The Jungle Book (2016) – 7/10 adventure movie review

The Jungle Book (2016)

When Shere Khan learns of the prescence of mancub Mowgli – who has been brought up by wolves after being discovered in the jungle – he vows to kill him as soon as the current drought-enforced peace treaty ends. When the waters return, so does Khan with a terrible fury.

7/10

Slightly subdued but otherwise very nicely executed adaptation of both Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book and Walt Disney’s 1967 film The Jungle Book. Neel Sethi is great as Mowgli while the animal cast is uncharismatic (especially when compared to the 1967 film) but fine. The two songs are integrated well but performed without much life or energy. The main talking point is how wonderful the visual effects achievement is; while not perfect (Kaa is not up to the standard of the furry animals, every animal’s but especially Shere Khan’s face looks too big and his entrance has some slightly wrong animation of him dropping down ledges), it instantly suspends disbelief, the flora and fauna are completely convincing and the furry animals (especially the wolf Raksha) look stunning most of the time. I also very much liked the opening multi-plane-esque hand-drawn animated Walt Disney logo. A highly worthwhile remake which may become a touchstone for a new audience.

Content Summary

This movie contains violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Cast / crew

Director and Producer: Jon Favreau
Screenplay Writer: Justin Marks
Book Writer: Rudyard Kipling
Mowgli: Neel Sethi
Baloo: Bill Murray
Bagheera: Ben Kingsley
Shere Khan: Idris Elba
King Louie: Christopher Walken

Mars Needs Moms (2011) – 5/10 unsettlingly animated science-fiction action adventure movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Screenplay Writer: Simon Wells
Screenplay Writer: Wendy Wells
Writer (Original Book): Berkeley Breathed
Producer: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Jack Rapke
Producer: Steve Starkey
Producer: Steven Boyd
Seth Green: Milo
Dan Fogler: Gribble
Elisabeth Harnois: Ki
Mindy Sterling: Supervisor
Kevin Cahoon: Wingnut
Joan Cusack: Mom
Seth Dusky: Milo’s Voice

Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Milo’s Mom is kidnapped by Martians. Fortunately, he wound on board their spaceship but when he gets to Mars, help comes from an unexpected source.

5/10

Image Mover Digital’s performance capture technology is again wasted (by themselves) under ugly and unnerving design choices, a cripplingly unconvincing story with the promise of interspecies sex aka bestiality, – what is this, a DreamWorks animation? – an unearned emotional climax, problems solved by violent revolution, an ‘I didn’t learn anything’ sting, and spectacular racism (the idiot men Martians look like every cliché of South American, Native American and African and everyone who doesn’t speak English is a bad guy or treated like an idiot). While there are a number of poor design decisions, the most glaring was making Milo, a child, look and move like Seth Green, an adult. It’s wrong on a subconscious level that coupled with the ugly and off-putting almost but not-at-all photo-realistic human character design puts you right off proceedings from the start. Fortunately, it looks like this movie signaled the death of ImageMovers’ unsettling creative disasters.

This movie contains freaky adult face on a child, violence, distressing scene

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Basil: The Great Mouse Detective (1986) – 5/10 Disney animated crime detective movie review

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Cast / crew
Vincent Price: Professor Ratigan
Barrie Ingham: Basil
Val Bettin: Dawson
Susanne Pollatschek: Olivia
Candy Candido: Fidget
Diana Chesney: Mrs. Judson
Eve Brenner: The Mouse Queen
Alan Young: Flaversham
Music: Henry Mancini
Director, Producer and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Burny Mattinson
Director and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: John Musker
Director and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: David Michener
Director and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Ron Clements
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Pete Young
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Vance Gerry
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Steve Hulett
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Bruce M. Morris
Character Animator and Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Matthew O’Callaghan
Story Adaptor Based on the “Basil of Baker Street” book series by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone: Melvin Shaw
Original Book Series Writer Basil of Baker Street: Eve Titus
Original Book Series Writer Basil of Baker Street: Paul Galdone
Supervising Animator: Mark Henn
Supervising Animator: Glen Keane
Supervising Animator: Rob Minkoff
Supervising Animator: Hendel Butoy
Animation Consultant: Eric Larson

Basil: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Basil takes on the case of Olivia Flaversham whose toymaker father has been kidnapped by archenemy Ratigan.

5/10

Minor Disney animation which makes up for some slow moving and uninteresting segments with a decent climax inside Big Ben and a couple of good songs ("Let Me Be Good to You" and "Goodbye, So Soon"). It’s also probably the only animated Disney movie where the hero smokes and a character offers to take off all her clothes for you. The Big Ben sequence also boasts Disney’s first blending of CGI with character animation; Ratigan’s run through the gears of Big Ben’s clock mechanisms remains superb to this day. Apart from this final section, though, the animation is merely adequate. Disney animations are generally famed for their smoothness, fluidity and convincing weight and movement. It certainly looks like corners were cut in the frame rate, especially with the Queen automaton.

This movie contains violence

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Frozen (2013) – 8/10 fantasy Disney animated movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Story Writer Inspired by “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen: Chris Buck
Director and Screenplay and Story Writer Inspired by “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen: Jennifer Lee
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Executive Producer: John Lasseter
Writer “The Snow Queen”: Hans Christian Andersen
Story Writer Inspired by “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen: Shane Morris
Songs Composer: Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Songs Composer: Robert Lopez
Head of Story: Paul Briggs
Head of Animation: Lino DiSalvo
Kristen Bell: Anna
Idina Menzel: Elsa
Jonathan Groff: Kristoff
Josh Gad: Olaf
Santino Fontana: Hans
Stephen John Anderson: Kai

Frozen (2013)

After a childhood accident nearly kills her younger sister, Princess Elsa has to hide to fact that she can produce ice by magic and isolates herself while trying to wrestle control over her immense power. As the time for her coronation approaches and a public appearance is unavoidable, the last thing she needs is any more stress. That’ll be when her sister tells her she’s marrying this dude she only met that day. Gaah!

8/10

Frozen has that rarest and most intangible of movie qualities: magic. This is the magic of Disney’s second golden age inspired by Howard Ashman and so it features songs that are integral to the storytelling. Why should it be that animation and songs go together so well and that the form is timeless? Anyway, it has never ceased to astonish me that directors saw songs as something that were bolted on to Disney’s past great animated movies. The songs, if used, are always part, indeed, I would say they were the heart, of the movie. They always tell you something, illuminate someone, touch you somewhere inside. The movie wouldn’t work without the songs (take note The Princess and The Frog). The power of the song is in telling the story, not augmenting it. Frozen realises this and the result is magic.

This movie contains violence, unpleasant scenes

Wreck-It Ralph (2013) – 6/10 video-game fantasy Disney animated movie review

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Cast / crew
Actor, Director and Story Writer Sour Bill and Zangief: Rich Moore
Producer: Clark Spencer
Actor, Screenplay and Story Writer Surge Protector: Phil Johnston
Story Supervisor and Story Writer: Jim Reardon
Screenplay Writer: Jennifer Lee
Supervising Animator: Doug Bennett
Supervising Animator: Mark Alan Mitchell
Supervising Animator: Zach A. Parrish
Supervising Animator: Tony Smeed
Actor and Additional Story Material Ralph: John C. Reilly
Sarah Silverman: Vanellope
Jack McBrayer: Felix
Jane Lynch: Calhoun
Alan Tudyk: King Candy
Mindy Kaling: Taffyta Muttonfudge
Joe Lo Truglio: Markowski
Ed O’Neill: Mr. Litwak
Dennis Haysbert: General Hologram
Additional Story Material: Sam Levine
Additional Story Material: Jared Stern

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Unhappy with his lonely role as the bad guy in arcade game Fix-It Felix, Jr, Wreck-It Ralph decides that he wants a gold medal just like game heroes. Trouble is, he’s going to have to go to another game to get it.

6/10

One thing that can be said for just about all animated films: their lead characters almost always have a clearly defined character arc. Trouble is, it’s almost always undisguisedly the same one. Wreck-It Ralph follows the finding yourself template but doesn’t present a particularly captivating world. It moves along prettily but mechanically. It peaks with an impressively powerful scene where Ralph learns that he must do something short-term bad to ensure long-term good. The emotional impact of that scene contrasts intriguingly with the traditional emotional climax which is entirely unmoving. Wreck-It Ralph is never less than colourful and polished and entertaining – it is a good film – but it’s not a classic.

This movie contains violence, unpleasant scenes, bad language

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Bambi (1942) – 9/10 Walt Disney animated coming-of-age movie review

Cast / crew
Producer: Walt Disney
Story Writer: Felix Salten
Supervising Director: David Hand
Sequence Director: James Algar
Sequence Director: Bill Roberts
Sequence Director: Norman Wright
Sequence Director: Samuel Armstrong
Sequence Director: Paul Satterfield
Sequence Director: Graham Heid
Supervising Animator: Frank Thomas aka Franklin Thomas
Supervising Animator: Milt Kahl aka Milton Kahl
Supervising Animator: Eric Larson
Supervising Animator: Ollie Johnston aka Oliver M. Johnston, Jr.
Thanks Our sincere appreciation for his inspiring collaboration: Sidney Franklin

Bambi (1942)

Bambi is a little fawn born into a world of wonder where his unbridled curiosity will lead to fun, new friends, uplifting experiences and tragedy – all on the way to adulthood.

9/10

Oddly, I find Bambi to be an easy-to-overlook Disney masterpiece – lost among Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Dumbo – but masterpiece it most certainly is. I wonder if this is due to what feels like a very simple story. (Bambi gets born, Bambi gets friends, Bambi gets orphaned, Bambi gets antlers, Bambi gets twitterpated, Bambi gets into a fight, Bambi gets fawns.) It may be a simple story but it is told with an assured, delicate, master’s touch. The animation is, it probably goes without saying by now, brilliant. The combination of recognisable human characteristics and animal locomotion is reference quality in the character design (spoiler, deers don’t have a face like Bambi), animation and, importantly, music.

This movie contains some distressing and intense scenes

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Cars 2 (2011) – 6/10 Disney Pixar CG animated espionage adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: John Lasseter
Co-Director: Brad Lewis
Producer: Denise Ream
Writer (Original Story): John Lasseter
Writer (Original Story): Brad Lewis
Writer (Original Story): Dan Fogelman
Writer (Screenplay): Ben Queen
Owen Wilson: Lightning McQueen
Larry The Cable Guy: Mater
Michael Caine: Finn McMissile
Emily Mortimer: Holley Shiftwell
John Turturro: Francesco Bernoulli
Eddie Izzard: Sir Miles Axlerod

Cars 2 (2011)

To promote green fuel Allinol, Sir Axelrod sets up a trilogy of World Grand Prix and invites the cream of the world’s racers to compete. Lightning wants to take time off after the long NASCAR season but Mater talks him into it. They travel out to Japan for the first race and while Lightning is most concerned that Mater will embarrass him, there is a sinister conspiracy going on behind the scenes that will affect them even more.

6/10

This feels like the first phoned-in Pixar production but it’s still fun, entertaining and good-looking with a couple of funny gags. Lasseter’s handling of the morality tale is clumsy (be yourself, groan, such dreadful advice) and it rather breaks the unsatisfactory story by having characters behave in an unrecognisable ("I’m not letting you get away again!") or nonsensical manner (Mater greedily insisting on a massive portion of a Japanese dish and blabbering thoughtlessly over the race radio). The first film did have the same problem but rescued it through some of cinema’s best racing sequences for ages. Here, the one-lap (!) racing sequences are well-animated (amazingly you can see the downforce-generated grip of the Formula car in turns) but succumb to the contemporary weakness of editing the shape and story out of them. Still, it’s certainly not a bad film, the production design continues to delight and it is funny and entertaining.

This movie contains mild peril.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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The Princess and the Frog (2009) – 6/10 Animated Supernatural Fantasy Disney movie review

Cast / crew
Director: John Musker
Director: Ron Clements
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Executive Producer: John Lasseter
Writer (Story): Ron Clements
Writer (Story): John Musker
Writer (Story): Greg Erb
Writer (Story): Jason Oremland
Writer (Screenplay): Ron Clements
Writer (Screenplay): John Musker
Writer (Screenplay): Rob Edwards
Writer (Story Inspiration) "The Frog Princess": E.D. Baker
Anika Noni Rose: Tiana
Bruno Campos: Prince Naveen
Keith David: Dr. Facilier
Michael-Leon Wooley: Louis
Jennifer Cody: Charlotte
Don Hall: Darnell

Princess and The Frog, The (2009)

Tiana, a New Orleans waitress with dreams of owning a jazz club / restaurant, finds herself face-to-face with a frog who asks her to kiss him in order to turn him back into a Prince. Realising that making out with animals is an occupational hazard for animated heroines, she kisses the frog then discovers that it’s going to take more than breath mints and feigned drunken ignorance to sort out the aftermath of this one.

6/10

If you can take the songs out of the movie without it being jarring, then it tells you that the structure of your movie is all wrong. Randy Newman’s songs are pretty good; they’re just not needed and they usually tell us something after it’s already happened. Compared to the genius of the Menken / Ashman movies, you wonder whether directors Ron Clements and John Musker learned anything from working with them. The animation is great though it does fall into the contemporary trap of making characters move unnaturally quickly. The Prince, Tiana and Charlotte all work well but the side characters intrude and don’t convince and feel like toy-making opportunities and you might want to kill yourself before the horrific closing credits song kicks in. Still, respect for making the blond bimbo princess unexpectedly generous and unselfish and let’s welcome the return of physically-produced animation at Disney.

This movie contains supernatural horror scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010, Fantasy Action Adventure) – 6/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Nicolas Cage: Balthazar
Jay Baruchel: Dave
Alfred Molina: Horvath
Teresa Palmer: Becky
Monica Bellucci: Veronica
Omar Benson Miller: Bennet
Toby Kebbell: Drake Stone
Alice Krige: Morgana
Jake Cherry: Young Dave
Executive Producer: Nicolas Cage
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Writer (Screen Story) Suggested by the animated short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Lawrence Konner
Writer (Screen Story) Suggested by the animated short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Mark Rosenthal
Writer (Screen Story) Suggested by the animated short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Matt Lopez
Writer (Screenplay) Suggested by the animated short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Matt Lopez
Writer (Screenplay) Suggested by the animated short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Doug Miro
Writer (Screenplay) Suggested by the animated short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Carlo Bernard

Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The (2010)

Sorcerer Balthazar Blake has been waiting for the day when he would discover the inheritor of master sorcerer Merlin’s power but, when the day arrives, the terrified ten-year-old Dave inadvertently releases Balthazar’s greatest enemy, Horvath, and imprisons both him and Balthazar in an urn for ten years. Ten years and a lot of therapy later, the two sorcerer’s are about to re-emerge.

6/10

While certainly more imaginative and entertaining than expected, this boisterous fantasy action adventure doesn’t have much magic of its own. Still, what’s there is good. The special effects are surprisingly good, Cage is good and the story is fine. Director Jon Turteltaub also moves things along rather faster than he usually does, so this in no way outstays its welcome. The overdone non-sensical nod to the animated short from Fantasia is probably the weakest scene in the film, Jay Baruchel sounds like he’s putting on an irritating accent on purpose (sadly, it’s his voice) and I wish somebody would stop in one of these movies and explain how “the end of the world” benefits the bad guy. However, this is a movie I enjoyed and, not only that, I enjoyed more than I anticipated. You can’t say that about most movies.

This movie contains strong fantasy violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Cars: Mater-National (2007, Open-World Racing, 360) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Lead Designer: Mark Buchignani
Lead Programmer: Eric Patrick
Lead Artist: Paul Rheinfelder
Lead Animator: Wil Paras

Cars: Mater-National (2007)

Lightning McQueen is building a racing stadium in Radiator Springs and competitors from all over the world want to prove their worth against him on his home turf.

6/10

It’s just fun when cars go ‘ouch’ when you bang into them or a car trash-talks you while overtaking going backwards. Mini-game Tractor Tipping is an unresponsive nightmare when it should be a neat diversion but most of the other mini-games are fine. The best one is Ghosting Mater where the controls are reversed and Fuel Frenzy where you have to pick up diminishing fuels cans to last a certain number of laps. Both have simple rules but are just a little more interesting than usual. Lightning McQueen proves to be a bland (at best) star but the supporting cast are great and it was a joy to see SPOILER Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc. Mike’s car is especially brilliant.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

The Little Mermaid (1989, Disney Fantasy Romance) – 8/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Rene Auberjonois: Louis
Christopher Daniel Barnes: Eric
Jodi Benson: Ariel / Vanessa
Pat Carroll: Ursula
Paddi Edwards: Flotsam & Jetsam
Buddy Hackett: Scuttle
Jason Marin: Flounder
Kenneth Mars: Triton
Ben Wright: Grimsby
Samuel E. Wright: Sebastian
Composer (Songs): Howard Ashman
Composer (Songs): Alan Menken
Composer (Score): Alan Menken
Producer: Howard Ashman
Producer: John Musker
Writer: John Musker
Writer: Ron Clements
Director: John Musker
Director: Ron Clements
Directing Animator: Mark Henn
Directing Animator: Glen Keane
Directing Animator: Duncan Marjoribanks
Directing Animator: Ruben A. Aquino
Directing Animator: Andreas Dejá
Directing Animator: Matthew O’Callaghan

Little Mermaid, The (1989)

Ariel the Mermaid dreams of leaving her watery palace home and joining the human world. Ignoring the advice of her father King Triton and friend Sebastian the crab, she strikes a bargain with sea witch Ursula, giving up the power of speech in return for human form. Once on dry land she falls for Prince Eric but discovers that the deal was not as straightforward as it seems.

8/10

How important a movie in a company’s history do you have to be in order to have it’s score become the company ident theme? That’s what the song-writing duo of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken achieved here with a beautiful score and indispensable songs. Ashman worked on a song in Oliver and Company, then, with Menken, produced three all-time Disney classics with this, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Howard Ashman was the driving creative force behind these and sparked a resurgence in the venerable studio that would last for an entire decade after he died. Menken talks about him (on The Little Mermaid commentary) as "the greatest theatrical and dramatic talent of our generation" and, for once in Hollywood, that wasn’t empty hyperbole.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Disney Musical Fantasy) – 9/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Henry Selick
Producer: Tim Burton
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Music Composer: Danny Elfman
Composer (Lyrics): Danny Elfman
Writer (Original Story): Tim Burton
Writer (Original Characters): Tim Burton
Writer (Adaptation): Michael McDowell
Writer (Screenplay): Caroline Thompson
Animation Supervisor: Eric Leighton
Associate Producer: Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman: [voice of] Jack Skellington (singing)
Chris Sarandon: [voice of] Jack (speaking)

Nightmare Before Christmas, The (1993)

Halloween Town’s pumpkin king Jack Skellington stumbles across Christmas Town and decides to cheer himself up by handling the Christmas duties himself. Will his attempt be a success or will it be The Nightmare Before Christmas?

9/10

Brilliant musical fantasy which marries stunning technical achievements to breath-taking visual artistry, a charismatic score and several terrific songs with unforgettable consequences. This is, after Edward Scissorhands, Danny Elfman and Tim Burton’s second masterpiece; a near-flawless collaboration of Burton’s ability to produce absolutely striking visuals and new ‘fairy tales’ that feel like they’ve been around forever and Elfman’s ability to hook completely into the tone of Burton’s vision. Director Henry Selick was the last key to this particular production as he marshals everything into brilliantly animated life.

This movie contains unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Continue reading “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Disney Musical Fantasy) – 9/10 movie review”

Up (2009) – 7/10 Disney Pixar fantasy adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Pete Docter
Co-Director: Bob Peterson
Producer: Jonas Rivera
Writer (Story): Pete Docter
Writer (Story): Bob Peterson
Writer (Story): Tom McCarthy
Writer (Screenplay): Bob Peterson
Writer (Screenplay): Pete Docter
Story Supervisor: Ronnie Del Carmen
Supervising Technical Director: Steve May
Supervising Animator: Scott Clark
Ed Asner: Carl Fredricksen
Christopher Plummer: Charles Muntz
Jordan Nagai: Russell
Bob Peterson: Dug
Bob Peterson: Alpha
Pete Docter: Campmaster Strauch

Up (2009)

After a long happy marriage, widower Carl Fredricksen decides to do the one thing he and his wife never managed: travel to South America and Paradise Falls in Venezuela. So, he attaches hundreds of helium-filled balloons to his house and embarks on a new adventure.

7/10

Opening with what may be Pixar’s strongest-yet sequence (welling up at the beginning of a movie, blimey) as Carl Fredricksen goes from boy to man, through love and marriage and the heartbreak of infertility and death, Up then takes to the skies, arrives in South America and, only then, struggles to suspend disbelief rendering the remainder of the movie good but obviously manipulative and non-sensical. 10/10 for the first part, 6/10 for the rest. Michael Giacchino supplies a terrific central theme which is highly evocative of Chaplin, delivers the strong emotional power of the wordless ‘married life’ montage and helps give the movie an agreeably timeless feel. Amazingly, you can’t buy it on CD.

This movie contains violence.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Monsters, Inc. (2001, Animated Fantasy Adventure) – 8/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Pete Docter
Co-Director: Lee Unkrich
Co-Director: David Silverman
Producer: Darla K. Anderson
Writer (Original Story): Pete Docter
Writer (Original Story): Jill Culton
Writer (Original Story): Jeff Pidgeon
Writer (Original Story): Ralph Eggleston
Writer (Screenplay): Andrew Stanton
Writer (Screenplay): Daniel Gerson
John Goodman: [James P. "Sully"] Sullivan
Billy Crystal: Mike
Mary Gibbs: Boo
Steve Buscemi: Randall [Boggs]
James Coburn: Waternoose
Jennifer Tilly: Celia

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

James P. Sullivan is the top scarer at Monsters, Inc., the company that provides Monster City with its electricity. They get the electricity from children’s screams, harvested by sending terrifying monsters through their closet doors. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to scare children in their modern world and the fact that children are toxic to monsters is not helping matters.

8/10

Remarkably accomplished adventure that has all kinds of layers and resonances and works for children and adults without resorting to dirty jokes. Unusually, it’s messages (laughter is better than fear, parents anger scares children even when it is not targeted at them) are entirely positive and delivered without bitterness while technically it’s astonishing. Sully, the obvious stand-out, looks better than the many real-life versions of him that you can buy and the scene where he has snow-tipped hair fluttering on the Himalayas is totally remarkable. I think that, in Pixar’s first decade, even though they’re all good, this is their best film.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Meet the Robinsons (2007, Third-Person Action Platform Puzzle, 360) – 3/10 game review

Cast / crew

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

3/10

If you’re playing for gamerscore, this is a notably joyless experience. If you’re just playing the game, it’s not much better as the makers mess up straight-forward design decisions. The most notable example is that things you need to readily recognise change colour and texture in different areas (the transport tubes, particularly) and items you need to target with your varied selection of, sadly, awkward-to-juggle gadgets can sometimes not be seen. The auto-target system is also nearly completely broken and sometimes the directions on the left stick makes you character or the auto-target move in a different direction to that which you used. It doesn’t even look nice thanks to bland, unappealing CG character design inherited from the movie. Avalanche Software’s next Disney game, Bolt, is much, much better.

This game contains fantasy violence.

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000, Disney Movie) – 8/10 review

Director: Mark Dindal
Producer: Randy Fullmer
Writer (Story): Chris Williams
Writer (Story): Mark Dindal
Writer (Screenplay): David Reynolds
Supervising Animator Kuzco / Kuzco Llama: Nik Ranieri
David Spade: Kuzco / Kuzco Llama
Supervising Animator Pacha: Bruce W. Smith
John Goodman: Pacha
Supervising Animator Yzma: Dale Baer
Eartha Kitt: Yzma
Supervising Animator Kronk: Tony Bancroft
Patrick Warburton: Kronk
Lead Animator Chicha: Doug Frankel

Emperor’s New Groove, The (2000)

Arrogant Aztec emperor Kuzco rules his empire with a whim of iron. But when he annoys his witch advisor Yzma one time too many, she turns him into a llama and takes over the kingdom. With Kuzco now exiled and lost in the mountains he turns to chunky peasant Pacha for assistance but the last thing the emperor did before becoming a llama was order the destruction of Pacha’s house and village to make way for the emperor’s new summer retreat…

8/10

While this is undoubtedly less technically showy than most of Disney’s immediately previous output (such as Tarzan and Dinosaur; though this is still a fantastic-looking, brilliantly-animated movie), this is a remarkably fun and funny buddy-buddy movie that is not a typical Disney formula film (no story songs) and shows that the classic animation studio is still leagues ahead of its would-be competitors. While the good character Pacha is a little clumsy, Kronk is hilarious ("squeakity-squeak") and Yzma is satisfyingly reminiscent of classic Disney villains Cruella De Vil and Madame Medusa.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Links

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) – 9/10 Disney animated period thriller review

AmazonBuy The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Amazon

Cast / crew
Director: Gary Trousdale
Director: Kirk Wise
Producer: Don Hahn
Animation Screenplay and Story Writer: Tab Murphy
Novel Writer Notre Dame de Paris: Victor Hugo
Writer (Animation Screenplay): Irene Mecchi
Writer (Animation Screenplay): Bob Tzudiker
Writer (Animation Screenplay): Noni White
Writer (Animation Screenplay): Jonathan Roberts
Score and Songs Composer: Alan Menken
Composer (Lyrics): Stephen Schwartz
Tom Hulce: Quasimodo
Supervising Animator Quasimodo: James Baxter
Demi Moore: Esmeralda
Heidi Mollenhauer: Esmeralda
Supervising Animator Esmeralda: Tony Fucile
Tony Jay: Frollo
Supervising Animator Frollo: Kathy Zielinski
Kevin Kline: Phoebus
Supervising Animator Phoebus: Russ Edmonds

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Deformed baby Quasimodo is brought up by scheming evil government official Frollo in the Cathedral of Notre Dame and is given the task of ringing and caring for the bells. His life is reasonably happy but he would really like to leave the confines of the cathedral and find out what life is really like ‘out there’ but realising this dream means disobeying Frollo and putting the lives of himself and those he meets in great danger.

9/10

As time goes on, this unique Disney animation (it deals with entirely adult matters such as self-righteousness, sin, and the seduction of sex and power) becomes more clearly a masterpiece. The songs take a bit of getting used to but contain challenging and interesting lyrics and are better written than they seem at first. The screenplay is also outstanding as it manages to balance and present the weighty morals with clarity ("what makes a monster and what makes a man?") and, when appropriate, fun. Technically, the movie looks superb with Quasimodo’s animation an easy-to-overlook highlight (it’s very hard to draw something consistently from all angles that is deliberately distorted so special mention for supervising animator James Baxter). The movie saves it’s big animation guns for the finalé ("Sanctuary!") making it all the more impressive while the story rightly ends with the ugly guy not getting the girl which, as us ugly guy’s know, is exactly how it is.

This movie contains unpleasant scenes, disturbing scenes, supernatural scenes

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Meet the Robinsons (2007, Disney Movie) – 4/10 review

Cast / crew
Director: Stephen John Anderson
Producer: Dorothy McKim
Writer (Screenplay): Jonathan Bernstein
Writer (Screenplay): Michelle Spitz
Writer (Screenplay): Don Hall
Writer (Screenplay): Nathan Greno
Writer (Screenplay): Aurian Redson
Writer (Screenplay): Joseph Mateo
Writer (Screenplay): Stephen John Anderson
Writer (Original Book) A Day with Wilbur Robinson: William Joyce
Executive Producer: William Joyce
Angela Bassett: Mildred
Daniel Hansen: Lewis
Jordan Fry: Lewis
Stephen John Anderson: Bowler Hat Guy
Ethan Sandler: Doris / CEO / Spike / Dmitri
Supervising Animator Lewis: Nik Ranieri
Supervising Animator Wilbur: Dale Baer
Supervising Animator Bowler Hat Guy: Dick Zondag
Supervising Animator Doris and Little Doris: Jay N. Davis

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Orphan Lewis is whisked away by a time-travelling boy called Wilbur Robinson to the future. It’s not as creepy as it sounds. Well, not quite.

4/10

While it’s certainly not devoid of merit, ideas, or, eventually and surprisingly, emotion (director Stephen John Anderson has clearly poured himself into this), it is ostentatiously unfunny which is a big problem for almost the entire movie. It also seems to be lacking detail in design and character animation and feels more like a very crisp-looking television animation or one of those direct-to-video Disney knock-offs. Voice work for the children is consistently excellent and the human baddie (voiced by the director) is the movie’s contribution to the Disney canon. It ends with a quote from Walt Disney himself but, it is sad to note, the company he created is currently at an all-time artistic and entertainment low. Since the turn of the millennium it has had absolutely no idea about how to make a decent animated film just, sadly, how to turn a good profit from past glories.

This movie contains written inferred sexual swear word, adult dialogue.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998, Disney DVD Movie) – 5/10 review

Director: Darrell Rooney
Co-Director: Rob LaDuca

Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, The (1998)

Now king of Pride Rock, Simba has to deal with the exiled Scar supporters who still threaten Simba’s personal circle of life.

5/10

If the original Lion King was Hamlet, this direct-to-video sequel is Romeo and Juliet. In a break from musical sequel tradition the new original songs are generally rather good with the best being the brilliant He Lives In You (the only one from the original film composer Hans Zimmer). Sadly these are wasted because the rest of the movie is often as average as expected and more often completely mistaken in concept. The main single problem is the script which replays lines and scenes from the original with no interpretation, imagination, wit or style and only succeeds in weakening this movie.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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The Lion King (1994) – 8/10 Disney movie review

Director: Roger Allers
Director: Rob Minkoff
Producer: Don Hahn
Writer (Screenplay): Irene Mecchi
Writer (Screenplay): Jonathan Roberts
Writer (Screenplay): Linda Woolverton
Composer (Songs): Tim Rice
Composer (Songs): Elton John
Music Composer: Hans Zimmer
Executive Producer: Thomas Schumacher
Executive Producer: Sarah McArthur
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: Voice: Young Simba
Supervising Animator Young Simba: Mark Henn
Matthew Broderick: Voice: Adult Simba
Supervising Animator Adult Simba: Ruben A. Aquino
James Earl Jones: Voice: Mufasa
Supervising Animator Mufasa: Tony Fucile
Jeremy Irons: Voice: Scar
Supervising Animator Scar: Andreas Dejá

Lion King, The (1994)

When Simba, the future lion king, causes his father’s death he, full of remorse and guilt, flees the scene leaving evil Uncle Scar to assume the throne. Little does he know that Scar actually planned his father’s death and that his lands have now become desolate and wasted. Urged by a collection of friends, Simba recollects his pride (pun not intended!) and remembers his responsibility to take his place in the circle of life.

Note: re-released in 2003, remastered in IMAX format with the song “Morning Report” added.

8/10

Disney film which suffers from some bland characters but benefits from a number of standout animated sequences and some memorable songs from Elton John. It starts great, has great bits in it and ends great.

This movie contains violence (some graphic), unpleasant and distressing scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Links

The film starts perfectly with one of cinemas most professional and impressive openings. The lack of character is noticeable for a short period thereafter thanks to some poor one-liners but the film makes up for this with some tremendous sequences. The most memorable is probably the wildebeest stampede which brilliantly uses top computer animation. The ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’ sequence is also brilliant though the animation suffers a little from being photographed too close. The ‘Remember’ sequence manages to do the impossible, make James Earl Jones voice even deeper, more booming and more resounding. The final fight sequence is superbly animated, skilfully choreographed and the visual effects are very neat. The poor characters are, sadly, the main characters. Simba and Nala are both very bland and very weak and it is left to a menagerie of supporting characters to take the weight of interest. Timon and Pumbaa are superb, the three hyenas are pretty good and the monkey is great but it should be a criminal offence not to exploit the sensational comic genius of Rowan Atkinson. He is given a whole number of weak lines punctuated by one or two good ones and it is to his credit that his character, Zazu, is not truly unfunny.

The music is outstanding, Elton John’s songs are very catchy and used brilliantly. The best used is ‘Circle of Life’ which opens and closes the film to stunning effect. Elton John was, apparently, a little unhappy with how Disney proposed to use ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’ but upon seeing the final version in the film he changed his mind. Musically, it is one of the film’s best momemts. Hans Zimmer complements and uses John’s tunes very well indeed and, while I do not feel he supplies a particularly unique score, it works really well throughout and is probably the single biggest contributor to the emotional impact of the movie.

The animation is generally good, much better than anything from any other studio at the time, but still not up to the standard of Disney’s efforts up to and including 1959’s Sleeping Beauty. Also, despite extensive live-action study, the animals do not always move convincingly, the character animation in the earlier classic The Jungle Book is far better (and it’s rather obvious to animation fans where it was traced for Scar). Moving the lions faces in three dimensions also clearly posed a challenge as facial features (Mufasa’s especially) some distort when they turn their head. As an amusing aside and as noted on the television sitcom Third Rock from the Sun the plot is very similar to Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

All these points, however, do not detract from the sheer entertainment value on offer. This film is a masterful manipulator of emotion with several tear-welling scenes, several funny bits and, unusually for an animated movie, several genuinely exciting sequences. As far as entertainment goes, this is one of Disney’s finest ever efforts and was rewarded by taking over 101 Dalmations (!) crown as the most successful Disney movie ever. It also became one of the most successful movies released ever and, for several years, resided in the top five all-time highest grossing films. In 2003 it was replaced by Finding Nemo as the highest grossing animated film in history.

Pinocchio (1940, Animated Disney) – 10/10 movie review

Producer (Presents credit): Walt Disney
Writer (Original Story): Collodi
Supervising Director: Ben Sharpsteen
Supervising Director: Hamilton Luske
Composer: Leigh Harline
Composer: Ned Washington
Composer: Paul Smith

Pinocchio (1940)

When toy maker Gepetto ‘wishes upon a star’ for a real boy, he is delighted when the Blue Fairy comes down and grants his wish making his latest creation Pinocchio come alive. Appointed Jiminy Cricket as his conscience, the live puppet is informed that he needs to prove himself brave, true & unselfish in order to become a real boy. Of course, events conspire against him resulting in him being sent to Pleasure Isle to make a jackass out of himself while Gepetto is swallowed by Monstro, a huge whale, in his fruitless search for his lost Pinocchio . Will Pinocchio ever be able to become a real boy?

10/10

This is the greatest animated film ever made and one of the all-time classic motion pictures. Pinocchio is an amazingly animated film with every sequence worthy of the endless lauding and studying since. Story telling through animation has never been done better and the plot is interesting, valuable, surprising and even frightening. Memorable music, classic characters, breath-taking animation and crisp direction make this film one of the greatest ever made. Always moving, this film rubber stamps memorable images on your mind. For example, the nose growing when Pinnochio tells a lie (remarkably, it only happens once) or the bad boys turning into jack-asses. Endlessly stunning.

This movie contains some scary scenes and extreme violence.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Pete’s Dragon (1977, Disney Movie) – 7/10

Helen Reddy: Nora
Jim Dale: Dr. Terminus
Mickey Rooney: Lampie
Red Buttons: Hoagy
Shelley Winters: Lena Gogan
Sean Marshall: Pete
Creator Elliott: Ken Anderson
Animation Director: Don Bluth
Animation Art Director: Ken Anderson
Writer (Screenplay): Malcolm Marmorstein
Writer (Original Story): Seton I. Miller
Writer (Original Story): S.S. Field
Producer: Ron Miller
Producer: Jerome Courtland
Director: Don Chaffey

Pete’s Dragon (1977)

Pete has an unusual friend – a green magic dragon called Elliott who breathes fire and can disappear and reappear at will.

7/10

Much-sniffed-at live-action / animated Disney movie which is fine entertainment, especially for youngsters. While the acting is a bit hit-and-miss and the movie needed tightening in places, the songs are nice, drunk Mickey Rooney and Red Buttons are a hoot, Jim Dale does dastardly and the technical accomplishments are deceptively impressive. The real charmer, though, is Pete’s dragon himself, Elliott, and Don Bluth’s character animation is outstanding. It even has a sad happy ending. Version reviewed is the hundred-or-so-minutes edit without, staggeringly, the Oscar-nominated theme song Candle on the Water.

This movie contains comic violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Sleeping Beauty (1958) – 10/10 Disney animated fantasy review

AmazonBuy Sleeping Beauty at Amazon

Cast / crew
Mary Costa: Princess Aurora
Music Adaptation: George Bruns
Composer (Original Ballet) “Sleeping Beauty Ballet”: Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Writer (Adaptation): Erdman Penner
Writer (Original Story): Charles Perrault
Writer (Additional Story): Joe Kinaldi
Writer (Additional Story): Winston Hibler
Writer (Additional Story): Bill Peet
Writer (Additional Story): Ted Sears
Writer (Additional Story): Ralph Wright
Writer (Additional Story): Milt Banta
Color Styling: Eyvind Earle
Directing Animator: John Lounsbery
Supervising Director: Clyde Geronimi
Sequence Director: Eric Larson
Sequence Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Sequence Director: Les Clark
Producer: Walt Disney
Writer (Original Story): The Brothers Grimm

Sleeping Beauty (1958)

When evil sorceress Queen Maleficent is not invited to the christening of King Stephan’s daughter, she casts a spell upon the young infant, dooming her to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die before her sixteenth birthday. Three good fairies take the young Princess Aurora and hide her away but their powers are no match for Maleficent.

10/10

I’m not saying there’s no point in making a fairy tale romance ever again but this is how you do ’em. It is virtually perfect. Technically and stylistically Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is one of the greatest animations ever (visually designed almost exclusively by Eyvind Earl, here credited as Color Stylist) and the music, by some guy called Tchaikovsky (though, surprisingly, not Disney’s first choice), isn’t bad either. These are, however, just the headlines and every detail in every point of the production is absolutely wonderful. Cartoon animated characters have never looked so good, before or since, as this was the final ‘unlimited’ budget (six years of production at a cost of $6 million) Disney film before financial problems set in. The animation is so clean and so characterful that it takes the breath away.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Mulan (1998, Disney Movie) – 10/10 review

Director: Barry Cook
Director: Tony Bancroft
Writer (Original Story): Robert D. San Souci
Writer (Screenplay): Rita Hsiao
Writer (Screenplay): Christopher Sanders
Writer (Screenplay): Philip LaZebnik
Writer (Screenplay): Raymond Singer
Writer (Screenplay): Eugenia Bostwick-Singer
Composer (Songs): Matthew Wilder
Composer (Songs): David Zippel
Ming-Na Wen: Voice of Mulan
Lea Salonga: Singing Voice of Mulan
Soon-Teck Oh: Voice of Fa Zhou
B.D. Wong: Voice of Shang
Donny Osmond: Singing Voice of Shang
Freda Foh Shen: Voice of Fa Li
Eddie Murphy: Voice of Mushu

Mulan (1998)

Based on an ancient Chinese folk tale.

A young girl disguises herself as a boy and joins the army so that her frail father won’t have to serve. The ghosts of her all-seeing ancestors call up their mightiest dragon to help her but Mushu, a demoted mini-dragon, ends up going instead…

10/10

Spectacular animated masterpiece showing once more that by sticking to the ‘confines’ of the formula set by Walt Disney some 60 years earlier, the medium can achieve what almost no live-action movie can. Whoever thought there would be a Disney film featuring martial arts fighting, cross-dressing and a teenage girl killing people and blowing stuff up? Well, here it is, and jolly good it is too. The displays of selflessness and sense of duty also make for a positive moral message.

This movie contains violence, mild gore.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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Wall·E (2008, Disney Pixar Movie) – 7/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Andrew Stanton
Producer: Jim Morris
Executive Producer: John Lasseter
Writer (Original Story): Andrew Stanton
Writer (Original Story): Pete Docter
Writer (Screenplay): Andrew Stanton
Writer (Screenplay): Jim Reardon
Sound Designer: Ben Burtt
Character Voice Designer: Ben Burtt
Ben Burtt: Wall·E
Elissa Knight: Eve

Wall·E (2008)

Wall·E has been busy cleaning up Earth in preparation for mankind’s return. His daily routine is interrupted by a sleek flying robot who has been left behind to look for something and Wall·E falls in love.

7/10

Wall·E is a movie that tries too hard for cute and is slightly over-animated, a failing that CG animated movies are a little susceptible to. It also has a significant character problem with the two robots falling in love. While Wall·E has developed a personality after 700 years on his own, Apple-inspired EVE shouldn’t have any personality at all (just like all Apple products) and it feels wrong when she does. On a rather more convincing note, Wall·E does deliver an unexpectedly damning environmental message with Earth laid to waste by conglomerate consumerism and the remaining survivors obliviously devolving on a propaganda-fuelled luxury space liner. Wall·E is entertaining and will keep the children quiet but adults will find the brilliant Bugs Bunny-esque preceding short Presto rather more fun and memorable.

This movie contains robot violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Cars (2006) – 7/10 Disney Pixar CG animated sports movie review

Cast / crew
Director: John Lasseter
Co-Director: Joe Ranft
Producer: Darla K. Anderson
Writer (Original Story): John Lasseter
Writer (Original Story): Joe Ranft
Writer (Original Story): Jorgen Klubien
Writer (Screenplay): Dan Fogelman
Writer (Screenplay): John Lasseter
Writer (Screenplay): Joe Ranft
Writer (Screenplay): Kiel Murray
Writer (Screenplay): Phil Lorin
Writer (Screenplay): Jorgen Klubien
Supervising Animator: Scott Clark
Supervising Animator: Doug Sweetland
Owen Wilson: Lightning McQueen
Paul Newman: Doc Hudson
Bonnie Hunt: Sally Carrera
Larry The Cable Guy: Mater
Dedicated to 1960-2005: Joe Ranft

Cars (2006)

Lightning McQueen is the arrogant, cocky, fresh-faced superstar rookie of the Piston Cup stock car racing series. After a remarkable season, three drivers tie for the championship and an extra race is scheduled to decide to the champion. On the way to the final race, McQueen finds himself stranded on Route 66 and on the wrong side of the law in tiny one-street town Radiator Springs. Sentenced to several days community service in repairing the main road (which he destroyed) means that he may never make the race…

7/10

While it lays the life message on with a trowel and has a clumsy mid-section, this visually stunning and environmentally imaginative movie never loses the magic that is required of all quality animated movies. Outstanding and convincing racing sequences (including the best photo finish of all time) bookend the movie and reverse the mid-section feeling that the movie is disappearing up it’s own tailpipe. Overall, this is another good ‘un from Pixar.

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Ratatouille (2007) – 9/10 Disney Pixar movie review

Cast / crew
Writer (Screenplay): Brad Bird
Director: Brad Bird
Producer: Brad Lewis
Writer (Original Story): Jan Pinkava
Writer (Original Story): Jim Capobianco
Writer (Original Story): Brad Bird
Patton Oswalt: Remy
Ian Holm: Skinner
Lou Romano: Linguini
Brian Dennehy: Django
Peter Sohn: Emile
Peter O’Toole: Anton Ego
Brad Garrett: Gusteau
Janeane Garofalo: Colette
Will Arnett: Horst
Brad Bird: Ambrister Minion
Co-Director: Jan Pinkava

Ratatouille (2007)

Remy is a rat with a refined and delicate sense of smell and though he is prized within the rat community as a rat poison detector he dreams of using his talents in a culinary capacity.

9/10

A wonderfully polished slice of animated goodness from Iron Giant director Brad Bird and Geri’s Game creator Jan Pinkava. Like most Pixar films to date, the feeling of quality is remarkably high (despite the central marionnette concept which doesn’t really work) but there is that last pinch of salt missing. This results in a feeling of calculatedness that just keeps an audience and their emotions at arms length. It may be the computer graphics medium itself that’s at fault. Though they are excellent pieces of work, I haven’t yet cried or even been moved emotionally at a Pixar film (this review was written before Up) and I don’t absolutely love any Pixar film (I still don’t). If they ever nail that, the result will be very special indeed.

This movie contains violence and mild sensuality.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

The Wind in the Willows aka The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949, 1967, 1975) – 7/10 Disney movie review

The Wind in the Willows (1949, 1967, 1975)
aka The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
aka The Madcap Adventures of Mr. Toad

Mr. Toad’s irresponsibility knows no bounds. Once he gets a mania, nothing stops him, not even the prospect of losing his most valuable possession Toad Hall. His friends despair but his latest mania, the motor car, will see his actions catch up with him in the sternest possible manner.

7/10

Slightly unsatisfactory Disney animation thanks to the focus on the highly irritating and irresponsible Mr. Toad but Disney sure knew how to animate (weasels in particular) and it’s the animation quality and enforced pacing that keeps this firmly on the entertaining, if not quite charming, side. The film does close with an absolutely outstanding chase sequence which, I am sure, is repeated verbatim in later Disney classic “The Jungle Book” during the escape from King Louie. This is the first half of the 1949 release “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.” The other, brilliant, half is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This was released in 1967 in the UK as “The Wind in the Willows” and in 1975 in the US as “The Madcap Adventures of Mr. Toad.”

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Available on DVD.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow aka The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949, 1958 Disney Romance Horror) – 9/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Producer (Presents credit): Walt Disney
Bing Crosby: relating the Story
Writer (Original Story): Washington Irving
Director: Jack Kinney
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Writer (Story): Erdman Penner
Writer (Story): Joe Rinaldi
Writer (Story): Winston Hibler

Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The (1949)

The story of Ichabod Crane, a mild-mannered school teacher who goes to the small country town of Sleepy Hollow and falls in love with beautiful heiress Katrina van Tassel much to the annoyance of local hunk Braum Bones.

9/10

This easy-to-miss Disney classic is a terrifically entertaining little movie. Originally released in 1949 as “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad” before a solo theatrical outing in 1958, this movie is only half of Disney’s 11th feature-length animation (the first half being The Wind in the Willows). The animation is superb (the dancing is fantastic), the story, characters and comedy all work and Bing is perfect as, well, everybody.

This Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, The movie contains scary scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Available on DVD.