Animation Heads

September 23, 2021

Anthony+Saccente+%28nicknamed+Anthomation%29+gives+you+his+take+on+various+American+animated+films+along+with+a+special+guest.

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Anthony Saccente (nicknamed Anthomation) gives you his take on various American animated films along with a special guest.

Hey folks, Anthony Saccente here. I will be doing an Animation Heads with one special guest…because why not? This is a little something that should be fun to publish. A review of various American animated films will be coming out, and EVERYTHING is fair game within those parameters! So have fun reading these reviews…or just scrolling the page while you are on social media.

Enjoy!

Animation Heads: The Good Dinosaur

The+Animation+Heads+%28Keenan+Sanford+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+The+Good+Dinosaur.

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The Animation Heads (Keenan Sanford and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on The Good Dinosaur.

Hey folks, Keenan Sanford and Anthony Saccente here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on The Good Dinosaur.

The Good Dinosaur is a 2015 animated film from Pixar animation studios. The film garnered generally positive reviews from critics for its themes and realism (which earned it various accolades), though its storytelling was not considered to be up to Pixar’s standards. It grossed $332.2 million on a $175–200 million budget, making it Pixar’s first box-office bomb.

The film explores the alternate history where non-avian dinosaurs never became extinct, following a young, timid Apatosaurus named Arlo, who meets an unlikely human friend while traveling through a dangerous and mysterious landscape.

Keenan’s Thoughts:

I heard from multiple people that this was a heartwarming story about a little baby human and an Apatosaurus. And it was. I’m not usually a big fan of these types of movies but it actually wasn’t too bad. I really liked the idea of a meteor missing earth and all of a sudden, dinosaurs and humans switch roles. It was a good idea but I really felt like they could’ve had a bit more background on how the missed meteor affected life on earth. The animation of the movie in regards to the background scenes was phenomenal. At times, it looked like they put in actual scenes of mountains, trees, and water. However, it seemed like they tried to make the animation more kid friendly instead of making it more realistic, which if they’re making a kids movie, isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, for the general audience, it’s not a great thing. Overall, not a bad film to review for my first film review but had potential to be much better.

Score:

6/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

This film felt like a missed opportunity for Pixar. On the surface, it has a lot going for it. From the human and dinosaur relationship to the awe-inspiring backgrounds. But it just didn’t seem to mesh. And I think this has a lot to do with the character aspect. Overall, the characters are just not that interesting to follow. Arlo feels a little much with his whiny attitude and his constant complaining, kind of like Taran from The Black Cauldron (1985). Spot had some cute moments, but the misunderstood mischievous character has been done before and he does nothing to separate himself from the others. The one scene I really loved was when Arlo was tossing Spot up above the clouds because we as the audience really got to appreciate the gorgeous landscapes that this film has to offer. Also, what is Sam Elliott doing in this movie? They have him casted as this buck-toothed ranching dinosaur and let me tell you, his voice does not match the character design in the slightest! So yeah, this movie has its issues. But it’s realistic landscapes and steady heart make it worth a watch.

Score:

6/10

Animation Heads: Encanto

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Encanto.

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Encanto.

Hey folks, Jackson Mershon and Anthony Saccente here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Encanto.

Encanto is a 2021 animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the 60th animated film from the studio. It premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on November 3, 2021, and was theatrically released in the U.S. on November 24. The film received positive reviews from critics who praised the voice acting, songs, representation of Colombia and emotional depth of the movie. It has grossed $24.3 million worldwide.

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.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Disney´s 60th feature-length animated film Encanto is a dynamic, colorful, and unique story of family, individuality, and purpose. The story of the magical Madrigal family and the non-magical Mirabel, with her struggle for identity among her extraordinary family, is a heartwarming experience filled with some powerful and authentic moments, as well as some predictable thematic misses. The film benefits with multiple unique aspects within the premise, such as an entertaining setting of one main location (a magical and sentient house), a slightly different direction for a typical Disney film. While the message of family and love are often strong ones, Encanto doesn’t really bring anything new to the table with this. But it’s gorgeous animation (bringing the Columbian hills to life), mostly strong soundtrack (featuring spirited yet forgettable songs by Disney´s own Lin-Manuel Miranda) and loveable characters still makes the film a generally enjoyable experience, albeit not the most exciting. Where it often lacks overall impact, the film succeeds in showing the growth and relationships of the characters (especially Mirabel), and making the film truly focused on family. Oftentimes the characters may have felt a little shallow and even static, but the film nonetheless manages to balance them all out relatively well with the ensemble cast. All in all, Encanto proves itself to be another solid and lively entry in Walt Disney Animation Studios´ impressive repertoire.

Score:

6.5/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

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. We know that Mirabel is the outcast without a special gift and is described as “imperfect, weird, and quirky” by her peers. We know that when she notices the threat to their society, her family will not believe her because she’s the weird one. By Disney movie standards, we know that she is the one that will have to save the day when a conflict arises. Mirabel will prove everyone wrong, and they lived happily ever after. But the film certainly stays afloat because of its professional execution. I love the scene in the beginning where Mirabel reassures Antonio, her cousin, that he will get a special power. Which in turn reassures herself that one day she will be seen as special from her family’s eyes. The animation can be very bright and colorful, especially with the songs, but it can also be filled with a lot of shadows throughout the backgrounds. Speaking of the background, the village where everyone lives looks a lot like the island from Moana. I don’t know if this was Disney’s intention, but it is something worth noticing. Also, the songs in the film seemed to get better and better as the story moved along. Lin-Manuel Miranda has been the go-to musical composer for many recent animated films, and this is the film that takes the most advantage of his talents. Every song ranges from being lively to somber, and the animation beautifully reflects what is being played and sung. 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.

Score:

7.5/10

Animation Heads: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Diary+of+a+Wimpy+Kid.+

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Hey folks, Jackson Mershon and Anthony Saccente here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2021 animated film from a script by Jeff Kinney and based on Kinney’s 2007 book of the same name. Serving as a reboot and the fifth installment overall in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series, the film marks the first animated entry in the series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is produced by Walt Disney Pictures alongside 20th Century Animation (which originally produced the film but remained uncredited) and was released on Disney+ as a Disney+ original film on December 3, 2021. It received mixed-to-positive reviews, with some praising the film for its animation, voice acting, and humor, and others criticizing it for its short length and sophomoric state.

Greg Heffley is an ambitious kid with an active imagination and big plans to be rich and famous. The problem is that he has to survive middle school first.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 20th Century Fox´s under-57-minute animated film, is a bizarre but spirited enough watch. This interpretation of Jeff Kinney´s bestselling book series takes a simple jab at the coming-of-age story as past film interpretations had, but in a condensed and more focused state, whilst having the animation attempt to stay faithful to the original art style of the books (a respectable attempt). The themes of friendship, growing up, and adapting to change stay consistent and are well-delivered in context of the plot, and the film succesfully avoids replicating the live-action film too much (something I was half-expecting). Though the film doesn´t stray too far from the source material, which is appreciable, it lacks strong delivery and overall originality. The film does reside in strong voice acting in it´s leads (Brady Noon as Greg and Ethan William Chidress as Rowley), as well as an easily-ignorable, albeit generic, soundtrack that is more effective and decently written than it first seems. The characters and screenplay are written effectively, which were appreciablly written by the series creator. Weird moments can be found (odd detail censorship, zoom-call-quality voice audio bits, and patchy frames in the animation), but these can be easy to miss, and do not detr this film from staying an overall enjoyable watch for fans of these books. The effort can be seen and appreciated, but nothing remains outstanding in the end.

Score:

5.5/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

The best way to explain Diary of a Wimpy Kid is that it is certainly a quick watch. First off, the film is only 57 minutes long WITH credits. Even the older Disney movies could get over the one hour mark. I don’t know if that is because the filmmakers intended to keep the film short, or if they just ran out of time. Either way, it is extremely puzzling. But the biggest problem with the film is that the middle schoolers are not believable. Every kid not named Greg or Rowley is either a bully or someone who gets bullied. There is no middle ground whatsoever. To anyone who got through middle school, this does not make a whole lot of sense. The animation does not have the best execution, but its heart is in the right place. I love how 20th Century tried to replicate the visual style of the books it is based off of, just like what Blue Sky did with The Peanuts Movie (2015). Where it falls short is having that style mesh with the environment. The lip movements don’t always sync up properly with the dialogue of the characters. And the characters don’t seem to belong in the same world they are supposed to be in. Where this film does shine is with the voice acting. All of the actors, particularly Brady Noon (voice of Greg Heffley) and Ethan William Childress (voice of Rowley Jefferson), do a nice job of conveying emotion and bringing life to their characters. Combine that with the spirited character designs, and there will be room for some laughs. Overall, this is worth a watch for fans of the books and/or prior movies. If that is not you, then I would still give it a watch considering how short the film is.

Score:

6/10

Animation Heads: Best Animated Christmas Film

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+the+Best+Animated+Christmas+Film.

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on the Best Animated Christmas Film.

Hey folks, Jackson Mershon and Anthony Saccente here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on the best animated Christmas film.

As Andy Williams put it so beautifully, this is the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas trees, gifts, being around family, celebrating the birth of Christ, this time brings out the best in all of us. And don’t forget all of the holiday classics that families everywhere have grown to love. Well, we will give you our opinion on the best animated film of the holiday season.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Christmas movies have been a major part of my fond memories of the holiday season, but not many were animated, and if they were, they didn´t stick out to me. Except one. Robert Zemeckis´ The Polar Express (2004). The engaging motion-capture animated film led by Tom Hanks and his impressive multi-role voice-acting, stands a modern classic (coming in 17 years old!) and truly encapsulates the feelings and emotions of Christmas in animated form. From the powerful theme of believing (in Santa- or yourself?) to the breathtaking scenery and immersive atmosphere throughout the film, The Polar Express forms into a unique and captivating experience to watch. Both as a child, and  almost 20 years later, is still a great watch. The intrepid journey of our protagonist up to the North Pole on Christmas Eve grabs your attention from the get-go and never lets go. The immersion of the Polar Express whirls you onto a track to the North Pole to feel the Christmas spirit as much as any child on the train, and introduces you to a limited, yet effective and memorable, cast of characters (albeit there being a nameless, audience surrogate protagonist). From the iconic opening scene to the hot chocolate song, nearly every moment in this film stands out as magical and nigh-forgettable. If you haven´t yet this holiday season (or for the last few), a revisit to this beautiful (and in my opinion, the best) animated Christmas film may very well be worth your while. 

Score:

8.5/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

I think the best animated holiday film is The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). I know this movie is also a Halloween film, but this film fits well in both holidays. Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the residents of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween — but alas, they can’t get it quite right. It doesn’t matter if it is a Halloween movie, Christmas movie, or both, the movie is the best and that’s the end of it. Every time I watch the film, I cannot get This is Halloween out of my head. And the Boogie Man song is one of the catchiest villain songs you will ever hear. The stop motion animation is some of the best you will ever see! The character models are fantastic to look at, and the backgrounds take you for an unforgettable experience. What is just as remarkable as the animation are the characters. Jack Skellington is memorable not just for his looks, but also for his charisma. This factor excuses the fact that he can be considered a dime a dozen as far as unsatisfied protagonists go. And of course, don’t forget about the Boogie Man. From the catchy villain song to his need to taunt all of his victims, he is an absolute joy to watch. From the animation, to story, to characters, to songs, everything about this movie is delightful and as memorable as holiday movies get.

Score:

8.5/10

Animation Heads: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Legend+of+the+Guardians%3A+The+Owls+of+GaHoole.+Next+weeks+review+will+be+Up%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. Next week’s review will be Up!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on 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.

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.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

You know every direction the film is going to go. 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. 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.

Score:

7/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

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. 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. 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. In all seriousness, the CGI animation is as good as it gets. Kudos to Animal Logic!

Score:

7/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

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. Now here is the best part of the movie: the animation is absolutely GORGEOUS! The action scenes are elegantly constructed. With every claw and strike, it makes you believe that every blow would have a serious impact. The characters are very familiar, but doable for the movie. My biggest issue is how many characters there are to keep track of. There are a lot of notable actors, and they all give solid performances. This makes the characters decent, but not the most memorable. 

Score:

6.5/10

Animation Heads: Up

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Up.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+The+Prince+of+Egypt%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Up. Next week’s review will be The Prince of Egypt!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Up.

Up is a 2009 animated film directed by Pete Docter and produced by Pixar Animation. It was Pixar’s first film to be presented in 3D format. Up debuted at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009, and was released in the United States on May 29. It earned $735.1 million worldwide, finishing its theatrical run as the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2009. At the 82nd Academy Awards, Up received five nominations including Best Picture, becoming only the second animated feature film to have been nominated for the award (after Beauty and the Beast), and won two, for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.

Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he flies away to the South American wilderness. But curmudgeonly Carl’s worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a little boy named Russell is a stowaway aboard the balloon-powered house.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Pixar`s intricate and enotial film Up is an enjoyable tale of loss and rediscovery. A simple, authentic tale that can be easily enjoyed by adults and children alike, and relatable to anybody. Colorful and fun, Up is easily worth your 90 minutes.

Score:

7.5/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Up is a really heartstring tugging movie . . . Within the first few scenes. Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful piece that made leaps and bounds in the field in animated storytelling. And while the full movie is brilliant, in my humble opinion, The Married life scene and soundtrack take the cake.

Score:

6/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

Up is quite simply, one of the greatest animated films of all time. The story is magnificent, with one of the most authentic romantic scenes ever put on the big screen. But the rest of the film holds up just as well. Also, the animation is awesome to look at. Apparently, the designs of the characters were caricatured and stylized considerably, and animators were challenged with creating realistic cloth. So there was a lot of hard work put into the visuals. The characters are enduring as well. Mr. Fredricksen is such a relatable character with a tragic backstory. He may come off as gruff at first, but he has a big heart and so much love for his late wife. Russell adds a sense of energy and adventure that is certainly welcomed. And while Charles Muntz might not be the most memorable villain, there is a nice dynamic built up between him and Mr. Fredricksen. And of course, Carl and Ellie are one of the best animated couples. Their love is a perfect representation of Valentine’s Day!Overall, this film hits it out of the park on all levels. It goes without saying that it is a must-watch for the entire family, and will continue to build upon its deserving legacy.

Score:

9.5/10

Animation Heads: The Prince of Egypt

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+The+Prince+of+Egypt.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+The+Top+5+90s+Disney+Films%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on The Prince of Egypt. Next week’s review will be The Top 5 90’s Disney Films!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on The Prince of Egypt.

The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 animated film. The first feature film from DreamWorks to be traditionally animated, it is an adaptation of the Book of Exodus. The film was released in theaters on December 18, 1998, and on home video on September 14, 1999. The film grossed $218 million worldwide in theaters, which made it the most successful non-Disney animated feature at the time. The film’s success led to the direct-to-video prequel and spin-off Joseph: King of Dreams (2000), and a stage musical adaptation which opened in London’s West End in 2020. It won Best Original Song, with “When You Believe”, and was nominated for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score at the 71st Academy Awards.

In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses (Val Kilmer), upon discovering his roots as a Jewish slave, embarks on a quest to free his people from bondage. When his plea is denied by his brother Rameses (Ralph Fiennes), the new pharaoh, a series of horrific plagues strike Egypt. Moses finally leads the Israelites to freedom by parting the Red Sea and drowning the Egyptian army. God then gives Moses the Ten Commandments, a list of rules for his people to live by.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Dreamworks’ “Prince of Egypt” is an animated film that truly speaks for itself. a testament to the ideals of destiny, brotherhood, conviction, and faith, “Prince of Egypt ” is truly like no other film. From a powerful soundtrack from Hanz Zimmer to the eye-candy animation that holds a standard like no other, to the simple creative retelling of Exodus. A true masterpiece like no other.

Score:

10/10!

Kyle’s Thoughts:

A phenomenal piece with beautiful animation and an amazing soundtrack to match. Wonderfully written character Chemistry.

Score:

9/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

This is truly one of those movies that gets better and better with every viewing. It has the whole package. First, there is an engaging story that not only stays faithful to the original biblical narrative but also gives it an extra layer of caring to stand on its own. Every moment feels grand and epic at the right moments. And the musical score totally helps with this. The songs are big, memorable, and fits perfectly with each scene. “When You Believe” won best song, and it was accompanied by other greats like “Deliver Us” and “Let My People Go”. I’ve gone on YouTube several times just to listen to the song. The animation is just as wonderful. With flowing colors, amazing facial expressions, and immersive backgrounds, the film looks just as grand as it feels. Lastly, the characters are treated with great care. Each one has a well-defined arc and feels like real people. You feel for Moses when he goes through all of the stages of deliverance. Also, this movie has an all star voice cast and takes full advantage of it. In particular, Val Kilmer and Ralph Fiennes gave wonderful performances as Moses and Ramses respectively. The film really plays to the sibling dynamic between the two leads, making their conflict that much more dramatic. Overall, this is a complete for the entire family. Watch it around Easter and throughout the rest of the calendar year!

Score:

9.5/10

Animation Heads: Top 5 90’s Disney films

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+The+Top+5+90%E2%80%99s+Disney+Films.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+The+Lego+Movie%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on The Top 5 90’s Disney Films. Next week’s review will be The Lego Movie!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we shall continue with the series lookback on Walt Disney Animation Studios. Here are our top 5 90’s Disney films.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

  1. Hercules (1997)

An adventurous and colorful retelling of the classic Greek mythos, Hercules is an innocent tale of purpose, love, and courage. With a soulful soundtrack and outstanding voice performances, Hercules fits nicely in the golden 90’s Disney canon.

Score:

7.5/10

  1. Tarzan (1999)

Filled with strong animation, a great ensemble cast of characters, and an amazing soundtrack, Tarzan is a must-watch Disney film. This film thrives with a strong storyline following the titular protagonist and is packed to the brim with narrative craft.

Score:

7.5/10

  1. Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) Hunchback presents itself as a stunning piece of art from a thematic and animation standpoint. With a stunning, full classical-style soundtrack and beautiful animation, the tone and tale to this film is far beyond your average Disney film.

Score:

8/10

  1. Aladdin (1992)

A romantic tale of worth, identity, and love, Aladdin stood above the rest of its animated peers. A great straightforward protagonist to a masterful performance by Robin Williams (with another hit soundtrack on top of it), it’s nearly impossible to beat the quality of the film.

Score:

9/10

1.The Lion King (1994)

A modern staple in animation history, The Lion King is a masterpiece and arguably one of the greatest coming-of-age stories of all time. A perfect fusion of beautiful animation and music, paired with very real characters, makes it nust short of a perfect film.

Score:

9.5/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

  1. Tarzan (1999)

Tears of laughter and sorrow

Score:

8/10

  1. Aladdin (1992)

ARABIAN NIIIIIIIGHT 

Score:

8/10

  1. Hercules (1997)

Nostalgic from a childhood 

Score:

8/10

  1. Fantasia 2000 (1999)

Creative 

Score:

9/10

1.Lion King (1994)

Iconic 

Score:

9/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

  1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996): 

The elements in this film that are good are SO good. The animation is amazing, with sweeping movements and landscapes. The musical score is wonderful; every song is big and bombastic. The villain is so deliciously despicable, accompanied by the best Disney villain song EVER in “Hellfire”. The one thing that holds this film back are those darn gargoyles. They are not funny and serve little purpose. With that said, everything is a joy to watch. One little hiccup cannot turn me away.

Score:

9/10

  1. Fantasia 2000 (1999):

I know it has 2000 in the title, but it still came out in the 1990’s. A follow up to Fantasia (1940), this film is a great source of entertainment and wonder for kids and adults alike. With flowing animation composed very well for classical music, each segment has its flavor that is fun to watch. Maybe not as good as the original for leaning more towards younger audiences, but then again no film can be like the original. 

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Aladdin (1992):

You want to talk about a complete Disney classic, well this film certainly comes to mind. As expected, the songs are catchy and serve so well in furthering the narrative. The Genie is always energetic and Jafar is always entertainingly cruel. Just keep on him and not that stupid parrot. “A Whole New World” always gets stuck in my head. The animation is fantastic, not just for the visuals but the way it is shot is also well-constructed. Nothing but praise!

Score:

9.5/10

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1991):

On most other lists, this movie would be number one. And for good reason. This film is the definition of an enchanting fairy tale. Every element, from the story to the animation to the characters, has such an elegant feel to it. I swear, the ballroom scene with the two leads is probably the most iconic shot in animation history. There’s not much else to say: it is one of THE Disney classics!

Score:

9.5/10

1.The Lion King (1994):

Wow, is this a landmark film or what? Whenever the discussion of Disney and animated classics comes up, this film is certainly on the top of the list if not the first film mentioned. Because it is as close to a perfect animated film as you will get. It not only exceeded, but changed the way we look at the three major elements. The opening scene will forever be a powerful spectacle to behold, and so will the rest of the movie for that matter.

Score:

9.5/10

Animation Heads: The Lego Movie

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+The+Lego+Movie.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Turning+Red%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on The Lego Movie. Next week’s review will be Turning Red!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on The Lego Movie.

The Lego Movie is a 2014 animated film written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from a story by Lord, Miller, and Dan and Kevin Hageman. The first film produced by the Warner Animation Group, as well as Village Roadshow Pictures, Lego System A/S, Lin Pictures, and Vertigo Entertainment, The Lego Movie was released on February 7, 2014 by Warner Bros. Pictures. It became a critical and commercial success, grossing $468.1 million worldwide against its $60–65 million budget. The Lego Movie received several awards and nominations: an Annie Award and a BAFTA, and nominations for a Golden Globe and a Grammy. The film has expanded into a major franchise that ties into the Lego brand, such as the sequel The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019); two spin-off films The Lego Batman Movie (2017) and The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017).

Based on the Lego line of construction toys, its story focuses on Emmet, an ordinary Lego minifigure who helps a resistance movement stop a tyrannical businessman from gluing everything in the Lego world into his vision of perfection.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

The Lego Movie, a goofy, creative, and poignant film with an all-star cast including Christ Pratt and Will Farrell, is both worth a watch and a fun experience. With unique stylish stop-motion-esque animation seemingly made of legos, it’s a masterfully animated film with stellar voice acting and well-written fun storyline, The Lego Movie is a wonderful watch.

Score:

7/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

It’s nothing personal. It’s just business. Lord business. The lego movie is a mildly entertaining watch, however, it seems like it was designed to blow the mind of a ten to eleven year old boy. I still thought the protagonist was an original concept.

Score:

6.5/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

The Lego Movie is a fun adventure film for the whole family. It has a lot of humor to spare, and even a little bit of heart with a surprising strong moral core. The story is simple, even a tiny bit childish. But what else would one expect from a movie about Legos? This movie does not have to take itself so seriously. It can be goofy and quirky, but still be entertaining throughout. With that said, it also includes a climax that will touch the hearts of many. I will not spoil it because it is worth watching on its own. The animation is so well done. The animation was completed by Animal Logic, the studio behind Happy Feet (2006) and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010). And boy did they do a fantastic job! The film combines modern computer animation with stop motion techniques to create a visually engaging film. The characters also feel authentic. They take on old stereotypes and put their own spin on it. Emmet is a character to root for because he gets severely overlooked and is looking for an identity. But it is not in an egotistical way, but rather an innocent and positive way. Overall, this film is a must-watch! Not only is it one of Warner’s best animated films, but it is also one of the best animated films of the last decade! Shame on the Oscars for not giving this film a Best Animated Feature nomination!

Score:

9/10

Animation Heads: Turning Red

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Turning+Red.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Ice+Age%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Turning Red. Next week’s review will be Ice Age!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Turning Red.

Turning Red is a 2022 animated film produced by Pixar Animation. It was directed by Domee Shi, in her feature directorial debut. Turning Red had its world premiere on March 1, and was released on the Disney+ streaming service on March 11, along with simultaneous limited runs at the El Capitan Theatre and AMC Empire 25.

Mei Lee is a 13-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother’s obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. As if that were not enough, when she gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Pixar’s newest animated film is a sweet coming-of-age story with touching moments, a sweet storyline, and lots of relatable cringe. A fun, quirky, and sometimes painful adventure with real characters, Turning Red is a great slice of life, but not quite for everybody.

Score:

6.5/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Turning red felt like it was trying really hard to be relatable. There were some comedic moments, and it helped the Pixar theory, and that is all keeping the movie alive. 

Score:

4/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

The reviews are in! Disney/Pixar’s Turning Red is……actually pretty good. The thing that surprised me the most was how funny the film was. There were a lot of reactions, especially when Mei is trying to hide any embarrassment from her mom, that got a genuine laugh. The story is pretty standard. A rebellious kid trying to break away from her overprotective parents. Been there, done that. But it is the execution that makes the film worth watching. The main characters feel dynamic, it really factors into the relationship between Mei and her mom. The only time it felt like a little much was with the climax. I will not spoil it, but let’s just say it is a literal and figuratively mother-daughter fight that feels over-the-top. The animation is shipshape, as usual for Pixar. The biggest strength is the character’s emotions, both facial and body. Mei and her friends feel like 13 year old teens, with their awkward dances and big facial expressions. The backgrounds are colorful. Also the panda transformations were well executed. A Pixar film worthy for the whole family, what else is new? I probably should have seen this coming. That is why you don’t judge a film based on its trailer. Two thumbs up! 

Score:

7.5/10

Animation Heads: Ice Age

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Ice+Age.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Apollo+10%C2%BD%3A+A+Space+Age+Childhood%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Ice Age. Next week’s review will be Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Ice Age.

Ice Age is a 2002 animated film produced by Blue Sky Studios (in its debut film) and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film was directed by Chris Wedge (in his feature directorial debut). Ice Age was originally intended as a 2D animated film developed by Fox Animation Studios, but eventually became the first full-length animated film for the newly-reformed Blue Sky, which had been reshaped from a VFX house to a computer animation studio. The film was released in the United States on March 15, 2002. It received mostly positive reviews from critics and was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. It was a box office success and grossed over $383.2 million, marking it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2002 and the highest-grossing animated film of 2002. It started the Ice Age franchise, being followed by four sequels.

Set during the days of the ice age, the film centers around three main characters—Manny (Romano), a no-nonsense woolly mammoth; Sid (Leguizamo), a loudmouthed ground sloth; and Diego (Leary), a sardonic saber-tooth tiger—who come across a human baby and work together to return it to its tribe. Additionally, the film occasionally follows Scrat, a speechless “saber-toothed squirrel” voiced by Wedge, who is perpetually searching for a place in the ground to bury his acorn.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Ice Age is a quality family adventure movie and a solid debut from Blue Sky Animation. With dynamic main characters, captivating themes of belonging and friendship, and solid humor. A fun and re watchable modern classic.

Score:

7.5/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Ice Age is a classic among animated films.with the memorable cast and a simple yet engaging plot line and subplot. While true, this film had many sequels with questionable quality, it doesn’t ruin the first film at all.

Score: 

8/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

With all of the hate this franchise has been receiving, which they are deserving of, I feel like this film just gets thrown into the same conversation as its lackluster sequels. Well, I will not stand for that ANY LONGER! This is a good film that deserves plenty of praise. The main leads are developed and have a lasting effect on the audience. And because we only have to pay attention to three characters (plus Scrat), the film is able to devote more time in properly crafting the leads and not waste time with useless side characters. I’m looking at you Crash and Eddie! Also the animation looks great…for 2002. Yes I know it is a bit dated but it more than serves its purpose. The character models are well-constructed and the backgrounds fit the environments. What I love is how it properly captures the slower emotional moments (which there are surprisingly a lot of). The story has a steady demeanor to it. It is easy to follow, yet still engaging because of the constant obstacles these characters have to get through. I also think the ending is underrated. You know the drill: no spoilers! But it wraps up the main plot line with great emotion and execution. Overall, this is a solid animated feature that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. Pass up on the sequels, but NOT on the original!

Score:

8.5/10

Animation Heads: The Incredibles

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+The+Incredibles.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+The+Land+Before+Time.

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on The Incredibles. Next week’s review will be The Land Before Time.

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on The Incredibles.

The Incredibles is a 2005 animated film produced by Pixar Animation and directed by Brad Bird. It was released in theaters in the United States on November 5. It earned $633 million worldwide, finishing its theatrical run as the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2004. It won two Academy Awards and the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature. It was the first entirely animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. A sequel, Incredibles 2, was released in June 2018.

Married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to assume mundane lives as Bob and Helen Parr after all super-powered activities have been banned by the government. While Mr. Incredible loves his wife and kids, he longs to return to a life of adventure, and he gets a chance when summoned to an island to battle an out-of-control robot. Soon, Mr. Incredible is in trouble, and it’s up to his family to save him.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Pixar’s The Incredibles is a fast-paced action-packed family adventure with a great ensemble cast and a love letter to superheroes. Filled with great messages of identity, family, and heroism, it is a master film that anyone can walk away with a meaningful experience.

Score:

8.5/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

The Incredibles is an amazing animated film that had an impact on pop culture, while being a unique movie about family. However, there were a few plot holes and plot conveniences that appeared. However, even those were acceptably with the fact that little movie eludes them overall, the increada les is a heartwarming film about family and self worth of one’s talents.

Score:

8.5/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

The Incredibles is the definition of a Pixar classic. What makes it unique from most other Pixar films is how it can range from being thrilling and emotionally-moving. The action is well choreographed with fast moving shots and many close calls. But I especially love the family dynamic. The family has to balance out living a normal suburban life with hiding their super powers. The visuals are also pretty history. The animation team was tasked with animating an all-human cast, which required creating new technology to animate detailed human anatomy, clothing, and realistic skin and hair. It was the first Pixar film to exclusively feature human characters, and job well done! The characters are very memorable. Casting Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible might be the best voice casting choice in the history of movies. I mean, he literally has the perfect voice for the character. But a close second is Brad Bird as Edna Mode. This is one of the best Pixar movies, plain and simple. No capes and no dispute!

Score:

9/10

Animation Heads: The Land Before Time

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+The+Land+Before+Time.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+The+Miracle+Maker.

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on The Land Before Time. Next week’s review will be The Miracle Maker.

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on The Land Before Time.

The Land Before Time is a 1988 animated film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. It is the inaugural film in The Land Before Time franchise; it carries a million and a half sequels. The film was released by Universal Pictures on November 18, 1988. It was a box office success, grossing $84.4 million. Its success, along with An American Tail and the 1988 live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit led Spielberg to found his animation studio, Amblimation.

Littlefoot (Gabriel Damon), a young plant-eating dinosaur, is orphaned after his mother (Helen Shaver) perishes while protecting him from a vicious carnivore. With her last breath, she tells him how to get to the legendary Great Valley, where he will be reunited with others of his kind. With his friend Cera (Candace Hutson), Littlefoot sets out for the fabled land, meeting a variety of new friends along the way — while also being tracked by the killer dinosaur that mortally wounded his mother.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

The Land Before Time is a beautifully written and animated film from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, holding a captivating timelessness in its setting and characters. An adventure of friendship and learning to grow in the world, the innocence and simplicity makes the film is to its credit, one of my personal favorites in my childhood and to this day.

Score:

8/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

The land before time is “timeless”(see what I did there?) Film that had straight forward morals and characters. With animation that still could be considered good, the film has aged well. However, if the film had one flaw, it would be that the film had moments that felt targeted to an extremely young audience. I understand it as a children’s movie. There will be such moments, but with the “cutesy” dinosaurs, the film could easily become a children’s book. Still a fantastic film.

Score:

9/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

The Land Before Time is a solid animated film full of heart and drama. What makes the film as distinct as it is has to be the friendship that our five heros form throughout the picture. You have the power dynamic between Littlefoot and Cera, which truly feels how little kids would deal with real life issues. Also, the animation is at peak level. What I love the most about it is the gorgeous color scheme. It looks like we are watching a continuous water color painting. The character designs are well done and the facial expressions are on point. And I do not think we can talk about this film without Littlefoot’s mother. Her scene is such a tearjerker, but so well done that feels real and authentic. This film is definitely a Don Bluth classic, and one that is worth checking out to increase your animated films library.

Score:

8.5/10

Animation Heads: Hop

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Hop.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Megamind%21

The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Hop. Next week’s review will be Megamind!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! We would love to wish everyone a very Happy Easter! To honor this great holiday, we are looking at a not-so-honorable film. Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Hop. Sorry.

Hop 2011 live-action/computer animated produced by Illumination Entertainment. Hop was released in theaters on April 1, 2011 and earned $184 million. To date, it is the only Illumination Entertainment film that combines live-action photography with animation.

Beneath Easter Island, in a giant factory that manufactures the world’s Easter candy, the popular rabbit is preparing to pass the mantle to his son, E.B. (Russell Brand). But E.B. has no interest in the job and would rather be a drummer. He runs away to Los Angeles, where an unemployed slacker named Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) accidentally runs into him. Feigning injury, E.B. tricks Fred into giving him shelter, but an oversized chick is planning a coup back on Easter Island.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Mid cgi-live action film. Bland story abd generic characters, but will keep children entertained. Not sure what it has to do with Easter, but its fine.

Score:

3/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

This Easter is not one to enjoy. The story sucks, the live-action animation hybrid is annoying, and so are the characters. Spend your Easter doing something else.

Score:

3/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

The story is painfully generic and full of cliches. This is literally every animated film that ever had the main character who was unsatisfied with their role and wants more. It does not help that it is a hybrid film, meaning that the story is not entirely about Easter. So, the audience is also saddled with a plot containing some lazy young adult who is forced out by his family to get a job. The animation is not the most impressive, considering how restrained it is to the plot. Since the majority of the film is shot in the real world, the animators have an even tougher task of both creating visually appealing characters and convincing the audience that they are really there. The characters are written as one-note and as flat as can be. Both main characters are amazingly bland and the villain can’t decide whether he wants to be a Mexican or Italian stereotype. At best, it can be used as background noise when the little ones are going on their annual Easter egg hunts.

Score:

3/10

Animation Heads: Chicken Run

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Chicken+Run.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Megamind%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Chicken Run. Next week’s review will be Megamind!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Chicken Run.

Chicken Run is a 2000 stop-motion animated film produced by Aardman Productions in partnership with DreamWorks Animation. It was Aardman’s first feature-length film and DreamWorks’ fourth film. Chicken Run was also a commercial success, grossing over $224 million, becoming the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film in history. The film was so influential that it was said to inspire the Academy created the Best Animated Feature Award because of its success. A sequel titled Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is scheduled to be released in 2023 on Netflix.

This tells the story of a band of chickens doomed to a life of egg-laying on a Yorkshire chicken farm. When a flamboyant American rooster arrives on the scene, the hens hope he can teach them to fly to freedom. However, when a chicken-pie making machine is installed, their need becomes urgent and they must devise other means of escape.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

A fun, frantic stop-motion film from renowned claymation studio Aardman, this film is nothing but a good time. With quirky eye-candy animation, goofy characters and comedy, and a well-rounded, paced and executed plot. A great gateway film for stop-motion and Aardman and a must watch in general.

Score:

8.5/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Chicken run is a classic stop motion film that has a unique cast of characters and a simple yet exciting plotline. While being subcomentary on animal cruelty, the film was still able to stand out with a promonent protagonest. While the entire film was impressively made, and having a unique story, nothing much else stands out about it.

Score:

7/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

I will cut right to the chase, this is one of my favorite animated films of all time. I love everything about this film. I love the stop-motion animation, with its well-executed techniques on the characters’ motions and set. I love the characters, with their witty humor and humble hearts. I love the story, with its satirical take on The Great Escape (1963) using anthropomorphic chickens. And I love the music, with its suspenseful and uplifting feel. I would like to go into a little more detail about the soundtrack because it is so good and so underrated. I mean, you could use the ‘Building the Crate’ soundtrack to literally ANY activity and make it that much more intense. I also love the dynamic between Mrs. and Mr. Tweedy, the movie’s antagonists. Mrs. Tweedy is the typical dictator, and Mr. Tweedy is the typical nitwit. But the insults she exclaims to her husbands and his reactions are truly priceless. Again, everything in this film is great and it is a MUST-WATCH if you have not checked it out. In my opinion, it is the BEST stop-motion film ever made!

Score:

9.5/10

Animation Heads: Megamind

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Megamind.+Next+weeks+review+will+be+Rango%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Megamind. Next week’s review will be Rango!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Megamind.

Megamind is a 2010 animated film produced by DreamWorks Animation. It was released in the United States in Digital 3D, IMAX 3D and 2D on November 5, 2010. With a budget of $130 million, the film grossed over $321 million worldwide, becoming one of DreamWorks Animation’s lowest-grossing CG animated films of the 2010s. An animated series, Megamind’s Guide to Defending Your City, was announced in 2022 for Peacock.

Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again by heroic Metro Man (Brad Pitt), Megamind is more surprised than anyone when he actually manages to defeat his longtime enemy. But without Metro Man, Megamind has no purpose in life, so he creates a new opponent, who quickly decides that it’s more fun to be a bad guy than a hero.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Dreamworks’ subversive superhero masterpiece is an adventure of a watch, Spinning the idea of a bad guy going good with the character of Megamind being thrown into the identity of villany, only to eventually win against his hero and find existential dread on the other side, this film is great. Stellar voice acting, engaging writing and character development, thjs film has everything you’d want in an animated film about a bad guy-turned-good.

Score:

8/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Megamind is a villain redemption film that is centered around the character study of the titular character: Megamind. The animation is impressive for its time, and the comedy was well placed and aimed. While true, this film is mostly comedic, its serious scenes or beats are quite on point for the respective character studies in the film. I personally love Megamind, however, I think the antagonist was a little lackluster, and didn’t really reflect the protagonist exactly. Titan did match Megaminds soulless desire to have a romance with Roxan, and Titans stealing also showed the villainy that came from selfishness, which is quite comedic actually, that the selfish desire to make Titan made Titans selfish nature prominent and dangerous. Ultimately, everything in the film was extremely well placed, despite its cast that near pales in comparison to its protagonist.

Score: 

9/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

Every now and then, you come across a film that you may have not liked the first viewing, but have grown to appreciate more with every viewing. Megamind is one of those films for me. The biggest shift in opinion comes from the themes that the story contains. When you think about it, a film from the villain’s point of view with him not only winning but finding himself bored after the fact has not been done much, especially in the animation world. And the direction it goes with each of its characters is intriguing as well. I love how all of these characters have been forced into stereotypical roles that they spend the movie desperately trying to break out of. Metro Man is the hero, Megamind is the villain, Roxanne is the damsel in distress, Fish is the villain’s sidekick, and Hal is the nerd after Roxanne. The spin they put on each of their motives is what makes them watchable. I still do not think the humor is top-notch, especially for DreamWorks standards. The animation is good, but not awe-inspiring like How to Train Your Dragon. Overall, it is a good DreamWorks film worth watching. Lesson to be learned: opinions always change!

Score:

7/10

Animation Heads: Rango

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Rango.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Rio%21

The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Rango. Next week’s review will be Rio!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Rango.

Rango is a 2011 animated film produced by Nickelodeon Movies and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Gore Verbinski, who had previously directed the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The film was both a major critical and commercial success, grossing $245.7 million against a budget of $135 million. At the 84th Academy Awards, the film won Best Animated Feature, making it the first non-Disney or Pixar film to win since 2006’s Happy Feet, and the last one to win until 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity crisis. Rango wonders how to stand out when it is his nature to blend in. When he accidentally winds up in a frontier town called Dirt, he takes the first step on a transformational journey as the town’s new sheriff. Though at first Rango only role-plays, a series of thrilling situations and outrageous encounters forces him to become a real hero.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Rango is a great film with a lot of great features. The story has a great combination of old-fashioned westerns and new-fashioned identity plots. It also mixes some trippy visual elements here and there. So yes, it is a bit of an experience. The titular character starts out as pretty standard, because can grow on the audience pretty quickly with his charisma and charm. Overall, it’s a great watch.

Score:

7/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Rango is an 2011 film produced by mister Nick, with an interesting approach to an animated western . . . While having a cast of desert animals. With a wonderful antagonist, and an even better protagonist, Rango is a memorable film . . . Except for the cast. With the exception of the titular character, and RattleSnake Jake, it is hard to remember most of the cast. However, it’s still a wonderful film filled with weird wonderful ideas that were portrayed well.

Score:

7/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

Rango is a very satisfying animated feature. One of the big reasons why this film is so unique among other animated features is because of its director. Gore Verbinski has a dark style to the majority of films he directs, and that vision shows up here. The characters are designed with a lot of scaly features and disproportionate bodies. The backgrounds are lit darkly and devoid of bright colors. The characters themselves match the tone of the dark visuals. Whenever there is an action scene or a one-on-one confrontation, it feels just as intense on the screen as it would on paper. The story has a great combination of old-fashioned westerns and new-fashioned identity plots. It also mixes some trippy visual elements here and there. So yes, it is a bit of an experience. The titular character starts out as pretty standard, because can grow on the audience pretty quickly with his charisma and charm. In my opinion, the best character is Rattle Snake. He is not in the film for very long, but he is built up to be this threatening presence for the first half of the movie. When he finally shows up, he delivers! His clash with Rango is very intense and sinister, with great dialogue and camerawork. “Hello brother, thirsty?!” That line gets me every time! This is a must-watch for animation lovers. It may not be the best option for the little ones, but serves very well for teens and above.

Score:

8/10

Animation Heads: Rio

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Rio.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Over+the+Hedge%21

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The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Rio. Next week’s review will be Over the Hedge!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Rio.

Rio is a 2011 animated film produced by Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film was a box office success, grossing over $143 million in the United States and $484 million worldwide. The film was nominated for Best Original Song for the song “Real in Rio” at the 84th Academy Awards, but lost to the other nominee, “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets. A sequel, Rio 2, was released on April 11, 2014.

Captured by smugglers when he was just a hatchling, a macaw named Blu (Lorànt Deutsch) never learned to fly but has a happy domesticated life in Minnesota with Linda (Élisabeth Ventura), who thinks he is the last of his breed.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Rio stands as one of Blue Sky’s greatest films. An innocent flick with wholesome, family friendly messages, beautiful animation, and a creative and fun soundtrack. Colorful characters and a fun story, it’s a modern classic.

Score:

7/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Rio is a film made in 2011, as a fun family film with some interesting characters. The protagonist Blue has an intriguing character study of thinking he belonged in one place, while in reality, by the end of the film, he found belonging in an opposite environment. The growth of his character in relationship with his romance with Jewel is executed well. However, the concept is not without its flaws. With a strikingly obvious symbolism of the chain connected to their feet that drives the film, I feel as if there could have been more creative ways to have them stay together. However, the chain still works for the plot, although it shows Jewel and Blue’s duty to be the only blue macaws, and therefore they are, in a way, tied on the same chain.  However, the antagonist, Nigel, is an amazing parallel to Blue. While ue was taken from where he belonged at a young age, Nigel was taken from where he belonged at the prime of his life, so not only did he remember his pain, he was REPLACED with another bird, making him bitter and cruel. While Blue was simply taken out of his environment and was placed somere where he was loved and spoiled, just like Nigel was, meaning that, in a way, he could have ended up like him . . . If he never met Jewel. In my opinion, Jewels character study is almost the same as Blues, except that she was taken from her home like Nigel was, but she was taken the same way blue was. In a way, if Nigel and Blue were one person, that would be Jewel. I think it is clear by now that I love the Bird cast of Rio, however, I don’t even think that the B plot is worth talking about. The humans hold some parallels to their bird counterparts, but other than that, they are just on a wild goose chase for the main cast for the entire film. Yes, the A plot is much better than the B plot, but the A has too many forgettable characters in my opinion. While I do remember the humorous birds, I cannot remember them having any other character than wanting to help the Blue Macaws, or wanting to harm them. These two things are the only things docking the film.

Score: 

8.5/10 

Anthony’s Thoughts:

Rio is the definition of a solid summer animated film. It has the basic ingredients to be fun for the whole family. It has a story that is very easy to follow. It has added emotional depth with Linda trying to find Blu and their connection with each other. The animation is wonderful. It is bright, colorful, and full of visual flair. The character designs are very detailed, and their movements are on point. The characters are well developed and are very intriguing to the audience. There is a good mix of characters with arcs and comedy relief. And Real in Rio is so dang catchy. Overall, this is a film I am excited to watch all throughout the summer months. A great film to watch right after graduation.

Score:

8/10

Animation Heads: Over the Hedge

The+Animation+Heads+%28Jackson+Mershon%2C+Kyle+Mershon%2C+and+Anthony+Saccente%29+give+their+thoughts+on+Over+the+Hedge.+Next+week%E2%80%99s+review+will+be+Shrek+2%21

Photo provided by the authors

The Animation Heads (Jackson Mershon, Kyle Mershon, and Anthony Saccente) give their thoughts on Over the Hedge. Next week’s review will be Shrek 2!

Hey folks, Jackson, Kyle, and Anthony here. And we’re the animation heads! Today we’ll give you our thoughts on Over the Hedge.

Over the Hedge is a 2006 animated film produced by DreamWorks Animation. Over the Hedge was released in the United States on May 19, 2006 by Paramount Pictures (which acquired the DreamWorks Pictures studio the same year), making it DreamWorks Animation’s first film to be distributed by that studio. It received generally positive reviews from critics, and grossed $336 million on an $80 million budget.

When Verne (Garry Shandling) and fellow woodland friends awake from winter’s hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans, and RJ (Bruce Willis), an opportunistic raccoon who shows the others how to exploit the suburban bounty laid out before them.

Jackson’s Thoughts:

Over the Hedge is a kids film featuring a good amount of comedy and a decent story. This film also has animation that is able to hold up to today’s standards. Overall, this is a film that is not an animated classic, but still holds enough merit for one watch. Definitely aimed at the kiddos, but not as engaging for adults. Do not steal my Spuddies!

Score:

6/10

Kyle’s Thoughts:

Over the hedge is a comedic film specifically made to please children, with little artistic worth. With antagonists that were to be expected, this film does very little to surprise. The main theme of the film is belonging and the pain of being replaced. While an interesting topic, many other animated films have tackled the same subject, such as the much greater Toy Story. The only thing keeping this film’s score up is its insanely comedic and lovable cast, and its peak comedy. The film also boasts a strong intro and character introductions. 

Score: 

6/10

Anthony’s Thoughts:

Over the Hedge is a decent animated film that could get lost in the pile of DreamWorks long list of decent animated films. The comedy is hit and miss, ranging from creative jokes to total groners. And this aspect feels like a missed opportunity because of all of the A-list comedy talent attached to the movie. Bruce Willis, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Eugene Levy among others are all people that have been enjoyable to audiences. And yet their talents are wasted, for the most part, because of the below average script given to the actors. Now there are a couple of funny scenes. My favorite is when RJ (the Bruce Willis character) is showing the rest of the animals how humans do nothing but eat their entire lives. That scene always makes me hungry! The animation is colorful. Maybe not the most impressive from DreamWorks, but it definitely holds up today. The characters have big expressions, which matches the typical family-friendly tone of the feature. Overall, this is a film that is not an animated classic, but still holds enough merit for one watch. Definitely aimed at the kiddos, but not as engaging for adults. Do not steal my Spuddies!

Score:

6.5/10