The Unforgettable Second Fiddle

The element that does lift Finding Dory above the “good” threshold is its heart-wrenching emotional nucleus. Dory is always positive and good-hearted, but the world she often encounters in her search for help is one that is indifferent or that often does not know how to, or care enough to, give a hand to the poor friendly fish that wants to find her home but that has trouble figuring out where it is and how to get there. Any relation to a modern world that is way too self-centered and worried about its own problems to pay attention to those of others, which may be much more urgent and grave, is certainly not a coincidence; and Pixar delivers that message with a light and deft touch.

Full Post

Through The Looking-Glass

In the end, though, Zootopia is nothing short of impressive. It gets all compliments usual Disney classics achieve: it is funny, enchanting, visually stunning, highly emotional, universally likable, and fun. At the same time, it is a dot far out of the curve for it shows Disney tackling an animation while being armed with a politically engaged soul. It forces audiences to take a good look at the mirror and analyze themselves, their world, their problems, their minds, and their reasoning. Regardless of whether one happens to see their image reflected on the looking-glass, or to simply identify the damage that certain lines of thought and actions can provoke, Zootopia succeeds because it raises awareness and fosters discussions; it is a movie that is fully aware of the world in which it exists and takes a fair shot at addressing its most important issues. Like little Alice, what we see beyond the mirror – a reflection of our world, is an alluring new perspective of problems we have grown used to; and that is what makes it so overwhelmingly revealing.

Full Post

Jurrasic Bungle

Some could argue that The Good Dinosaur is Pixar’s attempt at writing a movie directly aimed at the youngsters, especially following the intricate and overly complicated concepts of Inside Out, but even if it does punctually come off as entertainment built for children, it is of the mediocre kind. Instead of reaching for the likes of Ponyo and My Neighbor Totoro, two works blatantly produced for kids by Studio Ghibli – a company known for crafting mature animation, that are masterpieces; The Good Dinosaur presents all the bad quirks and goofs of a rushed and uninspired DreamWorks product. For any company, such result would be a major disappointment; for Pixar, a towering giant in the world of animation, it is appalling and, ultimately, sad.

Full Post

Cloudy With A Chance Of Adventure

As the first effort by Studio Ghibli, Castle in the Sky shows minor signs that those involved in its production had yet to reach their full capacity as movie-makers. However, after building a collection of twenty productions – most of which are highly beloved – it remains one of the brightest entries in the studio’s catalog. Aside from setting in stone many of the characteristics future releases would have – features that are essential elements to the Ghibli spirit, it delivers what is by far one of the most thrilling and imaginative hand-drawn journeys ever.

Full Post

Matters Of The Mind

It is, undoubtedly, a great premise, and it soars to unimaginable heights because of the work’s greatest prowess: the constant sense of wonder its endless creativity causes in the audience. Starting from its first few seconds, Inside Out pulls the curtain on a world that is awe-inspiring. Through colors, visual cues, shapes, and pure magic, Pixar materializes the astounding complexity of the human psyche in a universe of highly appealing design. It is an unparalleled audio-visual work of art that turns an awfully abstract subject into something incredibly didactic yet psychologically coherent.

Full Post

Back To Monstrous Basics

For kids, the hilarity of it all comes from seeing Mike and Sully on their younger days; for adults, there is the added delight of recognizing a lot of what they went through on a nicely written animated feature. In the end of it all, the loose and careless environment of a university ends up being the perfect setting for a movie that, while being very important to the company’s rehabilitation, does not have much weight on its back given its prequel status.

Full Post

Spirits In The Night

Watching Spirited Away is like sitting beside a bud for months and watching it bloom into the most beautiful flower on the valley. The girl who was afraid of moving to a new place becomes the girl who stands up for herself; the girl who needed to be helped transforms into the girl who unlocks the goodness within others. Spirited Away is a major study on how kindness and purity can change those they come into contact with, and the remarkable spirit world surrounding that tale serves as the whimsical setting where the brilliant minds inside Studio Ghibli can run free.

Full Post

When Worlds Collide

Big Hero 6 is, ultimately, able to capture all traditional elements found in the superhero universe and use them in the building of something rather unique. All pieces are here: a tragic origin story, an unlikely source of power, a weapon of infinite destructive potential, a masked villain of unknown identity and hidden purpose, and plenty of otherworldly action. The added dash given by Disney’s firm grip on everything that is touching and emotional is the extra push that makes that structure soar high enough to make Big Hero 6 yet another gem on the company’s unbelievable string of stellar filmaking. If Big Hero 6 is representative of the Marvel and Disney collaborations we are set to see in the future, then – at least as far as fans are concerned – the Mouse’s investment will pay off quite nicely.

Full Post

Shinning Melancholic Light

That spiritual and non-natural undertow, however, is kept on the background during the movie’s first two earthly acts (her rural childhood and her sad life as a princess in the city), staying up and alive on viewers’ minds. On the last act, though, supernaturalism masterfully comes to the forefront, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya comes together; it completes its journey towards a deserved masterpiece status.

Full Post

A Mean To Two Ends

The message here is that, like so many tools and animals that exist in our world, dragons are born as a white page that will be slowly filled up by the environment that surrounds them, and even if, deep down, they are able to retain their original good-will, it can be easily buried by years of insensitivity. Hiccup explores the lands away from Berk only to discover what we already know: that the same “how” can pave the way to many different “whats”.

Full Post