Showing posts with label cartoons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cartoons. Show all posts

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lego Watch: Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part (2019)


Watched:  08/15/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I just checked Box Office Mojo and if you want to weep for humanity, this movie made $190 million and Minions made over a billion dollars.  I think I'm beginning to understand how we reached our current state as a people.

Anyhoo...

If you haven't seen Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), it's now streaming, so now's a second chance. 

With the device revealed at the finale of the first Lego Movie, and a reasonable assumption being that we understand that the adventures of the movie are in part a kid playing with Lego and in part a kid working things out - the movie is able to play a bit more with the premise. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Animation Watch: Justice League vs The Fatal Five (2019)



Watched:  04/25/2019
Format:  DCUniverse
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Aside from Justice League Action and Young Justice, I have a hard time getting excited for the DC animation films or shows.  While a country mile better than Marvel's cartoons and their paceless plotting (but kudos as their animation has finally caught up), with the end of Brave and the Bold and the hard pivot with Flashpoint, DC decided the only thing to do was aim squarely at 22 year olds and everyone else could go @#$% themselves.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

DC Watch: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)



Watched:  04/12/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Honestly, if you'd told me 20 years ago that in 2018 there would be so much superhero stuff on TV and at the movies I wouldn't blink to miss a Teen Titans tv show, let alone a movie (and, indeed, that Teen Titans would be a household word), I think you would have blown my 1998 mind. 

So, I don't watch Teen Titans Go! 95% because I only have so many hours in a day.  When the film of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) came out, I was busy and just didn't see it, but everyone was telling me it was great, so I picked it up "on-sale" via Amazon Streaming (thanks for the tip, Stuart). 

Yeah!  It's weird, super fun stuff.  Kid safe, but wonderfully absurd for the adults - it's just amazing how the movie works on two different levels in virtually every scene and with every line.  When the kids who saw it now return to it in a few years, I think they'll be genuinely surprised at what WB and DC signed off on here - it all feels like one long in-joke for comics fans, paired with the absurdities of comics AND the superhero movie boom, playing as a moral lesson the movie explicitly does not care about (giving us the best/ most honest ending I've seen in a kiddie cartoon in a while).

Anyway - I totally dug it.  And cannot believe this gem exists. 

Kudos to the Teen Titans Go! voice cast - that is some A+work.  And to the celebrity voices who dropped in, like Nic Cage as Superman.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Third Time Around Watch: Spider-Man - Into the Spider-Verse (2018)


Watched:  03/03/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  2010's

This was the third time.  I'm still seeing all-new things in this movie, still totally swept up in the story and characters, still getting weepy multiple times...  I love this movie so much.

In case you didn't hear - it did win

Academy Award - Best Animated Feature
Golden Globe - Best Animated Feature
Critic's Choice - Best Animated Feature
New York Film Critics Circle - Best Animated Feature
BAFTA - Best Animated Feature
PGA - Producer of the Year Award in Animated Feature

I don't care too much about awards, but there are a lot of people out there who like this movie who kinda know movies.  And I would genuinely try not to steer you wrong.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Disney Watch: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)


Watched:  03/01/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

No write up.  I'm a bit under the weather, but I really enjoyed it.  And I can't believe Disney went off-script with their own IP to that degree.  A lot of good stuff.  And, of course, Vanellope's song - just brilliant.

Late Edit:  Our own NathanC wrote a great review over at the TPR site, so go check that out.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Pixar Watch: Incredibles 2 (2018)


Watched:  01/30/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

It's been forever since The Incredibles came out, and I really wanted to see this one in the theater and just never found the time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Super Watch: Reign of the Supermen (2019)


Watched:  01/29/2019
Format:  DC Universe Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  2010's

This week is becoming Steel-tastic as we return to a version of the Steel origin source material.

In 1992, DC Comics famously killed and resurrected Superman in a triptych of narrative arcs, , first downing him with Doomsday, then keeping Superman dead for a few months before bringing him back to save the day/ Earth.

It's a very 90's-tastic comic series, and your mileage will vary as you read it now.

Reign of the Supermen (2019) kinda sorta retells the story of the second two arcs post-Death of Superman as four new beings arrive on the global scene, all claiming some bit of Superman's legacy.  From back in Ye Olden Comicks Days, this is where we got Steel, Superboy (Conner Kent), Cyborg Superman and The Eradicator.  Surprisingly, over the years, these characters have endured unlike near any others spinning out of a major event, which is a testament to the solid core concepts each character embodied and how they fit into the DCU like puzzle pieces.

Friday, December 14, 2018

PODCAST: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964) & "Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965) - Episode 3 of Holiday Cinema Series (w/ Jamie and Ryan)



Watched:  12/09/2018
Format:  DVR off network TV
Viewing:  Dozens.  Unknown.
Decade:  1960's

It's time to talk TV Christmas specials! Jamie brings us back to kid-hood with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964) and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965). We ponder these two perennial favorites for all ages, how they look now and what we still get out of them.




Music:

Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Burl Ives, Rudolph he Red-Nosed Reindeer OST
Hark! The Herald Angels Sings - Vince Guaraldi Trio and children's choir from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Silver and Gold - Burl Ives, Rudolph he Red-Nosed Reindeer OST
O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas


Holiday Cinema Series Playlist


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Mickey Mouse Turns 90



Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse!

November 18, 1928 Mickey made his first appearance on the screen at New York's Colony Theatre in the short Steamboat Willie.  The short holds up incredibly well, retains every bit of energy it had nine decades ago and remains just as clever, creative and funny as anything in animation today.

If you've never seen Steamboat Willie, here you go:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Mary Poppins Watch: Mary Poppins (1964)



Watched:  10/09/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1960's


I @#$%ing love Mary Poppins  (1964), man.  Both the character and the movie.  Like, unironically, unabashedly - there is not one thing I do not like in Mary Poppins.  It is, as they say, practically perfect in every way.  As is Julie Andrews.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

PODCAST! DISNEY WATCH! The Black Cauldron (1985)


Watched:  08/19/2018
Format:  DVD from San Antonio Public Library
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's


NathanC returns to discuss Disney in the 1980's! Ryan is kinda sick and grumpy! We talk Disney's 1985 misfire that "almost took down the studio". It's high fantasy adventure for the kiddies, but Disney's first foray into PG territory, all while Disney underwent corporate reshuffling!




Get your audio episodes at:

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bat Watch: Gotham By Gaslight (2018)


Watched: 02/23/2018
Viewing: First
Format: Amazon Streaming
Decade: 2010's


Way, way back in - I think - early high school, the slim, prestige format comic Gotham By Gaslight arrived in comic shops, and as a good little comics-kid, I picked up my copy, read it, loved it, and it was probably in a longbox until the great purge a few years ago.  I am 95% certain I have it in a collection somewhere amongst the Batbooks, but its been two decades since I've read the thing.

Like everyone else, I was batty for Gotham by Gaslight upon arrival.  It featured art by Mike Mignola and a pretty decent story by Brian Augustyn, and I think it took off much better than DC figured.  This put the idea of Elseworlds into DC's head, and for the next two decades we got endless versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and sometimes others, in various periods, geographies and genres.  It took a concept like "but what if Superman emerged in conjunction with, say, War of the Worlds!?" or "Batman, but a pirate" and sold a couple of prestige-formatted issues.  Or, you got some "what if?" sort of story, like "what if Krypton never exploded?"

Some of it was great, some of it serviceable or bad.  Some of it got way overhyped (everyone needs to relax about @#$%ing Red Son.  It's not that good.).  But Gotham By Gaslight started it all, and - for my money - though I haven't actually re-read it in two decades - was among the very best.

The movie is okay.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Today is the 89th Birthday of Mickey Mouse

Today is the 89th anniversary of the debut of Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey cartoon to be released. We'll celebrate that next year on the 90th, but this year let's watch Plane Crazy, the first Mickey cartoon worked on by Walt and Ub Iwerks, but held off on release until they could add sound, after Steamboat Willie.



I may have an affection for all eras of Mickey cartoons, but the early, chaotic rubber-hose-armed early era holds a special place in my heart. The ingenuity of story, art, ideas and character is all there from the beginning, just popping off the screen. Yeah, there's influence from contemporaries like Felix and Koko, but Mickey and Minnie are a force unto themselves.  And these cartoons are as funny today as they ever were.  Just great stuff.

Happy B-Day, Mouse!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Great Andrea Romano, Voice Director for Animation, is Retiring


Like every other DC Comics nerd, I know Andrea Romano's name from watching my Batman, Superman and Justice league cartoons a little too closely.  And, of course, the extras on the DVD sets.

It seems she's hanging up her... headset?  microphone?  and passing off her duties as she heads into well-earned retirement.

It's hard to say how one measures the skill of a voice director for cartoons, but here's a sample of shows she's worked on:


  • Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers
  • Duck Tales
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
  • Animaniacs
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • Freakazoid
  • Superman
  • Batman Beyond
  • Static Shock
  • Justice League
  • Teen Titans
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • The Boondocks


and a whole lot more

I know the folks 10 or 15 years younger than me will disagree because they've got nostalgia on their side, but I couldn't ever figure out what was wrong with the acting in the Marvel cartoons of the 1990's (or, heck, today).  The voice acting always sounded rushed, like people just shouting lines into a mic.  But DC's work always sounded natural, like a radio show or movie, just animated.  Her characters were distinct, had their own cadences and personalities.

And when you think of shows like Animaniacs or Tiny Toons - those voices were so specific and as much a part of the characters as any cell animation - you can't really separate the two.  Hell, the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) still bounce around in my head in perfect pitch.

Yeah, that's because WB has a great stable of voice actors, but they've also been working under Romano for decades now.   She brought in name talent like Clancy Brown for Superman, and she found a fellow by the name of Kevin Conroy and made him "the" Batman for two or three generations of fans, no matter who was putting on the cowl in the feature films.

Back when I was still buying DVDs and BluRays of DC movies and series, I'd always jump immediately to the extras and hope they'd have an interview with Romano, who was casual but a total pro every time she was on camera.  Her feel for the characters and, really, how to work with actors was superb, and it played out in every story, in every series and movie and arc.  And even though she's not associated with Justice League Action - which all of you should be watching - the show's production carries so much of her stamp, such is her legacy at at WB Animation.

I'm sad she's retiring, because it means less of her work, but it's important to say a big thanks to Ms. Romano, who has been such a huge part of so many hours of entertainment we've all been able to enjoy, and who's amazing abilities elevated an artform that many thought of hokey kid stuff.

Here's to you, ma'am.





Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cartoon Short as Promo for Pixar/Disney's upcoming "Coco"



Love the combo of classic Disney character animation with 3D.  Could have been a "Pluto" back in the day.

Hope this one is as good as the last few Disney features.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Watch: Arthur Christmas (2011)



I'm not going to write this up, because... well, whatever.  It's Christmas.  I got stuff I'd rather be doing.  But this movie was better than I thought it would be, and has some pretty funny stuff for the adults in a family-friendly/PG way.

I am kind of sick of the paramilitary strike force elf idea which seemed everywhere a few years ago, but if you can grit your teeth through the first part, lots of pay-off.