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"Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie": The Tedium of the Cards

On the heels of the celebrity poker trend comes Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie, starring the self-proclaimed “king of the cards.” You won’t find him running the tables in Vegas, though. He’s too busy hawking licensed goods at Toys ‘R’ Us. Yu-Gi-Oh! has succeeded Pokemon as the biggest anime merchandising phenomenon in the US, and similar expansion […]

"Popeye's Voyage: Quest for Pappy" Strong to the Finish

Well blow me down, matey. Apparently not lost at sea, Popeye makes a surprise return to animation in the direct to DVD feature Popeye’s Voyage: Quest for Pappy. If memory serves, Popeye’s last foray put him up against the likes of the Smurfs on Saturday mornings, so it’s been a good long while. Showing that […]

"Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas" Decks the Halls with Style

Sooner or later, it was inevitable. The big mouse held fast to tradition as long as it could, but even Disney had to give sway to the CGI trend eventually. Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas marks not only Disney’s first CGI feature, but also the CGI debut of the Disney founding fathers Mickey, Donald, Goofy, […]

"Shrek 2" Still an Ugly Duckling

While it is common with live action films, the notion of theatrical sequels remains a strange one to the world of animation. Only a handful have come to pass so far, most notably Pixar’s very clever and successful Toy Story 2, which is generally considered to have improved on the original. This example was apparently […]

"Sponge For Hire" Isn't Exactly Made to Order

Just in time for the upcoming Spongebob film, yet another TV show compilation DVD arrives. Sponge for Hire puts together eight episodes which primarily focus on Spongebob’s beloved job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab restaurant. This fortunately means a starring role for the Krab’s owner, Mr. Krabs, whose wild and hilarious eccentricities […]

"Garfield: The Movie" - I Hate Easy Paydays

With the arrival of the Scooby Doo movies, it was just a matter of time before America’s favorite cat clawed his way on screen. Yes, Garfield the sarcastic, gluttonous, and lovable cat celebrated 25 years of comics, cartoons, and merchandising with his motion picture debut. The film started modestly at the box office, but thanks […]

"Puffy" Power is Undercharged

Perhaps envious of the high social status given toys in the U.S., Japanese celebrities seem to be looking for their own piece of the pie. After all, who wouldn’t want bling-bling like Pikachu has – millions in the bank, Hummers in the garage, Pokemon in the Jacuzzi. So here comes Japanese pop duo Puffy hoping […]

"Dragons: Fire & Ice" Turns Out Lukewarm

The most common criticism levied at 80s cartoons is that they are little more than glorified toy commercials. I often bristle at this label, especially when applied to favorites like G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K., which I feel rise well above it. Dragons: Fire & Ice is the latest production in this longstanding tradition of toy […]

"Kaena": Great New Classic or Evolution's Mistake?

Toon Zone’s Desslar and Twage look at Kaena: The Prophecy and can agree on only one thing: The title character has fantastic knockers. Kaena: A Brave New World of Animated Scifi by Desslar It’s a shame that Kaena: The Prophecy has got such little press in the U.S. But it’s far from surprising. It’s hard […]

"The Punisher": Frank Goes to Hollywood, People Die

I wish I could say that The Punisher is a terrific adaptation and a worthy tribute to its title character: I am a huge Punisher fan and find the title’s dark and gritty take on crime-fighting a refreshing change from the usual “truth, justice, and the American way” stuff. I can’t, as it happens; the […]

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