Animated kids films have, over the years, gone from strength to strength. With franchises like Toy Story and Frozen, and indie animations like 2019’s Klaus, it’s clear to see that children are hardly deprived of top-notch filmmaking. Netflix’s latest foray into the cartoon business is The Willoughbys: an energetic, colourful, and plain weird take on family life, based on the book by Lois Lowry.
The Willoughbys follows the Willoughby family: a red haired, spectacularly moustachioed cohort that are known, throughout history, for doing creative and courageous things. However, Mother and Father Willoughby are more interested in each other than their four children, leaving them to live with no food, no fun, and no love. After a child is left on their doorstep one night, the Willoughby children hatch a plan to become orphans themselves – but it doesn’t quite go how they were planning.
The last time Pixar released two films in the same year was 2015. The first of their double act ended up being one of their best, Inside Out. A touching, beautifully animated adventure that ranks highly alongside Up, Wall.E and of course the Toy Story series.
Unfortunately, their second effort, The Good Dinosaurwas by all accounts, a bit of a mess. Released by any other animation studio, The Good Dinosaur would have been perfectly serviceable, but it lacked the usual Pixar sparkle, despite some incredible animation.
Fast forward five years and Pixar are at it again; releasing two films in the same year. Soul is out in cinemas later in 2020, but our first contender is Onward. But is it up to the standard of Pixar’s classics, or more akin to their forgettable adventures? 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 Kingcame 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 →
In the year 2000, Ron Howard of all people, director of such films like Frost/Nixon, A Beautiful Mind, and Apollo 13, made a movie called How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey, and it was one of the best horror movies of the year. The terrifying makeup along with the weird fog over the lenses makes this movie- what?
According to the person who barged into my writing room, this Grinch is actually supposed to be a family-comedy? Then how do you explain all the creepy imagery, adult jokes and awkward pauses… Oh, it’s a Dr. Seuss movie from the 2000s, okay I get it now. Anywho, they made a non-horrifying version this year simply titled The Grinch, starring Belligerent Cabbagepatch and… yeah, let’s talk about it. Continue reading →
Aardman Animation and Nick Park have brought us some of the best stock motion animation over the years, from the likes of Chicken Run, The Pirates! In an Adventures with Scientists and of course the Wallace and Gromit franchise.
They have brought together great British comedy that is relevant to both children and adults alike, and their films could even rival the likes of Pixar.
Now in cinemas is their latest project Early Man, a prehistoric story that looks at the early ancestors of our favourite Aardman characters. Continue reading →