Results tagged “Animation”

Peanuts by Schulz: Go Team Go! DVD Review: An Excellent Addition to the Peanuts Family

In which the Peanuts strips come to life with a collection of sports-themed shorts.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own. It would have been easy to just take my review for Peanuts by Schulz, Volume 1: Snoopy Tales and copy and paste it generally into a review here with a couple tweaks. Warner Bros. is releasing Volume 2 of the new series under the subtitle of Go Team Go! with over two hours of sports-themed shorts. I lauded the first volume for capturing the comic pace of the strips instead of being in the tradition

The Valley of Gwangi / When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Blu-ray Reviews: More Animated than Ever

The Warner Archive Collection shows off two showcases of animators Ray Harryhausen and Jim Danforth in these splendid catalog releases.
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Decades before civilized man would figure out new and inventive ways to suck the life out of that good ol' fashioned movie magic previous generations grew up looking up to, a species of gifted animators roamed the great halls of special effects studios near and far. Out of all the long-leggedy beasties, none were as revered and respected as the Hausenusharrius Rayus ‒ better known as Ray Harryhausen to us laymen ‒ whose magnificence and might effectively crowned him King of the Stop-Motion Animators. And it is with one of his tales that we begin this peek at two recent

The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania DVD Review: A Fun Adventure Reminiscent of the Original Series

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the original show, but this new film has a very nice, familiar feel to it.
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The original Jetsons cartoon was produced by Hanna-Barbera back in the early ‘60s. While it only lasted 24 episodes, most people grew up watching it in syndication and would eventually see some new episodes in the mid-‘80s. The show featured the misadventures of a family in the future where people lived in the skies, had vehicles that flew, was filled with robots, and every television set was actually a video phone. Unfortunately, voice actors George O’Hanlon (George Jetson), and Mel Blanc (Cosmo Spacely) passed away, leaving the beloved cartoon in a sort of limbo where it has remained until this

Moana Blu-ray Review: While A Nice Addition To The Disney Catalog, It's Severely Lacking In Storyline

It doesn’t stand out quite like a Disney film should and the musical numbers are not very memorable.
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A long time ago, there was only the ocean until the mother island Te Fiti arose. The island was the beginning of all life and its heart was said to be able to give the gift of creating life to anyone who possessed it. Many tried but all failed. That was until the day a Demigod trickster with shape-shifting ability named Maui (Dwayne Johnson) snuck upon the island and stole the heart. But he was not the only one who came to steal the heart that day. The fire demon Te Kaa caught up with Maui as he fled the

2017 Oscar-nominated Animated Short Films Review

And the nominees are...
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North America owned the Animation Short Film category this year with three from the United States and two from Canada, though one was a co-production with the United Kingdom. The art is where the shorts all stand out. Unfortunately, a couple falter because of the story. Blind Vaysha (director Theodore Ushev, Canada, 8 min) - A young girl is born in a village with one eye that sees the future and one that sees the past. The narrator offers viewers the opportunity to see as Vaysha, but offers no resolution to her story. The short has an interesting look as

Peanuts by Schulz: Snoopy Tales DVD Review: Captures the Spirit of the Source Material

Thirty-two new shorts bring the classic comic strip to life for a new generation.
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Over the years, I've tasked myself with watching and writing about new updates of shows that I loved as a kid. These updated versions would sometimes be simple revamps of the old show and sometimes they would be very different, modern takes on the characters. The most common example is Scooby-Doo. I've seen versions recently that expanded upon the mystery-solving attraction of the show and other versions that try to meld the trends in animation and culture to retell the old stories. Both failed and succeeded to varying degrees. I tried to entertain the new Peanuts animated shorts with the

Pinocchio: The Signature Collection Blu-ray Review: Delightful For All Ages

The classic Disney film gets a new release with a little bit new and a whole lot of old supplementals.
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By 1937, Walt Disney Studios had been making animated shorts for over a decade. They’d become very successful but were still seen as a silly kids studio by most of Hollywood. With the smash success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that changed. The film made over $8 million dollars in its initial run, garnered lots of critical praise, and won an honorary Oscar. With all that success, Disney quickly moved into making his second full-length animated feature, Pinocchio. Based upon an Italian children’s novel, Pinocchio tells the story of a wooden puppet that is given life by a

Finding Dory Blu-ray Combo Review: You Will Believe an Octopus Can Drive

An entertaining film though it suffers from similarities to its predecessor.
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Thirteen years after the smash-hit Finding Nemo, Disney/Pixar returns to the ocean for the sequel Finding Dory, an entertaining film that suffers from similarities to its predecessor. More accurately titled Finding Dory's Parents, the film tells the story of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a regal blue tang that suffers from severe short-term loss, remembering and seeking out her parents, whom she hasn't seen in years. After a prologue featuring an overwhelmingly adorable, tiny younger version of herself, Dory remembers her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) and seeks them out with the help of her friends, the clownfish Nemo (Hayden Rolence)

Princess Mononoke: 20th Anniversary Comes to U.S. Cinemas on January 5 and 9 Only

On director Hayao Miyazaki's birthday, GKIDS and Fathom Events present the Japanese animated feature.
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Press release: Princess Mononoke, the classic animated film from groundbreaking writer/director Hayao Miyazaki and the legendary Studio Ghibli, returns to movie theaters for two nights only for a dual celebration of the beloved historical fantasy’s 20th anniversary and Miyazaki’s birthday. Hailed in 1997 by Roger Ebert as "a great achievement and a wonderful experience, and one of the best films of the year," Princess Mononoke: 20th Anniversary comes to U.S. cinemas, subtitled on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. and English-dubbed on Monday, January 9, at 7:00 p.m. (all local times), presented by Fathom Events, in partnership with GKIDS.

Fathom Events Presents Spirited Away: 15th Anniversary

The rerelease of the Miyazaki classic just breathes on the big screen.
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The people at Fathom Events are the ones that bring me out to Rifftrax events a few times a year. They're also responsible for bringing some of my most favorite classic films back to theaters like Rear Window, From Here To Eternity, Jaws, and Animal House. The most recent release brings back a more recent film from the brilliant talent, Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away. I have been a huge fan of this film since its release and ones like these are perfect because few people saw it in theaters when it was released. This has been the highest-grossing

The Secret Life of Pets Blu-ray Review: Too Simple?

It fails to rise above the barrier separating the good from the iconic.
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Illumination Entertainment’s chuckle-inducing new animated feature film, The Secret Life of Pets, is an exhilarating journey through urban-domestic-animal life. From class struggles to gang culture, this film tackles many of the most critical issues facing this under-represented faction of world society. Max, the spoiled protagonist, represents the animalistic and inherent qualities that we humans share. He is prone to becoming habitual, he likes things to stay the same, and he is wary of newcomers and what threats they may bring. Louis C.K.’s seamless voice performance brings life to this character in a not-so-powerful, but satisfying way. There are some great

Spirited Away: 15th Anniversary Brings Hayao Miyazaki's Animated Masterpiece to U.S. Cinemas

In U.S. movie theaters on Sunday, December 4 at 12:00 p.m. (dubbed in English) and Monday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. (English language subtitles).
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Press release: Enter an enchanted world of witches, dragons and spirits in Spirited Away, director Hayao Miyazaki’s, critically-acclaimed story that became a worldwide phenomenon, cementing Studio Ghibli’s legacy as one of the foremost animation studios in the world. Spirited Away: 15th Anniversary celebrates the anniversary of the Academy Award-winning animated film and the legendary Studio Ghibli. Fathom Events, in partnership with GKIDS, the acclaimed distributor of multiple Academy Award-nominated animated features, is set to bring this special event to U.S. movie theaters for two days only on Sunday, December 4 at 12:00 p.m. (dubbed in English) and Monday, December 5,

Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review: New Features for the Old Classic

The tale as old as time gets some brand new bonus features for its 25th anniversary release.
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It’s only been six years since the last time this Disney princess was allowed out of the video vault, but this year’s 25th anniversary and an impending live action remake served as ample incentive for another cash grab. Thankfully, the Disney marketing folks saw fit to include an ample selection of brand new bonus features for this release, although the technical specifications of the film’s video/audio presentation are exactly the same. The Blu-ray package also includes a digital copy, another perk absent in the prior release. Finally, viewers again get the option of watching three different versions of the film,

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Set for Exclusive One-Time Cinematic Event October 10

Fathom Events, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment spotlight Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar voicing classic roles.
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Press release: Travel back to the 1960s as Batman and Robin spring into action when Gotham City is threatened by a quartet of Batman’s most fiendish foes. Audiences will have the opportunity to join all the animated excitement as it unfolds on the big screen for one special day. Fathom Events is once again partnering with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to bring Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders to movie theaters for three exclusive showings on Monday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, before it comes to EST on October 11 and Blu-ray™

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life Movie Review: Delightfully Animated

Floyd Norman's life is landmark, no matter what.
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My knowledge of the Walt Disney Company meant I immediately recognized the name Floyd Norman. No matter what he says, Norman is considered a legendary animator, for both breaking the studio's unspoken color barrier and for being one of the rare animators able to gain knowledge from Disney's "Nine Old Men." He now stands as one of the last animators to have worked with Walt Disney; the last living animator to work on The Jungle Book. With such a record of distinction it's amazing to hear Norman's just now receiving a documentary. Floyd Norman: An Animated Life charts Norman's rise

Shout Factory! Releases The Transformers - The Movie (30th Anniversary Edition) on September 13, 2016

Featuring all-star voice cast of Peter Cullen, Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Frank Welker and Orson Welles as UNICRON.
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Press release: Experience the enormously popular animated feature The TRANSFORMERS - THE MOVIE like never before! In celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary, The TRANSFORMERS - THE MOVIE has been meticulously restored and remastered from a spectacular brand-new 4K transfer of the original 35mm film elements. Fans now can immerse themselves in this thrilling animated adventure with stunning picture quality for optimal home entertainment experience. The TRANSFORMERS - THE MOVIE has captured a special place in the hearts of millions and has been a staple in the pop culture zeitgeist since 1986. Featuring memorable characters - the heroic AUTOBOTS, villainous

Zootopia Blu-ray Review: The Great Bunny Detective

Disney's latest animated adventure focuses on an odd couple of buddies tasked with setting aside their differences for the greater good.
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Judy Hopps is a bunny. Nick Wilde is a fox. In the peaceful animal world of Zootopia, that doesn’t automatically make them enemies, since predators and prey exist in perfect harmony. When a few predators mysteriously start disappearing and reverting to their primal ferocity, they threaten to destroy the urban utopia unless rookie Officer Hopps and her devious acquaintance Nick can crack the case. Although it’s a cartoon, Zootopia isn’t just for kids. Its recurring theme of bigotry blatantly uses the different animal classes in place of race relations, while elsewhere amusing riffs on The Godfather and Breaking Bad make

Book Review: Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic by J.B. Kaufman

No lie. This is a great book.
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In his introduction, author J.B. Kaufman reveals that he considers Walt Disney’s Pinocchio (1940) a member of “the fraternity of true epics,” alongside D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance, Erich von Stroheim’s original Greed, and Abel Gance’s Napoleon, and he certainly makes the case with his definitive examination presented in Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic. He starts at the beginning, going back to the 19th century when writer Carlo Lorenzini took the name the Tuscany village he grew up, “Collodi,” as his pseudonym under which he published “The Story of a Puppet.” As stated in the foreword by John Canemaker, an

Justice League vs. Teen Titans Blu-ray Review: That's So Raven, Damian

Weak plotting in the first half undermines a terrific final act.
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DC appears determined to cater to all manner of Justice League fans this year. If the dark, brooding Batman V Superman movie isn’t your cup of tea, and you think you’re too grown up for the blissfully fun hijinks of Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash, here’s your middle-of-the-road alternative. Sure, it leans more to the dark side, but in a welcome departure from many recent DC animated releases, it doesn’t resort to adult language or mature themes to hit its perceived demographic. Continuing the Damian Wayne (Robin) story followed in the past couple of Batman animated films, the latest entry

The Peanuts Movie Blu-ray Review: A Sweet Film That Appeals to All Generations

I hold this series to a high bar and I was very satisfied with the final product.
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The recent Blu-ray and DVD release of The Peanuts Movie by 20th Century Fox leaves me with a conundrum of how to review it. I want to be fair and approach it just as a current kids movie. How does it compare to current cream of the crop releases from Disney and Pixar? The film is made by Blue Sky Studios, the creators of Ice Age, another groundbreaking movie franchise. The source for this film though goes way back into our cultural DNA. This isn't some recently created franchise. The film itself is built upon multiple winks to the viewer's
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