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"Caillou’s Family Favorites:" When Edutainment is All Edu- and No -Tainment

by Ed Liuon March 2, 2008
There’s a “Message to Parents” on the most recent DVD of PBS Kids’ Caillou, which explains that the show was based on the research of acclaimed child psychologist Nicole Nadeau. The show’s title character is meant to help children develop their sense of self-esteem, confidence, and independence, using vignettes of Caillou and his family going […]

"Justice League: The New Frontier": The Brave and the Bold and the Little Bit Bonkers

by Maxie Zeuson February 28, 2008
Justice League: The New Frontier opens with two of the loveliest animated sequences ever glimpsed outside a Brad Bird film. In the prologue an unseen artist paints and narrates a spooky tale about the rise and incipient return of the monstrous “Centre.” The colors are bold but perhaps slightly divergent from the usual primaries; the […]

"Justice League: The New Frontier": Flawed, but Strong and of Good Courage

by Ed Liuon February 28, 2008
It’s hard to walk into an adaptation of one of your favorite books with the full expectation that your favorite scene isn’t going to be in it. Such was the problem I faced when spinning up Justice League: The New Frontier, the direct-to-video adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel DC: The New Frontier. Attempting to […]

"Shuffle" Vol. 1: Shuffling in My Seat From Restlessness

by Classic Speedyon February 26, 2008
Shuffle is pretty. It’s got a bunch of girls who are appealing and well-drawn. True, they all wear the same uniform, but you can tell them apart by the way they move, how they style or color their hair, or wear ribbons. Okay, if it sounds like I’m digging deep to find something good to […]

"Peach Girl Vol. 4 and 5" If the Show’s the Peach, the Cast Are the Pits

by Chad Boninon February 25, 2008
It doesn’t matter how hot you are, you’re gonna have a confusing life. The WB taught me this early on, and Peach Girl reaffirms it. Momo may be a great person, nice and attractive, and quick to defend her friends, but her life sucks. She’s with Kairi, but he really loves someone else. She manages […]

"Persepolis" Is a True Milestone in Animated Filmmaking

by Ed Liuon February 23, 2008
After a movie has garnered a certain amount of hype, watching it can be a bit of a challenge. There are very, very few movies that actually deserve all the hype that they get. The feedback from disappointed moviegoers can even end up creating a backlash that can overwhelm whatever merits the movie might have […]

"Witchblade" Vols. 3 and 4: There Can Be Only One Highla- Er, Witchblade

by Classic Speedyon February 22, 2008
Witchblade may advertise itself as a show about a hot, semi-naked chick who regularly kicks ass every which way. In fact, though, it’s at its best when dealing with the human elements, especially the aforementioned Masane and her relationship with her daughter, Rihoko. But the butt-kicking-hot-chick-seeking audience must be placated as well. The third volume […]

"Glass Fleet": Rocks Wanted

by Maxie Zeuson February 20, 2008
“Michel hasn’t quite been himself since that incident.” You’re talking about the sex-change operation, right? Cleo must find it a relief now that he can stop biting back the sarcastic replies to obvious set up lines. I know it was a relief to me. But then, I’m not a soulful, raven-tressed pirate who’s nicknamed himself […]

Just Deserts: Yar-Har for "The Desert Princess and the Pirates"

by Jameson February 19, 2008
It has been said there is nothing more fashionable than being late for a party. But how late is “late”? Fifteen minutes? An hour? Okay, how about 183 hours? Or, to cast the same number in TV/cinematic terms, how about 343 episodes and 7 movies late? Rare for anime visuals to make me smile, but […]

"Ragnarok" Vol. 1 & 2: Please Vanquish Evil Cliches From This Kingdom, Brave Warrior

by Classic Speedyon February 16, 2008
Ragnarok is a show completely lacking in inspiration, the kind of series that feels created solely to cash in on a popular online video game. The kind where the writers, stumped, said, “Oh right, we have to make a show! Uh… let’s have them fight some random monsters! Done!” The characters are all archetypes we’ve […]