My opinion right after watching this film is that……. why was it made? The first film came out 7 years ago, and it wasn’t a huge success (it made almost $200 million, so it’s not like it was something that was missed enough for people to be fine with it, and was too long for the people who did care about it to want to immediately grab. If they wanted a sequel so badly, they should have done it 4 years ago. Regarding the film, the story and characters are painfully weak, as well as the awkward jokes, and just seems like a large waste of time.
It was reported in March 2012 that the film was in development, and would bring back four out of the nine writers. The director of the first film named Kelly Asbury, was not able to reprise her directive role due to working for Smurfs: The Lost Village, though he remained as a creative consultant.
Regarding the production of the film, the animation was put to another company named Mikros Image, which was split into London and Paris. London had 60 percent of the animators, and Paris had 40 percent of the animators.
The movie starts with some sort of pie monster or whatever named Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) threatening to crush a bunch of gnomes in a museum, and is crushed by a dinosaur skeleton. We skip to our main characters, where the entire community has moved to London, and the lovebirds Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are declared as the new leaders of the community. Juliet is taking this role very seriously to the point o neglecting their relationship for the garden, and after getting the idea from Nanette (Ashley Jensen), Gnomeo purchases a flour centerpiece.
Since we are about a quarter way through the film, it means that the rising action needs to start. Gnomeo’s quest goes as wrongly as possible, and has to be saved by Juliet from being crushed. This causes an argument where she admits the “he could wait, while the garden can”. They are interrupted when Sherlock (Johnny Depp) and his assistant Gnome Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor) show up to report that the community has been kidnapped.
The four of them go down the sewer, and end up stuck with one another after an action scene with rats. They tell the couple the story of Moriarty, and how he pretty much likes to torture then crush gnomes, so they have to save everyone before that happens. Sherlock believes that the pie mascot survived the encounter in the beginning, and some sort of clue leads them to Chinatown, where they get another clue.
Some stuff happens, and in interpreting another clue, Sherlock decides that they need to go to an art gallery, while Gnomeo disagrees and think that they need to of to the museum. Juliet ends up going with Sherlock, and Watson ends up having to chase after Gnomeo going to the museum.
A gargoyle shows up, and after a few minutes of a chase, Gnomeo is essentially kidnapped, and Watson is “smashed to death”. Juliet is an emotional mess, and is upset that Sherlock does not care that his friend is dead, and her partner is missing. Ultimately, he unknowingly throws her words back at her (not subtle with the message filmmakers) about how “the case can’t wait, but she can”.
Gnomeo ends up being with the other gnomes, who are partying, and think everything is going to be lively, only to soon find out that the gargoyles are planning on smashing them tomorrow. I want to wrap this boring movie up, so here it is. The two end up bumping into Sherlock’s former and bitter fiancee Irene (Mary J. Blige), who almost immediately throws him out, and refuses to give him the clue for his case. After Juliet barges back inside, and bashes Sherlock, while ranting about how Gnomeo is noting like him, Irene gives her the clue.
After finding the final clue, it is revealed that Watson is the mastermind. He faked his death, and apparently “kidnapped” the gnomes in custody send a message to Sherlock about how Watson is just as clever as he was, and to respect him, since Sherlock became more selfish, and all about his work. In order to not make Watson the villain, the gargoyles reveal that they don’t work for him, trap all three of them on a ship, and to smash the gnomes.
Moriarty speaks to them via webcam, and reveals that he sent the gargoyles to Watson, and used his anger at Sherlock to get back at him. So Juliet and Sherlock learn that they should not take their best friends/partners, and long story short, everything goes the way you expect it to go.
The first film was painfully generic, and didn’t have much interesting things happen, but you could say that it was slightly pleasant. There was nothing pleasant in this film, but it wasn’t horrid or painful to watch compared to other films I have watched. It’s a generic nothing film, and I am not shocked that it did not make much money. Meh.
The only two characters to go through any sort of character development is Juliet and Sherlock, and it’s the fact that they both are too obsessed with work, and neglect the people around them. It’s a good lesson, but I do think that it seems kind of contrived with Juliet, mainly with her conflict with Gnomeo. None of the others are really worth discussing, as they were either one-dimensional at best, or a complete non-factor, as most of them are just leftovers from the first film that have nothing to do.
The animation is fine. Quite simplistic, but at least it doesn’t try to do the most, and the colours are nice. Some of the animation movement can be stiff at times, but….. everything is fine. Nothing challenging o innovative, but nothing that is awful either.
I….. really did not notice the music in the film. I know that Mary J. Blige was only on this film to sing a song (which was really lackluster for her standards). And the score is really generic. I am sure there was some pop tunes, but nothing was memorable. Even the first film had a bunch of Elton John songs that were memorable on it.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on March 23rd, it made $43.2 million in North America, and $47.1 million in other territories. In total, it added up to a worldwide amount of $89 million against a $59 million budget. Overall, it was a moderate success, but it wasn’t a large success that made a lot of money.
It has received negative reviews among critics and audiences, mainly with people claiming that there was no purpose for it to exist, especially so many years after the first film was released.
My opinion right after watching this movie is that it’s one of the most simplistic movies I have EVER seen in my life. The pacing is so damn slow, and while the message is nice and a good message, they barely put any effort to make it substantial, even for an Illumination film. I have very little opinion on anything in this film, other than how completely lazy it was. At least they didn’t completely flanderize and slap Dr. Seuss in the face, like they did with The Lorax.
There really isn’t much to discuss in regards to the production of the film. It was announced in 2013 that they were going to adapt The Grinch, and the animation took place in France, like essentially all of Illumination’s work.
The film starts with everyone in Whoville excited for Christmas, with the exception of The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), who hates Christmas, has a heart two sizes too small, and ends up having to buy food in Whoville. Donna (Rashida Jones) is a mother who is overworked, and multitasking too much, which her daughter Cindy Lou (Cameron Seely) notices, and decides to send Santa a letter on her mother’s behalf.
Since all of the festivities get more rampant the closer it gets to Christmas, it gives him flashbacks of when he was a lonely boy at the orphanage, and was given no gifts or acknowledgement for Christmas. Ultimately, he decides to stop Christmas from happening.
The Grinch’s idea to ruin Christmas involves him becoming Santa Claus, and instead of giving people’s gifts to their rightful owner, he is going to throw them away. I am really struggling with this film, since we’re essentially almost halfway through, and nothing has happened yet. I had to deal with The Grinch twerking for……. no reason, instead of adding more elements to the plot, for some reason. His first job is to steal a reindeer named Fred for him to ride, while all of the children help Cindy Lou come up with some large contraption to get Santa Claus to them.
Anyways, a test run is made for The Grinch’s plan, and create a route for them to follow to steal the presents. He came to learn that Fred had a wife and child, and ended up returning him to then, and Max is promoted to the sleigh driver. The weather becomes perfect on Christmas Eve, and everyone in Whoville is joyous. The Grinch goes on about his work during the night of Christmas Eve, and just when I thought when the two plotlines would come together, he goes to Cindy Lou’s home, and refuses to go to bed before giving Santa her wish for her mother to be happy. The story ended up moving him, and carried onto the plan, only to turn things around when he sees Whovilles make lemons out of lemonade, and really appreciated that Christmas was about appreciating one another. The Grinch returns the gifts, and trees, with him being invited to a party with all of the Whos, since he has been alone for too long.
Illumination continues to be…… Illumination, meaning I am continously uninspired, and even more pandering filler than their last several films. People need to leave Dr. Seuss’ works alone, since it is clear justice will not be served. 3 more films to go for the year.
So, the one thing I can say in a positive manner about this film is that there are barely any characters, and there are only really 3 of them. All of them are painfully generic, but I prefer that over having a large ensemble of generic characters. This is the least interesting Grinch I have ever seen, and while he does get his backstory, he hasn’t even really funny, and has awkward dialogue. And his development in the end was RIDICULOUSLY rushed to the point where it was even contrived for Illumination sakes. The mother and daughter are……. the typical mother and daughter. I don’t really have anything else to say.
The animation is exactly what you would expect from Illumination Studios; simplistic, colourful, and very rounded. For a Dr. Seuss adaption, it looks like a part of the Dr. Seuss world, so it does that job well. Nothing really stands out to me in this regard, but it’s nothing necessarily bad. Just….. average, the go-to Illumination word.
What I remember regarding the music in this film is that there were some unneeded pop-culture music. Like,…….. I do not need to hear any of that, and it just took me even more out of the film.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 9th, it has (as of December 26th, 2018) made $260 million domestically, and $169 million in other territories, totaling to a worldwide amount of $425.2 million overall.
My opinion right after watching the film is that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sony made a risky choice of not making another Peter Parker adaption, and I think it was a worthy risk. While I do not think the characters are the absolute best, I liked how they interacted with one another, the story was action-packed, and well-detailed. There is a lot of heart in the film, which I never thought I would say for a Sony animated film.
After the November 2014 Sony Entertainment hack, it was revealed that Sony was planning to rejuvenate the Spider-man universe, which was then confirmed in the 2015 Cinemacon. What was stated during that time that it would co-exist with the live-action Spider Man films, but then changed it to state that it would exist outside of the other Spider Man films. Sometime in early 2017, it was revealed that the movie would star the Miles Morales version of Spider Man, instead of Peter Parker, since there has been no film that featured the former, and the story needed to be told.
The film was made as an animated film, because they wanted the story to feel like we were in a comic book, which a live-action film could never do. Regarding the CGI animation, it was combined with “line work and painting and dots and all sorts of comic book techniques” to make it look like “a living painting”, with adding 2D rendered framed above the CGI in a revolutionary manner that I will never fully comprehend.
The movie starts with Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) going to a new elite boarding school for the first day, and quickly becomes overwhelmed with it. Apparently he is supposed to try it out for 2 weeks, and intentionally does poorly, so he can be kicked out. A girl named “Gwanda” (Hailee Steinfeld) is in one of his classes, and finds him funny to laugh at, which causes him to have a crush on her.
He then ends up visiting his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali)’s house to talk about having a crush on Gwen, and they end up going to do some grafitti. Apparently his father Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry) would do it with his uncle, but became a cop, and whatever. While this takes place, some weird spider ends up biting him on his hand, which causes the transition to become the Spider Man. He is acting very weird in many different ways, and doesn’t really realize what is taking place until he reads a Spider man comic.
He is unable to contact any of his relatives, and goes back to the station to try and long story short, he meets Spider Man (Chris Pine) after the latter fights the Green Goblin and Prowler. Some sort of accelerator goes off, which causes a bunch of stuff to go down that I can’t really keep track of. Spider Man gives him a USB drive to destroy it, since the accelerator can destroy the city if it’s turned on again. The villain Fisk (Liev Schreiber) kills Spider Man, and they oversee Miles, so they are determined to kill him, but he ends up escaping. Miles rushes back home for comfort, and does not get assurance form his father about Spider Man, whose death starts to make it through the news.
While going to Spider Man’s grave to reject what he was told, Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) approaches him, and was apparently transported into another world, which is the one that the film is currently in. He takes Peter to his house, who pretty much runs off, and wants to turn on the accelerator to go home. This Peter divorced from Mary-Jane, had Aunt May pass recently, is jaded, and gluttonous. Of course what ends up happening, happens regarding the training.
So they sneak into Fisk’s lair, and they overhear that multiple dimensions are colliding together. Long story short from Olivia Octavious/Dr. Octopus (Kathryn Hahn), Peter will deteriorate and eventually die the longer he is on their Earth, which is why he glitches. A chase ensues, and Miles has to be in tune with his powers to grab the computer containing the information, and to become Spider Man. Gwen ends up saving the day, and reveals her story as Spider Woman, who was thrown into the universe last week after failing to save Peter in her world.
They go to Aunt May (Lily Tomlin)’s home, and it’s revealed that she has been hiding several of the other Spiders from alternate dimensions, who are also deteriorating. Miles still cannot do anything on command, and everyone beats on him to try and get him prepared. Ultimately, they do not believe in him, and he ends up leaving, only to be bombarded by calls from his family. He goes to his uncle’s house for some advice, but soon realizes that his uncle is Prowler once he enters his home.
He goes back to May’s house in the morning to tell them that his uncle is Prowler who tried to kill him. All of the villains show up soon after, and IT. PAWPS. AWF. Prowler soon realizes that he is about to kill his nephew, but before anything can really be done, he is killed, but not before another sappy final words. Miles’ father shows up to see that his brother is murdered, and believes that Spider Man killed him.
All of the other Spiders show up at his house to tell him goodbye, and Peter ties him up for his own safety, since they all are going to take off, and take the key. His father soon shows up, and tells him about his uncle’s death, wile also telling his son that he has this spark, and it’s why he pushes him so hard. Of course this is the time where Miles is ready to be Spider Man.
As many of yall can tell, the final battle is always a bore and a chore for me to recap, since a lot of it is so redundant. Miles joins the others in destroying the villains, finally in control of his powers. After a sequence of battles to build suspense, Miles is able to activate the drive, which sends all of them to go back to their dimensions, though Peter wants to fight Fisk off first. With Miles on his own, he takes on Fisk, but the encouragement of his father causes him to excel and defeat him and the accelerator, unshockingly. Miles embraces his role as the new Spider Man, while the other Spiders find their own happiness, in their own way.
It is really nice to see Sony take a risk, and step out of their comfort zone, which is something I have yet to see them do before this point. Every studio shooed make risks creatively, and really try to grow, which this film did. Even amongst this super-hero frenzy, this movie took more risks than several of the other films, and it will stand out a lot more due to it.
There are only two main characters in the movie, being Miles and Peter Parker. Miles is the typical teenager who wants to know his purpose, has some family issues, and I struggling with going to a new boarding school. They don’t focus on that too much, as they focus more on him becoming the new Spiderman, which is a fine enough plotline I guess. Peter Parker in this film is older, more out of shape, and a lot less optimistic, but it slowly starts to go away, and the relationship between him and Miles is really endearing. It seems like they were trying to set Gwen up to be the pseudo-love interest of Miles, which was really weird. Miles’ father being the ‘Spiderman hater”, only to fix his relationship with his son is typical, but still done well. Everyone else is fine enough, though not memorable enough for me to mention.
I am……. bewildered, and astounded with the animation in this film. Them adding traditional animation over the CGI is nothing new whatsoever, but the way they did it makes it really stand out. Wanting to be a still-painting is a concept that several films have attempted to do, but it never really works. Watching this movie is literally like watching a cartoon coming to life, even with all of the obnoxious crashes, subtitles, thought bubbles, and all of that stuff. Brilliant colour scheme, and I love how the movement is like a comic,with it being somewhat choppy kind of. Great character designs as well. I just think the animation is pretty perfect.
I’m not going to lie; I did not notice much of anything from the score. There are no songs for me to judge, so I only have to go off the score, and it was just relatively okay. What you will expect from a superhero, and an action film, you will get it here.
Reception at Release
When the film as released on December 14th, it has (as of December 21st) made $53 million domestically, and $20.5 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $73.5 million against a $90 million budget.
My opinion right after watching the film is that I kind of got what I was expecting from it. I knew that the pop-culture references were not going to be over-the-top or irritating, and that the film was going to take a more characterized place. It pushed some boundaries that I was not expecting, and was enlightened when they went in that angle. I had a lot of fun, but at the same time, I was underwhelmed with the new characters, the older characters not Vanellope or Ralph be completely sidelined, ad the paging in the first half could have been better.
A bit before the film was released in November 2012, it was stated by Rich Moore that there were ideas of a sequel, and most of the crew were open to return for a sequel. The rumours kind of grew from there, and confirmation was made in 2014 when composer Henry Jackman that the script was already written for the story, and voice actors reprising their roles. It was confirmed in March 2016 that the sequel would be about travelling through the internet, with a release date of March 2018, but it was pushed to November.
There were 2 different versions of the script; one being that Vanellope would become internet famous and self-absorbed, with Ralph getting arrested and breaking out with someone to save Vanellope from herself. The second version involved Ralph being internet famous, and challenged by a virus-villain. Ultimately, it was their goal to focus on Vanellope and Ralph’s friendship, and the theme of “change”, instead of the internet being anything more than the setting of the film. A lot of the more negative and serious elements of the internet was included in the film, after the success of Zootopia, which covered racial and gender issues.
The movie starts with Ralph (John C. Reily) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) hang out all nights after their shifts, and go through many games via extension chord, where Ralph is satisfied with his life. It has been 6 years since the first film. Ultimately, the WIFI is plugged into the extension chord, and Vanellope is curious about it especially due to knowing her game in and out, and wanting to learn something new. Of course this leads to the rising action, which takes place the following morning when Ralph enters her game, and makes a detour route. Vanellope drives through it (causing the kid playing the game to lose control and to break the game), and due to the wheel of the machine being too expensive to buy, and the game not making much profit anyways, it is plugged out of the extension chord.
Everyone in Sugar Rush is homeless, and has to find a new home. We are then re-introduced to Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and Felix (Jack McBrayer), who want children, which leads to him speaking to Ralph, who is sad that Vanellope states that their friendship isn’t enough for her to be happy. Ultimately, Ralph thinks it’s a good idea for them to go through the internet in order to get the the wheel for her game.
So they make their way into the internet and it’s cool to see that people become icons on the internet, and to see all of the brilliant world building (which Wreck-it Ralph has always been good in). Vanellope and Ralph make large bets of money for the steering wheel, but they have absolutely no concept of money, and bought it for $27,000 to be shipped to the arcade address. They have no credit card number, and need to buy it in 24 hours, or else they will lose the item. An ad person appears, causing them to approach him to make the amount of money they need, which causes them to ride go to the game Slaughter Race. We meet Shank (Gal Gadot), who does anything to make sure that no one wins her car, and of course problems arise when they steal the car.
Ultimately, the Slaughter Race crew end up speaking to Ralph, and are very understanding of their dilemma, so they create a viral video, and are suggested to go to Buzztume, where someone called Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) will pay them if their video goes viral. I like how they tackled on the obsession with likes and viewership in this movie, and how people get consumed with trying to trend all over again to saturate the market.
Anyways, Ralph gets jealous of Vanellope’s like for Slaughter Race, and when Yesss sends her to promote his videos all on her own, he wants to stay with her, since they are peas in a pod. Instead of sending Vanellope to Slaughter Race, she is sent to the Disney site, where she of course meets all of the Disney Princesses, after hiding from the YouTube police. Ultimately, the entire point of this scene is for Vanellope to come to terms with her unfulfillment with her life. I am glad that they did not get too pun-y, and trope-y with the Disney Princesses stuff, not making fun of them too much.
Ralph ends up in a room that is designated to Buzztube comments, and while he sees a bunch of positive comments initially, he sees the negative ones, and becomes depressed. Yesss approaches him, and comforts him about the good and bad of the internet, while he rants about how the only heart that counts, is Vanellopes. Ultimately, he is told that he has the amount of hearts needed to buy the steering wheel, which he contacts Vanellope about. Speaking of Vanellope, she finally has her “I Want” song, and we learn that she wants to stay on the internet to be a part of the unpredictable Slaughter Race.
He calls her again, and overhears her talking to Shank about wanting to stay, since it is unpredictable, and could never tell Ralph due to not wanting to break his heart. Ralph does not understand that friends do not have to have the same dream, and wants to make the Slaughter Race seem boring to her. This leads to him wanting to cause a virus in the game. Overall, the game starts to glitch, and she thinks it’s her fault. Ralph goes in to save her, or else she will due, and we……. ultimately have the stupid “liar’s revealed/friends pointlessly fight” that’s in every movie. After their fight, and Vanellope throwing the necklace she made for him away, the virus creates duplicate, and more insecure versions of himself.
The Ralphs get out of control, and start to destroy the internet. He has to end up deleting the other Ralphs, and we have the climax where the two of them have to take on all the Ralphs. Honestly, it was kind of anticlimatic, but we see Vanellope willing to sacrifice herself so Ralph will be let go, but Ralph tells the virus that it’s not good to hold a friend back. The virus goes away by Ralph fixing his insecurities, and the Disney Princesses saving him from falling with their powers.
There is no way that this film is better than the first one, and I am definitely worried about how this film is going to age. This is really the first sequel they have done in 28 years (since The Rescuers Down Under), and I do think it’s a better sequel than that film, despite neither being as good as their original films. Throughout my life, I have made and lost a lot of friends, and it’s rare to see some stick around, but that can be said for everyone. Ultimately, the main message of the film is that friendships change, and while you may not see them as often, they are just as sentimental and important. You never really see Disney tackle clinginess and dependency becoming toxic, so seeing them do it here was great, though it was kind of uncomfortable to watch at times. It was disappointing to see Calhoun and Felix be ignored throughout the film, and the new characters aren’t real standouts, but I had a lot of fun in this movie, and really enjoyed it. The movie did not feel pointless and redundant, and had its own identity, while connecting to the first film without repetition. Hopefully Pixar and WDAS keeps up the streak of good sequels next year, since neither are putting out an original film, just like this year.
I already covered above that Ralph and Vanellope are the only important ones to discuss in this film. e literally see Calhoun for one scene, and Felix for two scenes that did not include the epilogue, and both were in the very beginning. Seeing them adjust as parents would have been interesting, but they outright neglect it. I guess it is preferable than just forcing them to have screen time (ala Marlin and Nemo in Finding Dory), but still disappointing. Yesss is cool enough, but she was only there to really support Ralph, and the same thing for Shank to Vanellope. Neither one of them were very present either to really stand out.
I do think it was kind of uncomfortable that he was acting very whiny and clingy to Vanellope during the film, since he wasn’t like that in the first one. It would make sense, since the on positive thing is being ripped from him, and he was always kind of immature. I like the lesson that was learned throughout the film, but I do think it could have been handled a bit better.
I didn’t even realize originally that going “Turbo” was kind of ignored in the film, though it may have been different due to it being the internet? I did get her want for unpredictability, but I did find her love for Shank and the Slaughter Race to be kind of rushed, and she did come off as slightly selfish in the film. Props for not making her as annoying and filled with cheap humour in the first film.
I really do not have much to say about the animation, since it’s exactly what you would expect from Disney, this franchise, and an internet-travel movie. A bunch of details, and a bright colour-scheme with some cool character designs. Everything is really good.
The score for this film is not as memorable as it was in the first film, and I think it’s not set in a specific place, outside of the internet, where the first film was stuck in select games. What really brought this film up was Vanellope’s “I Want” song.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 21st, it has (as of December 22nd 2018) made $159 million domestically, and $131 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $289.8 million. It topped the weekend charts for the first 3 weeks, and had the second-largest Thanksgiving opening, behind Frozen. Critically, it did well with people claiming that it is good that they focused on the main relationship, and offered some good jokes/puns, but most people thought it was still not as good as the original, and some even saw the film as kind of cheap.
My opinion right after watching the movie is that it’s cute…… I was shocked that it had more story than I was expecting, and the animation was definitely better, despite having a TV show budget. There was way too many flatulence jokes for me, and the characters were kind of non-characters, but it was kind of pleasant, airy film to watch.
There really is no information for me to discuss, other than the fact that Warner Brothers revealed the release date on September 2017, and most of the cast from the show reprise their roles.
The movie starts with the Teen Titans fighting the Balloon Man in Jump City, who ends up stopping because he does not know who they are, quoting a bunch of superheroes, even from Marvel. The Justice League ends up stopping him, and tells them that they need to act properly and be heroic in order for people to take him seriously. A premiere of a Batman movie takes place, where all of the superheroes attend, and after everything in Batman’s life but Robin (Scott Menville) in in the lineup for upcoming movies, causing him to be humiliated after thinking he was going to get a movie.
After spoofing The Circle of Life, his friends try to cheer him up with a movie they made, but Robin is insistent on finding/making his own movie. Ultimately, they all go to Hollywood (particularly Warner Brothers Studios). They approach movie director named Jade (Kristen Bell) about making a movie about Robin not being a sidekick anymore.
Of course Jade says no, since he’s like the least interesting person ever, as he is a sidekick with no villain. All of the Titans decide to fly to Krypton in an a tempt to prevent Superman from existing in the current manner, to save Krypton. They do this with several other superhero origins, and it becomes clear that we have “messing up with history, and now we need to reverse it” plot.
Of course when they return to the present, the world is in absolute chaos, there is no cinema, and they need the superheroes back, so they undo all of the damage (which is kind of immoral when you really think about it). They end up fighting Slade (Will Arentt), and are successful, which causes them to be more well-known, and are ultimately given a movie deal.
Anyways, they see the Justice League making the doomsday device, after the Titans have caused mischief all day, but they are booted from the movie after trying to destroy the doomsday device (which is really an acronym for a streaming service). Jade states that because no one takes them seriously, she will only make the movie about Robin, but knows that he would not take the movie without them. Ultimately he ditches them, and says that no one takes them seriously together, which shocks them.
Of course he is enjoying the perks and luxuries of filming his own movie, and being an actor, but starts to miss his friends more and more. He has a light knocked over him, and is transferred over to the real Titan Power to “film the final scene”.
Ultimately, we have a “liars revealed” scene, where Jade is really Slade in disguised. He reveals that his entire plan was to give the superheroes movie deals, so he can get the tools he needed to brainwash everyone. Of course Robin is regretful, and calls his friends to apologize, but they reunite before he even finishes the call. What you expect to take place ends up taking place, with Slade being defeated. Oh, somewhere in the middle of this, Robin is brainwashed, and is force to fight his friends. The overall message of the film is that you don’t need to be a super to be hero, but to be yourself, which is nice enough I guess.
Honestly, I do think it was unique how they touched upon the meta, and fourth-wall elements to being a superhero, and the franchises as a whole, especially regarding merchandising and movies. At the same time, there really is not much to the film, and it is nothing anyone should really watch more than once. Kind of pleasant, but very mediocre overall.
Well, the characters fall really flat here. Robin is kind of just the generic protagonist who wants to feel important and find his purpose, without all of the depth to it. Slade is just a villain who is not particularly memorable, and the other Teen Titans are even less characterized/relevant as the other 5 heroes in Big Hero 6; being reduced to plot devices to encourage Robin.
The animation is nice. I mean, there is a lot of colour that captures the eye, backgrounds are more detailed than I was expecting, though the character designs and effects overall were kind of just meh. Of course the movement was going to be relatively choppy, due to this having a TV show edit, and them being cartoon superheroes, so I was relatively fine with it.
I do not really remember any of the music in this film. It’s literally just the generic superhero score without any intrigue, and if there are any songs, it is probably best that I literally have no memory of them.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on July 22nd, it made $29.6 million domestically, and $22 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $51.9 million. Since it had a $10 million budget, it still manged to make a profit for the studio.
My opinion right after watching this movie is that……. it’s just another Hotel Transylvania film. There is really nothing else to say. We all know that the plot is going to be thinner than a cartoon TV show, the characters still get no development or characterization, there is still going to be too many characters, hot or miss jokes, etc. Whatever.
Before the second film‘s release in 2015, the people behind the movie made it known to the public that there was talks of a third film being in the works. Soon after that film’s release, it was announced that this film would be released on September 2018 (with it of course being pushed ahead a few months), but director Genndy Tartakovsky, and producer Michelle Murdocca did not think they would return, due to other projects. Tartakovsky ultimately came back to the film after coming from a miserable family vacation, which gave him inspiration.
Right as the movie starts, I instantly notice that it is going to carry the trend of having poor pacing, with a bunch of filler to take up the relatively thin plot of the film. So the monsters are traveling to Budapest in disguise via train (in 1897), but an enemy of Dracula (Adam Sandler)’s named Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) exposes to everyone that they’re monsters, causing all of them to escape. In the present day, everything is going as usual, but Dracula is lonely, and is having trouble finding someone since his wife’s death. His daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) somehow misinterprets this as a need to go on a vacation, so everyone important/relevant goes on a vacation to the Bermuda Triangle via cruise.
So soon after entering the boat, they all meet the captain of the boat named Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). What makes her interesting about her is that she is a human running a monster boat, and Dracula instantly falls in love with her. It became clear to me though that she’s going to be an antagonistic force almost instantly. They don’t bother to keep it a secret for long, but she is not only the villain, but the great grand-daughter of Abraham. How is he still alive? I know he’s attached to machinery, but it’s still ridiculous.
Anyways, Ericka tries to kill him, but by no circumstance of his own doing, she fails. The family continues to have their fun, and she slowly starts to see them as a “cute family”, though continues to try and kill them. Dracula is encouraged to ask Ericka on a date, and she accepts, seeing this as an opportunity to finally get him.
The date takes place, and she ends up putting a bunch of garlic on the tacos they’re eating, but it ends up not being fatal. Dracula ends up telling her about being nervous, since it’s his first date since his wife passed away, which was when Mavis was an infant. Ericka actually starts to warm/open up, and confides about not knowing either of her parents, and the boat was all she’s known.
I forgot to mention that Mavis feels angry about her father going out on a date, and does not trust Ericka, which causes some tension between herself and Dracula. Anyways, the boat ends up on Atlantis, which is now a casino. Everyone is having fun, and Dracula sees Ericka run off. This causes him to follow her, and Mavis ends up following him.
He finds out that she is after some heirloom that has a bunch of traps, which he took all of the hits for. Mavis interrupts to try and do something to Ericka, until he blurts out that he zings her. The concept of “zing” is love at first sight, and they’re confused that it’s happening again, since it usually happens once. Ericka rejects him, since she can never be with a monster, and we get the heartbroken mess we see in every movie.
The heirloom makes it to her robot relative, and it’s to draw all of the monsters to dance in an area, as a trap for whatever bad thing to happen to them. Ericka reveals who she is, and everyone feels some type of way, due to her being the great granddaughter of his rival. As some octopus is about to kill Dracula, Ericka decides to stop it. Anyways, the typical stuff happens with the climax, and I really don’t care to recap it. Dracula ends up saving the great-grandfather, and they all become a happy family in the most contrived manner anyways. Oh, our main couple ends up engaged.
I really don’t know what to say other than this film being painfully simplistic and contrived. At the same time,……. I did not expect anything less from a Hotel Transylvania film.
Uh…… there wasn’t really much character development, and most of the character did not really do much. We do learn a lot about Dracula’s prior wife, and Mavis’ mother, so that touch was nice. At the same time, I felt like a lot more could have been done with it, and was just used as a weak plotline for a weak love story. Ericka’s transformation is not believable, and was way too rushed for my liking, and the same for her great-grandfather. None of the other characters did anything worthy to discuss.
The animation in this movie is simply brilliant. Sony is known for their fast-paced and cartoony animation, and it once again works in the film. I really liked how they designed everything, and the motion is simply brilliant. Definitely contributes very well to the OTT, and alien-like feature of the movie, due to the out-of-human-world elements.
I don’t really have much thoughts on the music of the film. Nothing really stood out, but did it’s job fine. The music in the other movies are a lot better, but…….. it’s still fine. Nothing bad, but nothing standout whatsoever.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on July 13th, it made $167.5 million domestically, and $358.4 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $529.5 million. To date, it is the highest-grossing Hotel Transylvannia film, so I’m expecting there to be another sequel eventually. It is currently Sony Animation Pictures’ highest-grossing animated film, and is the first animated film to gross over $500 million that is not from Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, or Illumination since 2007.
Like its predecessors, it received mixed reviews, and I’m not going to speak much on it, since not much was said. What I gathered is that many people saw this as another Adam Sandler movie (and if you are aware of his rep…… it is not good), and was more episodic than even the prior two Hotel Transylvannia films.
My opinion right after watching the film is that I believe that it has a lot of potential, and a lot of good ideas. The idea that humans are seen as inferior in his futuristic world because they are powerful is interesting, but is not well-developed. There is this father-son dynamic that is akin to Treasure Planet, but it is not fully realized or developed. It doesn’t have tonal problems like Anastasia did, and it is one of the few Bluth films that can’t be said is a knock-off, but a lot could have been done better.
Titan A.E. was initially going to be a live-action film, and was in the works at 20th Century Fox since 1998. The project was passed through several writers, as the script was slowly being developed, but after a long time of very little happening, writer Art Vitello was canned from the project. As we now know, it was given to Don Bluth and Gary Goldman afterwards, and the $30 million wasted on the early development went nowhere, since the two were given no script, and were pressured to take it, otherwise all of the animators from Anastasia would be laid off.
Despite their inexperience, the project was on the roll, and Fox Animation Studios were given 19 months (a year and 7 months), as well as $75 million to complete the movie. Over the course of the film’s production, several cutbacks were taking place, hundreds of animators were laid off in 1999, causing several of the scenes to be outsourced to several independent companies, as well as what would be known as Blue Sky Studios. The executive of Fox named Bill Mechanic was forced to leave, and all of these elements caused the promotion and overall content of the film. On June 26th, 2000 (10 days after this film’s release), the studio was shut down, and the building was officially demolished in 2017.
The film starts with some alien species called Drej being alarmed by “Project Titan”, which somehow leads to them attacking the Earth. Everyone is escaping, and Professor Tucker (Ron Perlman) sends his son Cale (Alex D. Linz, and Matt Damon) off with his friend Tek (Tone Loc), since he has to go on another ship to go into the hyberspace. The little boy is given a ring before they separate, an soon after, Earth (and the Moon) is blown up, with most of the human species being extinct.
We skip 15 years, and Cale is grown up working at a salvage yard by an asteroid belt. Humans are the bottom of the totem pole, and is treated like trash, as he is attacked by a bunch of aliens, before being saved by Joseph Korso (Bill Pullman). The latter wants Cale to follow him to find the titan, and shows that the ring on his finger is a map to get there.
Due to these blue monsters (Drej’s) attacking them, he is kind of forced to go along with them, and is healed by Akima (Drew Barrymore). Everyone on the team analyzes the map, and they go on some planet named Sesharrim, and the ghouls realize that the titan is hidden in some Nebula place. After the interpretation, the Drej’s show up (to see the map), a long chase/battle ensues, causing Cale and Akima to be captured.
Akima talks about being raised by humans, and being told all about Earth (despite never remembering it), before they are separated by the Dregs, who end up extorting the information of the map from him, and is imprisoned. Cale manages to escape the ship, while the others manage to save Akima (of course the female is always the one who needs to be saved/found). More sexual tension is forced before Joseph Korso demands that they look at the map, which reveals the final location of where the Titan is.
Cale flies the ship for a while, and he thanks Joseph for finding him, since it’s more than what his father did for him. It seems like they are trying to form this father/son dynamic between the two of them, but the fact that it took 50 minutes for this to start kind of makes it a bit rushed. He enters Akima’s room (after almost seeing her naked), and she is about to take him to barter stuff to get more stuff from Earth, but they overhear Joseph Korso’s conversation with the Drej’s about them trying to cut him out of it.
So the villain revealed moment happens, where Korso finally reveals that his goal is to wipe the humans out, and to grab whatever you can before you are wiped out with them, which was apparently the fatal flaw of Professor Sam (Cale’s father). The two then end up going to blows, before him and Akima escape to land in New Bangkok, where a bunch of other humans are.
They end up seeing a ship, and spend some time (of course through a montage) fixing the ship, before they take off to stop Korso and crew. Everyone makes it through some ice field (with Korso following them). The lovebirds end up there first, and receive some sort of hologram message, as his father explains to him what needs to be done, since it’s clear that he recorded it in case he died before finding his sin. Korso and his ally Preed (Nathan Lane) turn on the two other aliens, since they are asking too many questions. The two crash the hologram message, and is ready to shoot them, but Preed turns on Korso, since he works for the Dregs, and they promised to let him live, as long as the other three died, and the DNA samples are taken with them. All of this does seem to be a bit too contrived.
Of course the climatic battle takes place, and Korso snaps Preed’s neck. Cale and Korso end up fighting over the ring, and Korso ends up falling somewhere. Akima and Cale try to set up a bunch of machinery stuff, right as the Drej’s arrive to attack them. Long story short, Korso sacrifices his life (their relationship is a failed version of what Jim and John Silver accomplished a bit over 2 years later), the Drej’s are destroyed, and everyone is able to create enough power to form a new planet for humans to live in.
Since I don’t know if I’m going to cover Blue Sky within the next few weeks, or until next year, I am going to spend this time talking about how I feel about Don Bluth’s films. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of most of his films, since there seems t be a lot of good ideas, and a lot of potential/charm, but it is never fully realized, or developed due to executive meddling, or poor pacing. I can see why many people like these movies, but I am generally ambivalent to all of them. Titan A E was a disaster from inception, so it is not shocked that the film itself is very underdeveloped and contrived in many elements of the story. Whenever a director and the people behind the product are making it because they are forced to, and rushed into it, instead of it being out of genuine interest, you ALWAYS see it in the product. Titan A E and Anastasia are just desperate features.
The story in itself isn’t a large problem, but the large problem with the movie are how generic the characters are, despite trying to develop them. Cale is the typical young man with father issues, who has to realize he is special, but his transition into wanting to develop the human world is kind of flat. Korso was a friend to Cale’s father, and plans to destroy the human race while profiting, despite growing close to Cale, but the relationship between the two is painfully rushed, and the villain reveal was not executed well at all. Akima has a brief moment where she mentions being raised by humans who long for Earth, but they kind of gloss over it, and she is just there to be Cale’s love interest, and all of the other characters are unmemorable non-factors.
This was around the time where they were trying to infiltrate CGI animation as much as they can, and while I do think it looks nice enough here, it does look odd at times, especially with the traditional animation. Overall, it did not blend as well as it needed to be but the traditional animation is nice. I like some of the effects, and the character designs are really nice, but like I mentioned above, sometimes the simpler approach is the better approach.
I do not remember the music at all in this movie. Some would say that of course I would not remember anything because there are no songs, but there are times where there are no songs, but the score is very effective and memorable to me. I literally do not remember anything about the score, for good or bad. Does it make it mediocre, or bad because I don’t remember anything? I honestly do not know.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on June 16th, 2000, it opened at #5 in the first week, and completely dropped in the second week (losing 60% of its audience). Overall, it caused the film to gross $22 million domestically, and $14 million in other areas, adding up to an international amount of $36 million. The main issue with this gross is that the budget of the film is roughly between $75-90 million. Chris Melendandri (supervisor of the film before his Illumination days) stated that the film lost $100 million for 20th Century Fox, and started the strong of sci-fi animated films flopping in the box office.
The film also received some mixed reviews, where some people enjoyed the adventure elements, as well as the animation, some critiqued it for being very similar to other sci-fi films without a lot of originality. It was nominated for some Satellite and Annie Awards, but lost to its competitors, and only won a Golden Reel Award for its Sound Editing.
The reception that this film has is not necessarily a good one. It is seen as the death of Don Bluth in animated film, death of Fox Animation Studios (where many of the people would go onto Blue Sky), and contributed heavily to not only the death of traditional animation, but the death of sci-fi animated films, since a bunch of those movies would flop over the succeeding 3 years. It does have a cult following though, so not everything went bad for this film.
my opinion right after the film is that it’s a solid comeback for Don Bluth, though at the same time, it’s bittersweet since he had to give up damn near all of his creativity to make this film happen. I did notice that it has the typical tonal problems that several films in the mid-late 90s had, and the inaccuracy is a bit much for my opinion. Everything in the film is relatively good, but nothing is great, and I do think they use too many pointless songs in the movie.
It was reported that Don Bluth and Gary Goldman signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to produce animated films, and to construct the animation studio. They had several suggested adaptions to choose from, but they would of course end up with Anastasia. A lot of research went on early in the production about the actual events, and it seemed like they were going to depict along the lines of what actually happened, but it was deemed as too dark, and re-tweaked into a light-hearted comedy and romance in 1995.
When that change took place, they went further down the historically inaccurate route. Grigoro Rasputin was made the villain of the film because he was horrible, despite already being dead well before the Romanov assassination. Like many other films in the 90s, an assistant was added for comedic relief, to show that it is okay to laugh.
The film starts in 1916 Imperial Russia, where a ball is taking place to celebrate the Romanov tricentennial. Empress Maria (Angela Lansbury) is visiting from Paris, and gives a musical box to her granddaughter Anastasia (Kirsten Dunst, and Meg Ryan), where they promise to reunite and live in Paris together one day. Ultimately, things go wrong where former advisor Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) interrupts the ball to announce that the entire family will die at the fortnight. He sold his soul to receive a curse/spell to make sure that he got his revenge, and while the family flees, Anastasia gets separated from her grandmother, who is stuck on a train to France.
A decade passes by, and everyone is singing about the potential of a princess still being alive. Due to everyone being in poverty, several people have disguised themselves as imposers, so they can receive Marie’s settlement. Anastasia (now known as Anya) is too old to live in the orphanage, so she is kicked out, and the only thing she knows about her identity is that it’s tied to Paris, via the music box.
She ends up in the old Romanov castle, and starts to regain memories before she bumps into con men Dimitri (John Cusack) and Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer). To get the rising action going, they all agree for her to pretend to be Anastasia, since they all have their own motivations as to why they need to go to Paris. Rasputin is watching their every move, and we have another 90s trope where the male and female protagonists end up arguing and bickering, though we know they will eventually hook up. I don’t even think this was a trope in the Disney Renaissance; I mean, Eric and Ariel weren’t like this, Belle and Beast were an example of this (though it had a purpose), Jasmine argued with Aladdin like once (and it had a purpose), John and Pocahontas never really bickered with one another (though there was that awkward introduction), Esmeralda and Phoebus were somewhat like this, and this wasn’t the case for any of the later Renaissance couples. In this movie, they argue for NO PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.
Apparently Anastasia didn’t realize that she had to LIE about being the Grand Duchess, which……… is odd. She gets a pep talk by Vladimir, who tells her that she is no longer a nobody, and everything about her life is in Paris, which then leads into a song. So they are on a boat to Paris, and is taught how to dance in order to fill the role. All of a sudden, Anastasia and Dimitri like one another, and I really don’t care.
Rasputin gets into Anastasia’s dream to make her think of playing with, and jumping in a pool with her family. His plan is to make her sleepwalk into her death, but she is saved by Dimitri, after remembering something about a Romanov curse. Empress Maria is beaten down over the several imposters over the last decade, and declares that she doesn’t want to see any more people.
After arriving to Paris, and being told that the Empress will not see anyone, Vladimir and Anastasia is told about a Russian Ballet taking place tonight, and Dimitri is still startled about her actually being the princess. I forgot that he was the boy that was at the Romanov purge a decade ago (though we barely get any backstory on that).
So there is this dramatic scene where Dimitri tries to approach Maria about her granddaughter being alive, though she has him escorted out. Anastasia overhears this conversation, and we have the “liars revealed” scene, where she ends up slapping him. He ends up stealing the car that has Maria in it, and drives her to Anastasia’s room, where the elder finally believes him after being shown the music box. The reunion between the two women is really nice, as they sing with the music box, and talk about lost time. She is about to be announced to everyone, and that is when Rasputin is planning to kill her, to get her at her highest moment. Because I am not going to waste time, he ends up being defeated, and Dimitri ends up saving her. The movie ends with the two of them eloping, and her sending a farewell letter to her grandmother, promising to visit soon. Honestly, I think the ending is a complete copout.
So, I have enjoyed this movie, and I even like it over some of the 80s Bluth films. At the same time, it is hard for me to fully get into it because you can tell that this movie was Bluth pretty much selling out, after being beat up over the last 6-8 years. They could have really made this film about the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, but turn it into one of the basic romance stories ever. There are also some noticeable tonal issues in the film, where the villain is not as scary as he’s supposed to be, and you could tell that they wanted to go into some dark directions, but they always hesitated. The story, characters, animation, and music is good enough, so it makes for a good movie, but there are some flaws that hold it back from being anything better than that.
The characters themselves are fine, and don’t really irritate me. At the same time, I was kind of wishing for more. Anastasia is a nice, aloof, and a likable enough presence, but she really doesn’t have much agency in the film, and the perspective is told from Dimitri’s at a certain point. It is really hard to handle characters with anmesia, since they often times become an empty slate without intention. Dimitri is likable enough, but reminds me of several other conman-turned-love interest/princes. It would have been nice to focus more on the grandmother, since her arc seems more interesting than everyone else’s. Vladimir is just there, and Rasputin is too much of a comedian to be taken very seriously as a villain, despite having a lot of powers.
I have to say that I’m shocked with how good the animation is in the film, especially after everything that happened during the production of the film, and this being a new studio. Yes, it is no Renaissance film, and I do think that the character designs could have been better, I really liked the integration between the two animation styles, the color schemes and backgrounds are exhilarate, an the special effects are brilliant.
While I do think all of the songs are good and useful (except maybe the last few songs), I do think the pacing of the songs needed to be better. There are so many in the first third of the film, and there are some in the latter parts of the film, but it does get distracting at times. A lot of them are used to get the plot moving, whether it’s for our 3 main characters to move from one place to another, Anastasia to have an I Want song, so on and so forth.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 21st, 1997, it made $50 million domestically, and a bit over $81 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $139,804,348. This movie is Don Bluth’s highest-grossing film ever, and the first film to be financially successful film since All Dogs Go To Heaven. It would also be his last financially successful film.
It received relatively positive critical reception, which is another first since All Dogs Go To Heaven almost a decade prior. People liked the princess story, found it entertaining, liked the animation and voice acting, which made it an overall charming combination. A lot of people did compare it to the Disney Renaissance films, so people did criticize it in that regard (the people who knew it was not a Disney film). It also received a decent amount of criticism due to being historically inaccurate.
The reception of the film is relatively positive, but weird at the same time. It is seen as the best non-80s Don Bluth film, and can hold up to a lot of the 80s films, but it is seen as the most blatant example of a Disney Renaissance knockoff.
My opinion right after watching the movie is that………. I REALLY HATE that I ended up being right. I had a feeling that people were going to overhype the movie because it was the only Pixar sequel really wanted, and was afraid that the sequel was going to be pointless. It just seemed really pointless, and while there isn’t much of anything that’s bad, there was not a lot that was very good. I feel like the message about parents being the real heroes are nice, but I feel like it was executed better in the first movie, and everyone else just seemed more one-dimensional.
Over the years, director/writer Brad Bird made it known that he would only make a sequel to The Incredibles if he had a good enough story for it, and in May 2013, he kind of hinted about a sequel being in the works, since it’s something he thought about for a while. The sequel was confirmed at a Disney Shareholder meeting in March 2014 by CEO/Chairman Bob Iger.
Since so much time has passed between the release of the first film, and the production of this film (with the amount of superhero films coming up in between especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Bird wanted to avoid superhero tropes, and wanted to use story elements that were cut from the first film. It was always intended from conception that Elastigirl would be the main character of this film.
Like in Toy Story 3 (and probably Finding Dory), due to there being such a large gap of years in between its successor and the current film, the animators had to create the character designs from scratch due to how much the technology has improved since then. They also use physically-based human eye models for the first time, despite the eyes being larger and more stylized for animation exaggeration purposes.
The movie begins with Dicker (Jonathan Banks) interviewing Tony Rydinger (Michael Bird), who gets his memory erased of the vents that happened in the conclusion of the final film, when he saw them as superheroes. Back to the present, as the action is taking place, someone named Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) oversees them, and ends up recruiting Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) to give him a visit. After the battle happens, the government is pissed off at them, and Dicker tells them that the program to keep them undercover has been shut down, so the supers are on their own, and they only have 2 weeks at a hotel. Frozone visits them about the hotel to tell him about the man he met, and that leads to the rising action.
The three superheroes go to Winston’s house, where they meet him and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener). We hear the backstory about how their father would help superheroes throughout the years, and how he ended up being shot, which caused Winston to want to help the supers become legal again. Ultimately, they choose Elastigirl to be their prototype for their first talk, which Bob does not react well to.
Winston gets them into a new house, as Helen starts her training, while Bob gets used to being a stay-at-home-dad. I’m sorry (not really), but this is WAY too repetitive. So far, there is very little distinguishing itself from the first film, and there has been a lack of development so far. There are some funny moments, like Bob teaching Dash (Huckleberry Milner) math, but it just makes everything seem so pointless, since there’s so little that is new. Anyways, Elastigirl completes her first mission, and there is some filler where Bob learns that Jack Jack has powers.
So while the other kids are doing that, Violet (Sarah Vowell) comes to the realization that Tony doesn’t know who he is. Helen ends up meeting a bunch of superheroes (they never really go into other details about where these other superheroes come from, since in the first film, they make it clear that all of the supers but the Parrs and Frozone have been killed), and after a conversation with Evelyn, Helen realizes how they can get the Screensaver, but they will need a TV to set it up.
So Bob has a meltdown over being sleep-deprived while dealing with his children, so Frozone suggests him take a visit to Edna (Brad Bird), after they all see that he has powers. He apologizes to Violet for screwing things up with Tony, as Jack Jack is over at Edna’s, which was relatively nice. The entire point of this was to show how to control Jack Jack’s powers.
Elastigirl is celebrating at Winston’s place with a bunch of the supers, as he announces that there is going to be a Summit to make supers legal again, but she goes off to investigate, and ends up realizing that the Screenslaver wanting to be caught. This causes us to reveal that Evelyn is the villain, and is doing all of this because she blames supers for the death of her parents, and wants revenge. Honestly, it seems very convoluted, and it isn’t very satisfying overall.
What you expect to happen afterwards ends up happening. Al of the supers are wearing these goggles that causes them to be brainwashed by Evelyn (which includes Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, and Frozone), and the kids end up saving the day. The movie ends with Supers being legal, and the family assisting Violet’s date with Tony, before deciding to take on a villain before the movie starts.
I remember feeling unsatisfied the first time I watched it in theaters, and after waiting a few more months to rewatch it, I am even more unsatisfied. People have complained about Monsters University, and Finding Dory being pointless sequels, but I feel like at least those moments had some purpose, and were not complete rehashes. I seriously do not see the point in this film. The film literally ended in almost the exact same manner that the first film did, we only had Helen and Bob switch roles, though there wasn’t even a decent resolve with that storyline, and there was very little original about it. I had a feeling that this film’s hype would be higher than it’s quality, but while it isn’t a bad movie, I am extremely disappointed. Honestly, I think this film is the second weakest, only behind Cars 2. To me, it seemed like a cash grab, since Tomorrowland did not work out for Bird, and was kind of forced back into Pixar. I have not been so underwhelmed by a Pixar movie in YEARS.
I am going to keep this very simple. They are enjoyable like they were in the first movie, but I feel like they were a lot more one-dimensional, and had similar retreads from the first film. I think the lack of character development is why I think this film is so aimless.
So I did say in the first film that it would have been nice to see him more with his family, and we got that. He had the gender reversal, and learned how strong parents are, which is fine enough I guess. A lot of his resentment towards his wife seemed like it was going somewhere, but it lead to nothing. They could have handled his arcs a but better, but at least he learned something.
While Mr. Incredible had a lot to learn in the last film, she learned not to overexert herself as well. Despite being in the main character for this film,……….. I don’t really remember or know what she was supposedly learned from the film. I found her to be more disappointing personally.
So, she has the whole insecurity thing, but it’s more tied to Tony once again, though it’s more emphasized, but not as character-centric at the same time………
He is just there…… Literally.
I really do not care to talk about the newbies or Frozone, since they left ultimately no impression on me, and are really forgettable. Even the supers that are introduced make no impact, and nothing is done with that.
Like everything Pixar, the animation is breathtaking, and the 14-year gap between the films has made this animation standout even more. The details in the clothing, hair and skin textures is so brilliant, especially after knowing how hard it was for them to animate humans in the last film, and how many tricks they used for that film. The superhero effects were nice, though there was some epilepsy aspects to a lot of the animation.
The score is fine, and by fine, I mean pretty good. It is what you would expect from Pixar, and from an Incredibles film, though it did not stand out much to me this time around. Generically fine and unmemorable is how I will describe it.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on June 15th, 2018 it has (as of August 23rd, 2018) made $595 million domestically, and $527 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $1.123 billion, being the third Pixar film to gross over a billion dollars. It outgrossed the original film’s total gross ($633 million) on July 1st, is currently the 9th highest-grossing film of all time domestically, and is currently the highest-grossing domestically animated film.
From what I gathered critically, people did claim that it was not as good as the first film, but it was almost as good as the first film, which is good enough. A lot of people did criticize that there would be epilepsy issues, and some did not like how they found it to be unoriginal, though mostly everyone praised the animation and action segments.
My opinion right after watching the movie is that it is very interesting, and kind of intriguing in a very weird way to me. It is not something I would rewatch many times (or at all), but I really enjoyed the….. antiquity of the film. There was such an essence with the plot, and it really is such a unique film that took so much time and detail in almost every aspect.
The directors of Fantastic Mr. Fox were inspired to do this film when they saw an Isle of Dogs sign in England, while the former film was in development. A lot of the Akira Kurosawa films, as well as the Rankin/Bass Productions films were also huge inspirations. Production officially started on the film during October of 2016, with mostly the same crew that worked on Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The film starts with narration about how the dogs were free at one point, and how a child warrior betrayed his species to, which all somehow leads to the domestication of dogs. We move to the present day, where an influenza is spreading through dogs, which caused the humans to banish all domesticated and stray dogs to another land. Someone intervened to hold off for 6 months in order for her to make a serum, but I guess nothing happens with that. A dog named Spots is the first to be exiled, and the owner Atari (Koyu Rankin) ends up searching for him 6 months later, as a bunch of dogs are already there by that point in time.
There was some sequence about how the boy got into the hospital, which was due to a car crash after making his way to his uncle Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura)’s. I think it’s the present day, where the boy is found, trapped, and tranquilized to be taken back to Earth, which the dogs stop from happening. It is being made through the news that the dogs “abducted” Atari, who will be kidnapped the remainder of his childhood.
Despite the professor Watanabe (Akira Ito) finding the cure of the dog influenza, the mayor still does not want to lift the dog ban, so he has the professor stuck in house arrest, before being killed by poison. Some foreign student named Tracy (Greta Gerwig) knows that all of this is a fear-based and fueled conspiracy to get humans to turn on dogs, and begins to investigate on it.
Apparently some of the dogs were native to the island before the dogs were exiled to the island, though thee was some that were punished by their initial owners, though no one knows if any of them actually exist. The point of all this information is that Akira’s dog must be living over there as a captive, so all of the dogs travel there next.
So Atari and Chief (Bryan Cranston) were separated by the others, and after being bathed by Atari, they both realize that his coating is white. Atari starts to see more and more similarities between Spots and Chief, which will ultimately be important.
They are reunited with all of the other dogs, and soon find the cannibal tribe. Of course something is going to go wrong, when they are ambushed by men of Kobayashi. We are finally introduced to Spots, as he learns more and more about this cannibal tribe (which is not as cannibal-like as believed and speculated). Kobayashi plans for the re-election, and decides to exterminate a wipe-out of all the dogs on Trash Island with poison, and from what I interpret, he is using the “death” of his nephew as a tool to get it done.
Tracy ends up getting the serum, confronts the mayor at the re-election, with Akira and all of the dogs returning at the perfect time. They show that the serum works, and the mayor withdraws from the election, only to click the “exterminate” button, and a fight to break out. Akira and Spots are injured, the major donates organs to his nephew (who then becomes mayor), the dogs are integrated once again to society, and despite being presumed dead, Spots is raising his family in the underground.
I honestly was not expecting much when I started watching this movie, so it was a pleasant surprise. I was so captivated watching the animation, and it really is a unique film. A part of me wishes that they did a bit better with the character development, but the film is still really solid. Ultimately, it is a bit too heavy at times, and I know other reviews explained it a lot better. I do see some cases for cultural appreciation, but I didn’t think about it too much, since I have seen a lot worse in more popular films.
What I will say is that our main two characters (in Atari and Chief) are relatively strong and likable forces in the film, and the villain Kobayashi is strong as a more symbolic representation of corrupt leaders in our actual world. At the same time, there are a bunch of other dogs or whatever who are not memorable to me whatsoever, so they kind of suffer.
The animation in the movie is some of the most stunning I have ever seen in a movie. I mean, it is so bewildering with the amount of detail put into all of the elements regarding the animation, and even the motion is so great. I like the designs of the humans and the dogs too. It is so easy for me to just go on and on about how exhilarating the animation in this film is.
I don’t really recall much about the music of the film, but it seemed fine enough. There was obviously a very serious tone to fit with the movie, and it did seem like a lot more subdued, so while effective, it’s not very memorable or noteworthy.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on February 15th, 2018, it has (as of July 13th) grossed $31.9 million domestically, and $31.8 million elsewhere, adding up to a total of $63.7 million worldwide.
From what I researched, it has generally received critical acclaim, with people praising the detail regarding the story and stop-motion animation, as well as finding the low-key humour effective. There has been some criticism, with some people claiming that the film is one of the most blatant examples of cultural appropriation, and the offensive “white saviour” as a plotline.