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The Gruffalo’s Child (2011)

A follow up to the 2009 animated feature and adapted from the childrens' book by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler. The Gruffalo's child explores the deep dark wood in search of the big bad mouse and meets the Snake, Owl and Fox in the process. She eventually finds the mouse, who manages to outwit her like the Gruffalo before!

Flat Black Tongues Oh help. Oh no! This is not the Gruffalo. If you know the book of which this story is the sequel, then you have experienced something special. It has an untrusted narrator nested in another untrusted narrator. The inner con is by...
Published February 5, 2024
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Twos |
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Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
The movie event that will blow their cover

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

Films on Top of Films Some reviews you will read may remark on how self-aware this is as a movie. The target audience of kids won‘t get any of the movie references, but some of their parents will. It is pretty obvious that a strategy...
Published February 5, 2024
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Twos |
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The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Little Arms With Big Attitude
Filmmaker(s): Peter Sohn

An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

Background as Foreground I follow certain filmmakers in a way unlike any other relationship. If they have worked well for me at least once, they become a permanent part of my life, not friends or family because I give nothing back. When they try and...
Published February 4, 2024
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Threes |
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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
They come in pieces.
Filmmaker(s): Mike Mitchell

It's been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.

Eggo The concept is gone. We are in a golden age of concept folding and our experimental loft is popular film. When the filmmakers hit a sweet spot and adventure in self reference is carried in a hit movie, the whole society becomes more cognitively...
Published February 3, 2024
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Twos |
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A Dream of Dolls Dancing (2017)
Filmmaker(s): Christiane Cegavske

A Dream of Dolls Dancing is a new short film by Christiane Cegavske, the creator of Blood Tea and Red String. In the dead forest, The One dreams. In his dream he hears the siren call of the dolls dancing on a far away island. He must answer their call no matter the risk. In a paper boat on a liquid sea he sails for the island where they dance. Will he find salvation or despair?

Mechanical Some time back, Christmas 2006 to be precise, I saw a film that was so engrossing, I elevated it to a ‘Four’, meaning you really should see this. That list is hard to get on. No filmmaker can have more than two, and no...
Published January 21, 2024
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Blood Tea and String (2006)
Filmmaker(s): Christiane Cegavske

The aristocratic White Mice and the rustic Creatures Who Dwell Under the Oak battle over the doll of their heart's desire.

Alice’s Rosencrantz I saw this on Christmas Day and was rather thankful. 2006 has been a bad year for movies and at the end of each year I start to put together my additions to my short list of films everyone should watch before they...
Published January 21, 2024
| Categorised as Fours, IMDB Comments |
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The Magician’s Elephant (2023)
Dare to believe
Filmmaker(s): Wendy Rogers

Peter is searching for his long-lost sister when he crosses paths with a fortune teller in the market square. His only question is: is his sister still alive? The answer, that he must find a mysterious elephant and the magician who will conjure it, sets Peter off on a journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that will change the face of his town forever.

Layers Any children’s movie runs the risk of easily being reducible to a ‘message’, often mistakenly called a moral. I’ve already read a few reviews of this that mention the film’s message, and how wonderfully it is presented. I suppose if that is how you...
Published December 2, 2023
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Moana (2016)
The ocean is calling.
Filmmaker(s): Ron Clements, John Musker

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain's daughter's island, she answers the Ocean's call to seek out the demigod to set things right.

Disney within Disney I was expecting a standard, manufactured Disney Princess item. What I encountered was a powerful embodiment of myth in a young woman, with the notable exceptions of the coconut pirate and glittery crab sequences. These were conceived and directed by others. I...
Published November 19, 2023
| Categorised as Fours, IMDB Comments |
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The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear overalls.

While working underground to fix a water main, Brooklyn plumbers—and brothers—Mario and Luigi are transported down a mysterious pipe and wander into a magical new world. But when the brothers are separated, Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi.

Winning I shudder with the knowledge that in a few days, this grossed higher than any Pixar movie. Imagineer that. This about as charmless as it gets without the floor falling off, so I can only attribute the success to love of the character. As...
Published September 11, 2023
| Categorised as New Comments, Ones |
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)
Heroes aren't born. They're mutated.
Filmmaker(s): Jeff Rowe

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O'Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.

Inside the Lines In most respects, this is a conventional film. It has a lot of story, more than one dynamic development, and character portrayals way beyond the normal. Its conventionalism is also reflected in the father dynamic, pervasive these days, the social message of...
Published September 5, 2023
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