Archive for the ‘Animated’ Category

Disney’s Frozen

Friday, April 4th, 2014

8ddba2d922954bdfda5ff9b43d0bce49Disney’s Frozen is one of the most highly anticipated DVD releases so far this year, featuring magical powers, two heroines and lots of snow.

After Elsa’s powers to freeze things are revealed to the town folk of Arendelle, her sister Anna heads to the mountains to search for her. On her mission to find Elsa, Anna meets handsome Kristoff, his reindeer Sven and Olaf the snowman. In a bid to save Arendelle from an eternal winter, Elsa must be convinced to come back and break the spell.

On first impressions, it’s forgivable if you think there’s going to be a princess, a handsome prince, and a happily ever after, because this is Disney after all. However, you’ll be shocked to find that the female characters in Frozen are pretty kick-ass in comparison to many other generic Disney leads. Since Tangled was released, it seems the animators have decided to stick to modern times and give the girls a fighting chance at saving themselves.

There is a lot more singing in Frozen than the average Disney film, however the soundtrack is one of the catchiest around, with the song ‘Let It Go’ bringing many shy singers out of their shell and onto YouTube. As a result of the craze, the song won Best Original Song at the 2014 Oscars. If you’re not a fan of the hype, then ignore what we just said and go watch the film, because the music is highly commendable.

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WALL-E

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

wall-e2It’s 700 years in the future and earth has become a toxic wasteland. Centuries earlier humans were forced to leave the planet and move to outer space, because copious amounts of rubbish created through mass consumerism had made the place uninhabitable. The dusty cityscape shows the remnants of a civilisation: old billboards advertising cola and holidays, an empty bank, an engagement ring sparkling in the gutter.

Looking more closely, we notice that the tall skyscrapers aren’t buildings at all, but giant cubes of waste, compacted and stacked on top of each other. Save a lone cockroach just one thing stirs. This is WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), a small, rusty robot who diligently trundles through the barren, dusty streets, scooping up rubbish into his belly, compressing it and stacking it. Occasionally he finds small gems among the trash – an old boot, a Rubik cube, a video of the musical Hello, Dolly! which he watches again and again on his ancient VCR. He is fascinated by a scene of a boy and girl holding hands and dancing.

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Persepolis

Monday, May 18th, 2009

persepolisBased on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis is an animated coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution. Told through the eyes of a child (as reflected in Satrapi’s simplistic yet expressive black-and-white artwork), the story gives a potted history of modern Iran and shows how the various political upheavals affect her own liberal-minded family on a personal and often tragic level.

Though based in a Middle-Eastern context, Satrapi’s film is truly universal in its appeal and sentiment. After translations of the original novel met with worldwide success, Satrapi told the New York Times, “Suddenly I said to myself, ‘This is a universal story.’ I want to show that all dictatorships, no matter if it’s Chile, the Cultural Revolution in China or communist Poland, it’s the same schematic.”

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Watchmen – coming soon

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

It’s ten minutes to midnight.

Released over twenty years ago between 1986 and 87, to say that Watchmen was an influential success would be a pretty epic understatement. It cemented Alan Moore’s reputation as a writer in the graphic novel medium and since then, more than a fair few of his graphic novels have (much to his chagrin) been adapted for the big screen, most notably V For Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Constantine, and Jack the Ripper conspiracy theory yarn From Hell. His treatment of the Joker in his celebrated Batman one-shot The Killing Joke, is widely cited as being a major influence on both Tim Burton’s 1989 movie, the subsequent Batman animated series, and recent outing The Dark Knight.

No Watchmen, no Heroes. Simple as.

The comic book is set in an alternative universe where superheroes exist – it is 1985, and the Cold War is on the verge of becoming a very, very hot one.

In this universe, the USA won the Vietnam War, and Watergate never happened – Nixon is still the President. The West is defended by a small elite corps of licensed superheroes, the most powerful of which, Dr. Manhattan, has given the States an edge over the Soviets. However, things take a turn for the worse – the story begins with the discovery that The Comedian, an ultra-patriotic American superhero is found dead, having been hurled several stories from his apartment.

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Send in the Clones – Star Wars: The Clone Wars in Cinemas Now

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Today sees the release of the fully CGI animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars in UK cinemas, which we have to say is pretty good, despite initial misgivings, largely based on our opinion of the last film (Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) particularly Hayden Christensen’s namby pamby depiction of the galaxy’s biggest badass, Darth Vader.

The Clone Wars is sort of like Star Wars Episode 2.5 in that its set in between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and shows the beginning of events of the eponymous wars that were briefly mentioned by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first ever Star Wars film waaaaay back in 1977.

The plot follows Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter, who played the drunk college jock Brody in the first series of Heroes) who has reluctantly been lumped with his overeager new disciple – sorry, Padawan – Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) who looks like Christina Aguilera in an Egyptian head dress and too much fake tan, as they attempt to rescue Jabba the Hutt’s son from a mysterious band of bounty hunters. Old favourites Obi-Wan and Yoda appear alongside Christopher Lee who reprises his role as Count Dooku the main villain of the piece, and Anthony Daniels, who once again camps it up as stuffy protocol droid C-3PO.

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May the Farce be With You – Blue Harvest on DVD now

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Bit of film fact trivia known to every Star Wars fan worth their spice; Blue Harvest was the codename for Return of the Jedi used by the production team when filming in order to avoid excessive attention from members of the press and fans alike – the cover was eventually blown despite numerous t-shirts and baseball caps being made help support the ruse.

And so, in order to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of one the best loved movie franchises of the 20th Century (the last two do not count) Seth MacFarlane and the Family Guy team created their own hour-long retelling of A New Hope, which in the traditional Family Guy style takes pot shots at everything from Robot Chicken which stars both of the Seths, (Green and MacFarlane) in their own Star Wars Special, Pimp My Ride (with a souped-up TIE fighter) and the War on Terror, by way of having the Death Star blow up a planet suspected of hoarding WMDs.

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