Mary And The Witch’s Flower (2018) Review

Recently, the littlest Craggling has been tentatively spreading her cinematic wings beyond the admittedly lush and verdant shores of Disney, Pixar, Illumination and exploring other options. We’ve watched Wes Anderson’s “The Fantastic Mr Fox” and, recently, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” so when we saw a trailer for “Mary And The Witch's Flower”, she was smitten. One … Continue reading Mary And The Witch’s Flower (2018) Review

Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

Following in the footsteps of the Man Of Steel and Captain America, Gnomeo and Juliet become the latest characters to have their sequel hijacked by a bunch of different characters as the franchise tries to position itself as a vehicle to reimagine classic British literature, a sort of anthology of garden toy stories. When garden … Continue reading Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

Duck Duck Goose (2018) Review

A good voice cast and beautifully animated backdrops of the stunning geography of China are enough to lift this undemanding animated animal fable above the flock. When reckless goose Peng (Jim Gaffigan) passes up the chance to migrate with the rest of the flock, he’s left to fend for himself when an injured wing means … Continue reading Duck Duck Goose (2018) Review

Isle Of Dogs (2018) Review

A literal shaggy dog story told in a quintessentially Wes Anderson way, “Isle Of Dogs” is just as whimsical but maybe a little darker than you might be expecting. Younger children might find some of it frightening and upsetting but older kids are likely to lap up its stunning visuals and exquisite animation. In a … Continue reading Isle Of Dogs (2018) Review

Peter Rabbit (2018) Review

Sony have been responsible for many of the most egregious reboots and reimaginings of recent years and while “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” spectacularly bucked the studio’s trend, this loose and cynical adaptation of Beatrix Potter sees them back to their tawdry, inept usual. It’s hard to think of any other film that’s so woefully … Continue reading Peter Rabbit (2018) Review

Monster Family (2018) Review

This Anglo-German animation, based on a 4D movie ride at UK tourist attraction Wookey Hole, should definitely give Disney, Pixar and Illumination pause for thought. Specifically, the thought that they can phone it in for their next movie because there’s zero threat to their crown on the horizon. When a lonely Dracula (Jason Isaacs) identifies … Continue reading Monster Family (2018) Review

Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas (2018) Review

It may provoke a momentary pause of incredulity to accommodate the fact Paramount have passed on the international distribution of Alex Garland’s “Annihilation” yet they’re happy to push this movie out around the globe, but raiding all the lost snark aside, there’s at least some justification for their involvement given the sheer number of Indiana … Continue reading Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas (2018) Review

Early Man (2018) Review

If you’re looking forward to a culture-clash comedy which puts the hysterical into pre-historical, then “Early Man” may leave you feeling sick as a parrot. When Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his tribe are kicked out of their idyllic valley by the bronze-clad forces of Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), he decides to challenge the invaders to … Continue reading Early Man (2018) Review

Coco (2018) Review

“Coco”, a vibrant and deceptively poignant exploration of the Mexican holiday the Day Of The Dead, sees Pixar once again doing what they do best: delivering a heartfelt story of family, heritage and passion in a visually stunning wrapping. 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is determined to be a musician, like his great-great-grandfather. The only problem … Continue reading Coco (2018) Review

Ferdinand (2017) Review

Adapted from Munro Leaf’s beloved 1936 children’s book, Blue Sky Studio’s “Ferdinand” is also a remake of Disney’s 1938 Silly Symphony short of the same story. In light of the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney, this movie offers an interesting example of the differences between the two studios. Ferdinand (John Cena) is different from … Continue reading Ferdinand (2017) Review

Trolls Holiday (2017) Review

Opening with a bright and cheery fuzzy felt scrapbook retelling of the story of the “Trolls” movie, “Trolls Holiday” picks up where that story left off, with the Bergens seeking a replacement for Trollstice. When Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) realises the Bergens now have no holiday, she’s determined to set things straight. With her usual … Continue reading Trolls Holiday (2017) Review

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) Review

In the United States, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” has been released along with “Coco” but, as we have to wait an extra couple of months here in the UK, we at least get the opportunity to watch this latest Disney short for the Kids’ Club ticket price of £3 (or thereabouts) plus the opportunity (should you … Continue reading Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) Review

Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You! (2017) Review

In cinemas for an extremely limited theatrical run, the 20th Pokémon movie takes us all the way back to the beginning, retelling the origin of how Ash Ketchum, Pokémon Master bottler, and Pikachu, the world’s most powerful unevolved electric mouse came together. Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town wakes late on the morning he is due to … Continue reading Pokémon The Movie: I Choose You! (2017) Review

Monster House (2006) #MonthOfSpooks Review

A family-friendly horror movie seems like an oxymoron, but it’s exactly what 2006’s “Monster House” is. It has all the hallmarks and ingredients you’d expect from a really good haunted house movie, it's structured exactly the way a 'real' horror movie would be, except you can watch it with your kids. When DJ, his best … Continue reading Monster House (2006) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Road To Ragnarok: Planet Hulk (2010) Review

Our road to Ragnarok concludes with an adventure which doesn’t feature Thor but still provides a great deal of material and inspiration for the forthcoming MCU movie: “Planet Hulk”. With the Hulk’s rampages becoming more and more dangerous, the Illuminati decided to exile Hulk to a peaceful, barren world in a spacecraft. However, the Hulk … Continue reading The Road To Ragnarok: Planet Hulk (2010) Review

The Road To Ragnarok: Hulk Vs (2009) Review

Marvel has long lagged behind DC when it comes to animated fare, both in terms of features and TV series. This grudge match between the God of Thunder and the Green Goliath, forming part of a double bill with “Hulk vs Wolverine” (unfortunately, the three of them don’t get together to duke it out at … Continue reading The Road To Ragnarok: Hulk Vs (2009) Review

My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Review

My Little Pony trots back to the big screen with a cinematic outing based on the wildly successful (and surprisingly cross-generational) ‘Friendship Is Magic’ incarnation of the toy franchise. As she is busy preparing for the Friendship festival, Princess Twilight Sparkle’s efforts are interrupted by the arrival of Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt), a broken-horned unicorn … Continue reading My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Review

Spoof: Based On A True Movie (2017) Review

Once in a while, down in the depths of Netflix or Amazon Prime, you come across something so odd looking, it would be a dereliction of duty not to watch it. Or maybe that’s just me? In any event, it happened to me today while browsing for something to watch on Amazon Prime, I came … Continue reading Spoof: Based On A True Movie (2017) Review

The Jungle Bunch (2017) Review

Based on a French cartoon series, “The Jungle Bunch” movie is a soft reboot of possibly the one kids’ property I’ve never encountered before. But if you’re bracing yourself for another artless animated cash grab like “Norm of The North” or “Robinson Crusoe”, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. When the evil koala … Continue reading The Jungle Bunch (2017) Review

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (2017) Review

Yet another in the bafflingly long list of animated films which didn’t deserve a sequel, the follow-up to 2014’s “The Nut Job” is now in UK cinemas. Here’s the surprising bit: it’s not that bad. When the Nut Shop is suddenly destroyed, Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) is faced with the prospect of returning to … Continue reading The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (2017) Review

The Emoji Movie (2017) Review

😡                       Oh, sorry - did you want more than that? Okay. This is a lazy, cynical exercise in filmmaking driven by executive hubris and utter contempt for the audience. Ill-conceived, muddled and creatively bankrupt, Sony have shattered the rock bottom for animated fare in … Continue reading The Emoji Movie (2017) Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Review

There’s clearly a lot of love for the source material in DreamWorks’ adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” children’s book series. Bright, breezy and unashamedly childish, it’s potty humour fashioned into fantastic family entertainment. George Beard and Harold Hutchins are a pair of imaginative elementary school best friends who like nothing better than pulling pranks … Continue reading Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Review

Monster Island (2017) Review

Exclusive to Cineworld Cinemas in the UK (although I suspect the bidding wasn’t particularly fierce), “Monster Island” is running in their Movies For Juniors range as a school holiday time waster. When young Lucas transforms into a monster in front of his entire class at the coolest party of the year, he suddenly has a … Continue reading Monster Island (2017) Review

Cars 3 (2017) Review

“Cars 3” begins by doing what most right-thinking people do, which is pretending “Cars 2” simply doesn’t exist. It then moves on to hoping you don’t really remember “Cars” particularly well as it sets out to tell the same story once again, only this time it’s Lightning McQueen who’s the reigning champion raging at the … Continue reading Cars 3 (2017) Review

Cars 2 (2011) Review

After the box office bonanza driven by “Cars”, notoriously sequel averse studio Pixar wasted no time in greenlighting a sequel to the metaphorically muddled racing movie. And much like “Toy Story 2” started out as a direct-to-video sequel which was promoted to the big screen, “Cars 2” starts out with the mentality of a cash-grab … Continue reading Cars 2 (2011) Review

Cars (2006) Review

For a studio which prides itself on its dedication to story crafting and world building, “Cars” is a curious beast. The world it presents and the way it presents it simply doesn’t make sense. Reportedly a passion project for keen petrol head and Pixar chief John Lasseter, it comes across as more of a vanity … Continue reading Cars (2006) Review

Despicable Me 3 (2017) Review

With the high point of “Minions” being Gru’s brief cameo at the end, “Despicable Me 3” offers the franchise a chance to get back to what works best: the adventures of the formerly despicable Gru. Then again, this is the third instalment of a trilogy, so, you know… When Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kirsten … Continue reading Despicable Me 3 (2017) Review

My Life As A Courgette (2017) Review

“My Life As A Courgette” is a tiny little movie about great big things. Clocking in at a mere 66 minutes long, you’d be forgiven for expecting something frothy and whimsical to go along with the eye-catchingly colourful character design. In fact, the movie deals with the weightiest and darkest of subject matters with a … Continue reading My Life As A Courgette (2017) Review

The Boss Baby (2017) Review

Not since Disney/ Pixar’s “Cars” has an animated movie presented such an incoherent and illogical fictional world as “The Boss Baby” does. Facing an existential threat, Baby Corp sends an undercover operative (Alec Baldwin) to live with the Templeton family to find out what the Templeton parents know about Puppy Co’s plan to launch a … Continue reading The Boss Baby (2017) Review

Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) Review

Ditching the hybrid live action of the previous instalment for a purely animated outing, the Smurfs are back, and this time they’re still obsessing over Smurfette. While the Smurfs live happily in their topless blue utopia of nominative determinism, Smurfette frets that she doesn’t have a purpose like her brethren. But a chance encounter with … Continue reading Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) Review

The Lego Batman Movie (2017) Review

After his scene-stealing turn in “The Lego Movie”, it was only natural that the first spin-off would feature the brick knight himself. While it’s not entirely clear if this is the exact same Lego Batman who appeared alongside Wildstyle and Emmet, there’s no doubting this is “The Lego Batman Movie”. The town of Lego Gotham … Continue reading The Lego Batman Movie (2017) Review

Sing (2017) Review

There are few animation studios which can cut a trailer together like Illumination Entertainment can. Unfortunately, outside of the “Despicable Me” movies, the finished products are increasingly failing to live up to the hype. When Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) realises his theatre is in financial trouble, he comes up with a sure-fire scheme to save it: … Continue reading Sing (2017) Review

Moana (2016) Review

Disney’s new golden age shows no signs of slowing down as they cap an amazing animated year with the breezy, tropical feel good musical “Moana”. Drawing on Polynesian mythology, “Moana” tells the story of a young girl who longs to leave her island and explore the oceans. Encouraged by her maternal grandmother, Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) … Continue reading Moana (2016) Review

Trolls (2016) Review

With its DayGlo aesthetic and unashamedly sunny disposition, “Trolls” may prove to be too sugary a confection for some viewers. If, however, you’re a fan of silliness, cuteness and jukebox musicals, “Trolls” is an unabashed delight. Having escaped from the dreaded Bergens long ago, the Trolls are living happily in their hidden forest home. But … Continue reading Trolls (2016) Review

Storks (2016) Review

‘Where do babies come from?’ isn’t a question I intend to answer in this review but as to where babies may get their attention spans from, this hit and miss scattergun animated comedy may provide some clues. Junior (Andy Samberg) is the lead delivery Stork for Cornerstore.com, in line to become the boss when his … Continue reading Storks (2016) Review

Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) Review

Breathtakingly beautiful, Laika’s latest stop motion animation is a dazzling, inspired medley of Japanese and Chinese folklore and a joyous celebration of the power and importance of storytelling. A young boy named Kubo must find and reclaim his father’s lost armour in order to battle and defeat a vengeful enemy who will stop at nothing … Continue reading Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) Review

Sausage Party (2016) Review

You know those hilarious conversations when you’re shooting the shit with your friends, high or drunk or whatever? Now, imagine someone made an animated movie based on them. Welcome to “Sausage Party”. In a world where food has consciousness, all they ever want is to be chosen and taken to ‘the great beyond’. But when … Continue reading Sausage Party (2016) Review

Finding Dory (2016) Review

With the exception of the “Cars” franchise, Pixar themselves are the exceptions to the usual law of diminishing returns which normally plagues sequels. However, in landing a sequel to “Finding Nemo”, a perfect story which really needed no follow-up would Pixar flounder or would the carping prove bass-less? A year after Nemo safely returned to … Continue reading Finding Dory (2016) Review

The Secret Life Of Pets (2016) Review

If you were to make a movie about the secret life of my family pet, our cat Rufus, it would probably have to be set at night because what he does during the day is sleep. However, given he’s sometimes turned up at the back door in the morning with everything up to and including … Continue reading The Secret Life Of Pets (2016) Review

The Angry Birds Movie (2016) Review

Since it was launched in 2009, the Angry Birds game has been downloaded over a billion times. It’s had numerous spin-offs and tie-in merchandise and now it’s got its own movie. If you’ve ever played the game, you’ll know the feeling when you’ve got your shot lined up (or so you think) only for your … Continue reading The Angry Birds Movie (2016) Review

Robinson Crusoe (2016) Review

The latest Euro-animation project, following the likes of “Justin And The Knights Of Valour” and “Capture The Flag”, “Robinson Crusoe” is a French/ Belgian co-production based very (very) loosely on the famous novel by Daniel Defoe. In fact, so loose is the adaptation that the likely reason it was called “Robinson Crusoe” at all was … Continue reading Robinson Crusoe (2016) Review

Ratchet & Clank (2016) Review

Veterans of more than a dozen video games, Ratchet and Clank are the latest pixelated characters to find the leap from platform pleaser to popcorn powerhouse is more than any double jump or button mashing can easily manage. When the galaxy is threatened by Chairman Drek and his fearsome Deplanetizer, it’s up to a plucky … Continue reading Ratchet & Clank (2016) Review

Zootropolis (2016) Review

The House of Mouse is on something of a roll at the moment, enjoying yet another ‘Golden Age’. It’s not just through its recent acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm that Disney are riding high, their core Animation studio continues to go from strength to strength. Coming hot on the heels of “Wreck It Ralph”, “Frozen” … Continue reading Zootropolis (2016) Review

Norm Of The North (2016) Review

Just in time for “Zootropolis” to crush it under-hoof, “Norm Of The North” lands in cinemas to give us a timely reminder of just how bad animated movies can be. When the arctic (the “North” in this case refers to northern Canada) comes under threat from an unscrupulous developer, Norm – a Polar Bear who … Continue reading Norm Of The North (2016) Review

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) Review

Arriving nearly five years after the last instalment, “Kung Fu Panda 3” may not be part of the fastest moving animated franchise but it's still one of the best. Like its predecessor, it again manages to blend kung fu movie tropes and winning animation to deliver not only a great family-orientated action adventure but a pretty … Continue reading Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) Review

Capture The Flag (2016) Review

Bright, cheerful and energetic, Spanish 3D animated movie “Capture The Flag” surprises and delights in equal measure and while it’s nowhere near troubling the giants of animation, it’s a welcome alternative to the other family fare on offer at the moment. When billionaire Richard Carson casts doubt on the legitimacy of the Moon landings and … Continue reading Capture The Flag (2016) Review

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2016) Review

Clearly Jason Lee is comfortable subordinating to selfish, arrogant, bossy and manipulative pipsqueaks with trademark conspicuously central dental arrangements. Scientology will have taught him that. I guess those dianetics courses aren’t cheap, though, hence why Lee continues to subject himself to the indignity of these increasingly slapdash and lazy sequels. When a series of misunderstandings … Continue reading Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2016) Review

Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings (2012) Review

I wasn’t particularly generous the first time I encountered one of Disney’s straight-to-video (although released theatrically in the UK) “Tinker Bell” movies. No, I wasn’t enamoured of “Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy” at all. My main complaint was how shoddily Zarina (the titular pirate fairy) was treated because she was so fascinated with science, … Continue reading Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings (2012) Review

Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (2015) Review

Returning to the big screen for the first time in thirty five years, “Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie” sees the gang brought to vivid, three dimensional computer animated life by Blue Sky Studios, the studio behind animated hits “Ice Age” and “Rio”. When a little Red-Haired Girl moves into his neighbourhood, Charlie Brown … Continue reading Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (2015) Review

An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf (2011) Review

For a 23 minute thinly veiled cash grab advertising an expensive auxiliary Christmas disciplinary deterrent ruthlessly marketed as an adorable Christmas tradition that also subtly indoctrinates the youth of today to be comfortable living within an overt surveillance state, “An Elf’s Story” actually isn’t all that bad. The cheap and cheerful computer animation is decent enough and the … Continue reading An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf (2011) Review