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”
The release of a new “Lion King” adaptation has marked about 10 years into Disney’s adventure in remaking many of its animated pictures into live action versions. OK, technically, the new “Lion King” is a fully animated picture, but it’s more or less a de facto live action movie.
With nearly a decade to look back on, plus some others from years past, here is my ranking of the Disney live action and/or life-like remakes of animated classics.
Continue reading “Looking at Live Action: Ranking the Disney Remakes”
I’ll admit, when I first heard a new “Toy Story” was in production, I was skeptical, considering “Toy Story 3” was such a solid end to the trilogy. Fortunately, Pixar did some solid work with this fourth feature.
The latest film picks up seemingly not too long after the end of part three. The original gang, for example, have adapted pretty well to life with Bonnie’s other toys. That is, except for Woody (Tom Hanks). Woody appears to be involved less and less in times of play, and as a result, is getting little anxious.
However, when Bonnie creates a new toy from some materials, mainly a spork, named Forky (Tony Hale), Woody finds some purpose. Forky appears to be confused, thinking himself more akin to trash than a toy, but Woody is set on protecting him and keeping him around, as Forky has become Bonnie’s favorite. The work gets more difficult, though, when during a family trip, Forky escapes in a small town near a carnival. Woody sets off on an adventure immediately to save Forky, and fortunately, he gets some help from the long lost Bo Peep (Annie Potts).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Toy Story 4’ doesn’t fly like predecessors, but still falls with style”
In my review of the 2016 film “Secret Life of Pets,” I said if a person isn’t a pet owner, they can go ahead and skip it. It’s mostly the same old story this time around.
The sequel again follows Max (Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who live in a New York City Apartment. The two are owned by Katie, who since the first film, has gotten married and has a child. Like the last movie, Max is a worrier and has his share of fears. As a result, he also has several concerns for Katie’s child.
He begins to face his fears, though, when the family takes a trip to a farm. There, Max meets Rooster (Harrison Ford), an older herding dog who helps Max face his fears and not be so-overprotective with Katie’s son. Meanwhile, the other pets back at the apartment where Max lives have adventures of their own.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Secret Life of Pets’ sequel is better suited for the small screen”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Missing Link’ is a short and sweet crowd pleaser”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Wonder Park’ is a forgettable animated adventure”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Third ‘Dragon’ ends the series on a positive note”