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Review: "Mia and the Migoo" Is Miyazaki Minus the Magic

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With its child heroine, its fantastical plot, and its strong environmental message, Mia and the Migoo will immediately remind viewers of the work of Hayao Miyazaki (whose name even appears to be referenced in the title character). Alas, this animated French film resembles Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest and other ecologically-minded Hollywood animated fare more […]

Review: "Danny Phantom" Season 2, Part 2: Episodes So Nice, You Buy Them Twice

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Following the release of the first part of season two of Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom comes the Shout! Factory release of the second half. Not only is the breaking up of season two unnecessary, it’s pointless and maddening. Sure, a complete set would be a lot heavier than the typical, cheaper two-disc release, but owning both […]

Review: "Big Top Scooby Doo!" This Circus Mystery Gets a Little Hairy For the Scooby Gang

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Circuses are supposed to be happy places, but as any kid who has ever been emotionally scarred by a clown knows, it doesn’t take much to flip the switch from bright and sunny to creepy and terrifying. Show them a dark circus at night, or a clown outside of the very narrow range of settings […]

Review: "Gasaraki" Still Holds Up Over A Decade Later

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I’ve said before on toonzone that I think that 1998 may be Sunrise animation’s finest single year. Whether it was it was the pair of wild west space adventures in Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star, or the unusually good ren-ai game adaptation in Sentimental Journey, Sunrise was simply on fire. Part of that amazing run […]

Review: "Transformers: Rescue Bots: Roll to the Rescue" While You Guys Were Fighting Unicron ...

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Transformers is the story of violent giant robots that destroyed their own planet with a stupid and pointless war, then brought their battle to Earth and seem always on the verge of destroying that planet, too. Characters are locked in constant conflict. They suffer, and they die. Because the characters are robots, such things have […]

Review: "Tom & Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse" Robs from the Past and Gives Nothing in Return

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At least the title gets it right: Tom & Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse is at least as much about the famous outlaw of Sherwood Forest as it is about the famous cat and mouse duo. So it gets points for truth in advertising. The rest is mostly muddle. Plot-wise, this seventy-minute DVD […]

Review: "Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror" Reflects Real Emotion

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Oblivion Island: Haruka and The Magic Mirror, is an exciting, colorful fantasy adventure. But it’s also a movie that will resonate strongly with anyone who has ever unexpectedly or tragically lost a loved one. There’s a special kind of guilt that comes along with that kind of loss. It’s the guilt of forgetting. No matter […]

Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles": Back Again To Raise Some Shell

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property I have definite nostalgia for. In nursery and into my formative years of school I have strong memories of watching the original animated series on afternoon kids TV, Christmases where my mother had tracked down such treasures as the Turtle Blimp and Party Wagon toys, and even sampling […]

Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles": They're Baaaaaaaaack!

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So they’re trying yet another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show.  Everything old is new, and old, and new again.  I guess we’ve hit that point in pop culture where recycling is itself recycled. Well, at least we have a good show for the effort, one that easily stands aside its predecessors without being a pure […]

Review: "The Squid Girl" (UK Edition): Squids In

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In the middle of summer, a Japanese beach café is intruded upon by a visitor from the sea. Calling herself Squid Girl, the pintsized invader announces her intent to conquer the surface world for the damage mankind has caused to the oceans. Luckily for humanity, the would be overlord is none too bright, and it […]

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