Anthomation Asseses II

September 19, 2021

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Anthony Saccente (nicknamed Anthomation) gives you his take on various American animated films.

Same story as last year!

Howdy guys, Anthomation here. This nickname came to be as a “funny” combination between my name, Anthony, and the word animation. Because, I am the staff writer at Wilsonville Broadcasting Network who prides himself in writing movie reviews of various American animated films.

I started this reviews page after watching basically every animated film made in the US and made it my mission to share my knowledge of these films to the whole world.

This is the page where all of the Anthomation reviews are stationed. Once a review is finished, it will be submitted to this “ongoing story.” My earliest reviews are at the top while the latest ones are at the very bottom.

I suggest you check out all of my reviews, if you are not doing homework or playing on your Xbox. Give it go, I’m sure there will be a movie in there that peaks your interest.

Enjoy!

Anthomation Assesses PAW Patrol: The Movie

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The critic gives you his take on PAW Patrol: The Movie.

Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall review something that no teenager should be wasting their time watching: PAW Patrol: The Movie.

PAW Patrol: The Movie is a 2021 animated film based on the television series PAW Patrol. It is the first of several planned films, unfortunately. The film was produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Spin Master Entertainment and released by Paramount worldwide escape Canada. The film was produced almost entirely in Canada; according to Cal Brunker, “95 percent of everything” happened in Canada, with the exception being some audio recording. You would think that this would be my get-out-of-jail-free card for reviewing this film, but it is based on an American property so I must review it.

When their biggest rival, Humdinger, starts wreaking havoc as the mayor of Adventure City, Ryder and everyone’s favorite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge. Armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol joins forces with a savvy dachshund to save the citizens of Adventure City.

Wow, does that plot summary sound pathetic or what? What genius at Paramount greenlit this idea to be released to the public? I mean, this story may be passable for a PAW Patrol episode but definitely a full length animated feature. The narrative of the film is incredibly THIN in every meaning of the word. Folks, there is no engagement whatsoever for anyone over the age of three years old (which at that age, the only thing you are engaging at is your favorite toy). And I get it, three years and under is the target audience for this film. But c’mon, give me something to work with! I had to watch this film at 7:30 in the morning so I would not miss the Sunday NFL games on TV! So yeah, the story sucks! Next section! 

The animation is, to be nice, PAW Patrol quality. The basics of animation are not done terribly. The character models are watchable and there are some nice looking colors in the background of Adventure City. See even the name of the city is STUPID! But getting back on track, everything from a visual standpoint is average, at best. Nothing leaps out at the screen that will WOW anyone, except for that three year old that is in a timeout. The character movements I guess were decent. I mean, every human and dog move around in a reasonable enough motion. It’s just odd that humans are cool with dogs talking and rescuing people in this world. But hey, that indicates my prior knowledge of this property.

The characters in this movie are the biggest cookie-cutter cardboard cutouts to crack through the curtain. There is Chase, a German shepherd and the main protagonist of the film who serves as a police pup. There’s Liberty, a dachshund who lives on the streets in Adventure City and becomes the newest member of the PAW Patrol. There’s Ryder, a young boy who serves as the leader of the PAW Patrol. Brisbin replaces Beckett Hipkiss from the series. There’s Rubble, a bulldog who serves as a construction pup. There’s Skye, a cockapoo who serves as an aviator pup. There’s Marshall, a Dalmatian who serves as a firefighting pup. There’s Rocky, a mixed-breed who serves as a recycling pup. There’s Zuma, a chocolate Labrador retriever who serves as an aquatic rescue pup. And then there is Mayor Humdinger, the PAW Patrol’s biggest rival and the film’s main antagonist who becomes the mayor of nearby Adventure City. All of the dialogue is so blatant. This is the type of movie where characters (cough cough, Humdinger) will just break the fourth wall and proclaim to the audience that they are the villain. Subtle! 

The fact that there are sequels on the way vexes me at an extraordinary level. The story is garbage, the animation is blah, and the characters are dumb. You want my advice, DON’T watch this movie. And more importantly, DON’T buy the movie’s merchandise. Because that is all the studio behind it cares about.

Score:

2.5/10

Anthomation Assesses The Top 5 30’s-40’s Disney films

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The critic gives you his take on The Top 5 30’s-40’s Disney films.

Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today, I shall start a new series with my Top 5 lists, and it has something to do with the House of Mouse. This list will be the Top 5 Disney animated films from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I will be doing a lookback at every decade in the illustrious history of Walt Disney Animation Studios, and recall the best films in each chapter of the story. Without further ado, the best of the 30’s and 40’s.

  1. Bambi (1941):

A young deer named Bambi joins his new friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, in exploring his forest home. As a boy, he learns from his doting mother and his father, The Great Prince of the Forest, that there are dangers in the open meadows where hunters can spot the animals, and he meets a beautiful young doe named Faline. As Bambi grows up, he learns that there is tragedy as well as beauty and joy in his forest world and on the path to adulthood. What I love the most about this film is that it is not afraid to show both the joyous and devastating moments of growing up. The scene where Bambi’s mother dies is still one of the saddest moments in animation history. But the part of that scene is how it shows that death is sadly a part of life and there is a place for both mourning and acceptance. Still one of the all time greats to this day!

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937):

Jealous of Snow White’s beauty, the wicked queen orders the murder of her innocent stepdaughter, but later discovers that Snow White is still alive and hiding in a cottage with seven friendly little miners. Disguising herself as a hag, the queen brings a poisoned apple to Snow White, who falls into a death-like sleep that can be broken only by a kiss from the prince. Obviously every 2D animated film from Disney is drawn with great detail, but there may never be another film that matches the color scheme and backgrounds of this film. Every frame encapsulates so much about the story. The one complaint I hear about this movie is that the story is too basic. In this case, the narrative is simple because it’s the visuals that tell the story. When Snow White is running through the wicked forest, her fright shows what she is scared of right in front of her AND her fright of the evil queen. It’s a classic tale turned into a classic feature!

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Pinocchio (1940):

When the woodworker Geppetto (Christian Rub) sees a falling star, he wishes that the puppet he just finished, Pinocchio (Dickie Jones), could become a real boy. In the night, the Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable) grants Geppetto’s wish and asks Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) to serve as the wooden boy’s conscience. But the naive and trusting Pinocchio falls into the clutches of the wicked Honest John (Walter Catlett), who leads him astray to the sinful Pleasure Island. Narrative wise, this is about as complete of a film as they come. Every scene, from Pinocchio coming to life to his misadventures with Honest John to him being turned into a donkey to him finally being turned into a real boy, are all so iconic in their own right. Anyone of these scenes could make or break any random film. But all of these scenes are in one film. That makes it one of the most remembered films of all time, period.

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Dumbo (1941):

A young circus elephant is born with comically large ears and given the cruel nickname Dumbo. One day at a show, he is taunted by a group of kids, inciting his mother into a rage that gets her locked up. After Dumbo’s ears cause an accident that injures many of the other elephants, he is made to dress like a clown and perform dangerous stunts. Everything changes when Dumbo discovers that his enormous ears actually allow him to fly, and he astounds everyone at the circus with his new talent. As far as full length animated features are concerned, this might be the biggest emotional roller coaster I have EVER been on. Dumbo being made fun of by the other elephants makes the audience furious, seeing Dumbo’s detained in a prison is an absolute tear-jerker, and Dumbo using his ears to fly will take everyone out of their seat in excitement. It has amazing characters, flowing animation, a great story, and many laughs and tears to spare. 

Score:

9.5/10

1.Fantasia (1940):

Bringing to life his vision of blending animated imagery with classical music. What had begun as a vehicle to enhance Mickey Mouse’s career blossomed into a full-blown feature that remains unique in the history of animation. When I think of the masterpiece in every sense of the word, I think of this film. The animation is absolutely gorgeous. With flowing character movements, vivid colors,  awe-inspiring backgrounds, every frame leaps off the screen. The characters are not only memorable, but purely iconic. Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse is the flagship character at his grandest scale. The contrast of the devil on Night on Bald Mountain and the church bells of Ave Maria might be the most captivating moment in American animation history. The music for all of the segments match up perfectly, but this segment in particular is just so awesome. To be quite honest, it’s one of those moments where I can’t take my eyes off the screen because it is that extraordinary. In my opinion, it is the BEST Disney animated film EVER made!

Score:

10/10

Anthomation Assesses Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans

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The critic gives you his thoughts on Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans.

Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall hunt for trolls with Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans.

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is a 2021 animated film released by Netflix and DreamWorks Animation. The film is the finale of the Tales of Arcadia franchise by Guillermo del Toro, which features the television series Trollhunters, 3Below and Wizards. It was released on Netflix on July 21, 2021, and it received generally positive reviews from critics. However, it received a mixed response from fans who criticized the ending and contradictions with the rest of the franchise. Now I have NOT watched any of the Arcadia shows, so I will only be looking at the film itself and not comparing it to the content it was based off of.

Following a year after the events of Wizards, the Guardians of Arcadia reunite for the final time as they battle the nefarious Arcane Order, who have reawakened the primordial Titans.

The story of the movie is just like every other science fiction movie.  From the fact that there is a good vs evil plot line, to an overstuffed exposition about what I am guessing is a summary of the entire Arcadia universe. But they try to fit it all together in only THREE minutes. How will anyone grasp any of this world-building information when you are given more time to eat a ham and cheese sandwich? This film is also littered with Hero’s journey tropes! There is the hero finding out who is the main villain, doubting himself after not being able to defeat the villain the first time, having to be reassured by a voice of wisdom, and finding the strength to overcome his adversary. It is used in such a dry and stale way that it is impossible to find a unique experience. The one delivery I did like was when Jim straight up told someone “That plan doesn’t make sense!” It was not a well written line, but the line was so abrupt in a humorous way!

The animation is not extraordinary, but serves its purpose. There is nothing ugly looking about the film. The character designs are legitimately crafted, and their movements are spirited. The colors range from shades of black to vibrant green and pink, so there is a wide range in the visual palette. The backgrounds might be the most visually appealing part of the film. They are realistic enough to grab some to watch the action scenes, but not distracting in any way. Speaking of the action scenes, they were well choreographed. There was one shot where Jim was fighting the main villain in the climax and it just cut to another character fixing a power source for the protagonist. That was out of place. Overall, the visuals carry a lot more pros than cons.

The characters are probably the thing that takes me out of the film the most. Even with a generic story, the film could have still been enjoyable if I gave a hoot about our heros. First, there is Jim Lake, the first human Trollhunter and a reluctant hero dealing with the pressures of leading a double life. There’s Blinkous “Blinky” Galadrigal, Jim’s six-eyed four-armed troll mentor. There’s Toby Domzalski, Jim’s best friend and confidant. There’s Claire Maria Nuñez, Jim’s girlfriend. She is a feisty, kind, jolly, sarcastic, curious, and intelligent tomboy who enjoys books and is a talented martial artist and gymnast. Also, there is Steve. He does not serve much of a purpose to the film, but he does get pregnant and his stomach literally explodes while giving birth to seven children. So not only was that disgusting to watch but Steve’s intestines are forever ruined! And then there is Bellroc, the main antagonist in Wizards and Rise of the Titans, Bellroc is the violent and ruthless leader of the nefarious Arcane Order. All of these characters are not only familiar, but are so cookie-cutter that I am more likely to look at a football score than root for these unamusing fools in battle.

Trollhunters could have been an action packed thriller, but instead turned out to be a bit of a snoozefest. The story is generic, the animation is good but not enough to save the film, and the characters do not hold any water whatsoever. I bet that fans of the previous shows will like it just fine, but if you are unfamiliar with Arcadia then your investment of this world will not grow much further.

Score:

5.5/10

Anthomation Assesses The Loud House Movie

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The critic gives you his take on The Loud House Movie.

Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall review another film to be released on Netflix: The Loud House Movie.

The Loud House Movie is a 2021 animated film featuring characters from the Nickelodeon series The Loud House. The film was originally going to be theatrically released in 2020 by Paramount Pictures. Instead, the film had a digital release on Netflix on August 20, 2021. It was met with mixed to positive reviews from critics, praising its animation, acting, and songs, while some criticized the plot.

With his parents and all 10 sisters in tow, Lincoln Loud heads to Scotland and learns that royalty runs in the family in this global musical journey!

The story is very outlandish and lacks any sense of logic. To be fair, I have not watched the show that this is based off of. With that said, characters will just make decisions out of the blue and not question it whatsoever. Oh we want to take a vacation to Scotland without having much money and 11 kids to take care of, who cares we will just go there anyways. Wait, there is an evil power-hungry duchess trying to chase our family away with a hypnotized dragon, it doesn’t matter we will fight her off without showing any prior fighting experience. Everything just happens, with no logistics. This my friends is a critics WORST NIGHTMARE! This feature also happens to be a musical. While none of the songs were to the level of a Disney film, they sounded pretty good and kept the story moving along. That is the other thing about this movie, it goes by SO quickly. I get it that it is a movie made from a TV show, but this movie flew by in a hurry. Just boom boom boom, every scene was fast paced and would not stop. For a story this illogical, it actually works to the movie’s advantage and will keep you more engaged from start to finish.

After trashing the story, you would think that this would be another one of my rant reviews. But fear not my companions! Because the animation is here to rescue us from a visual standpoint. I have stated before how seeing a 2D animated film being released nowadays is SO refreshing. But it makes all of the difference in the world when the animation is actually well done. Yeah, this is supposed to be TV-quality animation. The backgrounds look sleek with a great variety of colors, and the character models and movements work well for the eccentric world that has been developed. However, my favorite element is the facial expressions. This is because there is a wide range of eye positions and mouth movements that makes every frame feel like a different emotion. The animators knocked it out of the park for this movie.

The thing that arguably saves this movie are the characters. Specifically, the main character. There is Lincoln Loud, the only boy in the family. He has 10 sisters and feels like the outsider of the family. From here, you would think that he just wants to be the center of attention. While that is a motive for our protagonist, he really cares for his sisters and his parents. He is willing to help ALL of them succeed in their given passion, thereby putting the needs of them over his own. He just longs to feel important and special in the eyes of his family. I’m sure that a lot of kids his age and older have felt what he feels. Lincoln Long is such a likable character that can hit people from a cinematic AND personal level. His sisters are Lori, Leni, Luna, Luan, Lynn, Lucy, Lola, Lana, Lisa, and Lily. They are mostly one-dimensional, but they serve their purpose well enough. Same can be said for Lynn Sr. and Rita, the Dad and Mom of the family. There is Clyde McBride, Lincoln’s best friend and emotional support. There is Angus, the gatekeeper of the Loud kingdom who befriends the family. And then there is Morag, the power-hungry maid turned duchess stated before. As a villain, she served her purpose at a high level. From a fine vocal performance to her proper demeanor that is always ready to burst into pure anger, she can command the screen. My favorite scene is where she storms out of the castle in a complete rage walk and then shouts “I HATE THE LOUD FAMILY!” It had me laugh.

This is the most surprising animated film I have seen in a LONG time. Despite a lackluster story, the film supplies more than enough animation and wonderful characters to make for a worthwhile experience. This is a film that I thought I may not enjoy the first time that I think I will watch a second time! Kudos to this film!

Score:

6.5/10

Anthomation Assesses My Little Pony: A New Generation

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The critic gives you his take on My Little Pony: A New Generation.

Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall spread my wings and find my inner friendship for My Little Pony: A New Generation.

My Little Pony: A New Generation is a 2021 animated film released by Netflix. Based on Hasbro’s My Little Pony franchise, the film marks the start of the fifth incarnation of the franchise, which is set in the same universe as the previous generation’s, a first for the franchise. Originally set to be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures, the film was instead released in most countries on Netflix on September 24, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while still being theatrically released in several Asian countries. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics for its message, though its pacing and plot received some criticism.

The film follows Sunny Starscout, an earth pony who, after meeting the unicorn Izzy Moonbow, embarks on a quest to reunite all pony kinds and restore magic to the land.

The story is so blase in every way. It is literally earth ponies, pegasi, and unicorns – have grown apart, living separated from one another in paranoia and prejudice. No background whatsoever, just go with it. You can literally predict every move the film will make. It is one of those movies that are almost impossible to be engaged with, considering that NFL games were going on during the viewing of this feature. This film also happens to be a musical, and these are some of the most boring songs you will ever hear. At least we know what happens when My Little Pony and Radio Disney join forces. If you can’t already tell, this review will be incredibly short.

The animation is not impressive at all. From the CGI character models, to the character expressions, to their movements, it has all been seen before. The backgrounds are not too badly conceptualized with nice colors, but that’s about it. The only thing that the animation can save is a three-year-old’s attention span toward the movie. 

I’ve used the word cookie-cutter to describe characters in a lot of previous films…and this is no different. There is Sunny Starscout (voiced by Vanessa Hudgens), an adventurous and virtuous earth pony-turned-alicorn who enjoys roller skating and wants all pony kinds to get along. There’s Izzy Moonbow, an energetic and curious unicorn from Bridlewood Forest that loves crafting, who is the first non-earth pony Sunny befriended. Hitch Trailblazer, (voiced by James Marsden), an earth pony who is the kind and hard-working sheriff at Maretime Bay and Sunny’s childhood friend. And then there is Sprout Cloverleaf (voiced by Ken Jeong), an earth pony stallion, Phyillis’ son, and deputy sheriff to Hitch at Maretime Bay. The celebrity voices don’t add anything to the characters, keeping them as stale as ever.

This My Little Pony film will not spread friendship and kindness. With the story, animation, and characters all being unimaginative, the only thing that should be spreading is our distance towards the film’s merchandise. Hollywood, STOP making My Little Pony movies!

Score:

2.5/10

Anthomation Assesses The Top 5 50’s Disney films

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The critic gives you his take on The Top 5 50’s Disney films.

Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall continue with my series look back on Walt Disney Animation Studios. Here are my top 5 50’s Disney films.

  1. Cinderella (1950):

With a wicked stepmother (Eleanor Audley) and two jealous stepsisters (Rhoda Williams, Lucille Bliss) who keep her enslaved and in rags, Cinderella (Ilene Woods) stands no chance of attending the royal ball. When her fairy godmother (Verna Felton) appears and magically transforms her reality into a dream come true, Cinderella enchants the handsome Prince Charming at the ball, but must face the wrath of her enraged stepmother and sisters when the spell wears off at midnight. What I love most about this film is the transformation of Cinderella into a princess. You really feel for her from all of the abuse she has taken from Lady Tremaine and her two stepsisters. So Cinderella’s Happily ever after feels truly earned, which is not something I can say for most fairy tales. By the way, Lady Tremaine looks like the female version of Andrew Jackson.

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Peter Pan (1953):

Wendy (Kathryn Beaumont) and her two brothers are amazed when a magical boy named Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll) flies into their bedroom, supposedly in pursuit of his rebellious shadow. He and his fairy friend, Tinkerbell, come from a far-off place called Neverland, where children stay perpetually young. Enchanted, the kids follow him back. But when Pan’s nemesis, the pirate Captain Hook (Hans Conried), causes trouble, the kids begin to miss their old life. This film is the definition of an adventure movie for the whole family. There is swashbuckling action between Pan and Hook, romance between Pan and Wendy, and even family emotion between the kids and her parents. I love how Wendy’s father is the animated version of Mr. Banks; there’s one line that always makes me laugh: “Poor Nanna? Poor Nanna?! AWWW!!!”

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Lady and the Tramp (1955):

It follows a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady (Barbara Luddy) whose comfortable life slips away once her owners have a baby. When, after some tense circumstances, Lady finds herself on the loose and out on the street, she is befriended and protected by the tough stray mutt Tramp (Larry Roberts). A romance begins to blossom between the two dogs, but their many differences, along with more drama at Lady’s household, threaten to keep them apart. Some people may think of this as the film with the spaghetti kissing scene, but this is a solid film all around. The dynamic between Lady and Tramp is more than believable and you want them to be together in the end. Just watch out for those Siamese cats!

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Sleeping Beauty (1959):

Filled with jealousy, the evil witch Maleficent (Eleanor Audley) curses Princess Aurora (Mary Costa) to die on her 16th birthday. Thanks to Aurora’s guardian fairies (Verna Felton, Barbara Jo Allen, Barbara Luddy), she only falls into a deep sleep that can be ended with a kiss from her betrothed, Prince Phillip (Bill Shirley). To prevent Phillip from rescuing Aurora, Maleficent kidnaps and imprisons him. The good fairies are the last hope to free Phillip so that he can awaken Aurora. This is a powerhouse Disney film! With one of the best Disney villains, a plot line that contains a spell that fulfills its given drama, and one of the most epic climaxes in Disney history, this film is a joy to watch. Between Maleficent, Captain Hook, and Lady Tremaine, this decade is full of top-notch baddies!

Score:

9.5/10

1.Alice in Wonderland (1951):

When Alice (Kathryn Beaumont), a restless young British girl, falls down a rabbit hole, she enters a magical world. There she encounters an odd assortment of characters, including the grinning Cheshire Cat (Sterling Holloway) and the goofy Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn). When Alice ends up in the court of the tyrannical Queen of Hearts (Verna Felton), she must stay on the ruler’s good side — or risk losing her head. Out of all the Walt-era classics, this is by far the most overlooked! Alice is one the better fleshed out protagonists. She is very curious, often seen daydreaming and giving herself advice instead of listening to the advice of others. And seeing her navigate through all of the madness that Wonderland has to offer makes us really root for her to get out of there. This is the only film I have watched that was a GOOD acid trip.

Score:

9.5/10

About the Contributor
Photo of Anthony Saccente
Anthony Saccente, Sports Broadcast Manager

Anthony Saccente is a senior at Wilsonville High School and he serves as the Sports Broadcast Manager for WBN and the Paw Print. He has announced JV and...

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