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"Fantastic Four": Cheese On!

by Chris Woodon December 6, 2005
Last Fall there was much talk of how Pixar’s superb The Incredibles was a perfectly imagined take on Marvel Comics’ First Family of superheroes: the Fantastic Four. Oddly there was no talk of lawsuits. Maybe that was for fear of bad publicity, as this year Fox brought the four to the big screen for their […]

"Kong: King of Atlantis" It's Disney Kong!

by Chris Woodon December 1, 2005
Did you know that a ferocious giant ape would be an ideal lead for a children’s cartoon series? Neither did I, but those forward-thinking folks at BKN International seized on this idea in 2001 to create Kong: The Animated Series, which today seems to be largely forgotten. However, when BKN heard that Lord of the […]

"Creature Comforts" The Complete First Season: Feet of Clay, Words of Tedium

by Chris Woodon November 15, 2005
Thanks to the considerable success of Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, Nick Park is on his way to becoming a household name in the U.S. But an unintended consequence of the popularity of these properties is that Park’s most acclaimed short goes relatively unnoticed. Back in 1991 the Oscar for best animated short film […]

"Burst Angel" Vol. 2 to 4: Dangerous Beauties

by Chris Woodon November 14, 2005
Burst Angel is yet another in a long line of girls with guns anime series trying to recapture the magic of 80s classic Dirty Pair. And it does an admirable job, adding giant robots and monsters to the familiar mix. Though frankly, I hardly noticed them as my eyes must have been somewhere else. Let’s […]

"IGPX" Feels the Need for Speed

by Chris Woodon November 2, 2005
Americans and Japanese aren’t really so different when you get right down to it. We both enjoy animation, motor sports, and squid on a stick. (God, I hope that stays down). These mostly-common interests have come together in the futuristic racing anime IGPX, a joint production between Cartoon Network’s Toonami and Production I.G. of Ghost […]

"Godannar" Vol. 1 - Engage and Destroy: Old School Robot Action Go!

by Chris Woodon September 29, 2005
Postmodernism has become very popular in the entertainment industry over the last decade or so. The anime series Daiguard successfully brought this approach to the giant robot genre, re-imagining the pilots as ordinary corporate drones and increasing realism. Godannar does the exact opposite, unapologetically embracing old school giant robot action in all its cheesy glory. […]

"Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island!": Spongebob's Ugly Stepbrother

by Chris Woodon September 16, 2005
They say if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Taking this maxim to heart, Warner Brothers has “adapted” Nickelodeon’s runaway hit SpongeBob SquarePants and given it a much cleverer name. The result is Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island!, and that noise you hear is lawyers sharpening their pencils. Fred fails another drug screening. To be […]

"Galaxy Railways" Vol. 2: Half Steam Ahead

by Chris Woodon September 13, 2005
We all slow down eventually, even in the world of entertainment. Kevin Costner, for example, has gone from battling vicious gangsters to canoodling with frumpy housewives. In a less drastic manner, Galaxy Railways lowers the pressure heading into its second volume, “His Father’s Son.” In my review of the first volume, I compared Galaxy Railways […]

"Gunslinger Girl" Volume 2: Girls Just Want to Shoot Guns

by Chris Woodon September 6, 2005
One of anime’s unique and recently popular genres, seen in series like Noir, Najica Blitz Tactics, and Madlax, is girls with guns. In the 2003 show Gunslinger Girl (GG), they are mere children. The second volume of this exciting series, “Vita, Passionee…Pistole: Life, Happiness, and the Gun,” contains episodes 6 through 9. GG is a […]

"Rumiko Takahashi Anthology" Vol. 3: Adding "Extra" to "Ordinary"

by Chris Woodon September 5, 2005
There are several well-known godfathers of manga and anime who have produced a wide body of work and introduced many memorable characters. These include Akira‘s Katsuhiro Otomo, Gundam‘s Yoshiyuki Tomino, and of course Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. However, even though Japan remains largely a man’s world, the industry also has a godmother. She is Rumiko […]