FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Cheatin’ [2014]

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“Ella Heart Jake” Inspired by the works of James M. Cain such as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, iconic animator Bill Plympton‘s Kickstarted feature film Cheatin’ is all about sex, lust, love, magic, and sex. His seventh feature film makes its Canadian debut at the Fantasia Film Festival a year and a […]

REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon 2 [2014]

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“What your searching for is in here” With ten children’s books already published—and two more planned—Cressida Cowell has given Dreamworks animation a ton of material to adapt whether adhered to religiously or not. Their success on How to Train Your Dragon caught many off guard while earning a place in the hearts of children and […]

REVIEW: Mr. Peabody & Sherman [2014]

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“But that’s not fair! All my friends are fighting the Trojan War!” It’s been a decade in the making but director Rob Minkoff has finally brought Mr. Peabody and Sherman to theaters. He tried with Sony in 2003, got the ball rolling again with Dreamworks in 2006, and saw the latter studio’s purchase of the […]

REVIEW: Almost Home [2014]

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“Next!” I’m not really sure what Dreamworks is doing, but the existence of Almost Home rubs me the wrong way. A four-minute short shown before Mr. Peabody and Sherman—replacing the Gary Trousdale helmed Rocky and Bullwinkle piece that was inexplicably removed—I thought it was mildly humorous in a charmingly prolonged gag sort of way. But […]

REVIEW: Party Central [2014]

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“Operation Party Central is a go” Turning to frat house humor for Monsters University was to me the largest misstep in Pixar Animation’s history. It took one of the studio’s most original worlds and made it into a gag to be blindly consumed by fans of Monsters Inc.‘s heart only to scratch their heads wondering […]

REVIEW: The Croods [2013]

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“Never not be afraid” One credit has fascinated me since The Croods opened in theaters: story by John Cleese. That John Cleese? Surprisingly, yes. It’s a somewhat convoluted journey from his failed adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Twits with Kirk DeMicco catching the eye of Dreamworks and earning them the pick of the litter as […]

REVIEW: The LEGO Movie [2014]

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“All this is true because it rhymes” I am a child of the 80s. Ask me about Lego Star Wars or Lego Harry Potter and my response will be a quizzical look devoid of comprehension. I was a builder with a giant card table set up in my basement full of city locales and blank […]

REVIEW: Room on the Broom [2013]

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“And WHOOSH …” Just like with The Gruffalo back in 2011, Max Lang has found his second adaption (this time co-directed by Jan Lachauer) of UK children’s author Julia Donaldson‘s work garnering an Oscar nomination as well. It’s 2002′s book Room on the Broom, a cute tale about making new friends and selflessly banding together […]

REVIEW: Feral [2013]

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Writer/director Daniel Sousa‘s animated short Feral is a tragic tale of a young boy raised in the wild and his attempt to assimilate into human civilization. Drawn with a rough, charcoal texture that shimmers and swirls with each new frame of motion, its contrast of blacks and whites show us the child’s isolation from both […]

REVIEW: Mr. Hublot [2013]

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“Hey, Hublot. I think you forgot to turn the key once more.” For OCD-ridden Mr. Hublot, life is a steady series of mundane tasks to ensure everything is in working order around the house and exactly where his mind needs them to be. He wakes up, flicks his light switches off and on, adjusts the […]

REVIEW: Tsukumo [Possessions] [2013]

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“Here and there, use and dispose” The title of Shuhei Morita‘s Oscar nominated short Tsukumo [Possessions] on first blush conjures thoughts of two separate meanings. One is the idea of spirits possessing objects or people to do their bidding and the second is a grouping of things someone owns. If not for an opening textual […]