Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category


Director: Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings
Writer: Garth Jennings (written by)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johannsen, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Runtime: 1h, 48min
MPAA Rating: PG




I’m a big fan of Illumination Entertainment (the Despicable Me franchise, as well as The Secret Life of Petssee my review here), and in this, their seventh outing, they maintain the anthropomorphic stylings from the latter film, while giving us a completely new story set in a world where animals run the show a la Zootopia. And really, running the show is what this movie is all about. Click through for my spoiler-free review.

Secret Life of Pets

Director: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Writers: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch (written by) & Simon Rich (additional characters created by)
Starring: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Runtime: 1h, 27min
MPAA Rating: PG







As a dad, I do get to see my fair share of animated and child-related films. While I do get occasionally surprised by well-camouflaged adult fare (The Lego Movie, among others), it’s a rarer thing that I genuinely enjoy a movie aimed at children alone. This movie is 90% for kids, but that 10% hit some really good spots for me, making it a more than worthy addition to your summer movie schedule. Plus, it’s by the producers of the Despicable Me movies. Click through for my full review. (more…)


Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Writers: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand
Release Date: July 3rd, 2013
Runtime: 1 hr. 38 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG





2010’s Despicable Me was a surprise hit worldwide, pulling in more than half a billion dollars at the box office. It’s sequel, 2013’s imaginatively title Despicable Me 2, did even better, nearly doubling that total while hitting upwards of the $350 million mark domestically. But just because a sequel does better at the box office doesn’t mean that it is necessarily a better movie. Will Gru [Steve Carell] as a good guy be as entertaining as Gru as a bad guy was? Click through after the break to see my take.


Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writers: Hayao Miyazaki (comic), Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay)
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt
Release Dates:
July 20th, 2013 (Japan)
February 21st, 2014 (USA – limited)
February 28th, 2014 (USA – wide)
Runtime: 126 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13



Hayao Miyazaki, famed directer of such acclaimed films as Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, has publicly stated that The Wind Rises will be his final feature length animated film. At the age of 73, and a career that stretches back into the 1960s, perhaps he deserves a break – it’s just a shame that he won’t be around to produce more films like this one. Click after the break for my full review.


Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writers: Hans Christian Andersen, Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Shane Morris
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathon Groff, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk
Release Date: November 27th, 2013
Runtime: 1 hr. 42 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG

Walt Disney Studios’ winter 2013 release Frozen is the latest in a string of animated films the studio has put out over the last several years (other titles include Brave, Tangled, and Wreck-it Ralph). This time around, they rely on the tried and true Disney formula of basing the story on a beloved fairy-tale, in this case Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” As usual, Disney plays with the story enough to make it their own, and adds in some music and dance numbers for good measure. How does this particular interpretation hold up?


Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Writers: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Starring: Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Chris Pratt, Liam Neeson
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG

Warner Brothers’ new animated release The Lego Movie marks the first time the popular toy has been the focus of a feature length film. While Lego has enjoyed a string of successful video games over the last several years, how well do building blocks translate to the big screen? Click through to find out after the break.