Category Archives: Animation

ONWARD (2020): The Things I Liked…

Onward (2019), Disney Pixar
Onward (2019), Disney Pixar

Onward is a movie with a beautiful big brother / little brother relationship at its heart. And this relationship is my favourite thing about the latest Disney Pixar animated adventure starring Chris pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer.

Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers set off on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there. A quest that neither could do without the other. 

In terms of how much I enjoyed the story, I think Onward is OK. I wanted to have been more engrossed with it all but there wasn’t enough newness to it, theme wise. There wasn’t necessarily much animated cuteness either butI l doubt I’d have noticed that if I’d loved the way the story played from beginning to end. It’s really the last third of director Dan Scanlon’s film that I enjoyed most. Before then, I was more than a little impatient for the results of the film’s central magic spell to manifest.

Other things I enjoyed about Onward include the fullness of Holland’s character Ian’s blue hair and what Scanlon’s film has to say about belief in general – but especially self belief and confidence.

As far as animated movies about sibling relationships go, particularly the big brother / little brother dynamic, my favourite will probably always be Big Hero 6 (2014).

Watch Onward because it’s not bad and perhaps you’ll find even more to love than I did. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE WILLOUGHBYS (2020): New Trailer From Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara, Maya Rudolph, Ricky Gervais…

The Willoughbys (2020), Netflix
The Willoughbys (2020), Netflix

New animated comedy The Willoughbys is all about four children who are dissatisfied with their parents.

Convinced they’d be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. And so begins their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family.

Directed by Kris Pearn, Cory Evans and Rob Lodermeier; The Willoughbys stars Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara, Ricky Gervais…

Considering that I’ve never read the books on which The Willoughbys is based, I kind of want to know in which way the children get a happy ending.

The only thing is, I wonder how long it’ll take for me to get comfortable with the severe pointedness of all their seriously sharp noses.

Jane Krakowski, Terry Crews, Seán Cullen, Shannon Chan-Kent, Rebecca Husain, Robyn Ross and Cristina Rosato also star.

The Willoughbys Release Dates: April 22nd, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (2020): The Things I Liked…

Sonic The Hedgehog (2019), Paramount Pictures
Sonic The Hedgehog (2019), Paramount Pictures

The fun trailer, ’being a fan of old school Jim Carrey’ and 90s nostalgia are the main reasons I was drawn to Sonic The Hedgehog; a story about a super fast alien hedgehog. One who must avoid government capture, with the help of a small town cop named Tom (James Marsden). 

As director Jeff Fowler’s movie played, I soon realised that there are only really two things that kept me watching and somewhat enthused. The first is  Marsden’s character. I just generally enjoy Marsden’s roles. The second is Adam Pally as Wade. His dialogue reminded me of how much I really enjoyed his work as Dr. Peter Prentice on The Mindy Project.

I’m definitely not saying that any of the other actors were bad. It’s just that I didn’t find most of the story and particularly the dialogue especially inspiring or fresh.

As for Carrey’s role as evil genius Dr. Robitnik, it turns out that seeing Carrey play a character similar to the ones I used to enjoy watching him play back in the 90s felt far too ‘same old, same old,’ rather than exciting and fun. 

I’m sure that fans of the Sonic The Hedgehog games will enjoy this movie that little bit more. Sadly for me, even with some good special effects, star power, and a few useful notes on loneliness and isolation, I didn’t find Sonic The Hedgehog to be as fun as I’d hoped.

Give it a chance if you’re especially curious. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

SOUL (2020): New Trailer Starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, John Ratzenberger, Daveed Diggs…

Soul (2020), Disney Pixar
Soul (2020), Disney Pixar

The latest trailer for Disney Pixar’s Soul, just arrived.

Starring Tina Fey, Jamie Foxx, Daveed Diggs and John Ratzenberger, it’s the story of Joe Gardner, a musician who is transported out of his body and must find his way back, with the help of an infant soul.

I’m really looking forward to this one. Looks just about as comforting as one would want it to be. The premise also has me thinking about Netflix’s hit show The Good Place.

Ahmir-Khalib Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad also star.

Soul Release Dates: June 19th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (2019): The Things I Loved…

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Chloe (Lake Bell), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), Illumination
The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Chloe (Lake Bell), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), Illumination

An animated comedy about what our pets get up to when their human families are out of the house; I found The Secret Life Of Pets 2, the sequel to 2016’s animated hit The Secret Life Of Pets to be a much better film than I expected. 

I really enjoyed the fun adventures of Chloe, Max, Snowball, Gidget and friends; particularly the way all the separate stories were written to work well together. There’s also a good number of fun and memorable scenes, moments and new characters to take in.

One of my favourite scenes happens at the veterinary office waiting room, especially the moment when ‘starting fires’ is mentioned. Character-wise, Rooster who’s brilliantly voiced by Harrison Ford is an unforgettable new character.

Overall, there’s really zero doubt in my mind that if you had a good time with The Secret Life Of Pets, this sequel too will be fun. I only advise that you remember to leave your ideas of ‘what would really happen in real life’ at the door. This is especially important in reference to the ‘silent new character’. 

Watch it because it’s fun, good and features great voice work by the likes of Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Tiffany Haddish, Patton Oswalt, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet and more. 

Happy Film Loving 

CONNECTED (2020): New Trailer Starring Olivia Colman, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric André…

Connected (2019), Sony Pictures Entertainment
Connected (2019), Sony Pictures Entertainment

Directed by  Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe, a tech uprising is what’s happening in Olivia Colman, Eric André, Maya Rudolph and Danny McBride latest animated comedy, Connected.

Centred around soon to be college student Katie Mitchell, Katie’s family decides to make a road trip out of driving her to university. Only those plans get interrupted by the aforementioned tech uprising, and soon it’s up to the Mitchells to save the world.

There seems to be a lot going on in this trailer but I do like the animation style which reminds me of some story book illustrations young me used to enjoy.

I’m also interested in seeing how Katie’s father’s struggle dealing with his daughter no longer needing him as much as she used to is dealt with in this story. Fingers crossed the end result will be a very pleasant surprise.

Michael Rianda and Abbie Jackson also star.

Connected Release Dates: September 18th, 2020 (US); October 9th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

FROZEN 2 (2019): The Things I Liked…

Frozen 2 (2019), Walt Disney Pictures
Frozen 2 (2019), Walt Disney Pictures

As a non-enthusiast when it comes to musical films, the main reason I wanted to see Frozen 2 had zero to do with the music. I was curious because of the animation style – especially when it comes to Elsa and her beautiful outfits. It turns out that both her style and the way she’s animated are favourite things overall about Frozen 2.

Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck’s film became most engaging for me approximately one hour in. This is precisely at the point when Elsa’s ’water action’ sequence begins. A time when I finally felt like something truly exciting to watch was actually happening. Before this point, I was being disappointed and a tad annoyed. I lie. I was more than a tad annoyed by the seemingly unexciting musical numbers and Anna’s ability to jump to conclusions when Kristoff was trying to ask her ‘the question.’

Frozen 2 (2019), Walt Disney Pictures
Frozen 2 (2019), Walt Disney Pictures

There are a few somewhat pleasantly moving moments here and there, especially in regards to Elsa and Anna’s sisterly relationship. Yet some of these moments ended up feeling a tad forced.

I’d definitely say that it’s after the one hour mark that Frozen 2 becomes fun. Unsurprising since my two favourite moments happen after the one hour mark. One of them being the one musical moment that grabbed my attention in a good way – at precisely one minute into Iduna’s Scarf.

Disney and musical fans will have the best time with this. I’m only one of those things. I therefore find myself glad that Elsa and Iduna’s Scarf were there to get me through.

Watch it if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

RUMBLE (2021): New Trailer From Will Arnett, Ben Schwartz, Geraldine Viswanathan, Terry Crews…

Rumble (2021), Will Arnett, Paramount Studios
Rumble (2021), Will Arnett, Paramount Studios

Will Arnett, Ben Schwartz, Geraldine Viswanathan and Terry Crews are the cast of Rumble. An animated comedy set in a world where monster wrestling is a global sport and monsters are superstar athletes.

Directed by Hamish Grieve; Viswanathan is teenager Winnie who decides to coach a loveable underdog monster (Arnett) so he can become the new champion.

It’s definitely Arnett’s voice and the humour that are the main reasons I want to see this. Hopefully the story will be a great too.

Jimmy Tatro, Tony Danza, Fred Melamed, Joe Anoa’i, Rebecca Quin, Michael Buffer and Stephen A. Smith also star.

Rumble Release Dates: January 29th, 2021 (US); February 5th, 2021 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G