughs. Yet, it still doesn’t reach the level of the first.

The third movie in the series picks up with Dracula (Adam Sandler) not only being overworked, but also finding himself quite lonely lately. Despite feeling that he wants to remain loyal to his late wife, Drac decides that it might be time to look for another person to start a relationship.

Just as he’s having this thought process, Drac’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) decides to take her dad on a summer vacation to get away from the stress of running the hotel. So, Dracula and his friends, as well as Mavis and her husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) all go on a mega cruise made specifically for monsters. The only problem is cruise is actually managed by the great granddaughter of Van Helsing, who continues to have a grudge against Dracula.

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REVIEW: ‘Coco’ Works Thanks To Heartfelt Story About Family, Memorable Music

When it comes to musicals, Pixar has usually left the genre to its counterpart Disney Animation Studios. With its latest endeavor, though, Pixar has taken a page out of the Mouse House’s playbook, creating a musical experience with “Coco.”

Keep in mind, “Coco” isn’t a traditional animated musical. However, it’s a movie very much about music and includes numerous songs.

The movie’s protagonist is Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a boy who dreams of becoming a singer and guitarist like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). His family, though, is completely against music and musicians of any sort, finding it to be a curse on their family that began generations ago.

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REVIEW: ‘Leap!’ Held Back By Formulaic Story, Weak Characters

I consider myself quite a bit of an animation fan, so I was fairly disappointed with the recently released “Leap!”

The film focuses on a young orphan girl named Felicie (Elle Fanning), who’s attempting to achieve her dream of being a famous ballet dancer in Paris. With the help of her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan), the two manage to get away from the orphanage and make it to the City of Lights.

Felicie eventually makes it to the ballet dance school and there she meets a former dancer named Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), who decides to help her get a spot in the intense learning environment. Not only does Felicie have to deal with a rough dance education, though, she also ends up having a rival with another young dancer named Camille (Maddie Ziegler).

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