Ah, Christmas. A time of joy, of family, of eating way too much food. Christmas movies are one of life’s simple pleasures, and even though you only get to watch them once a year, there’s a definite space in everyone’s heart for their favourite one. Netflix has well and truly jumped on the Christmas bandwagon, releasing their first movie in mid November. Named Klaus, it’s a testament to the origin of that infamous character we all know and love: Santa Claus.
Although it does ignore the religious aspects of Christmas, Klaus takes a darker turn. When a spoiled, rich postman arrives on the tiny island of Smeerensburg after a challenge set by his father, the luxuries he has become accustomed to are no longer within his reach. The island is split in two – two warring families rule the land, and it’s people are equally as hostile and violent. However, when he ventures north of the main town, he finds a cabin full of toys, and a strange man with a long white beard. Continue reading
2013’s Frozen was and remains a cultural phenomenon for kids around the globe. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and reindeer Sven made their way into popular culture and have never retreated, becoming some of Disney’s most beloved fictional characters.
Kaching! With that and nearly $1.3billion in box-office takings behind it, plus all the profits from toys, books and games, Frozen was a gargantuan hit on another level to anything else we had seen in the genre and it remained the highest-grossing animated film of all time until The Lion King came along earlier this year and spoiled the fun.
A sequel then was never a surprise. What was a surprise however is just how long it took Disney to get Frozen II to cinemas. It’s been six whole years since we’ve seen Elsa and the crew in a full-length film and for kids who grew up with its predecessor, this new addition needed to be more mature to keep the attention of new and existing fans. But what is the finished product like? Continue reading
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the fact that I have a little brother. 16 months and approximately 240 pounds, Maclane has the same passion for one movie in particular as I did, Toy Story. Similar to me, he watches it (intermixed with the sequels) pretty much daily. While I do believe that the Toy Story series are some of the best animated films ever made, taking up two of my top five slots, there is only so many times you can watch one movie back to back.
Therefore, I decided to watch some other Disney films my family owns in order to find some others he may like. This eventually evolved into attempting to watch every single Disney animated film from Aladdin to Zootopia. There are some exceptions, as I either wasn’t able to find some of these films, mostly being the direct to DVD sequels like Brother Bear 2 or older films like Ichabod and Toad. However, besides those, I did a pretty good job finding these, as I watched a total of 69 animated Disney films since May 1st, 2019, (disregarding the six I had seen before and did not rewatch for this event) and boy was it difficult! Continue reading
Of all the oddly specific sub-genres out there my personal favourite is, without a doubt, the “boy and his (insert strange creature that they befriend here)” coming-of-age film. In these films a child, usually a boy but sometimes a girl, finds a strange fantasy or science-fiction creature that is not of this world who they form an unlikely bond with.
It’s a sub-genre whose catalogue includes great films like E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, Pete’s Dragon and Flight of the Navigator. Whole franchises are built out of it; the Pokémon movies the live-action Transformers (especially the recent Bumblebee) are just two examples. If I had to choose a personal favourite it would be The Iron Giant. If I had to choose a second favourite it would be 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon. Continue reading
Giant alien-robots, laser beams, sci-fi, oh my! The Iron Giant has everything to capture the imaginations of young space fanatic viewers. But the movie also touches on darker themes older viewers will catch and appreciate. Themes of war time tension, nuclear weapons and death are sprinkled throughout the movie. These darker commentries separates The Iron Giant to more than just an animated feature for the kiddies.
The Iron Giant is directed by Brad Bird, the writer behind Ratatouille (2007) and Up (2009) and was released in 1999. Most recently, Brad Bird is known for his work on the animated Incredibles 2. The movie features the voices of Eli Marienthal as the young Hogarth Hughes, Jennifer Aniston voicing Annie Hughes and Vin Diesel as the titular Iron Giant. Continue reading