Anthomation Asseses II
September 19, 2021
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.
Anthomation Assesses 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.
Anthomation Assesses 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Anthomation Assesses 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.
Anthomation Assesses 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!
Anthomation Assesses 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!
Anthomation Assesses 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!”
- 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!
- 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!
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.
Anthomation Assesses Ron’s Gone Wrong
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall go into the future and look at Ron’s Gone Wrong.
Ron’s Gone Wrong is a 2021 animated film. It is the first film from Locksmith Animation and was distributed by 20th Century Studios, serving as the company’s first animated film to release since the closure of Blue Sky Studios on April 10, 2021.The film was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on October 15 and in the United States on October 22, 2021. The film has grossed $33.3 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics.
Barney is a socially awkward schoolboy who receives a robot named Ron — a walking, talking, digitally connected device that’s supposed to be his best friend. Barney is excited to finally have his own robot — until his new toy starts to hilariously malfunction, drawing the attention of a shady executive who wants to protect his company’s stock price at all costs.
The story combines two very familiar plotlines: the main character and his misunderstood friend, and a future full of technological advances. Call it this year’s version of Next Gen (2018). But unlike that film, this one has a decent combination of humor and heart. For a simple film about a boy and his pet robot, things get serious. For example, Barney and Ron decide to run away into the woods after creating a robotic mess at his middle school. And they don’t return until Barney is in need of severe medical attention. So much for parental guidance. The story does fall into the same trap as other modern animated films of trying to squeeze in as many subplots as possible. There is the human and robot relationship, the kid and parent relationship, the kid and his old friends, and the corporate bad guy has no compassion.
The animation is well done on all fronts. Being that this is the first film from Locksmith Animation, there must have been some pressure to make sure that they make a good first impression. From a visual standpoint, they did good! The backgrounds look good, and the character expressions look nice. The character models might look a bit wonky at first, but they are easy to get used to. My favorite part was how it could range from bright and colorful to almost no lighting. In a scene revealing Barney’s phobia of the dark, Ron uses his lighting to help him sleep better. In doing so, the film takes full advantage of only using lighting in the essential parts of the frame. It’s an old school film technique, and one that is enjoyable to watch.
The characters range from pretty well developed to pretty stale. First there is Barney Pudowski, a socially awkward and lonesome middle-schooler with whom Savannah shares a friendship. There is Ron (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), Barney’s malfunctioning B-bot. There’s Barney’s father, Graham, and Barney’s paternal grandmother, Donka, (voiced by Ed Helms and Olivia Colman respectively). There’s Savannah Meades, Barney’s classmate who is an aspiring vlogger. There’s Marc, the creator of the B-bot and CEO of the Bubble company. And then there is Andrew, the COO of the Bubble company who is the corporate villain. Our two main characters have life to them, but the side characters feel undeveloped. This makes the film’s writing decent, but not much more than that.
The best way to explain this film is that it is a little messy, but its heart is in the right place. The story, animation, and characters all seem slightly above average, but not enough to truly stand out. This is worth a watch for the casual viewer, but not worth running to for a rewatch.
Anthomation Assesses The Addams Family 2
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall review a very bad movie (yeah, no other lead is necessary): The Addams Family 2.
The Addams Family 2 is a 2021 animated film based on the characters created by Charles Addams. It is the sequel to the 2019 film, The Addams Family, which was NOT a smashing success at the box office. The film was theatrically released in the United States by United Artists Releasing on October 1, 2021, followed by an international release by Universal Pictures on October 8. It also became available for online rental on the same day in the United States and Canada, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. The film has grossed over $93 million and received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the humor and story.
Hoping to get closer as a family, Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the Addams clan embark on an adventurous road trip in a hideous and humongous camper.
The story is SO rehashed. The hash browns I ate for breakfast aren’t as hashed up as this embarrassment of a plot. Tell me if you have not heard this one before. This film is a road trip movie…that’s it! This is one of the laziest scripts for an animated film I have encountered in a while. And I have seen a few flicks in this category just this year. But the most unbearable part of the film BY FAR is the humor. Or should I say the lack of humor because of how unfunny every joke is. 75% of the film’s humor consists of potty potty humor. Which one of these jokes would already have you shaking your head, but how about 500? And the delivery every time is extremely blunt, so it thinks its audience has the intelligence level of a saltine cracker.
The animation is subpar, at best. The character model looks wonky and even unfinished. ⅔ of the characters are humans, but none of them look or feel like they are humans. The textures on their faces do not feel like actual skin, and their clothing feels plasticy. As for the backgrounds, they are alright I guess. The film does travel from the Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon, so there is a bit of variety, at least for Addams Family standards. Other than that, there are not many compliments I can give for the visuals.
The characters are really annoying, making them unenjoyable. First there is Wednesday Addams (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz), Gomez and Morticia’s daughter who wants to run away because she doesn’t belong. There’s Gomez Addams (voiced by Oscar Isaac), Morticia’s husband. There’s Morticia Addams (voiced by Charlize Theron), Gomez’s wife. There’s Uncle Fester (voiced by Nick Kroll), Gomez’s brother. There’s Pugsley Addams (voiced by Javon Walton), Gomez and Morticia’s son; Walton replaces Finn Wolfhard from the previous film. And then there is Cyrus Strange (voiced by Bill Hader), a scientist who claims that he is Wednesday’s biological father. I am racing through this part of the review because these characters are THAT terribly conceived.
This was one of the toughest films to get through of the ENTIRE year! With a horrible execution for the three major departments, this is an immediate skip for the whole family. Something those obnoxious Progressive ads of this movie should have stated!
Anthomation Assesses The Top 5 60’s-70’s Disney Films
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall continue with my series lookback on Walt Disney Animation Studios. Here are my top 5 60’s-70’s Disney films.
- Robin Hood (1973):
An amiable rooster called Alan-a-Dale (Roger Miller) tells stories and sings songs of the heroic Robin Hood (Brian Bedford) and his trusty sidekick, Little John (Phil Harris), in this animated animal-themed adaptation of the legendary story. When evil Prince John (Peter Ustinov) deputizes the Sheriff of Nottingham (Pat Buttram) to collect unreasonable taxes from the animals of Sherwood Forest, Robin, Little John and the other merry men wage a lighthearted battle against their evil foes. This film has that old, timeless feel. While it does have its fair amount of padding, it has memorable characters and a high spirited atmosphere that makes it fun to watch to this day. Also, Prince John’s line of “This crown gives me a feeling of power!” makes me laugh every time on a literal and ironic level.
- The Jungle Book (1967):
In this classic Walt Disney animation based on Rudyard Kipling’s book, Mowgli, an abandoned child raised by wolves, has his peaceful existence threatened by the return of the man-eating tiger Shere Khan (George Sanders). Facing certain death, Mowgli must overcome his reluctance to leave his wolf family and return to the “man village.” But he is not alone on his quest: Aided by Bagheera the panther, and later by the carefree bear Balloo (Phil Harris), he braves the jungle’s many perils. With one of most lively soundtracks and painfully underrated villains, this film still has more than enough to offer to the entire family. In particular, Bear Necessities makes me want to dance!
- The Aristocats (1970):
When a retired opera singer leaves her inheritance to her cat, Duchess (Eva Gabor), and three kittens, the woman’s butler drugs the cats and abandons them in the countryside in order to inherit the fortune himself. Lost in unfamiliar territory, Duchess and the kittens meet Thomas O’Malley (Phil Harris), an alley cat willing to help them return to their home in Paris. They meet several kooky characters along the way, including two English geese and an alley cat jazz band. I have no reason why this film gets so many bad reviews. It has an constant up beat feel to it, with great songs, and an intriguing story about lying and betrayal. Yes I am aware of the infamous piano alley cat that may or may not be a Chinese stereotype, but that does not take away from the rest of the movie.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977):
It tells the adventures of bumbling bear Winnie the Pooh as he battles a nest of vicious bees over a trove of honey, weathers a terrible wind storm and endures the foibles of the hyperactive tiger Tigger, all while singing and bumbling his way through the Hundred Acre Wood. Kanga, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit and Eeyore round out the menagerie in this trio of animated tales adapted from A.A. Milne’s celebrated series of children’s books. Some of you might be surprised to see this as number two on the list, but I can explain myself. This film is the definition of innocent. No matter how you look at this film, you just can’t criticize it that much. And it is because of the setting and characters. The Hundred Acre Wood is ingrained in almost every little kid’s mind and can take adults back to a place of simpler time. And the characters are some of the most memorable in Disney’s illustrious history. It does not have the conventional one story plot, but it keeps being a childhood staple.
1.One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961):
In a Disney animation classic, Dalmatian Pongo is tired of his bachelor-dog life. He spies lovely Perdita and maneuvers his master, Roger, into meeting Perdita’s owner, Anita. The owners fall in love and marry, keeping Pongo and Perdita together too. After Perdita gives birth to a litter of 15 puppies, Anita’s old school friend Cruella De Vil wants to buy them all. Roger declines her offer, so Cruella hires the criminal Badun brothers to steal them — so she can have a fur coat. Let’s start with Cruella. She is in the top grouping of Disney villains because of her devious and psychotic nature. She is loads of fun to watch. Also, this film has one of the unique visual styles, with its sketchy, but graceful look. This is a top 10 Disney classic!
Anthomation Assesses The Top 5 Animated Films of 2021
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall review the best of the best from this past year.
There were certainly more films released in 2021 than 2020, and boy were we glad. Whether they came out early or later in the year, if they were well known and looked over, it’s the job of this critic to celebrate those animation highlights.
- Ron’s Gone Wrong
Barney is a socially awkward schoolboy who receives a robot named Ron — a walking, talking, digitally connected device that’s supposed to be his best friend. Barney is excited to finally have his own robot — until his new toy starts to hilariously malfunction, drawing the attention of a shady executive who wants to protect his company’s stock price at all costs. It is the first film from Locksmith Animation and was distributed by 20th Century Studios, serving as the company’s first animated film to release since the closure of Blue Sky Studios. The best way to explain this film is that it is a little messy, but its heart is in the right place. The story, animation, and characters all seem slightly above average, but not enough to truly stand out. This is worth a watch for the casual viewer, but not worth running to for a rewatch.
- The Loud House Movie
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 film is based on the Nickelodeon series of the same name. 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!
- Raya and the Last Dragon
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good. This is the 59th feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. This movie delightfully surprised me. With a well thought out premise, gorgeous animation, and characters that are good but not great, it makes for a film that has a lot to offer. It’s a must-watch for Disney fans and worth watching for non-Disney moviegoers alike.
The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger. Oh look, another film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the 60th animated film from the studio. Encanto is a win for Disney Animation. This film has all of the pieces in place to be a Disney gamechanger, but falls just short of that because of its thematic predictability. But with bright and colorful animation, a likeable protagonist, and an intriguing setting, this film will certainly keep kids entertained the entire time, as well as parents alike.
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface. This is the latest addition to the Pixar cannon, and it definitely earns its keep. The story is well thought out, the animation is gorgeous to look at, and the characters are very endearing. With lots of humor and heart to spare, this film separates itself from the rest of this year’s lineup.
Anthomation Assesses: The Secret of NIMH
Hey folks, Anthomation here. Today is the start of Don Bluth month, as I’ll give you my thoughts on The Secret of NIMH.
The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 animated film directed by Don Bluth in his directorial debut and based on Robert C. O’Brien’s children’s novel, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. The film was released in the United States on July 16, 1982, by MGM/UA Entertainment Co. It was followed in 1998 by a direct-to-video sequel, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, which was made without Bluth’s involvement or input and met with poor reception. In 2015, a live-action/computer-animated remake was reported to be in the works. A television series adaptation is also in development by the Fox Corporation.
Mrs. Brisby (Elizabeth Hartman), a widowed mouse, must move her children out of their home in a field before the local farmer starts plowing. Unable to leave because her son is ill, Mrs. Brisby seeks the help of nearby rats, who have heightened intelligence after being the subjects of scientific experiments. She receives an unexpected gift from the elder rat, Nicodemus (Derek Jacobi). Soon Mrs. Brisby is caught in a conflict among the rats, jeopardizing her mission to save her family.
This is, quite simply, one the best animated films ever made! The story is so well developed, creating a world that is both complex and intriguing. It is not like there is a large exposition dump in the beginning of the movie either; the story keeps furthering itself as the film progresses. And I love how it eloquently combines themes of faith, magic, and science. These themes do not feel forced in the least; they feel authentic in its message of needing all of these aspects to overcome the odds. And let’s talk about one of the greatest animated characters: Mrs. Brisby. She will risk anything and everything to save her ill son and move her family from nearby destruction. She had to climb so many emotional mountains along the way: from her fear of heights to the death of her husband to an inner conflict among radioactive rats. Most holidays have a fantastical icon, like Santa Claus or the Easter bunny. Well, Mrs. Brisby should be the icon of Mother’s Day for her bold and courageous effort. This film also benefits from some gorgeous traditional animation. The movie from legendary filmmaker and animator, Don Bluth, and his signature animation is displayed at the forefront. The characters look amazing and show so much emotion. The backgrounds and colors are visually fabulous, creating an atmosphere unlike most other features. I love the climax, where Mrs. Brisby is holding up the magic necklace and prevents her house from sinking with her family inside. The animation turns bright and golden, making the moment that much more dramatic. With an excellent story, animation, and characters, we got a film that could stand up to just about any other animated movie, past and present. A must watch for the ENTIRE family!
Anthomation Assesses Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall give you my thoughts on Hotel Transylvania: Transformania.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is a 2021 animated film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and released by Amazon Studios. It is the fourth and final installment in the Hotel Transylvania franchise and the sequel to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018). Originally planned to be released theatrically in the United States on October 1, 2021, Sony Pictures Releasing cancelled the film’s release plans and sold the film’s distribution rights to Amazon Studios for $100 million, due to rising cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in the United States. The film was released exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on January 14, 2022. The film received mixed reviews from critics.
Van Helsing’s mysterious new invention transforms Drac and his pals into humans, and Johnny into a monster. With their new mismatched bodies, Drac and the pack must find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.
The film left a lot to be desired. First off, the plot line to this film is extremely lazy. I mean, monsters and humans switch places. That’s it?! That is what the brilliant minds at Sony came up with?! And it’s not like the rest of the film tries much harder. The comedy is downright embarrassing with unfunny gags that overstay their welcome and characters in situations that the audience does not care for them to be in. The only joke that cracked me up was when Dracula saw the Hotel completely destroyed and, out of pure anger, shrinks a mutated guinea pig back to its original size. Other than that, nothing. Also, the characters are extremely forgettable. Seriously, I’ve watched all three of the previous Hotel Transylvania films, and I forget that half of these characters even existed. This franchise clearly is running on the same fumes that the Ice Age or Despicable Me franchises were running on. That is being overcrowded with characters that the fanbase has either gotten sick of or just does not care about. And then there is the animation. This has been the driving force of the series. With its upbeat and zany nature, it is what has supplied the overwhelming majority of Hotel’s life. With that said, there seemed to have been a downgrade. The timing seems a little tired and/or off on the gags and the uniqueness of each character’s persona has disappeared. In the earlier films, every character moved differently and that could tell us about who they really were. Here, every character moves the same. So if the animators do not care about making any of these characters stand out, then why should we? This film is an immediate skip for all movie goers alike. The diehard Hotel Transylvania fans might find some things that are likeable, but that is about it.
Anthomation Assesses The Top 5 80’s Disney Films
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall continue with my series lookback on Walt Disney Animation Studios. Here are my top 5 80’s Disney films.
- Black Cauldron (1985):
In the land of Prydain, lowly pig herder Taran (Grant Bardsley) dreams of becoming a gallant knight. Young Taran receives his heroic calling when the evil Horned King (John Hurt) kidnaps Hen-Wren, a prophesying pig that had been entrusted to Taran. Now, with help from his furry sidekick Gurgi and Princess Eilonwy, Taran must locate the magical black cauldron before the Horned King is able to use its mystical powers to summon an army of the undead. With its darker edge, this film is still a cult classic for 80’s kids to this day. There just aren’t any other Disney movies that look or feel the same. And John Hurt is menacing at the Horned King. With that said, it is a missed opportunity. This film is the cliched hero’s journey with a main character that is on the annoying side. Seriously, all Taran does is complain how he wants to be a warrior. The only character more obnoxious than him is Gurgi. Munchies and crunchies my foot!
- Oliver & Company (1988):
In this animated update of the classic “Oliver Twist” tale, Oliver (Joey Lawrence) is an orphaned kitten taken in by a gang of thieving dogs, led by cavalier canine Dodger (Billy Joel) and owned by down-and-out pickpocket Fagin (Dom DeLuise). While pulling a job in the streets of New York City, Oliver winds up being adopted by a rich girl, Jenny (Natalie Gregory), and landing on easy street. But through a series of events, a loan shark threatens the peaceful new arrangement. This film is a childhood favorite of mine, so I will naturally have a soft spot for it. The music contains some the catchiest songs. I mean, you listen to three seconds of ‘Why should I worry’ and it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. The one thing that holds the movie back is its predictable plot. But the animation style is unique with its sketchy New York City feel.
- The Fox and the Hound (1981):
After his mother is killed, Tod the fox (Mickey Rooney) is taken in by the kindly Widow Tweed (Jeanette Nolan). He soon befriends the neighbor’s new hound dog, Copper (Kurt Russell). The two are inseparable, but their friendship is hampered by their masters and by the fact that they are, by nature, enemies. They grow apart as they grow older; Copper has become a strong hunting dog and Tod a wild fox. The pair must overcome their inherent differences in order to salvage their friendship. The thing that really makes this film enjoyable is the friendship between Tod and Cooper. Mickey Rooney and Kurt Russell both kill it in the roles, adding an extra level of depth to their characters. You truly feel the highs and the lows that the duo is going through. The one thing that could have been altered was the late second act when Tod is alone in the forest. He forms a romantic relationship with another fox and it doesn’t hold much interest. Don’t worry dear readers, the ending is really emotional and holds a lot of weight.
- The Great Mouse Detective (1986):
Basil embarks on the greatest case of his career when London’s master toymaker is kidnapped. He ends up pitting his wits against his old adversary, Professor Ratigan, who wants to become `supreme ruler of all mousedom’. To this day, The Great Mouse Detective is the most underrated Disney animated film EVER made. The animation is really good, as the CGI effects still hold up to this day. The scene of Ratigan chasing Basil through the clocktower is one of the more exciting Disney climaxes. And characters still hold up as well. Basil has a Sherlock feel to him, but is charismatic enough to not feel like a ripoff. Ratigan is a deliciously evil dictator. If you have not watched it, this is a MUST WATCH!
1.The Little Mermaid (1989):
In Disney’s beguiling animated romp, rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel (Jodi Benson) is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter. I know this movie gets equated with the 90’s Disney films since it kickstarted the Disney Renaissance, but it was released in the 80’s nevertheless. This is the definition of a complete animated film. The animation is gorgeous, the story is compelling, the characters are intriguing, and the songs are memorable. This movie is certainly apart of my world!
Anthomation Assesses: The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild
Howdy guys, Anthomation here. Today I shall review ANOTHER Ice Age film: The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild.
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is a 2022 animated film. It is a stand-alone spin-off of the Ice Age franchise. The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, it was released as a Disney+ original film on January 28, 2022. The film received generally negative reviews from critics.
Eager for a little independence, the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie set out to find a place of their own but soon find themselves trapped beneath the ice in a massive cave inhabited by dinosaurs. They are rescued by the one-eyed, adventure-loving weasel Buck Wild, and together, with the help of some new friends, embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.
God, does that synopsis sound pathetic or what? I mean, this story has already been told over and over again in better ways. There is no reason for this movie to even exist and it is none more prominent than in this sorry excuse of a narrative. It is so unengaging for kids, let alone their parents. In fact, I think most parents would be willing to leave their little ones alone on the living room couch just to escape this atrocity. The movie is so tired of itself that it literally repeats scenes from previous Ice Age films. The opening narration just gives a full recap of the entire franchise, thinking that their audience is completely brain-dead. It also repeats the scene of Ellie being found by Crash and Eddie from Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006). At least it was less than an hour-and-a-half long, so the suffering didn’t feel like an eternity.
While the story might be the most rushed part of the movie, the animation is the most insulting part. What Disney did to Blue Sky is absolutely shameful. Not only did they shut the studio down, but they took their most successful franchise and made it into an even bigger mockery than it already was. We went from theatrical level animation on the previous five films to direct-to-streaming animation in this film. The rendering looks like something out of a 2010’s video game. The character models are so unappealing, as they feel less like real animals and more like robust animatronics. The backgrounds leave a lot to be desired, with little color and flair. This is as low quality as it gets.
The characters are as dull as can be. Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg), is a shell of his former self, with unfunny jokes and line deliveries. And the rest of the characters do not even move the needle. There is Crash and Eddie (voiced by Vincent Tong and Aaron Harris, respectively), the twin prankster possum brothers who are the adopted brothers of Ellie. There’s Zee (voiced by Justina Machado), a zorilla who was a former, and the only other surviving member of Buck’s superhero team. And then there’s Orson (voiced by Utkarsh Ambudkar), a villainous dwarf protoceratops with a bulging brain who wants revenge against Buck. This is of course with reappearances from Manny, Sid, Diego, and Ellie. None of the original voice actors returned for this feature because they were aware of how much of a waste of time this would be. In fact, Simon Pegg was the only returning voice actor. And it really shows. It seems like everyone just gave a minimal effect into their performances. Instead of trying to convey convincing emotions, they were thinking about their paycheck.
Just when I thought Collision Course (2016) was the ultimate low for the franchise, I was introduced to this hot pile of trash. From the story, animation, and characters, everything was executed at a poor level. On the Disney+ PR page, it was revealed that a SIXTH Ice Age film is in development. Disney, please hear my pleas! STOP making Ice Age films!
Anthomation Assesses: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall review a very interesting animated entry: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a 2010 animated film. Based on the Guardians of Ga’Hoole book series by Kathryn Lasky, it was directed by Zack Snyder. He is more known for directing live action films, such as 300 (2007) and the DC Extended Universe films. An international co-production between the United States and Australia, the film was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Animal Logic, following their success with the 2006 film Happy Feet. Legend of the Guardians was theatrically released in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D in North America on September 24, 2010, and in Australia on September 30, 2010, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film grossed over $140 million worldwide against a budget of $80 million and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its voice performances, visual effects and tone but criticized its story and characters. In the decade since its release, it garnered a cult following.
Soren, who loves doing the stories, is kidnapped and brought by the Pure Ones to St. Aegolious Home for Orphaned Owls led by Metal Beak and Nyra where the owlets are brainwashed to become soldiers. Soren befriended Gylfie, and later escaped the facility to find the Island of Ga’Hoole with new-found friends and together fight against the evil army.
The story of the film leaves a lot on the table, considering its capability. Let’s start with the good news: this movie has a uniquely dark tone that can keep viewers invested. The bad news is that the actual narrative is not nearly as unique. It is just the typical protagonist dreamer that overcomes an oppressive society to save the day. And does not do anything new with it. You know every direction the film is going to go. Again considering how much effort was put into some of the other elements, it is a shame how much the story drags down the rest of the feature. By no means is it terrible, it just could have been better.
Now here is the best part of the movie: the animation is absolutely GORGEOUS! In fact I will take it one step further: I think that this is the most realistic looking CGI animation EVER put on the big screen. Just imagine seeing it in IMAX, it would have been a total spectacle. What makes it so great is the amount of detail put into every ounce of animation. Apparently, a team of over 500 artists, technicians and support staff were amassed to design and animate 15 unique species of owls, as well as other forest creatures such as snakes, crows, and bats. And boy does it show. The characters are fabulous to look at. They not only look like real animals, but with their exact movements they feel like real animals. Also the backgrounds are beautiful. They range from bright and fantastical to dark and menacing, and I am here for it all. Whenever the owls are flying through fire, rain, or a clear sky, you feel like you are flying along with them. Plus the action scenes are elegantly constructed. With every claw and strike, it makes you believe that every blow would have a serious impact. Considering that this is a Snyder film, there are a TON of slow motion shots and they mostly take place during important action shots. While it may feel repetitive after a while, it still adds to the overall atmosphere by giving the audience time to take in the moment. I’m just wondering if there was a “Snyder Cut” to this film? Imagine this film being three hours long. In all seriousness, the CGI animation is as good as it gets. Kudos to Animal Logic!
The characters are very familiar, but doable for the movie. My biggest issue is how many characters there are to keep track of. There is Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess), a barn owlet and the main protagonist who loves telling the stories about the Guardians. There’s Gylfie (voiced by Emily Barclay), an elf owlet who becomes Soren’s best friend. There’s Kludd (voiced by Ryan Kwanten), a barn owlet and Soren’s jealous and bitter older brother who becomes a soldier for the Pure Ones. There’s Digger (voiced by David Wenham), a burrowing owl who becomes friends with Soren and Gylfie. There’s Twilight (voiced by Anthony LaPaglia), a great grey owl and Digger’s hollow mate who also becomes friends with Soren and Gylfie. There’s Ezylryb/Lyze of Kiel (voiced by Geoffrey Rush), a whiskered screech owl and the legendary retired soldier leader of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole who’s Soren’s idol. There’s Nyra (voiced by Helen Mirren), a barn owl who is the queen of the Pure Ones. And then there is Metal Beak (voiced by Joel Edgerton), a great sooty owl, Ezylryb’s archnemesis and Nyra’s mate who is king of the Pure Ones. There are a lot of notable actors, and they all give solid performances. This makes the characters decent, but not the most memorable.
Legend of the Guardians is an above average film that could have been so much more. It has superb animation and a dark tone to lift it up, but not superb story and characters to drag it down. This film is worth at least one watch for the visuals alone. After that, it may not be your first choice.