Posts Tagged ‘animation’


Finding Dory (2016)

August 26, 2016

Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill
Director: Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life), Angus MacLane

Bottom Line: Finding Dory is a more-than-worthy long awaited sequel to Pixar’s Finding Nemo, continuing the story, but this time focusing on Ellen Degeneres’ Dory, a fish that has no short term memory, and the character that was arguably the star of the original film anyway. The movie opens in heartbreaking fashion – with a very young Dory getting separated from her family and having no idea how to get back to them before forgetting about them altogether. Something sparks her memory and Dory embarks on an adventure with Marlin and Nemo to find her parents, ultimately landing them in the Marine Life Institute, where Dory was born. Finding Dory is touching and funny and does a great job of calling back old characters while introducing classic new ones like Ed O’Neill’s self-serving and incredibly resourceful octopus Hank and Kaitlin Olson’s blind whale-shark Destiny. And Becky, a crazy bird that is hilariously wacko. Of course, it goes without saying that the animation in Finding Dory is absolutely stunning.

Finding Dory is great fun for both kids and adults, a worthy sequel to Finding Nemo, and, arguably, the first great Pixar film since Toy Story 3 in 2010.

Replay Value: A must own for me.
Sequel Potential: Pixar’s #1 movie domestically, with chances to pass Toy Story 3 as the studio’s all-time most lucrative theatrical release – all of which is a formula for more sequels.
Oscar Potential: Pretty rare that a Pixar movie this good isn’t a shoo-in for Best Animated Feature, but Zootopia is just as good and Kubo and the Two Strings – which I haven’t seen yet – is sitting at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Grade: 7.5/10 (Highly Enjoyable/Must See)


The Jungle Book (2016)

May 6, 2016

Starring: Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba
Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef, Elf)

Bottom Line: Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book was borderline amazing. Favreau and his team of computer VFX geniuses bring the Disney animated classic to stunning life in this “live action” adaptation. I quote “live action” because all the characters – with the exception of Mowgli – and all the locations are computer generated – and you can barely tell. Of course, motion capture technology has drastically increased the realism of these artificial performances. The voice acting is all A-listers (Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba) and top notch throughout. I didn’t hate the kid that played Mowgli, but Favreau got a much better performance out of the kid in his last movie, Chef.

While this version of The Jungle Book is far more intense and scary than its predecessors, it should still be suitable for most families, especially those with older kids. The Jungle Book was absolutely gorgeous and a testament to how far animation has come – in fact, it’s the new bar for CGI film making.

Replay Value: I would be happy to watch this again. A must own for families.
Sequel Potential: Crushing the box office = guaranteed sequel (already announced).
Oscar Potential: A strong favorite for any Visual Effects awards – this is really superb work here.

Grade: 7.5 (Must See/Excellent)


Madagascar 3 (2012)

June 30, 2012

Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, Martin Short
Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (Madagascar, Madagascar 2, Megamind)

Quick Thoughts: I skipped the first two installments in this series but was still able to jump right in with this story and felt like I already knew who these characters were. The story find the animals wishing to return to the Central Park zoo after a brief stay in Africa, but I in their attempt to return home they find themselves stuck on a train with a traveling circus and a new cast of animals to share the limelight with. Martin Short and Frances McDormand are perfectly cast in their new roles, both providing plenty of comedy.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Not exactly something I’d want to own and watch repeatedly, but I’ve clearly overlooked its predecessors.
Sequel Potential: These movies keep doing well enough to warrant further sequels but at some point it’s going to be difficult to to continue moving this story forward. Spin offs might be the way to go as the penguins already have their own T.V. show.
Oscar Potential: A notch below Pixar’s Brave, which means it should probably whiff on a Best Animated Feature nomination.
Nudity: N/A
Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 76% Audience: 81%
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
Recommendation: A solid family film that is geared toward the kids, but still enjoyable for adults, and a pretty remarkable film for a third installment.