GERTIE THE DINOSAUR

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Prehistoric Precursor. The first Cartoon, Movie Maniacs! GERTIE THE DINOSAUR is an animated, silent, black-and-white short film, written, produced, directed and animated by cartoonist Winsor McCay, and for its innovation, ingenuity and primacy, we forgive it for its many shortcomings. The story is brutally banal: A man makes a bet that he can animate a dinosaur, shows off the results … Read More

FINDING DORY

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FINDING DORY is lost at sea. She worked so well as a supporting character in FINDING NEMO (2003) that Pixar spins off Dory’s origin story in FINDING DORY – and only ends up highlighting what a horrifying brain disease she suffers from. Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), a blue tang fish with short term memory loss, first appeared in the … Read More

CASPER

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Ghostly Brio. He’s the friendliest ghost you know. No, not Patrick Swayze – Casper, The Friendly Ghost. Though grownups might / Look at him with fright / The children all love him so. After innumerable comics, television shows and theater shorts, Casper makes the spirited leap to full-length feature film in CASPER, a live-action adventure melded with excellent 3D animation. … Read More

THE JUNGLE BOOK 2016

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Bare Man-cessitites. Am I evil? Yes I am! Am I evil? I am Man! — Diamond Head, “Am I Evil” THE JUNGLE BOOK is “Based on the books by Rudyard Kipling,” which means it is based on the 1967 Disney cartoon. That’s all this is – the Disney cartoon remade as a CGI-animated feature. No mention of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Nag, … Read More

DESPICABLE ME 2

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Ain’t Quite Despicable. And that’s not good. Is it?… Ex-supervillain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), now a family man with three adopted daughters and a host of minions to provide for, is called into service by the Anti-Villain League to help track down a new supervillain. The original 2010 animated feature DESPICABLE ME hit the world like a cute and … Read More

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE

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AngryBirds_pic

Angry Birds so Roundy Roundy. A flock of flightless birds on an isolated island has their eggs stolen by a group of pigs. The birds angrily get their eggs back before the pigs can make an omelet. Shakespeare this ain’t. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE is the animated cartoon based on the “most downloaded freemium game series of all time,” Angry … Read More

RIO 2

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Flocking dork and deceitful bitch road trip. Jesse Eisenberg has two speeds: superdork nebbish and fast-taking schemer. In RIO 2, he’s phoning it in as the former. Eisenberg returns as rare macaw parrot Blu, who is now married to his parrot love interest from RIO, Jewel (voice of Anne Hathaway), so there is a noticeable lack of the romantic frisson … Read More

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

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Stop Dragon my Bewilderbeast around. In HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, Jay Baruchel returns as Hiccup the Viking with his small black dragon. And his pet named Toothless. In this sequel to 2010’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, Hiccup faces off with an enemy attacking his village with a horde of dragons, and proves how wrong it is to … Read More

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

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Spanking the Dragon. Should I assume HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is a sex manual on controlling premature ejaculation? Oh, a cartoon about a Viking boy that learns understanding and tolerance after befriending a dragon. (Still, that blond chick’s pretty hot for a cartoon; ‘scuse me while I train my dragon…) TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is Dreamworks, but like the greatest … Read More

HOME

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When the aliens do the deporting… A misfit extraterrestrial alien teams with a human youth to repel a hostile alien race from Earth — OR — Confused screenwriters Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember write a parable about aliens and humans working together to repel an alien invasion – even though the alien working with the human has just invaded … Read More

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN

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A Dogsbody and his Peaboy. Thrilling adventures, comical characters and excellent animation, coupled with careless mixed messages, makes MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN a bittersweet doggie biscuit. Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell, THE SKELETON TWINS) is a Harvard graduate, an inventor, gourmand, athlete, virtuoso musician, licensed chiropractor, fencer, a Nobel Prize winner, a socialite, and advisor to heads of state … Read More

THE NUT JOB

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Nutless. A group of woodland creatures tries to infiltrate a nut shop and heist its nuts for the winter after their supply in the park is accidentally blown up. Uncute, unlovable animal characters populate THE NUT JOB, an animated feature that aims for excitement, romance and danger and never pulls off any of it as successfully as the uncute unlovable … Read More

THE CROODS

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Crood. Rhymes with Good. Nicolas Cage is a caveman with a lowbrow attitude toward life and forward momentum, and in the animated comedy THE CROODS, Nicolas Cage is a caveman with a lowbrow attitude toward life and forward momentum. He’s Grug, pater to a prehistoric family, who is faced with the decision to adapt or die. It’s the process of … Read More

THE LEGO MOVIE

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Will knock your block off! THE LEGO MOVIE is a maximus overload of cinematic revelry; a riotous brick house of bedazzlement. Action, spectacle, romance, cultural refs, fueled by goodness and badness and cuteness. And millions and millions of Lego bricks. Emmett Brickowski (voice of Chris Pratt) is a little Lego man, with perfect Lego hair, living in a perfect Lego … Read More

MARY POPPINS

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Super-Wanky-Capitalistic-Excreta-and-Atrocious! An antique anachronism like MARY POPPINS should best be viewed through the eyes of Innocence. So for the benefit of young children everywhere, this movie will be reviewed not only by Poffy, but also by Poffy’s dolly, Pliffy. MARY POPPINS is wonderful adventure for kids like me, because I don’t think. It is colorful and magical and British. I … Read More

BRAVE

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That hair! That hair! That hair!… What story? So this is what Rebekah Brooks did before she was personal assistant to media magnate and zombie apocalypser Rupert Murdoch. In the Pixar production BRAVE, Rebekah’s avatar Princess Merida is graced with ravenous lava locks so visually titillating it distracts viewers into lauding the movie as a modern classic. You lost me … Read More

RIO

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Rio de Generic. Named RIO, one would expect a flashy, exuberant, carnivale dance-a-vale rainbow spectacle. One would be wrong. Rather, an uninvolving tale of a rare blue macaw and his intended mate on the run from poachers, while his owner and her soon-to-be mate try to track them down. Cue seen-it-a-million-times face. Jesse Eisenberg voices Blu the parrot, abandoned at … Read More

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

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Goolies Not Groovie. I really wanted to like HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: an animated comedy with a cute concept (iconic screen monsters gathering at a resort set up by Dracula, far from the persecution of humans) and a simple boy-meets-girl story, featuring the talents of director Genndy Tartakovsky (the wild mind behind DEXTER’S LABORATORY and THE POWERPUFF GIRLS) and writer Robert Smigel … Read More

LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE

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Owling at the Moon. LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE is epic and poignant and majestic and cute in all the right owly ways. Young forest owl Soren (voice of Jim Sturgess) is a dreamer, infatuated with mythical tales of the Guardians – ancient owls who defend owly honor throughout the land. His older brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) … Read More

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

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Madness disguised by innocence and mind-blowing cartooning. Like all women, the insecure queen has self esteem issues, constantly chittering about being the “fairest one of all.” And she is also a shapeshifter. Excuse me for nitpicking, but if you can shapeshift, why not transmute into a more beautiful woman? But then she still has to contend with the fickleness of … Read More