Hello again, everyone. So far this year my movie watching has been pretty limited. I’ve managed to catch a few grown-up titles. Mostly, though, if I get to watch a movie, it’s a computer animated one that ends up not actually capturing my daughter’s attention in the least. Here’s a grab bag of titles that I ended up finishing on my own, while Charlotte ran around looking for her pig hat, or blocks, or whatever.
Brave is Pixar’s first attempt at creating a Disney Princess. It tells the story of a headstrong young woman who wants to live her own life, despite the unfair obligations of being royalty. It eventually comes around to leaving us with the message that a family that mutually respects one another won’t fall apart at the seams, and therefore everything will work out in the end. The message is fine and dandy, but the story is far from the best thing Pixar has put out. The saving grace is that the movie is funny in some parts, and absolutely gorgeous throughout. It’s probably the best animated movie that came out in 2012, but that isn’t saying much at all. What I saw of 2012’s animated features did not impress me much on the whole. 4/5
Planet 51 is mediocrity at its mediocritest. There’s this planet, see… that has aliens that are basically like us. And when one of us with the Right Stuff lands on their planet, they lose their collective shit. There’s some good reference humour here, but everything else is extremely bland. The alien protagonist doesn’t really stand out. The human protagonist is a douche that learns what it means to not be selfish. There’s nothing particularly wrong here, but there’s nothing great happening either. Overall, a decent kids movie with very few bones thrown to the adults that might have to sit through it as well. It’s teetering on the edge of lower, but I’d have to give it a borderline 3/5.
Puss in Boots is Dreamworks’ spin-off of the Shrek franchise, featuring Antonio Banderas’ dashing character. Story wise, you get an okay genre parody of Robert Rodriguez style westerns and generic Buddies-on-the-Road movies wrapped up in a kids movie. Nothing special, unless you’re a big fan of the genres. The animation is decent. The humour is there, but I think it would help to be a cat person. My daughter loved the action of the chases and dancing, but was completely uninterested in anything else. This was the first Dreamworks animated movie I’ve seen since Shrek 2, so I was hoping for a bit more, but didn’t actually expect it. It’s a solid 3/5.
I started up Rio with no expectations. Out of the gate, it seemed like it was going to be something Charlotte was going to be drawn to. Colourful birds dancing and singing… she was loving it. At least she was until the birds all got poached in a sudden change of pace and theme that scared her a lot. It’s not that the scene itself was graphic or terrifying, but it comes shockingly in the middle of the opening dance number. The film makers try and mend fences pretty quickly but Charlotte was buried in my chest for Blu’s whole coming-of-age sequence. She went for her blocks when she was done, and didn’t pay any attention to the movie until there was some more singing, and a chase scene, later in the movie. The movie as a whole, though was well animated, and while the story was a cardboard cut-out, everything certainly could have been a lot worse. I got a couple laughs out of it, too. So, once again, we have a 3/5.