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Justin's Kartoon Korner!

Welcome to my Kartoon Korner, a blog dedicated to the art of animation whether it's a classic short film or a feature length film, past or present. No matter if it's good or bad, I like to share my thoughts here. I've been doing this since 2008 and enjoy

Updated: 2017-09-08T19:10:07.395-05:00


Review Time! - The Croods (2013)


Ok,  a new review! Yay! Truth is, I wanted to try something new and record a review for the blog. It's a little unorganized but this is me fresh from seeing it moments ago. I'm also planning on reviewing the Dreamworks films in 2013, but I'll probably do my reviews like this. Hope you like this format and enjoy!

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कोबरा और नेवला


A little something to keep the pulse of this blog alive during my very busy schedule. But good news! I got a Blue Yeti microphone and might record a little something later this month. See ya then!

Siggraph 2013


A poster I had to make for a desktop publishing class. You can read about the Siggraph Conference here. Think I should actually enter it?

At long last, new art! :D


Plans and a rewrite.


Hey guys.

First off, I've been crazy busy lately, so sorry for not posting in a month. Anyway, I wanted to bring up some things.

1) I rewrote my Home on the Range review from Disneyear to make it less angry. To be honest, it may be kinda bad, but it's honestly not as terrible as I originally wrote it out to be. So I felt like I could make it a bit more honest. If you'd like to see the reedit, check it out here. I think it turned out a lot better than before.

2) I started work on a website for my artwork and I need some opinions about it. Visit it here and feel free to tell me what you think. Keep in mind the domain only lasts three weeks, so visit it when you can!

3) I'm still planning on doing more movie reviews. The big plan is to do a Studio-Ghibli theme beginning in January and buying a podcast microphone to provide some commentary on short films on the side.

Hope to see you guys soon. Oh, and enjoy a drawing of Benny the squirrel in the 1930's.

Disneyear: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)


Well folks, here it is. The final film of Disneyear, Wreck-It Ralph. I'll be honest here, I was a little iffy when I first heard of this movie. I read the basic plot of it somewhere (I bet it was Wikipedia) and thought "Okay, it's like Megamind but in a video game... it might work." But then the trailer came out and my anticipation grew. I saw the main character jumping around different video games and thought this was a really neat idea. On top of that I noticed other video game characters were there too. If you look on the poster the trailer showcased a lot of video game characters like Bowser from Mario Bros., Major Bison from Street Fighter, Clyde the ghost from Pac-Man, Dr. Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, even Q-Bert made it in the movie! God was it nostalgic! Then I thought it over and said "it's more like Roger Rabbit then... this looks cool!". So as it was advertised more and more, the more I got sucked into it and the more I wanted to see it. It just seemed like the coolest damn thing ever! Then Nov. 2 came along and I got to catch it this weekend. And you know what? It really surprised me. Not by how bad it is but by how damn brilliant this is. I went from thinking this was a maybe to thinking that it's a serious contender for Best Animated Film of the Year! Yeah people, it's that good! So you're probably wondering what I think makes it so good? Well guys, I have to warn you again that this is going to have MAJOR SPOILERS in here so if you don't like those, just wait till you see it then come back. Otherwise, get your quarters ready to play Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is actually the villain of an 8-bit arcade game called Fix-It Felix Jr, which is kind of like the original Donkey Kong. Feeling unappreciated, he decides he simply wants more out of life even though the other characters typecast him as a villain in real life. So he gets the idea that if he somehow gets a medal for being a hero, then maybe the others will respect him more. So he sets off to win a medal after bumping into a character from the first-person shooter Hero's Duty (similar to Halo) who mentions that heros get medals in his game. Ralph enters the game via The Central Game Station (which is a power outlet that connects many consoles together) and meets it's no-nonsense leader, General Calhoun (Jane Lynch). Ralph tries to fight and survive the game's enemies, alien parasites known as Cy-bugs, but he causes a game over by interfering with the game's user interface. Between game sessions, Ralph climbs the game's central beacon and collects the medal, accidentally hatching a Cy-Bug in the process. The Cy-bug clings to Ralph as he stumbles into an escape pod that launches him out of the game. Meanwhile, Ralph's absence has not gone unnoticed, as a girl tells Litwak that Fix-It Felix, Jr. is malfunctioning. Since broken games are unplugged, leaving their characters homeless, Felix (Jack McBrayer) sets off to find Ralph. The escape pod lands in literally a candy-coated racing game called Sugar Rush and meets with a glitch character called Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). The two dislike each other at first since Vanellope steals Ralph's medal and uses it to enter the next race to which the King Candy (Alan Tudyk) objects simply because she's a glitch in the program. She and Ralph start to form a bond once they figure out they can fix each other's problems: Ralph can make a cart for Vanellope while she can use it to win back Ralph's medal. They also discover that they're not so different  Meanwhile in Hero's Duty, Felix meets up with Calhoun to find Ralph and restore order because the Cy-bug that departed with Ralph in the escape pod acts as a virus and can potentially spread to all the consoles and have the games unplugged. So it's up to Ralph to fix [...]

New ideas for the blog and some more characters!


Hey hey, readers. I know I haven't posted reviews in a while, but I will when I get a chance. But in the meantime, I'd like to share what I plan on doing here from now on. I'm actually considering a new series of written reviews on here called "Animated Animosity" where I review the animated films that are... less than good. I wanted to try this for a while after Disneyyear and Pixargust was over. I'll also try out other animated movies too because there's a bunch that deserve to have a look. Those will usually be in some sort of theme to it and I'll likely do what I did in Pixargust and keep posting in the span of a month or more. Whatever I review will normally be up to me but if I get enough requests to review a certain movie, I'll do it. Oh, and expect a surprise Disneyear review in a month or so! I'm also planning on buying a microphone soon for video posts that will have me talking over a random theatrical short and even some TV cartoons from past and present while I talk about what I think of them. It'll be basically like a live commentary. I'll also post the original short or episode without my voice over it in case you haven't seen it yet. I'll also keep posting my artwork as well. There's lots more coming soon, so keep tuned here.In the meantime, here's my star character, Ralph. Ralph is like any mouse: quiet, timid, and curious. But since Ralph is very small, he has to use his brain instead of his brawn to get himself out of trouble in a calm, collected manner. Ralph has Ralph also is a cultured person, preferring the arts, classical music, and some jazz over today's standards. He's pretty talented at creating art, has a nice singing voice, level-headed, a MENSA member, and modest. Ralph also has a very friendly persona, helping anyone out so long as they don't hurt him. He comes from a long line of laboratory mice, which is why he's white with blue eyes and likely explains how he's so smart. Ralph is a mix of myself with a little bit of Dean Martin's wit. The tail design just came to me.Then there's Benny, a devious little squirrel that's full of fun and energy. Benny has a usually happy, up-beat persona. He may be a wee bit nuts and may come across as annoying to his neighbor Gordon, but he does use his head occasionally when there's trouble. It's just easier for him to be energetic and popping up at random moments. He has the ability to pull cartoon weaponry out of thin air. He also has a speech impediment where whenever he hits an "s" sound, it comes out as a whistle. He also has a dark side to him, showing extreme animosity towards someone that does him any kind of harm making him want to get even by any means necessary. Benny's one of my favorite characters that I made and he'll be loads of fun to make cartoons for in the future.Finally, we have Bear and Eli, a pink toy panda and elephant brother and sister duo. Bear is a toy panda that acts acts as Eli's big sister. She is a sweet, caring individual but isn't afraid to take on responsibilities. She doesn't mind baths and respects rules. She is authoritative and has a more realistic approach to things than her brother. It's her seriousness that can make her frustrated with Eli sometimes, but she still loves her brother all the same and will do anything to keep him happy and safe. Eli is a toy elephant and is Bear's little brother. He is all heart and extremely playful and child-like in temperament and it's because of this that he can get frustrated easily and doesn't always know how to handle his emotions. He loves to play and makes friends but hates veggies and baths. Overall, he's a big bundle of love. Their origin story is an interesting one. Back in high school, I had a friend, Vicki, who had these two pink stuffed animals named Bear and Eli. Respectively, they were a bear and an elephant. So after she made a short play script for[...]

More characters!


I've been playing around on Photoshop for a while and made some more portraits of my characters. I figured I'd at least introduce these character for new comers this time, so I'll give some details here. 

(image) First up is Bhim and Ambika, the cobra and mongoose duo. Bhim (the mongoose) is sort of a jerk. He's extremely pugnacious and hard-headed, but easily wimps out if he winds up fighting something bigger, like a tiger or a python. Ambika (the cobra) is the opposite. She's friendly and shy. She's sort of a wildflower and has figured out that the Bhim is actually hypnotized by her beautiful dancing and singing, which she uses to her advantage in tight spots. They have a kind of frienemy-ish relationship.

I got inspiration for these two after watching Animal Planet and saw a mongoose and a cobra fight in real life. Most of the time, the mongoose is the winner of these fights but I always wondered if the cobra would ever win and how. The musical numbers are also inspired by Eartha Kitt when she was younger with the visual style of Bollywood films. The point of this series is to hopefully have people change their thoughts on snakes. In reality, most snakes are like Ambika: they don't want to fight or bite. They just want to be left in peace.

(image)  Then we have Chilé, a chinchilla with a very fiery personality. A tad brash, Chilé will always act before thinking about it making him believe he can do anything. Even if he comes off as cocky, he's far from it. Chilé is actually very chivalrous and always willing to help even if the odds are against him. Especially for a woman. Chilé is also an amorous creature who's up to sacrificing himself for any pretty face. He happens to have one certain weakness: he also is a habitual cleaner. He'll clean anything that looks dirty with his long, bushy tail since he dislikes filth. Chilé needs to keep his fur away from water which is why he prefers to bathe in volcanic dust.
Chilé was inspired by my pet chinchilla, Kirby, and several viewings of Disney's The Three Caballeros. His outfit is based on a huacho, the Chilean equivalent of a cowboy.

More characters will come later. Keep tuned!

Gordon portrait


Hey hey, readers! I recently decided to join my art blog with this one, so I can share my reviews and ideas for characters and stories. So here's a portrait I made of one of my characters: Gordon the Scottish Capuchin monkey. If you want to learn about his character, just search Gordon in the search bar and you'll find him.

Pixargust: Brave (2012)


We now come to the final film of Pixargust: Brave. I think we all remember the trailer and we were looking forward to an epic adventure from Pixar, especially after the disappointment from Cars 2. I mean wow! It only showed our lead out in the wilderness and then this huge bear pops out of nowhere and she only has a bow and arrow to protect her. It looked awesome! So I was hyped to see this in theaters. Me and a few friends of mine went to the midnight premier and we eagerly awaited for it to start. When it ended, we were all happy we saw it but one of my friends commented "Something was off about it, but I liked it." So I saw it again with another friend and after the second viewing, I think I know why my first friend said that. It still was as good as I remember it, but there is a small problem with it. Now before I go on, I want to address that there are major spoilers in this review so if you have not seen this yet and don't want my review to ruin it for you, you may want to just reread another review of mine. And I know it's not on DVD as I'm typing this, so I'm going to have to use what clips I can find on YouTube. So if you're still here, then here we go: let's see if this will change Pixar's fate with the last film of Pixargust, Brave.Set in medieval Scotland, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) presents his daughter Merida (Kelly Macdonald) with a bow and arrow and ever since, she's become something of a tomboy, riding off into the woods to practice archery and be a free spirit. That is until her mother, Queen Elanor (Emma Thompson) announces that Merida will be betrothed by one of three allied clans. She's not really ready or willing to go through this despite her mother's pleas for keeping tradition. The clans arrive to compete in the Highland Games to compete for Merida's hand. She announces that she will compete for her right to remain single, but this causes a dispute between her and Elanor. She cuts her family tapestry in anger and flees to the woods where a group of will-o-wisps lead her to a witch's hut in guise of a wood carver's shop. She agrees to give Merida a spell to change her fate if she buys all of her carvings with a family medallion. She gives it to her in the form of a cake, which she gives Elanor. It causes her mother to transform into a bear, catching Merida off guard. Turns out Elanor is now in danger because of her husband's hatred of bears from a big demon one named Mor'du got his leg and has since seeked vengeance. They escape thanks to her brothers and overtime in the woods, mother and daughter have to work together to break the spell. The witch isn't there, but leaves behind a riddle, "mend the bond torn by pride". Merida theorizes that she can reverse the spell by repairing her family tapestry. They set off back home until the wisps lead her to an ancient ruins, where they find out that Mor'du was the emperor from a legend Elanor told Merida. They escape the demon bear but now have to sneak Elanor as a bear, but losing control of her human personality, back in her room. Fergus finds the bear thinking it's Mor'du and chases her to a Stonehenge like clearing. Merida rushes to defend her while sewing back the tapestry, but the real Mor'du shows up. Elanor kills Mor'du by luring him to one of the stones and crushes him, releasing his spirit. Merida covers bear Elanor with the tapestry and when it doesn't seem like it's working, she returns to normal. The two now have a better relationship with each other, the clans depart, and we end with the two riding horses in the wilderness. Let's start with what my friend considered "off": the story. It's not a bad story by any means, but it's one that we've seen before in other animated movies. It's a princess that wants her freedom. If you read my Disneyear review[...]

Pixargust: Cars 2 (2011)


*sigh*... Okay guys, we've come to one of the big ones. By big ones, I mean it has a big reputation. And by reputation I mean that this has been voted unanimously as Pixar's weakest link: the worst one the studio has made thus far. So it's no surprise that out of all the Pixar films I said I'd do for Pixargust, Cars 2 was the one film I wanted to watch the least. I remember being uninvested by the trailers, I was uninvested by what the story was when I saw the synopsis, I had no interest at all in seeing this last year. And all the negative reviews from not just critics but even fans from the first Cars movie didn't help me change my mind. But my curiosity got the best of me and I got to catch this in a dollar theater last year. Well, I was mostly right. It wasn't that bad but it was still very disappointing to know the kings of story and the animation studio that had the greatest track record for quality films, Pixar, had made this film. So here I am talking about it now that I had to see it a second time. Is it any better and improve the franchise by making it a true Pixar film or is it as painful and hard to watch as a car wreck? Time to check under the hood to see if it's any better, this is Cars 2.Years pass by as Lightning McQueen has won four Piston Cups and is the pride of Radiator Springs. When he returns, Mater is there to try and have fun until McQueen goes on a date with Sally. Mater impersonates a waiter just to hang out with McQueen some more until a television talk show announces that a former gas guzzler named Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard) converted to electricity and has developed a new fuel called Allinol that is supposed to be healthier for the environment (I'll get to that later...) and holds a world cup Prix in honor of the fuel. McQueen is invited after Mater calls the show to confront an Italian rival Francesco Bernoulli (John Tuturro). The first race is in Japan, then Italy, and ends in the UK. During a party, Mater makes a fool of himself and meets up with a spy car (Bruce Campbell) who puts on a tracking device on him without him knowing. He is mistaken for a spy by British Intelligence and is assigned to work with agent Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) in solving an oil rig crime caused by a group of lemons (small cars that constantly break down) that plan on destroying the cars that use Allinol to make the alternitave fuel look bad and so more cars use regular gasoline instead. It's up to Mater to save the day and he does manage to do a surprisingly competent job working undercover. Meanwhile, McQueen had an argument with Mater before about costing him the race in Japan and feels bad for his friend throughout the movie. The two are reunited in England but the lemons put a bomb on Mater. He surprisingly manages to find out it was actually Axelrod that was behind the Allinol scheme and is arrested while Mater is knighted. He is made the second pride of Radiator Springs and the Prix finishes off in Radiator Springs.I'm going to be completely honest here: this is a really mediocre film all around. It completely feels alienated from the first Cars film. And I may have criticized it for a weak story, it does have it's heartwarming moments here and there, the side characters were fun, and it does have a nice moral to it. Cars 2 feels like Pixar took all the negative aspects of the first film and somehow made it worse instead of improving it. The side characters are non-existent, the morals are gone and if there is one it's phoned-in, and the story somehow became even more generic than the first one. This is the same plot you'd see in any spy comedy but it's not well-written, the jokes [...]

Pixargust: Toy Story 3 (2010)


Back in 1995, a relatively new animation studio named Pixar released a movie that rocked the whole world: Toy Story. It was not only hugely popular, but also revolutionized animation by being the very first computer-animated film. It mostly was concerned about a toy's role in a child's life as always being there for them and the possibility of there being a new favorite and being replaced. The movie spawned a sequel some 3 years later: Toy Story 2. That movie turned out more successful than its predecessor and is to this day arguably better than the first. It further explored the life of a toy with the possibility of abandonment altogether and the inevitability of your kid growing up. Things have come full circle with a third and currently final sequel around 11 years afterward and was even more successful than the first two combined: Toy Story 3. This film now holds the record for the highest-grossing animated film in history, making back over $1 billion at the box office as well as the third animated film in history to be nominated for Best Picture from the Academy Awards and the second film in a row from Pixar to accomplish this. Even two years after I first saw it, I hold it in high regards as one of Pixar's finest accomplishments. But is it perfect? It's time to gather up the old gang for one final adventure to find out in Toy Story 3.As you'd expect, all our favorite toys are back! Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bulleye, Slinky, Hamm, Rex, the Potato Heads, and the LGM's. But the film takes place 11 years after the second film and most of the old toys are gone, like Wheezy, RC, and even Bo Peep. Andy is now preparing to leave for college and there's panic over if the toys will be thrown out or placed in the attic. As Andy packs, he's given some trash bags for either garbage or stuff he wants to leave in the attic. All of the toys but Woody are put in the bag and Mom accidentally throws them out. They make it out of the bag as Woody tries to save them, but the gang sees a box headed for a daycare and suggest they all go. Woody is reluctant, still loyal to Andy and reassuring the others that they were meant to be put in the attic. The toys are welcomed to Sunnyside Daycare by a pink teddy bear named Lotso (Ned Beatty) and a Ken doll (Michael Keaton), who instantly falls for Molly's Barbie doll from the second film, and make it seem like paradise. While Woody is still unsure about all of this, the others are excited about being played with again. After Woody once again tries to talk them into going back home, Buzz decides that maybe day care is the best way to go. Woody leaves but is found by a little girl named Bonnie while the other toys are played with rather roughly by the kids in their room. Buzz tries to relocate them to an older kids room, he is caught by some of Lotso's assistants and is made one of them. It's when Lotso realizes that Buzz needs to stick with the others like a familt, he resets him to demo mode and shows his true colors as a malicious, bitter old toy that runs the daycare as if it's a prison. After a day with some of Bonnie's toys, Woody hears of the horrors of Sunnyside and Lotso and realizes he has to go back to save them. He returns to Sunnyside in Bonnie's backpack, gets tips from an old talk phone toy, meets with the others, and devices an escape plan. They partake in a suspenseful prison escape scene mixed with the toys kind of restoring Buzz (they accidentally activate his Spanish mode), but Lotso catches up to them and Woody exposes him for the monster he really is. Lotso is tossed in the garbage by his assistant, Big Baby, but catches and pulls Woody in. The others go after him but wind up in the garbage too. After a really intense scene in the dump's trash burner [...]

Pixargust: Up (2009)


It's amazing. After 24 years of revolutionizing the art of animation with charming short films and hit after hit after hit films, Pixar at last received an honor that very few animation studios can boast about: one of their films had been nominated the Academy Award for Best Picture. It took so long but they made it at last with the studio's tenth film, Up. It's an honor that by this point was only shared with one other animated film: Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast. After all, WALL•E was a tough act to follow but I think I've ranted about that enough. But I think that everyone, including myself, was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Aside from it's famous accolade, it's also Pixar's third highest grossing film, ginormous amounts of critical acclaim, and managed to walk out with two other Academy Awards: Best Animated Film and Best Score. So just what is it that makes Pixar's tenth wonder (well, ninth if you didn't like Cars...) so great that it almost won Best Picture? Is it the story, the characters, some of the themes, or all of the above? Time to test if the sky really is the limit with today's film, Up.Carl Fredrickson (Ed Asner) is a man who has lived life. As a young child, he meets a girl named Ellie who shares his passion for adventure and idol, the famous explorer/scientist Charles Muntz. The two marry when they're older and restore the old house they used as a clubhouse and live a very happy life together. It's until Ellie passes away that Carl's life takes a turn for the worst. Now 78, he has to deal with construction going on around his old house and a young scout named Russell (Jordan Nagai) that constantly asks for his assistance even though he means well. After an accident with a construction worker and being forced into a retirement home, Carl is fed up. He remembers his wife's dream: to venture to South America and plant their house on Paradise Falls. And overnight, he gathers enough helium balloons to lift his house from the ground and modifies it for air travel to Paradise Falls. One problem: Russell is on his porch after trying to help him catch a snipe. So Carl is now stuck with him and sees Russell as more of a nuisance than an asset. The two do make it to the falls, but the balloons have lost a lot of air and they land on the wrong side. They figure since they weigh the house down, they can simply walk to the falls. Along the way, they meet a giant prehistoric bird, a dog named Dug (Bob Peterson) that can talk thanks to a special collar, and even Carl's old idol Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer) who appears to have snapped trying to look for this bird so he can take it back to the States and redeem his reputation. Carl and Russell now see the danger they're in and try to keep the bird (who Russell names Kevin) away from Muntz and his canine bodyguards with the help of Dug. However, Muntz catches up to them, steals Kevin, and sets Carl's house on fire. Disappointed that Carl just let Kevin go, Russell goes out on his own to save the bird. Carl becomes motivated to help after looking at Ellie's old scrapbook and sees the passage "Thanks for the adventure. Now go have a new one." After a pretty thrilling climax, Carl and Dug save Kevin and Russell, defeat Muntz, but lose the house. Using Muntz's blimp they return Kevin to her family. Yes, Kevin was female this whole time. After getting back home, Carl gives Russell his old badge that his wife once gave him and the two have their own adventures through an unlikely friendship.If I didn't have such a personal attachment to Ratatouille, then Up would be my second favorite film. The film is hilarious, heartfelt, moving and dramatic all at on[...]

Pixargust: WALL•E (2008)


After directing Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton felt Pixar had created believable simulations of underwater physics and was willing to direct a film largely set in space. He also thought it would be a neat idea if the film was mostly visual. As in having little to no dialogue at all and having the animation, music, and expressions on the characters tell the story. An even bigger challenge was to do this not with people, but robots. The end result was the wildly acclaimed film as well as film number nine from the acclaimed and innovate animation studio, WALL•E.  I'm not kidding. Usually the critics love Pixar movies, but this one? They were all over it! TIME magazine even ranked it #1 in their article Best Films of the Decade! I was expecting it to at least be nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards because of all the acclaim it received. Sadly, it didn't. But it got Best Animated Film. That's something, right? I mean jeez, Academy! If there's an animated film that deserves that kind of nomination, it's this! Hold on, I'm getting off topic here. So again I must ask, is this really one of the best animated films of all time? Let's get down to earth in today's film, WALL•E.In the far off year of 2805, Earth is a very different place. It's a lot more brown and covered in garbage due years of mass consumerism from the mega-conglomerate Buy n' Large. BnL evacuated all of Earth's population due to the continuing piles of trash while a special model of robot called the Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class, or WALL•E (Ben Burt) for short, clean up all the garbage left behind so that Earth will be cleaner when they return. They eventually stop functioning and Earth is left for dead. One is still left, though, as he manages to break out of his original programming to form a personality of his own. He collects objects he sees as treasures rather than trash, befriends a cockroach, and his favorite film so far is Hello, Dolly! One day while he's out working, he finds a small plant growing and decides to keep it in a boot. Later, a ship lands on Earth and releases a small, white, sleeker robot named EVE (Elissa Knight) and WALL•E becomes infatuated with her. After days of trying to get her attention, WALL•E gets his chance to talk to her and they seem to hit it off well. WALL•E decides to show EVE his collection of trinkets, including the plant he found earlier. When he does show her the plant, her programming puts the plant in her compartment and she shuts off, worrying our little hero. WALL•E never leaves her side until the ship arrives. Thinking she's being kidnapped, he rushes to the ship to try and save her. After days of space travel, the ship lands in a bigger ship's deck called the Axiom, where the people there are a little too reliant of technology to take care of them, resulting in massive weight gain. The captain of the Axiom (Jeff Garlin) finds out about the plant on board and is needed to put in a compartment so that the people can return home. When they open EVE, the plant is missing. She is considered defective and ordered to be repaired while WALL•E follows. Turns out this is part of the Autopilot orders his robotic assistant GO-4 to steal the plant as part of its no return directive, secretly issued to autopilots after BnL incorrectly concluded in 2110 that the planet could not be saved and humanity should remain in space. GO-4 puts the plant in an escape pod headed back to Earth, but WALL•E rescues it. EVE thanks him with a spark kiss and they dance in space. The captain finds some soil left over from WALL•E's handshake and has it[...]

Pixargust: Ratatouille (2007)


Okay, so all of you should know by now that my favorite Pixar movie is Finding Nemo. But if I had to pick a runner-up that had a clear three-act structure, is not part of a franchise, and has everything such as imagination, heart, and memorable characters that Pixar is now infamous for, it would have to be Ratatouille. Why? Because it's as close to perfection as you can imagine. The story: humble, but engaging. The characters: identifiable. The musical score by Michael Giacchino: perfect. The animation: Flawless. The best since Finding Nemo. As expected it was a big success when it came out, making over $620 million worldwide, opened with universal critical acclaim, and was even nominated for five Academy Awards, but only won one. Not a bad run at all. This was the first Pixar movie that I never got to see in the theaters. I wanted to, but never got the chance. My father knew this and felt bad about it so as soon as the DVD came out, we went to our Target, bought it, and watched it together. We both liked it, but I think it left a bigger impact on me personally. Watching it again, I may have figured out why. Join me as we sink our teeth to a true five-star film: Ratatouille.We see our main character is Remy (Patton Oswalt) who lives in rural France and dreams of being a gourmet chef in the finest restaurants in Paris. One problem: he's a rat. And rats aren't welcome with people's food. Turns out Remy has a very strong sense of smell and taste, which enables him to smell out fresh food from garbage, even rat poison. Once his clan figures this out, Remy becomes the official "food-checker" to see if anything is tainted. But once he's free, he ventures in the kitchen of an old woman to experiment with cooking by watching his idol Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garret), author of the best-seller Anyone Can Cook, on television. But his cover is blown and the clan has to leave with the rest of his clan. Remy is separated from them and winds up in the sewers with a copy of Gusteau's book. He begins to see Gusteau's image come to life and becomes his "spirit mentor" throughout the movie. He finds out he's been underneath Paris the whole time and finds Gusteaus's old restaurant: once five stars, now three due to his death and a review by notorious food critic Anton Ego (Peter O' Toole). Remy gets a peek inside the kitchen but finds a new garbage boy named Linguini (Lou Romano) spills the soup and poorly tries to recreate it. Remy falls in on accident and is tempted to fix the soup. He does but gets caught by Linguini. The sou chef Skinner (Ian Holm) orders Linguini to get rid of the rat, but he can't go through it. He finds out that Remy can understand him and he takes him home. The two try to work together to recreate the soup from the other night but it doesn't work with Remy biting him. So on accident, Remy discovers that by pulling his hair, he can strangely control Linguini's actions. This does work and they are able to not only recreate the soup but also make Gusteau's restaurant a hit again and Linguini forms a romance with a coworker named Collete (Janeane Garofalo). That is until Ego hears about this and vows to re-review the restaurant again. Now under immense pressure, the two also have a suspicious Skinner investigating what is Linguini's secret. Skinner finds out it's Remy that is the true chef and he catches him so he can use the rat to make a line of frozen foods for him. Remy is freed and Linguini reveals the truth to his staff only to have them walk out because they think he's crazy, even Collete. But Remy does succeed to impress Ego with his family's he[...]

Pixargust: Cars (2006)


Over the last six years, Pixar has captured the hearts and imagination of people around the world just as Walt Disney did with his films over 75 years ago. So far we've had films about toys that became an instant classic and revolutionized computer animation, a look at the insect world, monsters scaring people as parts of their jobs, a father fish searching the entire ocean to rescue his son, and a family of superheros that become closer by breaking the tradition of secret identities. The films broke records, won awards, and all that good stuff. What would Pixar do next? Well, John Lasseter had an idea about a film with cars that he developed with Joe Ranft, who sadly passed away in an automobile accident before this film was released. While the film called Cars was a modest success when it first came out, it garnered a reputation from movie-goers and critics alike for being... the least imaginative film Pixar has produced so far. So what happened? And is it really as bad as most people make it out to be? Time to get a need for speed and drive off in... Cars.The film begins in a racetrack, where three rival race cars compete for the coveted Piston Cup trophy and sponsorship from Dinoco. Our focus is on a rookie named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) as he becomes a racing sensation overnight. During his race. he stubbornly refuses to change tires which causes a blowout on the last lap. He manages to make a three-way tie with his rivals Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) and The King (Richard Petty), so the officials will hold a new race in California with just these three to determine a true winner. After a meeting with the sponsors, McQueen saddles up with his driver Mac (John Ratzenberger) to be the first one in California. While McQueen is sleeping, the exhausted Mack drifts off and is startled by a gang of reckless street racers, causing McQueen to fall out the back of the truck into the road. He frantically tries to find Mac on the freeway until his aimless driving takes him to a small community on the historic Route 66 called Radiator Springs. He's arrested for reckless driving and is impounded overnight. During his trial next morning, he is ordered to fix the town road by order of the judge Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) under supervision of the sheriff and a tow-truck named Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). As he fixes the road and gains the affections of the town and the town lawyer Sally (Bonnie Hunt), McQueen learns that the town was once a hot spot before the interstate was built. He learns to appreciate the little things in life as well as gain a few friends in Mater and the rest of the town, except for Doc. McQueen also learns that Doc was once a famous race car. After he fixes the road, McQueen decides to give back a little more by shopping at all the stores and fixing the town's neon somehow. The media finds McQueen and he is taken to his race in California. Turning over a new leaf, some of the town surprise McQueen at his race by being his volunteer pit crew, even Doc. McQueen loses the race, but gains so much more in the end.Okay, so what problems would someone have with this movie? My main problem with Cars (and it's unfortunately a big one) is the story. If you've seen Doc Hollywood before, then you know Cars. Only replace the entire cast with cars. I'll admit I think it's an odd choice for a story and it does seem a little like plagiarism on that part. Or maybe it was a coincidence? I'll never know for sure. What bothers me about this is that this is Pixar. Story is usually what this company was best at. They could create these original, crea[...]

Pixargust: The Incredibles (2004)


How many of you saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol last year? Here's a quick sum up: it's a solid and intense action flick! Did you know that the director of that movie, Brad Bird, got his start in animation? He was a writer for The Simpsons and directed The Iron Giant for Warner Bros. He pitched an idea he had for a film about a superhero family to Pixar and had most of the staff from Iron Giant transferred over to work on this film. The turnout was unlike anything the Disney executives, Pixar, or even Bird himself ever expected. The Incredibles not only made over $630 million at the box office, the film also was the most well-reviewed film that year and took home two Academy Awards. It became the first entirely animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Many people today consider it one of the greatest superhero movies of all time, up there with Tim Burton's Batman, The Dark Night, Iron Man, Superman, and I'd even argue The Avengers. So what is it that makes The Incredibles.... well, so incredible? And for that matter, how does it fare compared to the other Pixar films? Let's see what makes this superhero movie so super in The Incredibles.Supers in this movie are people born with superpowers. Once upon a time, heroes like Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) were regarded as saviors to the public. But overtime, the damage caused to the city starts to build up and the government decides to make their secret identities as their only identities. The supers now have to blend in with everyday people and live out normal lives. 15 years pass as Bob Parr, once Mr. Incredible, marries his wife Helen (Elastigirl) and starts a family while working at a boring desk job. Two of his children, Dash and Violet, have superpowers while the youngest Jack-Jack doesn't appear to have any. Tired of his boring and mundane life, Bob and his friend Lucius (Frozone) secretly stop crimes using a police scanner. He does lose his desk job but gets an offer from a mysterious woman named Mirage (Elizabeth Peña) to defeat a rogue battle robot on a mysterious island. He accepts the mission and defeats the robot, resulting in a lucrative pay. He gets back in shape as well as gain a new suit from his old costume designer Edna Mode (Brad Bird). Bob accepts another mission and finds out the robots were designed by an ex-fanboy of Mr. Incredible who calls himself Syndrome (Jason Lee). Now a super villain, he plans to exterminate the last remaining supers so he can send his robot on the city and "become" a hero and then destroy the city once the people call him a hero. Helen does find out about Bob's doings and so she, with Dash and Violet stowed away, set forth to save Bob and become closer as a family as well as fix their own flaws. However. they are captured by Syndrome but manage to escape. They stop Syndrome's plan and the country declares the family and Lucius as heroes again.I know Up gets a lot of credit for being Pixar's first "grown-up" film, but why doesn't The Incredibles get that honor? So far, this movie has the most complex plot of all the Pixar films. It has the frenetic energy and exhilarating action scenes you come to expect in a superhero movie. It uses the computer animation to it's full potential, with break-neck camera movements and fantastic looking fight choreography. The action sequences are the part I remember the most when I was younger. Even as an adult they're still impressive to look at. al[...]

Pixargust: Finding Nemo (2003)


I still remember the day I saw this movie. I was around 12 and me and my family were on one of the Disney cruise lines (appropriate setting, ain't it?). The crew decided to play it on the ship the night it was released and I mentioned to my family that I wanted to see it. So after we ate dinner, it was just me and my dad that went in the ship's theater. I still remember how big this place was. I swore almost everyone on this dang boat was there that night. So the film starts and not one minute in, I think all of us were hooked (no pun intended!). When it was over, I think we were all more than satisfied with what we all saw. We laughed. We cried. I spilled juice on my good pants. Just kidding on that last part. While me and my father were enjoying Finding Nemo on our cruise, the whole world apparently loved it as much as we did. Once again getting worldwide acclaim and breaking box-office records, Finding Nemo practically became a sensation overnight. Even to this day, it’s regarded not just as one of Pixar’s best, but one of the best animated films in the history of the medium. And it’s not very hard to see why. Let’s dive right on into today’s film, Finding Nemo.Set in the Great Barrier Reef (a real-world location), two clownfish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Coral (Elizabeth Perkins) are starting a new family until a barracuda shows up. Marlin gets knocked out and awakens to find that not only was Coral killed but 99% of his eggs. In some odd act of mercy, there’s still one egg left and Marlin vows to keep his only child who he names Nemo safe. This incident causes Marlin to be a little over-protective of his son and more afraid of the outside world. Years go by as Nemo (Alexander Gould) prepares for his first day of school. During a field trip, Nemo and some of his new friends venture away from the class to find a boat. Marlin catches Nemo just before swimming out to it and gets into a heated argument with him. Nemo becomes fed up with his father’s overbearing nature and swims out to actually touch the boat and swim back, but is caught by some scuba divers. Marlin immediately swims out to try and save his son, but misses the boat. He meets up with a regal blue tang named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) who happens to see the boat catch by only to forget it in a matter of seconds thanks to her short-term memory loss. They find a sole clue to Nemo's location: a diving mask with an address on it. It turns out Dory can read and can surprisingly remember every thing about the address. So they team up and head off to Sydney where Nemo is at. Along the way they have to pass by many different obstacles and creatures such as vegetarian sharks, anglerfish in the deep, jellyfish swarms, a school of moonfish (John Ratzenberger), surfer turtles, and more. Meanwhile Nemo is placed in a dentist's aquarium and becomes acquainted with the other fish there. This gang is lead by a moorish idle named Gill (Will DaFoe) hellbent on escape. But time is of the essence as the dentist's niece, a known fish-killer, is to receive Nemo as a birthday present. Thankfully, father and son reunite and become better people for it.The first thing that stands out about Finding Nemo, in my mind, is the animation because this is the best computer animation in history! Even almost ten years after it premiered, it's still awe-inspiring. I love how vibrantly colorful it is, I love the expressions, I love the attention to detail, I love it, I love it, I love it! The ocean looks so real that you could swim in it. And from what [...]

Pixargust: Monsters, Inc. (2001)


Remember being afraid of monsters as a child? Remember how we always had to look under the bed for them? Or how about looking for shadows in the closet? Weird sounds outside in the trees? I remember thinking there were all kinds of monsters in my room: not as much under my bed as in the closet. I think everyone was at one point terrified of monsters. That was, at least, until Pixar's newest film Monsters, Inc. came out. I think all of us were relieved that they really weren't as scary as we thought. They're just doing their jobs like mom and dad. Looking back on it, I always thought this was a neat idea and it still holds up today. From what I looked up, it managed to be just as successful as any Pixar film. Maybe even more so. It managed to rake in over $525 million at the box-office, almost beating The Lion King's record back then. It also as usual got good marks from audiences despite some lawsuits back then, but I'll leave that up for you to research. By this point, it was the most successful Pixar film to date. Let's go in our closets and into the world of monsters with Monsters, Inc. In a world parallel to ours, the city of Monstropolis is a lot like ours. Only it has monsters in it. And it's main source of energy is children's screams as apposed to electricity. At the Monsters, Inc. company, employees called "scarers" venture into children's bedrooms to collect these screams using closet doors as portals. There are problems with this job, though: they believe that human children are highly toxic and that they are becoming harder and harder to scare thanks to television and video games. Trying his hardest to keep up with demand, the company chairman Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn) tries hiring new monsters but with little success. The company's top scarer, James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) or Sully as his best friend and coworker Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) calls him, has a lot of competition on his hands: namely a chameleon-like monster named Randall (Steve Buscemi) and his assistant Fungus (Frank Oz). While Mike takes his girlfriend Cecelia (Jennifer Tilly) out one night after work, Sully finds a white door with flowers is still on the scare floor. So he opens it to see if anyone is still there, but accidentally lets in a very young girl in the factory. This causes mass hysteria and mayhem as Mike and Sully try to hide the child from the notorious Child Detection Agency. They try to pass her off as a young monster at the factory the next day. It seems to work as Sully develops a bond with the child, who he now names Boo, and Randall is on to them. He reveals that he's been working on an invention that will collect screams faster, but it may literally suck the life out of the victim. As the two rush to reveal Randall, they find that Waternoose endorsed this and have Mike and Sully banished to the Himalayas where they meet the Abominable Snowman (John Ratzenberger). Now with their friendship on thin ice, Sully rushes to the nearby village to get back to the factory and save Boo, leaving Mike behind after a heated argument. Mike does come back and they make up, agreeing to help Boo and stop Randall and Waternoose. The C.D.A. eventually find out after Waternoose unintentionally reveals himself and they do get Boo back home safe. After they may have shut down the factory  for good, they found out from experience with Boo that laughter is more powerful than scream and this saves the factory. Sully finds Boo's door once again and is reunited with his[...]

Pixargust: Toy Story 2 (1999)


Talk about a sequel to Toy Story has been out since after the first film was released. Disney initially envisioned the film as a direct-to-video sequel and Toy Story 2 began production in a building separated from Pixar and was much smaller scale, with most of the main Pixar staff working on A Bug's Life. When story reels proved promising, Disney upgraded the film to theatrical release, but Pixar was unhappy with the quality of the film. Lasseter and the story team re-developed the entire plot in one weekend. Although most Pixar features take years to develop, the established release date could not be moved and the production schedule for Toy Story 2 was compressed into nine months. It thankfully opened as a gigantic success. Making over $485 million and getting very high marks from the critics, Toy Story 2 has been called a rare case where the sequel outshines the original. Quite the reputation. Is it the story? The ideas? The animation? The characters: both old and new? What was the magic behind this film? What made it so damn good?  And is it just as good? Well, it's time to join our old friends on a new adventure. This is Toy Story 2.It's now been three years since the first film and all our old friends are back! Woody, Buzz, Potato Head, Slinky, Hamm, Rex, Bo Peep, all of them. We also get to meet some new friends like Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris) and a squeaky penguin named Wheezy (Joe Ranft). Well, it's time for Andy to go to cowboy camp and every year, he takes Woody. But while playing with him, Andy accidentally tears Woody's arm, forcing him to leave Woody behind. He gets put on the shelf and finds out that Wheezy has been shelved the whole time with a busted squeaker and collecting dust. One day while Andy's gone, his mom collects things for a yard sale and picks up Wheezy. Woody rescues the penguin only to be stolen by a man named Al (Wayne Knight), the same Al of Al's Toy Barn, who takes Woody away to his apartment. It's up to Buzz now to save his friend since Woody did the same in the last movie. So he, Slinky, Potato, Hamm, and Rex are off to find Al's Toy Barn where they believe the cowboy is being held captive. Woody tries to escape but finds out that he was once part of a mega-hit show in the 1950's which lead to tons of merchandise  including a doll of him and the other characters on the show: Jessie the yodeling cowgirl (Joan Cusack)  Bullseye the horse (Frank Welker), and Stinky Pete the prospector (Kelsey Grammer). They're all being sent to a toy museum in Tokyo and they need Woody to complete the trip. Woody is reluctant at first due to his loyalty to Andy, but after getting his arm fixed and hearing their side of the argument that Andy will one day grow up and never play with Woody again, this leads to a big debate: return to Andy just to be abandoned eventually or go with them as children admire him through a glass box? Woody decides to go at first, but realizes that it's better to be there when Andy grows up. He wants to take the Roundup Gang with him, but the Prospector refuses. And after a really exciting climax involving an airport, Andy's toys defeat the Prospector and make it back home with Jessie and Bulleye. While the two enjoy a new home, Woody tells Buzz that even if Andy outgrows him, he'll always have his friends around for company, "to infinity and beyond".Unlike the first film, the plot of the sequel allows for much more scope for the action to take place. Most of the original film revolved arou[...]

Pixargust: A Bug's Life (1998)


After Toy Story was released, it really took the world by surprise. It was fun, charming, and had a sophistication to it. So a lot of curiosity was out to see just what Pixar would do next. Turns out the next film they were working on was about insects. Coincidentally, another 3D animated film was released with it featured talking insects, but I'm not going to dwell on that just yet. Anywho, the newest Pixar film was called A Bugs Life and as expected from Pixar, it did very well when it was first released. It got good marks from critics and grossed over $360 million worldwide. But no one really was talking about it like they were Toy Story. I mean I saw and liked it when I was little, but it didn't really make as big an impact as Toy Story did. Even to this day, I rarely ever hear anyone talk about it. Does this mean it's bad? Not necessarily, it's still a good movie and all. So why is it that this movie gets overlooked so much? Let's get our magnifying glasses out to really look at A Bug's Life.Okay, well the story is abut an ant colony where it reverses the Aesop fable of The Ants and the Grasshopper where a gang of grasshoppers demand food from a colony of ants. The colony has a quirky inventor named Flick (Dave Foley) that unfortunately causes more trouble than he intends. Meanwhile we have Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who is about to be queen but fears the colony doesn't like her out of inexperience as a leader and Dot (a young Hayden Panettiere) who can't fly yet and forms a friendship with Flick because of his uniqueness. A mishap happens when Flick accidentally causes the grasshopper's food to fall in a stream. Now the ants are screwed. The leader of the grasshoppers, Hopper (Kevin Spacey), blames it on Atta instead of the queen (Phyllis Diller), order that their usual offering be doubled, and say that they'll be back at the end of autumn. Flick then gets an idea about leaving Ant Island to find bigger bugs to fend off Hopper's gang. The colony agrees to this because with Flick gone, they won't have to worry about any potential mishaps. The bugs he does find are actually a group of circus performers that recently got fired from screwing up a dangerous stunt and inflaming their flea boss (John Ratzenberger) in the process. This includes two Hungarian pillbugs, a black widow spader named Rosie (Bonnie Hunt) and her rhino beetle Dim (Brad Garrett), Slim a stick insect (David Hyde Pierce), Francis a ladybird (Dennis Leary), a hungry caterpillar named Heimlich (Joe Ranft), a praying mantis named Manny (Jonathan Harris) and a moth named Gypsy (Madeline Kahn). They think Flick is a talent scout and go with him not knowing what they're in for. They manage to fend off a bird and get the audience they deserve. Flick then gets the idea of building a fake bird to scare off the grasshoppers. It's after they finish that Flick is exposed and forced to leave with the circus bugs. The grasshoppers arrive after the land becomes barren and when they find out there isn't enough food for them, they immediately take over and plan to kill off the queen. Flick returns with the circus troupe and manages to save the colony and fend off the grasshoppers forever.Pixar planned on A Bug's Life being more visual than Toy Story was. And in many respects, it is. Like the previous film, it creates a world foreign to us because we can't experience it first hand. It's also beautifully textured, like the shots of the forests [...]

Pixargust: Toy Story (1995)


Seems appropriate to start Pixargust with the world's very first computer-animated film. Back in a time when computer animation was considered a gimmick (though it works for the special effects of Jurassic Park among others), Toy Story was definitely one of a kind when it was first released. And I can still remember when this movie was all the rage. Growing up, every single kid that didn't live under a rock adored this film. I know I did. Hell, at age 6 this was one of my favorite movies ever! I remember having a lot of the toys from back then (Makes sense. It is a movie about toys, ya know?) and enjoying my own adventures with them. Seventeen years after it's release, I still love it. It's one of the few films to have a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it made well over $350 million  at the box office worldwide, and managed to get a hold of three Oscars. I'd say that's not a bad start for a small computer-animation. Well, time to look at what makes the film so good with the Pixar film that started it all.The film begins in the room of a boy named Andy, where his toys come to life when there isn't anyone to see. Andy's favorite toy is a cowboy doll named Woody (Tom Hanks) and he's the one the other toys look up to  when there's an issue at hand. In this case, today is Andy's birthday party and the other toys are worried about being replaced by any new toy Andy receives every birthday or Christmas. Woody finds out the hard way that a new spaceman toy called Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) who thinks he really is a space ranger has become a new favorite of Andy. Adversity begins to take over Woody as the other toys start looking up to Buzz more. So Woody tries to get rid o Buzz one day by making him fall behind a shelf but this backfires when Buzz is instead accidentally pushed out of the window. On route to Pizza Planet, Andy takes Woody instead after the other toys ostracize him for "murdering" Buzz. However, Buzz catches up with them and after a fight with Woody, both of them are now jettisoned out of the house. They hitch a ride on a Pizza Planet truck and manage to get inside, but are found by Andy's rotten kid neighbor, Sid. They're now in deep trouble because he breaks toys for fun and Andy is moving in a few days. So now time is of the essence for Woody and Buzz to escape and for Woody to redeem himself for Andy's other toys.For starters, the plot is simple but flowing with a good twist on the old "toys come to life when no one looks" formula. Given how often the same mix of animation, wit, jokes and kids humor has been used since Toy Story, it's easy to forget how refreshing it was when it first came out. Watching it again, it's dating a little in comparison to more recent twists on its formula and computer animation. But it is still very entertaining and remember: it's still the start of a new animation medium, so not everything is going to look 100% perfect. It was impressive back then and it the details still have merit today.The main story is fun but the degree of character development is what really shores it up. The conflict between Buzz and Woody is genuine and it does make some good comedy (When you think about, it's q buddy comedy). You know, watching it again Woody's kind of a bastard in this movie. He can be jealous, selfish, and conniving despite being known for his leadership skills, levelheadedness, and friendly disposition by the other toys. But ev[...]

Pixargust Announcement


Well folks, since I finished Disneyear earlier than I thought, I've decided to go ahead and try to review all of the Pixar films. Why? Because like Disney, Pixar revolutionized the way we look at animated films. They manage to capture the spirit of Disney by appealing to both children and adults. And over the years, Pixar has sort of become family to us, too. They continue to entertain us not with fairy tales but mostly original ideas and stories, which can't be easy. So just the sheer imagination and gorgeous animation of these films is enough to warrant my attention. That, and since they're now owned by Disney, it sort of makes sense to review these films, too. So I'm going to try and do my best to cover all 12 for just this month. And like what I mentioned in Disneyear, if you happen to like or dislike any of these films, that's okay. Nothing wrong with that. This is just me getting my opinion out there again. So sit back, relax, and enjoy what I'm going to call Pixargust!

Disneyear: Winnie the Pooh (2011)


We come to the last film in Disneyear: Winnie the Pooh. I'm sure a lot of you are reading this thinking, "Didn't you already review this film?" Well, you're thinking of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the film you all remember growing up with. This is a very recent released film, sort of an official sequel to the 1977 film. I find it surprising that despite it being released last year, no one I talk too has seen, let alone even heard of this film! Then I remembered why: in America, this was released on the exact same weekend as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, so this poor film got little to no recognition at all. I wonder why on Earth this film wasn't released in April like it was in the U.K.? But thankfully for those that actually saw it, it got a lot of positive marks and it did make it's $30 million budget back, making it a modest success. I did catch this one lazy summer day and was pleasantly pleased with what I saw. It brought back a lot of nostalgia, for me at least, as it does capture a lot of things that made the first film endearing. Is it as great?  Well, let's return to the Hundred Acre Wood for the final film this year.One morning, Pooh wakes up to greet the day. But he has no honey to eat, so he goes around looking for some. He bumps into Eeyore, who's tail is missing. Owl passes by and suggests some kind of reward for a new tail. The whole wood agrees that whoever finds Eeyore a new tail is rewarded with a pot of honey. Despite their best efforts, none of them really seem to work. So Pooh goes back on his search for honey as he finds a note on Christopher Robin's door. He has Owl read it for him since poor Pooh is a bear with little brain. Owl reads it and concludes that Christopher Robin has been kidnapped by a monster called the Backson. I won't dare ruin how they came to that conclusion because honestly, it's really funny! So the gang sets out to trap the Backson in a pit by making a tral of things to destroy. Meanwhile, Tigger sees Eeyore couldn't catch up with the others and decides to make him an honorary Tigger. That doesn't seem to work either and Pooh manages to fall into the trap by thinking an empty honey pot lure was full. But everyone gets stuck in the pit too except for Tigger and Piglet. They eventually get out and see Christopher Robin is okay. Everything is cleared up and Pooh once again is on the search for food. He goes to Owl's place to find that Eeyore's real tail was mistaken as a bell rope and he returns it to Eeyore to win the honey pot prize. Pooh eats to his content and the story ends.So does this film hold up as a sequel? Well, it has many elements from the first movie, such as the fourth wall jokes and a nice atmosphere and pace that allows the characters to be themselves and let them tell the story. From what I understand, this is the first Pooh film in a while to use A.A. Milne's original stories again, which is always nice. The only thing I wish was that there were more of the stories. What made the first film so great was that there were so many stories tied into it. This film only has two. That's very odd. The film's very short. It's only an hour long and when it was over, I was wanting more. I guess that's not always a bad thing, but this film could have been longer.Thankfully, the characters are more or less the same. There's some familiar voices here as well as a few new voices too. John Clees[...]

Disneyear: Tangled (2010)


Unlike the other 3D animated films that Disney made this decade, Tangled is the only one that truly feels a lot like I'm watching a 2D film. It's a musical fairy tale, the animation feels like I'm watching a moving painting, the designs are reminiscent of the classic hand-drawn films, it's basically a traditionally animated film in the guise of computer-generated images. From what I hear, this is the most expensive animated film ever made, adjusting inflation, costing over $260 million to make. It made more than double back, which did far better at the box office than the last Disney fairy tale movie, The Princess and the Frog. I have an idea why that is, but I'll get to that later. I know it's not fair to compare Tangled with The Princess and the Frog, but when you think about it both films were released around the same time and one only did okay while the other did much better. So in that context, it kind of makes sense to compare the two. So I'll do that around the end of the review. And I'll admit that I was a little skeptical of the movie at first (I'll explain why later), so I originally wanted to pass it. But I got talked in into going to see it with my friend and honestly, it was not at all what I expected! I enjoyed it a lot! Well, time to see what I got wrapped up in Tangled.Once upon a time, a magic flower that has healing powers and provides eternal youth blooms in a kingdom. An old woman named Gothel (Donna Murphy) figures out that the only way to use its powers is to sing a certain song to it and she keeps it to herself to restore her youth. But the queen falls ill, so the royal guards find the flower and grind it up to herbs to heal the queen. The flower's magic is transferred to her baby Rapunzel’s long blonde hair. Gothel finds out that the magic is still in the baby’s hair so she kidnaps her to use her hair’s flower-power keep her youth. To keep her concealed from the world, Gothel hides Rapunzel in a tower for 18 years and in order to let Gothel live longer, she grows Rapunzel . But every year, there’s a lantern ceremony that happens every time Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) has a birthday. This is held by the king and queen in the hopes that the lost princess will one day find her way home. She wants to go see it for herself but is forbidden by her “mother”. Rapunzel later finds that a thief named Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi) has climbed up her tower to escape from the royal guards and one of the horses there. She knocks him out and later tries to get some information out of him. He agrees to take her there if she lets him go. Here on in, they set off for adventure with sword fights, epic discoveries, magic, love, and much more. That is until Flynn is framed and Gothel finds and takes Rapunzel  "home". She realizes she's the lost princess and tries to escape Gothel. Flynn arrives in time to save her, but ends up losing his life. To save Rapunzel, he cuts her hair, removing her magic powers and vanquishing the villain. They make it back to the palace, Flynn is pardoned, and the two marry eventually. It's rare that I ever say this, but the story to this film is brilliant. It has a fantastic setup and makes the transition to film perfectly, just like what Disney did in it's heyday. All throughout this introduction, I was shouting "Brilliant! Brilliant!" There's a reason why she's in the tower! There's a reason why the hair is so long! Ther[...]