Archive for trolls

Trolls

Posted in Movie Reviews, Animation, Family with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Inspired by the beloved troll dolls that have entertained kids for decades, this animated tale follows the always-happy Princess Poppy and her grouchy survivalist companion Branch as they embark on a journey that takes them into an unfamiliar world.

What people are saying:

“combines the barely-there characterization and irritating cutesiness of The Smurfs and Jelly Jamm with the hideous character design and awful pop covers of Strange Magic” 3 stars

“”Trolls” combines dreadful kindergarten humor (one troll poops cupcakes) with a feeble plot, much padded with high-fructose-corn-syrup versions of pop and R&B classics.” 1 1/2 stars

“Cute and colorful with some great voice work from an all-star cast and some of the dialogue is definitely geared towards the adults in the audience. The synthesized music gets a bit cloying after a while and the nod to Cinderella is…well…what it is. As it goes it’s decent family entertainment” 3 1/2 stars

“What a perfect example of this stupid generation I’m apart of. All the millionnials who don’t know how to do anything useful and they think as long as their happy life is good when there’s so much more to it than that.
Reminds me of all the people I hate.” 1 1/2 stars

“Wow, I was not expecting this to be this good. It’s bright, colorful, vivid, trippy, and the songs chosen for the musical numbers (That’s right, this is a musical featuring mostly 20th-21st century pop hits plus some original songs as well.) are fantastic. The story is pretty simple, and the whole thing kind of reminds me of a 90’s Saturday morning cartoon updated for the modern day. Anna Kendrick was my favorite voice actor here, and is bubbly, cute and adorable. Trolls is a painless, enjoyable film” 3 stars

Frozen

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Elsa, princess of Arendelle, possesses the magical ability to create ice and snow. One night while playing, she accidentally injures her younger sister, Anna. The king and queen seek help from the troll king, who heals Anna and removes her memories of Elsa’s magic. The royal couple isolates the children in their castle until Elsa learns to control her powers. Afraid of hurting Anna again, Elsa spends most of her time alone in her room, causing a rift between the girls as they grow up. When the girls are teenagers, their parents die at sea during a storm.

When Elsa comes of age, the kingdom prepares for her coronation. Among the guests is the Duke of Weselton, who seeks to exploit Arendelle for profit. Excited to be allowed out of the castle again, Anna explores the town and meets Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, and the two immediately develop a mutual attraction. Despite Elsa’s fear, her coronation goes off without incident. During the reception, Hans proposes and Anna hastily accepts. However, Elsa refuses to grant her blessing and forbids their sudden marriage. The sisters argue, culminating in the exposure of Elsa’s abilities during an emotional outburst.

Panicking, Elsa flees the castle, while inadvertently unleashing an eternal winter on the kingdom. High in the nearby mountains, she casts off restraint, building herself a solitary ice palace, and unknowingly brings to life her and Anna’s childhood snowman, Olaf. Meanwhile, Anna sets out in search of her sister, determined to return her to Arendelle, end the winter, and mend their relationship. While obtaining supplies, she meets mountain man Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. She convinces Kristoff to guide her up the North Mountain. The group then encounters Olaf, who leads them to Elsa’s hideaway.

Anna and Elsa reunite, but Elsa still fears hurting her sister. When Anna persists in persuading her sister to return, Elsa becomes agitated and accidentally strikes Anna in the heart with her powers. Horrified, Elsa creates a giant snow creature to drive Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf away. As they flee, Kristoff notices Anna’s hair is turning white, and deduces something is very wrong. He seeks help from the trolls, his adoptive family, who explain that Anna’s heart has been frozen. Unless it is thawed by an “act of true love”, she will become frozen solid forever. Believing that only Hans can save Anna, Kristoff races back with her to Arendelle.

Meanwhile, Hans, leading a search for Anna, reaches Elsa’s palace. In the ensuing battle against the Duke’s men, Elsa is knocked unconscious and imprisoned back at the kingdom. There, Hans pleads with her to undo the winter, but Elsa confesses she doesn’t know how. When Anna reunites with Hans and begs him to kiss her to break the curse, Hans refuses and reveals that his true intention in marrying her was to seize control of Arendelle’s throne. Leaving Anna to die, he charges Elsa with treason for her younger sister’s apparent death.

Elsa escapes and heads out into the blizzard on the fjord. Olaf finds Anna and reveals Kristoff is in love with her; they then escape onto the fjord to find him. Hans confronts Elsa and tells her Anna is dead because of her. In Elsa’s despair, the storm suddenly ceases, giving Kristoff and Anna the chance to find each other. However Anna, seeing that Hans is about to kill Elsa, decides to throw herself between the two just as she freezes solid, blocking Hans’ attack.

As Elsa grieves for her sister, Anna begins to thaw, since her decision to sacrifice herself to save her sister constitutes an “act of true love”. Realizing love is the key to controlling her powers, Elsa is able to thaw the kingdom and even helps Olaf survive in summer. Hans is sent back to the Southern Isles to face punishment for his crimes against the royal family of Arendelle, and Elsa cuts off trade with Weselton. Anna and Kristoff share a kiss, and the two sisters reconcile; Elsa promises never to shut the castle gates again.

REVIEW:

It was recently brought to my attention that Disney had shut down their traditional animation department. Now, everything will be done by computers, except for the stuff on Disney Channel and Disney X D such as Phineas & Ferb. With this news, I was ready to boycott Frozen, until I heard how great it was. Curiosity has gripped me since its release back in November, and now it is time to see what all the hype was about.

What is this about?

After her kingdom is doomed to suffer from eternal winter, intrepid Anna goes on a quest to find her reclusive sister, the Snow Queen, and break the curse. Along the way, Anna teams with eccentric mountaineer Kristoff and his comic reindeer, Sven.

What did I like?

Powers. This has been a fairly rough winter here in the states. I think we can all agree on that point. Hell, it even snowed…twice…down here in south Louisiana!!! What does this have to do with anything? Well, Else has massive amounts of ice power. Aside from the Game of Thrones memes that were going around, a running joke was that someone has pissed off Else and she was making everything so cold. I got a chuckle out of it, but not that I’ve watched the film and saw what immense power she has, it makes more sense. Want to know how much power she has? If you’re a comic book fan, think of the amount of power Jean Grey and/or Storm have when they aren’t in control and mix that with Iceman’s power and you have Elsa.

Writing. Not to take anything away from the latest Pixar creations, but Disney animation seems to have stepped up their game while Pixar seems to be falling off. Of course, John Lassiter, who was head of Pixar is now leading Disney, so that could be a part of it, right? At any rate, this is the kind of story we would expect in the days when Disney was still alive or during the Disney Renaissance, arguably the two best eras for Disney animation. Each of these characters is well developed and thought out and, as an audience, we can share the emotions that they seem to be going through. Lesser Disney films would have just stuck a funny sidekick in there to distract from the film’s flaws.

Musical. What was the last true musical that we saw on the big screen, animated or otherwise? I’m tempered to say Les Miserables, but I think there has been something in between that I just can’t think of right now. Having a film that actually delivers on being a fairytale musical the way Disney used to do. Of course, it is hard to escape the film’s most popular song, “Let It Go”, which is belted out with authority by Idina Menzel in what can be described as the flick’s showstoping musical number.

What didn’t I like?

Olaf. Enter the token comic relief character, a friendly little snowman named Olaf. What is wrong with the guy? Well, nothing really, except that he mysteriously appears, conveniently, when things start getting too serious. I’m all for comic relief, and the way they use Olaf was sparingly, but he was never really brought to life, especially when it was shown that Elsa’s giant bodyguard snowman was brought to life. Maybe I’m just nitpicking, though.

Baddie. A fairytale without your typical antagonist looming over everything just doesn’t have the same effect. Take out the likes of Jafar, Maleficent, Ursala, Capt. Hook etc., and see what you have? Not much of a story, right? By not having a true antagonist, at least until the end, this film manages to cover new ground by making one of the protagonists an ersatz antagonist, even though she does nothing to make her one. That is just the result of the way the townspeople treated her as she ran out of town, and of course the fact that she built a castle of solitude (a quite impressive one, I might add) probably played into that ideal.

Wicked. Maybe it is just my  desire for a Wicked movie, but I felt as if this had similar themes. That isn’t bad, but when you cast Idina Menzel, is was a bit of a tease. I wonder if they had Kristin Chenoweth in mind for Anna, because that would have just been a giant cock tease for everyone. All that aside, the similar themes aren’t exact, so don’t misunderstand me, but the sisters trying to help reminded me of that Broadway play and yes, I know that is a bit of a stretch.

I still miss traditional hand drawn animation, but if there was going to be a film that could convert me, perhaps Frozen would be it (but not likely). I don’t want to poo poo all over this film, but I honestly don’t see why everyone is so ga ga over it. Yes, it is really good and entertaining, but the way people are reacting to it, one would think it was done by ghost of Walt Disney himself. Still, it is nice to see a film that goes back to fairytale musical that works so well. Maybe this is the start of another Disney Renaissance? Do I recommend this? Yes, very enthusiastically. I would even venture to say this is a must see before you die kind of film!

4 3/4 out of 5 stars