Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

An American Tail Review

It’s time to look at an old animated film that you may or may not know. It’s certainly not quite as popular as the average Disney film, but at the same time it has certainly earned a reasonable legacy over the years. It’s a decently good film, but one that doesn’t really stand out. It’s sort of going through the motions and is about as standard as you can get. So I enjoyed it, but I admit that it doesn’t really have any replay value.

The film follows a family of mice who have decided to escape from Russia. The country has become too dangerous with the cats running around at every corner. They figure that America will be a lot safer since supposedly there are no cats there. Unfortunately, Fievel manages to get lost from the group and makes it to America via bottle. He must now find his family and endure a lot of hardships along the way. Maybe America isn’t quite as safe as they had all assumed.

It’s a classic adventure movie in that regard as Fievel meets up with a few allies on his way to his family. Two of these allies are Tony and Bridget. Tony is one of those guys with a lot of street smarts and so he is able to help Fievel find his family. He’s definitely super useful and if anything it’s surprising that Fievel didn’t seem to care much. When they are first kidnapped (This is before FIevel actually knew Tony) Fievel quickly busts out and then runs off without checking to see if anyone was following him. Tony has to track Fievel down on his own. While surprising, I was actually impressed with Fievel’s initiative here. He wasn’t wasting any time in finding his folks. While he does get a little down towards the end, he stays pretty strong for most of the film.

Bridget is a mouse who is asking the others to fight with her against the Cats. She believes that they outnumber their oppressors and as such they should join the good fight to rid the world of the felines. The problem is that the other mice don’t have such confidence so her words fall on deaf ears. She ends up traveling with Fievel and Tony which will aid her goals. There’s also a bird named Henri who is a solid ally. He doesn’t travel with the others since he is busy constructing his statue of liberty but he does help by giving Fievel a lot of moral support at the beginning. Without him FIevel wouldn’t have had the will to search for his folks in the first place.

The animation is pretty smooth here. It will definitely remind you of classic Disney in that sense. The character designs are always on point and the action scenes are solid too. The water is drawn really well and the scene of Fievel getting swept off the ship was definitely intense. It’s totally his fault in every way, but still an intense scene. There’s not really much of a soundtrack though and the songs do pale in comparison to the average animated film. There is one pretty good montage song though. While I wasn’t a big fan of the song itself it was fun to see mice from various countries talk about their own difficult experiences with the cats. They kept trying to top each other with their various origin stories and they were all different. None of them were copy and paste ideas and the writers did a good job of making them all pretty serious with fun references to the local cultures.

While Fievel and his supporting cast were good, the family was pretty annoying the whole time. The sister believed that he was still alive at least and kept telling the others that they should look for him, but meanwhile the parents lose hope almost immediately. I guess the idea of a mouse surviving amidst a huge storm in the middle of the ocean is farfetched, but at least to appease the sister I’d like to see them make an attempt early on.

Meanwhile the only weak part of the film was probably the romance between Tony and Bridget. It doesn’t really make any sense with how rushed it is. They fall for each other almost instantly and considering their hard boiled characters it should take a little more time to thaw out and go for romance. It’s not played up too much I suppose, but it’s enough of a distraction where the film could have used that for more chase scenes or plot developments. Beyond that I’d say the writing is good. It can be a bit annoying to see the characters so close to each other the whole time, but constantly not seeing each other, but I can see that happening in a big city. Fievel should have listened to Tony more though, I think that would have sped up his journey.

Overall, An American Tail is a film that plays it by the books. There aren’t any real wrinkles to this story but nothing bad either. It’s just a classic adventure where you get to see the world from a mouse’s point of view. It doesn’t have the personality of something like Stuart Little but it’s still a film with quality confirmed. If you haven’t checked this movie out yet and want a fun film to check out this one’s a good pick. It’s short and to the point. If you’re wondering whether or not it beat the Little Mermaid though, I gotta say that Mermaid easily defeats this film.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Spring Breakdown Review

It’s time to look at the next big Equestria Girls special. One of the big things here was that the gang was finally going to head to Ponyville. Unfortunately this only happens for a few minutes so if you’re here for the crossover aspect then you probably won’t be too satisfied. It’s a solid adventure overall though and continues to show why Equestria Girls has been a solid spinoff. We don’t get any real fights here unfortunately but maybe next time.

The special starts with the gang going on a cruise to celebrate Spring Break. Twilight Sparkle is determined to make it a success, but unfortunately Rainbow Dash is making this difficult as she keeps looking for magical threats to stop. She believes that the main characters are destined to be fighting enemies forever, but the others don’t share this sentiment. Their patience grows thin as Rainbow keeps getting everyone in trouble and their vacation may be ruined at this rate. Still, what if Rainbow Dash is right and there is a threat over the horizon?

That’s the basic synopsis and as the special isn’t all that long you can pretty much glean all of the plot from this. Rainbow Dash’s antics are exaggerated a bit in order to move the plot. Still, I would say that she is the best character here aside from Sunset Shimmer. (Who is always the best anyway) Rainbow at least tries to prove that she is right and heads off for danger by her lonesome. She didn’t need to be so pushy, but at the end of the day that’s just her nature. You’ll feel bad for Twilight Sparkle here though since she’s trying her best to make this a success and it just isn’t working. She’s fairly low on confidence as it is so these events didn’t help.

Fortunately for everyone on board, Sunset Shimmer is on the case. She still isn’t afraid to tell it like it is and even Rainbow Dash gets her feelings hurt by Sunset’s direct nature. Sunset does take Twilight’s side initially but once the tables turn she is quick to help Rainbow out as well. She’s really the team leader here and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Her only dicey leadership move is when the gang heads to Ponyville and they chat with Princess Sparkle. Surely she would have remembered that the rest of the crew were still in danger right? This part is used for humor as the Mane 6 are panicking without their leader and the ship is sinking. It does further reinforce the point of how they’ve become so relient on Sunset to solve all of their problems. I could definitely see that being a plot for a special at some point down the line.

I will admit that Princess Sparkle doesn’t look so good here. As per usual she panics quite a bit even if it isn’t very warranted. Sure, the Storm King was kind of impressive for 5 minutes when he first appeared, but it’s just his leftover magic striking the ship. Since he isn’t there in person it’s hard to say that the gang was in serious trouble. If worst came to worst they could use their powers to do something. At least Rarity’s abilities would come in handy here since she can reflect things. Once they got to the island then they would have a bunch of other options.

For the other subplots, Rarity’s romance one is basically played for laughs so it wasn’t all that bad. Pinkie Pie trying to get her cake doesn’t work so well because she should have been able to snag it. I could do without Applejack getting sick since that tends to get old pretty quick. Fluttershy definitely has a rough time of it since the animals get scared off by Rainbow. It’s easy to see why they all got upset at Dash by the end. The only person Rainbow didn’t mess with was Sunset and you can probably guess why. Nobody messes with SS unless they want to get hurt. All of the plots were pretty entertaining. I could have used a bit more action, but no parts dragged on or anything so I’ll give the special some kudos there.

I think what would have taken this special to the next level would have been to have had Ponyville get more of a role. I’m still waiting for the big crossover battle where the Mane 6 take on the Mane 6 + Sunset. That would make for a fun special. Alas, with this generation coming to a close it is looking less and less likely. I suppose by having Rainbow Dash be obsessed with combat here it was the writers’ way of reminding us that we shouldn’t always go in expecting fights and such. We can dream though.

As always the animation is pretty solid. I can’t say that flash is the best style out there, but if you gotta go with flash then it’s not all that bad. At the very least the animations are always pretty smooth and easy to follow. It doesn’t really lend itself for fight scenes quite as well, but with none in sight here that isn’t exactly an issue. We only really get one song here, but it’s definitely a pretty solid one. It was nostalgic to see the group get back together as a band here.

Overall, Spring Breakdown is a solid special. It’s not nearly as ambitious as the movies, but does achieve what it set out to do with this special. It’s just a good excuse to see the gang again and watch them go on a trip. There may not be a whole lot of danger for the team to overcome, but the writing is on point and the special doesn’t really do anything wrong. I have no complaints so the special definitely ends up being pretty solid. I’d recommend it to all MLP fans as this could be one of the last times they ever get to see the Equestria Girls star in a special.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Lady and the Tramp Review

It’s time to take a look at the Lady and the Tramp. It’s definitely a well known film that I’m sure a lot of us have heard of. It’s about two dogs so what could go wrong….uh oh. There’s no real animal violence here as the film stays classy in that regard but unfortunately the movie is just really mean spirited which ultimately holds it back quite a bit.

The film starts with two jerks deciding to get a dog. They buy Lady and right away Mr. Jerk decides that the dog will have to sleep in a dark room by herself as he closes the door. Lady keeps trying to break out and keep them up until finally they reluctantly relent and let her on the bed. Jerk complains about all of this nonstop and is just a terrible character in case you haven’t noticed. Well, one things leads to another and Heartless decides to have a baby. Jerk and Heartless decide that they don’t even want to have Lady around anymore and completely ignore her every action. It’s as if she isn’t even around anymore at this point.

Then the baby is born and the irresponsible parents decide they’ve had enough of the responsibility and leave the country for a few days. They decide to have Aunt Harriett watch over the baby. As the aunt is allergic to dogs and owns two cats, it is reasonable to assume that they told her to just watch over the baby and to ignore the dog. Lady does her best to watch over the baby, goldfish, and the bird but then she is kicked out of the house and given a muzzle. She meets up with a dog named Tramp who agrees to help her and aims to elfurther show that living as a free dog is preferable to being leashed. Will Lady agree?

It’s not a bad premise if these were human characters that we were talking about since nobody cares about those guys quite as much. When it comes to a film about dogs though, the film can’t be this mean spirited. It’s just hard to watch the film during the majority of these scenes as the owners are just so terrible. I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to actively dislike Jerk and Heartless or if you are supposed to simply feel bad for Lady but either way I did both. The owners do far too much for you to simply forgive and forget as the film wants you to by the end. You can’t even play the whole “It was a misunderstanding” card since they were very intentional with how they would ignore her.

Then you’ve also got the Aunt who would have murdered the other pets by proxy if not for Lady and she gets absolutely no punishment for any of this. In fact, she sends dog food at the end so I guess they are all suddenly friends now right? Ignorance is bliss or so they say so I guess the parents here should be on cloud 9 all the time. It’s not even as if the scenes are all that long, but they are certainly long enough for me to really dislike everybody involved from the humans. There actually aren’t any good human characters now that I think about it.

The good parts of the film are when Tramp is showing Lady around with his elaborate setup. In those moments it actually feels like the fun movie you would have expected going into it. Tramp has a lot of fine dining spots and everyone seems to like the guy. It also shows that not all of the humans are really bad people in this area, just most of them. Tramp even goes out of his way to help out other dogs in need so while he is a solo act, Tramp does try to help the community around him.

The scenes at the Pound can be a bit much though. Seeing the dogs get led out where we never see them again was rather dark. I was hoping for a slight fake out as we then see a happy family walking off with the dog, showing that they were being rescued, but the dogs just didn’t know about it. Still, on its own the pound stuff wouldn’t be enough to hurt the film all that much but all of this just begins to add up.

As far as the supporting characters go, I liked the dog with the scottish accent. He was always ready for a fight and did his best to watch over Lady along with the ex fugitive hunter dog. The old dog’s ramblings could drag on a little, but he was still a decent character for the most part. He helped out quite a bit and the film handled the ending well as the film almost lost another star with how his plot would have concluded. As it stands, the ending was pretty good. In general, the film got a lot better once we entered the climax of the movie. It couldn’t quite save the first half of the film, but at least it gives us some hope for the sequel.

The animation is pretty good as you would expect. All of the character designs are on point and the animation in general is very smooth. We also get some nice action scenes thrown in for good measure like Tramp against 3 dogs or Tramp against the Rat. I wasn’t expecting any action scenes so that was a welcome surprise. They were also handled very well as they managed not to even fall into the unfortunate animal violence trap. Another reason why it’s always best to be animated rather than live action for these as it is tougher to pull off there. The rat put up a much better fight against the dog than I was expecting to be honest, but we all knew who would come out on top in the end. Winning a 3 on 1 fight early on was the really impressive moment. If not for Tramp’s iffy backstory that was completely glossed over, he would easily be the best character in the film.

Overall, The Lady and the Tramp is a bad movie. I was definitely triggered while watching it and Lady deserved better owners. They really overdid it with how mean the owners were as there was just no turning back for them by the end. The animation is solid and we got some fun fight scenes with snappy dialogue but it is all erased by the pesky humans. Maybe the sequel will end up being better since the humans theoretically shouldn’t regress with their character development. Anyway, you are better off watching Air Bud or Underdog than this film. Those have more heart and don’t get quite as tragic.

Overall 4/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Scooby-Doo! Shaggy’s Showdown Review

As you may remember from older Scooby Doo films and episodes, Shaggy has quite a large family. Many of his ancestors are famous for something or other. We deal with another one of them in this film so Shaggy has to man up and do the impossible. More on that in a second. It’s a pretty fun Scooby Doo film as you’d expect. By this point, you either like the format or you don’t. I still get a little irritated at how Shaggy and Scooby never get braver even if that is the point. Still, since this film is about Shaggy getting tough when necessary, it’s less of a problem than usual. If anything, I pin most of the blame on Scooby in this movie.

So, the gang heads to a ranch that is owned by Shaggy’s cousin. Unfortunately, Shaggy himself is given a rather poor reception as everyone either avoids him or gets terrified at the sight of the guy. While it’s true that Shaggy hasn’t shaved his hair in a while, he thinks this is a bit much. It turns out that Shaggy looks just like one of his ancestors who was a big outlaw who looks just like him. The outlaw’s ghost has been showing up around these parts as well to scare tourists. It’s getting out of hand and the ranch may be doomed. They need money and fast. Fortunately, there is a 10K prize pot for staying on a horse the longest. Shaggy figures he can win the money to save the ranch, but can he overcome his fears to do so? Also…what does the ghost have to say about all of this?

The plot twist about Shaggy’s ancestor is a little obvious. It turns out that he wasn’t actually a bad guy and he was just framed by the sheriff. I think that having him actually been evil would have been a pretty nice twist to be honest since they all tend to be good, but while it was pretty expected, that doesn’t make the twist bad. After all, the main part of the plot was in the present after all with Shaggy trying to prove his mettle once and for all.

His reasoning was morally dubious tough. Obviously, getting the money to save his cousin’s business was noble. That being said, he was confident that he could win because Scooby would talk to the horse ahead of time and tell it not to start jumping around. I’m pretty sure that this is totally CHEATING but hey…what do I know about horse racing? Fortunately, Scooby forgot to do this so Shaggy had to earn the win the hard way. He pulled it off though since he knew how large the stakes were. When the going gets tough, Shaggy manages to pull through and that helped him a lot in this film. I can safely say that he was likable here as a result..even if the scenes of him being scared are still a little too much.

As for Scooby, it’s a little hard to recover from this. He had one job, talk to the horse. Instead he decided to encourage a little kid who was scared of horses. It was a nice thing to do, but leaving Shaggy high and dry was not. I’m as a little disappointed in Scooby since you wouldn’t expect him to make a huge mistake like that most of the time. The rest of the Scooby gang didn’t get a particularly huge role this time around. Fred was great as always as he had the net at the ready and continues to be rather self aware. He’s by far the best character in the series. Daphne and Velma have their own sub plot as well as they do some sleuthing and the store owner is only willing to help Daphne. That seems to always happen, but Velma took it reasonably well and I’d say that she was decent here. Daphne was fine as always so Scooby is really the only bad character this time around.

I have to give the film some kudos for its climax. It almost felt like the film was going to be wrapped up a little too easily, but fortunately the film villains decided to make a break for it. Nothing quite as exciting as having the villains decide to run and giving us a nice chase scene. Shaggy actually chasing after the villains is definitely very novel and this really could be the first time where this ever happened. Seriously, for once nobody threatened Shaggy or forced him to do so. It was his own idea since he knew that if the villains got away it would be all over for the ranch. This is probably the most heroic that we’ve seen Shaggy yet. It was a solid way to end the film off.

The soundtrack is fairly decent. It’s mostly free domain stuff so it’s not very unique, but it works well enough for the scenes. The animation looks pretty crisp and Scooby Doo does get noticeably clearer as it goes on. It’s fairly subtle if you look at it film by film, but if you look at a film from a few years ago and skip to this one, then it’s a little more evident. It’s a simple look that is easy to look at and understand what is happening in a flash. I definitely appreciate the style. The series is very consistent when it comes to these technical areas.

If I have any complaints here, it’s that I want them to experiment with the opening credits more. For a while, the series had some really awesome opening credit themes and then they just stopped. I’m not sure why, perhaps fans didn’t like them, but I personally thought they were really fun. The intros used a lot of different animation styles and intense music to work as a backdrop for it. I miss those and hope to see them make a return.

Overall, This is a pretty good Scooby Doo film. It was nice to see Shaggy act tough as we don’t get that very often. Nothing will beat the time he broke into a bar and beat everyone up, but this will rank as one of his best appearances. It was a satisfying way for him to get some character development over the course of the film. Whether you’ve seen the last few Scooby Doo films or not, this is one that you’ll want to check out. It’s a fun film and it’s not even that long. It embraces its mystery/comedy set up without going overboard on each one. I guess you could argue that the actual mystery is less front and center here than usual as it’s more about the horse race and getting the money, but the mystery is still there. I recommend trying to guess who the culprit is after the first 30 minutes since that’s enough time to meet most of the suspects without getting too deep into the film. If you go deep enough, then it usually starts to get clearer and clearer who did the deed so it’s not as legitimate of a guess.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Review

It’s time for another one of the Peanut films. This one introduces the bullies into the equation so the stakes are a lot higher than usual for Charlie and the gang. Unfortunately, they are what bring the special down quite a bit. It just doesn’t mesh well with the usual gimmicks like Charlie always losing because losing to a bully is a lot worse than just losing to yourself. It was fun seeing the gang in a new environment though and a change in scenery was definitely a smart move.

So, Charlie and friends head on over to camp to have a good time. Unfortunately, the other kids are all really mean so Charlie must stop them in the big events. He gets the help of the other kids, but it all comes down to the final water race anyway. With no supervision and a multiple day’s journey, it will be tough to stop the bullies. Charlie Brown will have to come up with an idea fast or face total and utter defeat. Ah well, nothing that he is not used to at this point.

Unfortunately, most of Charlie’s friends aren’t all that tough. Linus is the only one who would stand up to the bullies at all. It was definitely nice to see him chase them off with his blanket whip a few times, but the rest of the friends were just annoying. It’s fine when they’re messing with each other since they’re all friends, but it’s not quite as fun when it is t he bullies intimidating them. Charlie Brown and the others just aren’t brave enough for this kind of situation and they aren’t even athletic enough to do much in the competitions. True, the kids were cheating, but the heroes had about 3 days to win anyway while on the raft. Considering that they were up against the bullies, they shouldn’t have left their raft unsupervised either. It was just not a smart move on their part.

The best scene was definitely the climax when Snoopy got involved though. One thing that I miss about the 80’s, 90’s and earlier is that the heroes used to set the villain up for the punch. He/She would lift the chin up with one arm and then punch with the other. It made for a really clean hit with a lot of power behind it. Snoopy needed his revenge since he hadn’t done so well early on and the final punch was definitely epic. There is another gimmick that doesn’t work too well for me to be honest. Snoopy is always very scared at the beginning and only gets brave towards the end. I’d like to see Snoopy clean shop right from the start.

The animation and soundtrack are fairly standard for a Charlie Brown movie. If you like the animation of the others, then you’ll like this one as well. It certainly has a very retro vibe to it and works well enough for this style. I’d like to see a Charlie Brown special done by the animators of One Punch Man someday, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon. Ah well, it’s a fun idea to think about though, it’s got a lot of potential.

The main subplot here involves Peppermint Patty as she tries to get her group to stay democratic the whole time. This naturally gets a little dicey, but Patty has the overriding vote if need be so the rigged system can work to her advantage. It’s a cool subplot to have and I’m always up for adding some political elements to the movie. Patty’s group is forced to swallow their pride and have some of Charlie Brown’s food once things get desperate. Trust me, things are desperate when you have to go to Charlie Brown for help.

Charlie does a pretty good job here for the most part. He helps the team out a lot in the race and doesn’t panic too much when Snoopy is at the wheel. Charlie doesn’t take it very well either, but at least he was willing to get back on the motorcycle the second time. He may never get to win in the end or have a super happy ending, but at least he keeps his friends from being in last. The Peanut specials definitely aren’t the same without good ole Charlie.

Overall, This is still one of the weaker Charlie Brown movies, but it’s not bad. I’d just like to see the cast get a nice confidence boost so they can hold their own a little better. This film went a little overboard since the bullies could get away with excessive cheating the entire time and there was a lot of plot hax as well. They should have won since they had almost a full day’s lead at some point. I guess you could make the case that everyone was going the wrong way for a while though so nobody would really get any farther. Doesn’t make too much sense, but then again, the race doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it. This is the final Charlie Brown special that I’ve seen so far so it could be a while before the next one. I look forward to seeing what the gang has in store for me at that point.

Overall 5/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

How The Grinch Stole Christmas Review

The Grinch is a classic tale that many likely grew up with or have at least heard of. I remember singing the songs for Choir and the concept behind the Grinch is decent enough. That being said, I was disappointed upon actually watching the original film. It hasn’t stood the test of time and is easily one of the worst Christmas specials on the block. If the Grinch didn’t have a dog, things would be different, but it’s simply too overdone for the duration of the entire film even if the ending is inspirational.

The Grinch is a creature who lives in a cave, but can never sleep because the aliens who live below are constantly making a ruckus with their loud instruments. They find it enjoyable so it doesn’t matter how loud they play. To punish these creatures, the Grinch decides to destroy their Christmas by stealing all of their presents and Trees, but are gifts really the meaning of Christmas? The Grinch is about to find out that material possessions aren’t enough to cancel such a joyous day.

This special is very short and is only about as long as your average cartoon episode. The Grinch goes around stealing everything until the end of the film where he realizes that it was all meaningless and turns over a new leaf. I have nothing against the actual plot and it wasn’t all that bad. This special was made around 50 years ago and the animation still holds up decently well. The Grinch’s character design is good and I still think that The Mask drew some inspiration from it. That being said, there is one thing that holds the film back.

The Grinch has a dog who is completely terrified of the fiend and is always forced to lead the charge in the Grinch’s wild plans You end up feeling bad for the dog since nothing goes his way and he’s constantly put in danger. If you’ve seen the Angry Birds trailer for the upcoming film, you’ll remember a scene where the main bird kicks another one into the ocean. It’s a very mean spirited way to show off the film and while it’s supposed to be funny, you have to question how you can laugh at such a deed. It just brings down the film and I’ll take crude humor over this nonsense.

The Grinch’s dog completely ruined the film for me. I doubt that the film would have gotten anything more than a 5 or maybe a 6 anyway, but that was not going to happen now. It’s not nearly bad as real animal violence from films like Hunger Games since it is still animated and nothing seriously bad happens to the dog, but the concept behind it is still not good.

Aside from that, the film was decently interesting. I do think that it would have been much better if the film took place on Earth so we could have some human banter from the other characters instead of them all just deciding to sing. We could have gotten a scene like in the Charlie Brown Christmas special where one guy tells the world the true meaning of Christmas and Christ’s birth. I can safely say that such a scene would have helped the film regain some of the ground that it lost thanks to the dog. The aliens aren’t bad, but they just seemed unnecessary and the odd world with its unique inventions were all right as well, but they also didn’t ultimately add anything to the plot. Not a bad thing, but I’d prefer a city like New York to be in the film any day. Since the Grinch is a good guy now, it would be interesting to see how the sequels handle the situation. Maybe he’ll just turn back the leaf and go to his old ways. I wouldn’t put it past the Grinch since he is not someone who should be easily trusted.

Overall, How The Grinch Stole Christmas may be a Christmas classic, but that doesn’t actually mean that it’s a good film. The Grinch is definitely a villain who you can root against, but he’s not a great character and his whole character arc happens very suddenly and not without a whole lot of foreshadowing. It makes you wonder what the point of his endeavor was. The film had a good ending though and at least the moral was sound. I thought that the animation was decent and there wasn’t really a soundtrack, but the film is old so that would have been very tough. I don’t recommend this film and if you want to watch something that’s a little more emotional, then I invite you to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Careful though, it may bring tears to your eyes.

Overall 3/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Scooby Doo Moon Monster Madness Review

I finally got to check out one of the newest Scooby Doo films the other day. I tend to like most of the films a lot and the worst ones are usually still a little enjoyable. I did not appreciate the terribly animated one or the musical, but the films tend to have a decent amount of quality behind them. That being said, Moon Monster Madness still surpassed my expectations as it ended up being one of the best Scooby Doo films out there! I could not believe just how good it was. We got some great tense scenes and the whole parody of alien plots gimmick that this film had worked out quite well. It doesn’t mean that all of the comedy plots worked out and the film had a plot hole or two as well, but for the most part, Scooby Doo was a complete success!

The gang has been invited to go to space! Some of the world’s most popular figures are going aboard and the Mystery Inc has been invited to represent the average person so everyone could feel like this new space adventure was welcoming. The suspects include a football player, a host for a news program, an astronaut, two older astronauts, and a millionaire who basically funded this whole thing. Naturally, all of them should be suspected immediately and a fun exercise that I do when watching a film like this is that I’ll make everyone choose a suspect right from the get go. I voted for the Football player since he’s kind of the obvious pick, which meant that maybe people wouldn’t want to vote for him so then the film would actually make him the villain. You always have to be 3 steps ahead of the writers, but the problem is that you may stay ahead of them sometimes, which ends up backfiring.

Right off the bat I can mention that Velma was really unlikable in this film. She spent the whole film just being jealous of Daphne and it got old as soon as the plot started. Velma’s a petty character, but she takes it to a whole new level here. Whether it be insulting Ridley or ridiculing Daphne, Velma has no sense of bashfulness or the self-dignity to keep it together without resorting to…insults. She’s easily my least favorite member of the crew and that was true before this film. The adventure did her no favors.

Daphne wasn’t even rude to Velma if you ask me. She was having fun hanging out with her new friend, but she wasn’t actively snubbing Velma or trying to be upset. She’s just oblivious to the fact that Velma is being shunned and while she should stand up for Velma or make a noticeable effort to keep throwing Velma into the conversations, it’s no reason for Velma to get so heated. Instead of being happy for Daphne, Velma is immediately jealous and shows how she obsesses over test scores. Daphne is critical to helping out the heroes at the end of this film as she shows off her true talents. I wouldn’t have minded if a plot twist about the test scores hadn’t happened though, it would have been a nice moment for her.

Fred’s gimmick leads to a bit of a plot hole, but he still proves to be the best member of the gang. He doesn’t know how to turn the speaker on in his suit so he can’t hear others talking. This leads to him repeating what the others are saying or just making random statements when he feels like it. Fred often takes the lead in these adventures and still does think up the game changing plan, but I could have done without the suit plot. It was interesting to see him annoy the old guys over and over again. In a sense, that’s what Velma should have been doing. If she really wanted to hang out with the popular crowd, then she should just pretend not to notice all of the snubs and insults that the other characters are throwing at her. Velma can move past all of that and pretend to be oblivious. It’s a successful strategy as I can verify.

Shaggy and Scooby are pretty true to form as they eat a lot and try to defend themselves from the alien. The chase scene on the Moon is more intense than usual as they even fire a rocket at the creature. That’s not the kind of action that you would usually expect from Scooby Doo, but it works nicely here and shows how powerful the alien is. Scooby and Shaggy keep it together through thick and thin. They’re still not as fun as Fred, but they gave a good role here.

There’s another intense scene in the film where the Football player breaks out into song and gets very emotional. I actually enjoyed the scene and thought that it was handled pretty well. It gave the football player another level of depth and made him one of the more impressive supporting characters. He even tried to fight a little in the big battle against the robot. Uboat was a little rude for no reason at times though so he wasn’t exactly flawless.

The two retired Astronauts weren’t bad. They never took direct shots at Fred even though he constantly irritated them. Their decision to leave Fred and Daphne in cold storage was pretty dangerous, but it all worked out in the end I suppose. The fashion astronaut was essentially the overly nice character. It may be a little tough to buy her act, but for the most part she seems like a good character. One may wonder if she is really oblivious to how Velma keeps getting shut out of the action and I don’t buy that either, but I suppose that you never know. The character is actually pretty interesting though and she’s not one dimensional, which is good.

I can’t say that I really enjoyed the plot between the rich guy and his brother though. So…the brother stayed on the space station by himself for years…just because it was his job? Maybe it was months, but that doesn’t matter, I would have just been clocking in 9-5 and then heading home for the weekends. At the very least, I’d want some Domino’s pizza delivered. It just felt pretty iffy even if the rich guy said that he now understands the true meaning of friendship. That being said, the rich guy wasn’t bad. I like how he came to the launch site with a suit made of money. Now that’s an awesome publicity stunt right there and I hope that someone pulls it off in real life as well.

The news guy flirted with Velma a little too much so I can’t say that he was a great character. It’s a shame since he could have almost fooled you into thinking that he was main character material with his personality. He’s a go getter and isn’t afraid to jump into the fray. It would be neat if he believed in his job a little more though. Ridley was a great character and it was good to see someone who knew how to fight aliens. Her subplot of being able to talk sci-fi with the rich guy’s brother was also poorly timed and written, but that doesn’t happen until the end. Until then, Ridley shows why she is the world’s foremost expert on Xenomorphs. She’s always ready for a fight and the name is iconic.

We even have a robot on board who is pretty interesting. He always tries to keep up with the human customs, but it just doesn’t work. The characters aren’t very sympathetic, but why should they be. The robot actually threatens Scooby and Shaggy in a surprisingly grim scene and there’s a plot twist at the end that makes the whole thing even more intense. I could have done without the twist, but it was certainly interesting.

There are two big villains here aside from the suspect who is guilty of course. One of them is a giant robot, which made someone exclaim “Pac Man!” The similarities to the two characters are uncanny and it’s one of the highlights of the film. The fight scene was fun. Of course, the villain who really stole the show was the alien, which was a homage to a Xenomorph. The creature tanked a missille that was shot and it can move very quickly. This wasn’t your average Scooby Doo villain and it’s a main reason as to why the film was so good. Even without the robot or the monster, the action scenes really have a lot of tension to them and the stakes are pretty life threatening for once. The heroes have to think fast amidst the falling debris and one by one they are picked off.

The animation is as solid as can be expected. Scooby Doo’s never been known for its animation and it’s certainly not something that will knock your hat off, but it’s good enough. Everything can clearly be seen and while the animation doesn’t take any risks, it can handle a talking scene as well as anyone. There’s even a epic soundtrack here as well! Get ready for some surprisingly fast paced themes and epic pieces of music that are fitting for battles of such magnitude.

Overall, This was a great Scooby Doo films and it easily ranks up there as one of the best. I have been debating for a while on whether this really is the best Scooby Doo film or not. Zombie Island, Cyber Chase, The Wrestling one, The Blue Falcon, and even the classic Witch films are all fairly strong contenders. It’s a very deep discussion with a lot of areas to think about, but I’m fairly confident that this one can hold its own. Check it out and you won’t be disappointed.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Inside Out Review

Inside Out was a fun animated film. I’d say that it was a bit better than I expected although I did find one of the main characters to be pretty annoying and the moral at the end of the film was pretty iffy. I can’t say that I agreed with it or at least the way that it was handled. Still, Inside Out holds its own here and the writing is solid.

Imagine a world where humans were actually complex machines which had their emotions become tangible beings that can control the person’s actions. Each emotion had a role to play and they worked in harmony to control every decision that you made. If they were to ever have a big disagreement and split up, then the human robot would shut down for a brief amount of time. The film goes into the details of how the human machine works in great detail, which is pretty fun. The actual plot of the film follows Joy as the main character.

Joy is essentially the ideal character. She’s extremely optimistic and always tries to see the positives in a situation. It’s easy to root for her and she does her best to ensure that every day is a good one. Unfortunately, Sadness wants to corrupt everything that she touches and gets Joy into a lot of trouble as the two of them fall away from the control center. They must now make it back to the human robot quickly or the girl’s social life will be ruined. After all, how can a person have a good life without any joy or sadness? The only emotions left are disgust, anger, and stress. Definitely not a good way to live there. Can Joy make it back or will Sadness continue to hold her back?

It’s probably obvious from the summary, but I do not like Sadness. She’s a debbie downer and the kind of person who doesn’t even enjoy Christmas. Essentially every line that she has is a complaint or a sigh where she tries to make everyone feel bad. Not content with just making herself sad, she tries to bring down the mood for everyone else as well. Sadness even goes as far as to corrupt the human’s happy memories and turn them into sad ones. In case you think that this is all just an accident and Sadness doesn’t mean it…think again. She does this on purpose. There are several times when Joy tells Sadness not to touch anything, but she does anyway. She ignores the warnings and causes as much damage as possible. Typically, she’ll do this immediately after being warned, which makes the whole situation even worse.

Joy is the opposite and ends up being a very good character. She’s essentially perfect. A character who’s always determined and likes to do things the right way. I’ve already talked about her so let’s move on to the next character. Disgust probably gets the smallest role out of the emotions and I can’t say that she’s a good character either. I don’t even consider Disgust to be a primary emotion, but I suppose that we were running out of them by this point. She doesn’t help out at all either here so the group would have been better off without her. At least she doesn’t openly try to put the team in jeopardy though.

Nervousness or whatever the emotion is officially called is decent. He’s always stressed out about everything that’s happening in the world so he’s on top of his game. He was even one step ahead of Joy when she asked him to write down a list of the things that can go wrong. Stress always brings his A game and he’s not afraid to go for the win. Finally, we have Anger, who’s another solid character. It’s always fun to see him grab the controls and blow up as he goes for the win. He tends to lose, but he talks a good game and Anger has more character than most of the other emotions. He certainly doesn’t let himself get pushed around although he tends to make the situation worse for his human.

Aside from the emotions, we’ve also got the other humans who have emotions of their own. We typically don’t see the other emotions, but it’s always interesting to see their other views. This even applies to dogs, cats, and just about anything else. The parents get a decently large role here. They’re pretty nice and the whole situation with the house can be a bit dicey, but they weren’t over the top as far as being unreasonable goes so the main character had no reason to be mad at them. It’s all because Joy wasn’t there of course, but you’ll just feel bad for them. That being said, there’s no logical reason why a pizza store wouldn’t have pepperoni. I think that was a bit iffy if you ask me and the scene could have been written better if we needed a situation to give the main character some tension. Bing Bong is an imaginary friend who couldn’t keep up with the opponent which goes by the name of age. I definitely didn’t mind him leaving the film as he was another character that I didn’t like. He nearly destroyed Joy by not thinking about what his secret short cut really was. His rocket was decent, but if you were supposed to cry for Bing Bong at the end..I can safely say that it didn’t happen in my case. He wasn’t the kind of character that you would get very attached too and he was just too much. If only Bing Bong had been cooler as I did like the name.

The film isn’t too short, which is good since it gives us some time to see all of the characters and explore this concept. I like the concept behind the idea that our emotions are actually sentient beings who control the human shells from within. A whole movie can be made about that…and it was! That being said, I didn’t agree with how the moral was presented as mentioned above. Basically, we are supposed to wrap our heads around the fact that our happy memories have sadness with them and that makes them even better. LOL No!

Let me give you an example. Brace yourselves here. I remember a few years back when I managed to acquire pounds and pounds of chocolates to save for my birthday. Dozens of different bags of chocolate chips, cookies, brownies, ice cream, and more were assembled. Seriously, we probably spent over 200 dollars on snacks alone for the Birthday, but it was worth it! I grabbed a huge Turkey container (Think of a big pan for pasta, but deep enough to fill in 3x that) and I stuffed the snacks inside before eating. I ate for hours and hours until my stomach was so full and I was so stuffed that my teeth began to hurt. Do I want to remember my teeth hurting? No, I block that out and just remember how amazingly good the pot of snacks was. My point is that happy memories are epic because they are happy. We don’t need any sadness messing that up.

Sadness does help us develop our character and make us better people, but it doesn’t mean that we have to corrupt our happy memories. That’s exactly the train of thought that makes people so miserable in day to day life. Whenever someone says that they aren’t looking forward to Christmas or always has a pouting expression on their face, I feel like facepalming myself. Enjoy every day folks because that’s the point of life. While we’re living, we may as well be having a blast. So, I feel like Inside Out dropped the ball on that, but it’s fine…we can’t win them all.

The animation is all right. It’s not really my style and I’ve seen animation from a decade ago and even older than that, which looks better. Still, this American Animation is really well liked and gets good reviews, but give me something a little flashier and I’ll be happy. The human characters are drawn in that intriguing CGI style that lets you immediately know that this is an American film. While we are way ahead of Japan in Live Action, they are decades ahead of us in animation. At this point, I’ve accepted the gap as a fact in life, but maybe we can change that someday.

Overall, Inside Out is a good film and it deserves the positive reviews. I had fun watching it and the film does a good job of world building. It’s an interesting film from start to finish and it never drags on. Good films don’t need action scenes to be enjoyable as this one proves, but then the writing has to be on point. Luckily that was the case here. I’m not ready to say that it’s as good as Frozen as the ice themed film still has the edge, but this one is on the same level. It just needed a super catchy song to keep up with Frozen and that didn’t happen. Take Sadness away from the film completely and who knows…maybe it could have won! I don’t think a sequel would be as good though. Certainly not if we had any hintings of romance. The emotions inside of the mom were already pretty iffy and it was an unnecessary scene that they had. The ending helped to stop that, but things could have been dicey. I still want a sequel though, but let’s make it a direct to DVD futuristic robot action adventure story to shake things up.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Watership Down Review

It’s time to look at another animated film, but this is really the opposite of Naruto. It’s one of those movies that will make you want to leave pretty early on and there’s no way that this deserves a PG. I had a feeling that a film about talking rabbits could be tricky considering the animal violence issue, but I didn’t think that it would be this serious. Needless to say, this was no Battleship!

A high above being created everything and life was peaceful for a while. Unfortunately, the Rabbits believed themselves to be superior to their “god” and all of the other animals as well. This angered the being and he made the other animal races as well as humans. Now, the goal of every creature is to destroy the Rabbits. Back in the present, the Rabbits’ home is about to be destroyed…according to the main character anyway. So, they set out and try to survive in the brutal environments that they pass. It shall be difficult for them!

First off, let’s make sure it’s clear why this film was doomed to fail. The animal violence is off the charts! They suffer many casualties and the heroes definitely don’t come out of this unscathed. I usually get sad when we have just one scene of animal violence so you can imagine what having an entire film of it will do to the overall rating. It was the film’s greatest weakness since it makes the title not fun to watch. You simply can’t get past such a negative and again, this film easily deserved a PG 13 at the very least. They should officially re rate the film or at least release a big article stating why it is now PG 13 worthy. Until then, kids may watch this and it’ll be a sad experience.

The animation isn’t bad. I can’t say that it’s very impressive, but this was back in the 70’s so I have to cut it some slack. It’s still easy to see who all of the characters are after all. Nothing about it will stand out, but it shouldn’t really hurt the experience for you. There isn’t much of a soundtrack though so you can forget about listening to good tunes during this experience.

The film drags on a little at some parts and I did feel a little sleepy, but I’d attribute some of that to the animal violence. It can definitely take you out of a film a little. I’m glad that the dog didn’t really get injured though so he was spared from this. All right, it’s time to quickly mention some of the characters.

Bigwig is easily the best member of the rabbits as he knows how to fight and he doesn’t back down from the enemies. He’s always ready with a plan and even if he is sometimes willing to leave the weaker members behind, he is the gruff commander who makes it all possible. Without him, the heroes would likely have been doomed several times. Most of the other heroes are pretty uneventful though. The main character can see the future, but he isn’t all that brave. Again, he just feels a little on the generic side.

Woundwort is the big villain by the end, but he’s certainly not a likable villain. He’s pretty tough considering that he should be out of shape by now. He very well could be the strongest rabbit alive. He ends up facing another creature who is a little stronger than a Rabbit though. One character that I was a big fan of was the bird who helped the rabbits out when they were in a pinch. The way that he spoke was pretty intense and he wasn’t subtle about how he was feeling. He didn’t mind admitting to the rabbits that he was simply stronger than them and that he wouldn’t back down. He eventually leaves since this wasn’t his fight and that was good since I didn’t want to see him get injured either.

If the film had strayed away from the animal violence, it certainly could have had some potential. It would have been a fun adventure as they met many other creatures and eventually overthrew some kind of dictator who learned to work with them. Then I certainly could have seen how it would become a big classic and be liked by many. The writing isn’t bad and the scene where the heroes enter into another rabbit’s lair is pretty spooky. They certainly could have held out well on their own.

Still, this film definitely doesn’t deserve the legendary status that it has reached. I consider Battleship to be more of a masterpiece and that’s saying something. As scary as this comparison could be for many, I think that this film could have learned a lot from things like My Little Pony and Clifford. Even Legend of the Guardians or Pokemon. They are all tales with creatures who get caught up in adventures and meet many dangers, but they are typically careful about the animal violence problem. It’s something that must be handled very carefully or you risk overdoing it.

Overall, Watership Down is certainly one of the more unlikable films that I’ve watched as of late. The score for it ends up being almost as low as you can possibly go. It’s just a sign of how important it is to avoid having animals in your film at all since it can critically injure a film. Even an all star like DBZ or Avengers risks a big chunk of likability points being dropped if they manage to make this kind of mistake. If you’re planning on watching this classic, then I would recommend the first Pokemon film instead. The action scenes are better and the journey is more intense without needing to resort to animal violence. It should also be noted that we won’t get any Submarines or literal Waterships here, but I’m sure that we weren’t expecting one anyway. That would have been pretty odd (but neat) to have seen. I think the TV show of this has some slight potential, but I don’t plan on seeing it anytime soon.

Overall 1/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Justice League Throne of Atlantis Review

Well, the sequel to Justice League War has finally arrived. I was not thrilled with the shift into the New 52 lineup from the start and this title definitely doesn’t help. It’s easily the worst Justice League film to date and that’s a pretty sad title to achieve. With such a great cast, it isn’t hard to make any Justice League film an elite, but this just shows how important a good writing staff/director is. All right, let’s look at why this film didn’t succeed.

A submarine is travelling through the waters when the crew is murdered by several underwater beings. The missiles are stolen so the Justice League is brought in to investigate. Meanwhile, Prince Orm is riling up Atlantis to go and face the surface dwellers. The Queen is keeping him in check, but for how long? Aquaman must leave the life that he has led on the surface to realize his destiny as an Atlantean. The players are all moving towards the climax where a confrontation shall be had!

For this review, I’m going to do some damage control before I get into the many negatives. One positive is that Batman doesn’t get hit during the film. He may as well be invincible since nobody can stop him. The flip side to this is that Batman never even gets to throw a punch this time. He’s basically in this film for star power since he doesn’t really have a role. He looks pretty good in his scenes, which is a plus. He gives up a little quickly on the flooding issue, but that just shows how dicey the situation was.

Another positive for the film is the animation. It still looks pretty good like in Justice League War. The battle scenes all flow pretty smoothly and there isn’t really anything negative to say about the animation. The character designs are another matter. They all look below average to be honest and it’s like they aren’t even trying in the New 52. Superman’s is probably the worst, but there’s something about GL’s that just isn’t appealing. At least, compared to his real uniform. Aquaman looks good, but he doesn’t have much of a costume to change here.

Are there more positives? Well, I’m sure we’ll find some as we go through the negatives. It’s time for some real talk folks so strap yourselves in because this roller coaster is about to begin its free fall! It’s hard to know where to start, but let’s begin with the romance section. Having Wonder Woman and Superman get together is completely pointless and it’s insulting to the fans. I grew up with the classic days where Superman made sure to keep everyone in the friend zone. He was firm about this so that villains couldn’t use his friends as targets. That was the Superman that I know. His pairing with Wonder Woman is wince worthy at best and it makes both of the characters look pretty awful here. More on that during their individual sections. Cyborg randomly gets a pairing as well and it’s just as sad. Superheroes don’t need rushed romances to keep the audience engaged and it just makes things sadder for us…the fans!

DC’s decided that their new films are going to be a lot more violent than the older ones. This started out with Flashpoint and I’m sure that we all remember the films that came afterwards. Well, Throne of Atlantis tries to compete with those as the blood runs like water here. The fight scenes will make you think that you’re watching Mortal Kombat considering how many beheadings and diemembering appear in the film. Everyone gets stabbed at some point. Superman begins to bleed for no real reason when he gets zapped by the staff and let’s not forget the hand to hand scenes. The film adds some noises like the sound of a jaw breaking to make the scenes more “intense.” Aquaman really beats up on the normal joes and it’s the kind of fight scene that could easily be done without the extra effects. DC says gritty and I say unnecessary. The overload of violence is just distracting and it really takes away from the film. It definitely makes the title unsuitable for kids and it is definitely a very strong PG 13 so you’ll want to be careful with your teenagers as well. It’s probably not the most violent DC film to date, but it certainly tries hard to achieve that spot. So, the fights are pretty streamlined and flashy, but the violence hurts them pretty badly. They may be trying to send a message to Marvel’s animated features, but this blurs that message.

The writers also seemed to want to suck the philosophical questions that the comic had so they made Prince Orm a one dimensional villain. He is not a nice guy by any stretch of the imagination and he’s just your average super villain who wants to destroy everything. Once he gets the staff of power, he just goes around beating everyone up. His design also looks pretty fake as if the film is adding insult to injury. You’ll probably want to boo him off the stage since he’s so generic and not very intimidating.

Black Manta is also here, but he doesn’t serve much of a purpose either. He gets a brief fight with Aquaman, but he is humiliated and we remember that the Aquaman hype train will not be derailed until the next film. for quite a while. I’m fine with it since that’s handled pretty well, but Black Manta should have known that he was outmatched. He was just very sub par here.

That transitions into another area where the film needed some help. The writing. We’ve got violence, but that doesn’t make the film gritty enough right? Time to throw in some language! There aren’t many big swears, but the ones that are there were definitely added to show how edgy the villains are. Black Manta and a throwaway villain in Gotham just use the word for no discernible reason. They’re just using it because they can and I always attribute that to bad writing. The writers of today sometimes realize that they can’t match the ones from the Bogart and Bacall days so they don’t even bother. Adding in swear words is one of the ultimate cop outs.

The movie is definitely a lot different from the original comic and unfortunately, it is much worse. We don’t really get any action scenes since most of the “fights” just result in the Leaguers decimating hundreds of mindless monsters or watching the flip side of that. The only real fight for the League is at the end against Ocean Master and that one’s wince worthy due to plot hax. The movie also takes away any sense of danger since they erase the flood scene. It’s odd because it’s hyped up as the villains bring a giant tsunami towards Metropolis, but then they just part the waves dramatically and decide to attack the city on foot. It’s probably one of the most foolish decisions that I have ever seen in a film and it’s embarrassing for them. There is literally no point to using such a tactic and you’re basically giving the heroes a chance to fight back this way. Batman’s big “People are going to die” moment from the comic just doesn’t work this time since only a few soldiers are taken out during the battle. Not quite the amount of casualties that we were expecting huh? Cyborg’s drama about going through with the operation to replace his lung? It’s taken out here as he just says yeah from the start. The film wanted to speed along through everything.

The pacing is very quick, but a little too much so this time. The film is barely over an hour so it rushes through Aquaman’s origin so that they can have Ocean Master take the stage. This results in every area of the film feeling rushed since nothing is developed so that they can go to the next scene. The Justice League get the shaft at times because of this and you’ll find yourself just waiting for them to come back. The longest draught is when Batman and Superman leave to investigate. They don’t appear again for what feels like 10-15 minutes since it’s time for Aquaman’s subplot. This is the kind of film that should have easily been 2 hours and I think that it would have helped the film tremendously.

One of the biggest problems is the power level issues that are found here. Wonder Woman lands a direct punch on Ocean Master and it does virtually no damage while Aquaman is able to land some killer blows. Wonder Woman is stronger than Aquaman and the opening scene of the film practically proves this. Aquaman has trouble with random grunts and that’s pretty sad. They land a lot of hits and they don’t defeat Aquaman, but he certainly doesn’t look as strong as Wonder Woman or Superman. Superman looks particularly terrible as he is beaten down two times without doing any real damage. The first time, he grabs Ocean Master’s scepter….big mistake. He is quickly zapped and loses in a single blow. I think we can all agree that Superman doesn’t go down with one shot and especially not to someone like this. The Flash is naturally tripped and that sidelines him for the rest of the film. A random trip…he didn’t even get zapped! Green Lantern is swamped by minions like in War and when he breaks out he is quickly taken out with a zap. Cyborg is stabbed because he was too slow to dodge and Shazam gets one shotted by the lightning as well. (Shazam’s lightning did no damage of course) Aquaman gets in more hits than the rest of the Leaguers, but he is also stabbed and taken out of action.

Batman doesn’t get to fight Ocean Master, which may be a good thing since we can tell that the writers did not know what they were doing. Instead of a satisfying ending where one of the heroes beats Ocean Master, we basically just get a betrayal plot twist. (Not for the fans, but for the Atlanteans) This finishes with a blind side punch from one of the heroes. Now they can all remember how they were crushed but won with a sucker punch. That’s not a good way to end the film and it’s pretty depressing for the heroes. There is an after credit scene that has some potential for a good sequel, but we’ll see what arc this film tries to adapt. If it really is Trinity War, then it will likely be an even looser adaption this time around.

As I mentioned, Batman was kept in character here. Cyborg is still not very likable and he has a new subplot where he’s very cold to people. He’s a machine after all, but he eventually warms up to everyone and gets a romance going. That was pretty terrible. Shazam still looks really bad and his voice is very high pitched. You can’t take him seriously and he doesn’t have the Wisdom of Shazam here. His character just doesn’t make sense as it’s still Billy’s mind just with an adult form. He looks pretty bad and he’s not likable either.

The Flash is basically perfect and it’s too bad that he doesn’t get to have more action scenes. He’s certainly one of the strongest members of the team and there is no opponent that should be confident of his chances against the speedster. Green Lantern is pretty similar to his portrayal in War, but he still seems to be portrayed as one of the weaker links. He doesn’t get beaten up on a lot like in the last film, but he still needs some work if he’s going to be a good hero. It’s sad because he is usually a great character, but I’ll have to say goodbye to that version.

Wonder Woman is technically good, but she really gets 0 character apart from the romance plot. We’re reminded that she is a good warrior when she is slashing away at the villains of course, but that’s about it. I just can’t forget that plot with Superman so she is certainly one of the least likable characters. This applies to Superman as well, who really seems like a shell of his former self. He talks about how he’s going to make one of the villains eat his weapon and it’s lines like that, which makes this new version of Superman hard to identify with. He talks tough, but he’s typically just showing off or getting beaten up. It’s hard to really be a fan of him here and he gets to sink just like Wonder Woman.

Aquaman looks pretty good here, but he does fall into the romance plot with Mera way too quickly. You have to realize that the film mostly takes place over the span of a single day…so that’s a reeeeally rushed romance. Aquaman doesn’t betray the League like he did in the comic so he’s a lot more heroic here. He does what needs to be done and Aquaman turns out to be a good fighter. There’s really nothing negative to say about him aside from the rushed romance. Likewise, Mera is certainly a capable fighter and she does well when needed. Her water abilities are very potent and they make her a lethal fighter to be up against.

Seeing the Justice League get to form for a second time was pretty fun. The film actually started out decently well with this plot since the daily trip to Gotham was pretty intense as per usual. Seeing GL go to fetch Batman was definitely in character since he wasn’t going to let the dark knight skip a meeting this time. Gotham always has a certain edge to it that distinguishes the city from the rest and we also get some of the best animation featured in that moment. Not bad Batman…not bad! It’s a little disappointing to see how irresponsible Superman and Wonder Woman were though. We can naturally understand why Batman and GL didn’t show up at the meeting, but why wouldn’t the power hitters come? You can make the case that they didn’t hear the signal…but that’s highly unlikely. Ah well, more time for those two characteres to sink I suppose.

Lois and Jimmy were two characters who had no purpose in this film, but it’s time for the review to start winding down. Ultimately, the film was just plagued with too many negatives for me to really call it a good film. Take away the Justice League and it’s probably a bad film. The iconic characters are what keeps it afloat,m but the actual handling of this otion picture just wasn’t up to par with what you would expect. The film is also extremely light on meaningful action and I would be disappointed if the upcoming live action film had a similar climax. I’m expecting big things from that title and I don’t want to be disappointed! There isn’t much of a soundtrack to be found here so I’ll skip that.

Overall, Throne of Atlantis is pretty disappointing. These could be dicey times for DC. The box art isn’t very good and it follows that live action feel that I’m not a fan of. The violence is way over the top to try to make the film gritty and I had problems with just about every scene. The final fight must be one of the most inaccurate moments in all of cinema. The animation looks nice and the main characters are mostly all pretty likable, but that’s just not good enough to help the film this time. I recommend just skipping this one and watching Crisis on Two Earths yet again. That film never gets old!

Overall 5/10