It’s no secret that over the past decade, Disney has been in a “revival” era. With masterpieces like Zootopia, Princess and the Frog, and Wreck-it Ralph, along with other astonishing efforts like Tangled, Moana, and Big Hero 6, Disney has been knocking it out of the park. However, Disney Animation has been in a little bit of a slump since, I’d say, 2018. Ralph Breaks the Internet was a perfectly serviceable sequel, but was a notch below the original and took its meta humour to some questionable places. And Frozen 2… don’t get me started on Frozen 2. And I’m sorry to say that Raya and the Last Dragon is not much different. It’s not as good as Ralph Breaks the Internet, but almost as disappointing and lacking as Frozen 2. It’s still better, but not by a lot. Raya and the Last Dragon, while it has stellar animation and world-building and exhilarating action scenes, is a lacklustre Disney Animation effort that could have been so much more had it not fallen into the Disney Princess story trap, and had not featured such bland and uninspired writing.
The following review is dedicated to my beloved Grandmother, Corinne Hurwitz, who sadly passed away recently. Her and I shared a particular adoration for the MGM musicals, the same company which produced the cartoons I am going to be talking about today.
Oh boy… Here it is! My review of what is perhaps one of the most divisive Blu-Ray releases I have ever seen. The Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 collection is one that has been anticipated by many in the animation and collecting communities. I will of course go over the so-called “controversy” this Blu-Ray has garnered, but I will also say that I adore this collection about as much as I adored the first one. The cartoons selected are all consistently gut-bustingly funny, and I’ve seen some that are now new favourites of mine. And yes, they also look great.
Happy birthday, Bugsy boy! I was quite surprised to see that last year marked Bugs Bunny’s 80th birthday, but I was even more pleasantly surprised by this more-than-adequate retrospective of his life thus far. While this collection certainly takes no risks in its content, there are 40 cartoons on this set out of the 60 overall that have either never been released on home media before or that never got a proper home media restoration. Cartoons that were given an improper home media restoration in the past were presented with either a lot of quirks, cut content, or even the wrong aspect ratio. Yes, these cartoons are fully restored to their original glory, in stunning HD, and I was very pleased with the results.
I remember the lead-up to the release of the original Frozen. It’s always an exciting event when Disney releases another musical fairy tale film. It was a Disney musical, not unlike Tangled which came out just a few years prior, but apparently, Disney did not have high hopes for it. But after a great team putting everything they can into the film and a strong marketing campaign, it released back in 2013, and I remember enjoying it. Then it made over $1 billion and everyone couldn’t shut up about it. Short film after short film came afterward, including one 22-minute long short that was released in theatres before Coco. That, to me, crossed the line. Anyways, as the film became more and more of a phenomenon, the franchise grew stale really quick, and I felt a sense of resentment towards the franchise, rather than one of fondness. But what does this rambling have to do with the sequel, Frozen II? Well, I suppose one tiny shred of me thought that this film could redeem the whole franchise, take a risk and go the distance to make something incredible. I came into the theatre with low expectations, and still left disappointed at how safe and, honestly, lazy this movie felt.
I have been anticipating Disney+ for months. Upon learning that the entirety of the Disney Animation and Pixar libraries will be available for streaming, how can an aficionado like me not be excited? Now that it’s out, while I’m enjoying it a lot, it didn’t surprise or wow me like streaming services like Netflix have over and over again. It’s still early days, but I think that the launch should have given us more. More specifically, more original content and a more expansive and diverse library of previously released film and TV.
Last night was the night myself and pretty much every other film lover looks forward to every year, the Academy Awards. We complain about many of the decisions made by the Academy, but there’s no denying is still the most prestigious prize to be given in the art of film. This year, they went the first time in a while without a host… and I kind of hope they go without a host more often, because this was probably the most focused Academy Awards ceremony I’ve ever seen. Politics aside, this was a great ceremony.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a film that I’ve been waiting for since the first movie released. I found the first film to be one of the most imaginative animated films ever. I simply adored it. And upon seeing the sequel, it’s great to see that witty writing and imaginative storytelling again, even if the film doesn’t really feel as groundbreaking as the original.
This week, Disney gave us our first look at the sequel to the highest grossing film of all time, Frozen. To clarify, I am not the biggest fan of Frozen. I think the original film is way too overhyped, and undeservingly so, and the short films they made in the franchise were just awful. This, however, looks like it can potentially be something truly special.
Steven Universe season 5 just recently ended with the amazing season finale, Change Your Mind. The minds of Steven Universe fans were collectively blown countless times throughout this season. As we anxiously wait for season 6 and Steven Universe: The Movie, now is the perfect time to discuss what is by far the biggest, most epic season in the series’ history. Note, there will be spoilers for both prior seasons and this season. So if you’re not caught up, consider yourselves warned.
When I first heard the announcement of this movie a few years back, I was intrigued. An animated Spider-Man film with the great Phil Lord and Chris Miller serving as producers and co-writers is a combination you simply cannot go wrong with. However, I did not expect a film with the level of inventiveness that this film has. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is unlike anything I have ever seen before and is easily my pick for the best film of 2018.