Archive for Animation

Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios

Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Jaime Camil, Alfonso Arau, Sofía Espinosa, Selene Luna, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Renée Victor, Luis Valdez, Herbert Siguenza, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Gabriel Iglesias, John Ratzenberger, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Lombardo Boyar, Dyana Ortelli

Miguel (Anthony Gonzales) wants to be a musician like his ancestor Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) who had died, but was loved and revered as one of the greatest guitar player and singers of all times. But when Ernesto left his wife to make his name as a singer, she banned music from the family entirely. Miguel has to sneak away to play the guitar. A series of tragic events brings Miguel to the “Land of the Dead” where those who are remembered are able to cross back over to the land of the living, but Miguel is more interested in finding Ernesto than finding his way back home. In the process he may uncover the truth as to why music is forbidden in their family.

This musical fantasy film from Pixar is another really strong entry from the Disney owned studio. This is a really colorful movie and the animation is exquisitely done. The music is fun, and the story is really interesting. Good for kids and adults, this is an all around hit. The Mexican culture is a real treat to see and learn. It is really a fascinating story and I really enjoyed this movie, even though it took me a while to get out and see it. I got really ill the week before Christmas and it was a rough season, which is why this site hasn’t been updated for ages. This was really the only film I got to see over the holidays, and I’m glad I got out to see it. It is one of the best family movies I have seen in a long time. This is one to see if you haven’t done it yet.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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DC Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Lin Pictures,

Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Mariah Carey

Batman (Will Arnett) is a loner, but we find he’s just really afraid of being a part of a family again after the terrible thing that happened to his family, but the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) is up to his usual tricks and is planning to break the entire city apart (literally) by joining up with all the other bad guys. Batman finds he can’t do it on his own, no matter how stubborn he is, and may have to accept a little help from a gaggle of friends willing to help out.

This darn movie really surprised me a lot. I really didn’t think it could be anything but cheesy, but dang, I think this is perfect fodder for the grown up little boy in me. Granted, my grandkids who love both Batman and LEGOs really loved it too, but I found the PG-13 in it gave us really funny over their heads zingers that made it really entertaining (and did I say funny) to me as well. This was really well done. With some really fine voice actors including The ‘Puter voice played by Siri herself. I mean there must be a dozen top stars and great talents in this movie along with a lot of other interesting characters that I couldn’t identify. It was a laugh fest from start to finish, and very well animated. I never had the patience for putting LEGO projects together, but I sure had a lot of fun watching the quirks and characteristics these plastic people gave me along with their plastic world. They play it so straight with tongue firmly in the cheek and I found myself laughing out loud many times. I’m sorry I missed seeing this with the grandkids in the theater, but it was sure enough fun watching the DVD at home. This is one of the nicest animated films I’ve seen in a while. Great job guys!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Studio Ghibli,

Nobuo Tobita, Toshihiko Seki, Yoko Sakamoto, Yuri Amano, Kae Araki, Jun’ichi Kanemaru, Ai Satô, Aya Hisakawa, Tomokazu Seki, Hikaru Midorikawa

Taku (Nobuo Tobita) is a young first year college student who returns back home to the seaside town of Kochi a little town on an island in Japan. When he arrives home for his high school reunion, he is reminiscing of his Junior year in high school and the young beautiful city girl Rikako Muto (Yoko Sakamoto) who transferred to Tokyo to his school. Stuck by her immediately, both are young and inexperienced in life, and have to go through many trials and tribulations, fights and disagreements, but when she doesn’t return to the reunion, Taku finally learns the truth and sets off for the city to find her again.

This is one of the most stunning films from Studio Ghibli which brought us 2001’s Spirited Away, 2003’s academy award winner for Best Animated film, and 2010’s The Secret World of Arrietty [CLick Here for Ed’s Review], this is an older film (1993) but every bit as good or better than the previous ones (and more) from Studio Gibli. This one has received a great makeover and is now available on DVD in the Unites States, and it’s not dated or old in the least. In fact, it’s one of the greatest coming of age stories of a young couple who don’t know they’re in love than any live action film I have seen that tries to touch the subject. Everything is simply spectacular. The story is very touching and the word that comes to mind is subtle, as it’s never pushy or in your face, but very tactfully told. The animation is completely stunning, and many of the scenes, especially in the city, you will forget that you’re watching animation. It’s animation is simply amazing. The movie is in Japanese, with English subtitles, but I think that was an excellent choice as the background music and score of this movie is as good as any Hollywood has done. If you are a lover of animation, this is simply a must see film, and is very, very worthy of the 4.5 stars I have given to it. The only problem is that you will have to focus and read the subtitles to get the touching story, but it’s well worth it as you need to pay attention to the detail and beauty of the animation. This is a love story as good as any, and well worth the extra effort to really pay attention to what you are seeing. I highly recommend this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures,

Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Jemaine Clement, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), is a Polynesian teen who is set to be the leader of her people. But an ancient curse has made it’s way to Moana’s island. Their tribe has never traveled off their island, but Moana is excited to learn that her ancestors traveled all over, and she learns that the curse was caused by a demigod, Maui (Dwayne Johnson) who has disappeared. We watch her on her journey to find Maui and convince him to come back to make the situation right again.

This Disney animated film reminds me of Lilo and Stitch a lot. The story is cute enough, and everyone raves about the music. But I had a few issues with this film. First of all, this movie is too much “Rock”. Some voice actors can create a character voice that is unique and very interesting. Others like Mr. Rock can only play themselves, and throughout the entire performance, there is no doubt that you’re listening to Dwayne Johnson, and that is a huge distraction. The story is also rather plodding, and never really caught my interest fully, so it was hard to watch. I have been waiting and waiting for this film, and I guess my expectations were way too high, and I was let down quite a bit. Not that it’s bad, mind you, but just disappointing. So the kids will enjoy the film, and the music is really good, and the highlight of the film. It’s a quality Disney movie, but just a bit of a let down from their usual quality.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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DreamWorks Animation

Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Ron Funches, Kunal Nayyar, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Cleese, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski

A race of sad, grumpy creatures called Bergens have never had happiness. But there is a race of treasure trolls that live nearby, and when one of the Bergens ate a Troll, he felt happy, so the Bergens started a tradition of eating trolls on a holiday called Trollstice, the only day that they could experience happiness. This year the young prince is scheduled to taste his first Troll, but when he tastes it he finds it’s fake, and the real Trolls have escaped. The Bergens want to find the Trolls to bring them back, but the Trolls are running for their lives to find freedom from this awful holiday.

This is an animated film from Dreamworks, the team that brought us the Shrek movies, but this story based on the toys kids used to have called Treasure Trolls is not another Shrek, unfortunately. This is a dark story that even little kids will understand that the monsters are EATING the trolls. This is really a bit dark, and there is no real interesting story that keeps the adult interest either, so I didn’t find it very good. I think perhaps they were out after the audience of middle aged adults that would remember these toys and look back with a fond remembrance of them to pull in an audience, but even as a rental, this movie had not oomph. They have a marvelous cast, and it’s kind of a shame, but it just did not ever get off the ground for me. A lot like the smurfs, but with much less story power and nobody eats the Smurfs. All in all I thought it was a bust, and not worth the rental. I could be wrong, and there could be an age of older children, especially boys who could find this cool, but for the most part, I don’t think the kids are going to like this very much either. Wait for something better to assault them with. Skip this.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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