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"Fat Albert" Big, Fat Pile of Crap

One of modern Hollywood’s more curious genres has to be TV show adaptations, which are almost universally lambasted by critics and fans alike but still generally turn in a healthy profit. I suppose it’s the McDonald’s theory: people will flock to the familiar even if it means intestinal discomfort later. As long as there are […]

"The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie": Invertebrates Have More Fun

Chances are you’re acquainted with the cheerful sea sponge known as SpongeBob SquarePants, even if you don’t have a SpongeBob plushie on your desk. I mean to say, even if you don’t have young children. You leave my plushie out of this. The four-cornered, bucktoothed marine fry cook with bulging eyes has been topping kids’ […]

"The Incredibles": These Four are Fantastic

Pixar seems to be that rarest of creatures in Hollywood: a studio that can do no wrong. It seems many are waiting for the studio’s inevitable first flop. It remains to be seen whether they will find it in next year’s Cars, Pixar’s final film with Disney, which, in a surprising and disturbing turn, seems […]

"Gungrave: The Sweeper": Do Gangsters Amuse You?

One reason American animation fans have taken such a liking to anime is the diverse range of subjects that they explore. Standing in contrast to the limited palette of American studios, anime has touched a wide range of genres: sports, sci-fi, comedy, history, soap opera, fantasy, cooking, and many others. One subject left relatively untouched […]

The Cat Returns: A Magical Tale of Many Kitties

Studio Ghibli is often deemed the Disney of Japan, and it is difficult to find much fault with the comparison. Not only do both dominate their respective domestic (traditional) animation markets, but there are many similarities to be found in the epic adventures and enchanting fairy tales they bring to the screen. There are also […]

Shark Tale: All the Shrek With None of the Donkey

Just months after Shrek 2 broke all kinds of box office records, Shark Tale delivers DreamWorks another blockbuster performance, albeit on a more modest scale. After many frustrating years of living in rival Pixar’s shadow, 2004 truly belonged to DreamWorks. But has the upstart’s filmmaking prowess kept pace with its explosive financial growth? Shrek 2 […]

Thoroughly Modern Mulan

As the Disney sequel machine rolls ever onward, many fans have turned on the Mouse for what they consider its crass commercial exploitation of classic films. This argument has considerable plausibility in the case of projects like The Hunchback of Notre Dame II. I mean, how does that work? The wisecracking gargoyles already have Victor […]

"Aladdin and the King of Thieves" Makes a Rich Haul of Laughs

Rejoice! Rejoice! Robin Williams returns to the fold in Disney’s Aladdin III: Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Yes, sometimes even the mighty Mouse learns from its mistakes, and, following the Return of Jafar debacle, Disney managed to lure the venerable Genie back for this 1996 direct-to-video finale to the Aladdin saga. It’s got Genie, […]

"Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence": Androids Dream of Electric Sci-fi

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence comes to DVD with high expectations, and it doesn’t disappoint. An elegant treatise less on man versus machine than man in machine, this sophisticated sci-fi thriller explores the human relationship to robots. And automatic weapons. It would be a disservice to take the reader too far into the film’s […]

"Aladdin II - The Return of Jafar": No Genie in this Lamp

Disney has always been a firm believer in the adage that more is better. So they wasted little time in following up 1992′s wildly successful Aladdin with the direct-to-video The Return of Jafar, beginning an ignominious tradition that has picked up both steam and plenty of cash over the years. Now, with a DVD release, […]

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