The Lion Sleeps Tonight Lyrics & Video from The Lion King

the lion king animated movie - simba on rock
King of all he surveys. Not bad, eh?

Innnn the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonigtttt…..A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh…

This classic song is well known, but most don’t realize the name isn’t In the Jungle. Even if you ask Alexa for In the Jungle, she knows what song you mean but corrects you first: it’s called The Lion Sleeps Tonight. But I honestly think a lot of people just sing A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh a few times, and everyone gets the reference. Remind me to run that by Alexa later. 🙂

In the meantime, this 1961 tune, by whatever name, is a fun karaoke favorite. The lyrics fit perfectly into Disney’s 1994 animated The Lion King.

The Lion King is among the top movies of the beloved Disney Renaissance Period, along with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and a small second handful of Top Tier movies…many of which, including The Lion King, are undergoing a remake phase. (Dumbo got the same treatment, but it’s thematically, deeply problematic.)

The upcoming “live action” Lion King technically isn’t one. It’s entirely CGI. (Duh.) But from the trailers it looks exciting enough, and will hopefully retain the best musical numbers, including The Circle of Life,  Hakuna Matata, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Let’s get excited and ready for the retelling of Simba, Nala, Timone, and Pumbaa (And James Earl Jones is back to reprise his seminal role!) by learning the words to The Lion Sleeps and singing along. Song clip is followed by the lyrics below!

Song to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, by The Tokens, 1961

Lyrics to The Lion Sleeps Tonight

(By The Tokens)

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

In the jungle, the mighty jungle
The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle the quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

Near the village the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village the quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

Hush my darling don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh
A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh…

(Songwriters: George David Weiss / Hugo E. Peretti / Luigi Creatore
The Lion Sleeps Tonight lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC)

The Lion King – Lyrics and Video to Hakuna Matata

A Whole New World – Aladdin Lyrics and Video (1992 Animated Version)

Dumbo – Lyrics and Video to the Original Disney Classic Song Baby Mine

Rewatch Review – Disney’s Animated Aladdin (1992) – A Classic Film with Deeply Modern Flaws

robin williams as genie in animated aladdin
Robin William’s Genie, mugging for the camera in the animated Aladdin.

The animated Aladdin of 1992 is a beloved Disney classic. It’s one of the great films of the Disney Renaissance Era, and features A Whole New World, a TOP EVER song of ever in the the Disney oeuvre. Yet parts of Aladdin are deeply problematic to modern audiences. Disney is going out on a limb here, and I’m not sure this was the best live action remake to do right now (which I also found at issue with the live action Dumbo choice).

First, The Genie is a Slave

It may be the overt racism isn’t as acceptable/noticeable now as it was in ’92. But let’s be real: the tale of Aladdin isn’t a modern one. Aladdin was recorded in the 18th century and had a prior rich oral tradition previously, stretching back to ancient times. Yes, the Genie was always a slave — the plot demands this — so I don’t know how they can even make this story work in 2019 without that uncomfortable element. The repeated prattle about finding the ‘diamond in the rough’ is all about Aladdin freeing the Genie. Aladdin doesn’t do anything else more worthy than any compassionate street rat would. No slave, no story.

Even the wonderfully crafted X-Files Je Souhaite doesn’t bother to avoid the sticky slavery aspect: at least here the jinn in question doesn’t wear actual chains. (And Mulder is a better, smarter Aladdin than anyone else ever, full stop. I won’t spoil his very intellectual, lawyerly three wishes.)

In 2019, depicting the Genie as a black/blue slave is…not exactly copacetic. It doesn’t matter that he’s freed at the end. He’s got metal wrist bands, and is trapped in a small vial for centuries. He has to please whoever rubs the lamp (oh, and ewww).

(BTW: that thing really doesn’t seem remotely lamplike…how is that tea kettle supposed to make light? Am I missing something?)
And you’re going to have to explain a few things to kids about slavery and Arabian culture/history. (For example — cutting a hand off for stealing bread or an apple was an accepted thing, you know.)
Let’s move on from the racism and ignorant Islamic-adjacent stereotypes for this review, shall we?

The Robin Williams Genie Controversy

What else is an issue for the live action version? For one, no one really wants to see anyone else replace the late, manic, fantasmic Williams as the iconic blue Genie.

Non-slave aspects…there’s the equally unpleasant reminder that Williams killed himself years after Aladdin came out. I think most people appreciate the manic aspect of The Genie as part of William’s brilliance/illness, but neglect to recall his intense depression. It eventually killed him. On the one hand we want to preserve Aladdin as one of William’s career peaks (granted, there are many, but not so much in the Disney-verse).

On the other hand, it’s uncomfortable to be reminded of how society failed this brilliant performer. If an A Lister in Hollywood can’t find help, what does that bode for the average bi-polar/depressed individual?

This doesn’t even open the can of worms a Will Smith casting gives us for the Live Action Aladdin remake. He’s black, so there’s the slave awkward thing again. And then he has to approximate the humor of the original Genie. I hope HOPE HOPE they take this in a new direction, because no one can be Robin Williams. They shouldn’t try. I’ll find out soon — Will Smith is nominally a versatile and talented actor. So, I bet if there’s a problem with his portrayal, it’s in the script. I can’t speak to the casting until I see it, but this is a troubling role to take on, at best.

Jafar, Iago, and Other Notes on the Animated Aladdin

Let’s talk about the animated Aladdin film in positive terms. When it starts, it’s really cleverly 4th wall breaking: the “storyteller” (voiced Robin Williams at his smary best) frames the movie as a narrative. Amusingly, the ‘camera’ gets distracted and wanders away when the anthropomorphic framing device peddler person goes off-topic. I loved Deadpool framing his films…I didn’t know Disney did it before him. It’s a bit short, but very cute.

One neat thing is how Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) actually talks. We’ve seen animal sidekicks speak before, but this is a parrot. Parrots talk! The monkey and tiger, the other sidekicks in Aladdin, don’t talk. That’s clever, as parrots actually DO speak. I had enough parrots growing up to realize parrots are smart enough to make connections between what they say and what they feel. I was happy to see an animal sidekick that could possibly do Human-speak in a Disney film. (Yep, I’m easily pleased.)

Jafar, the villain, is an oily one. He could be cross-species ‘brothers’ with Scar (from the Lion King) or married to The Little Mermaid‘s Ursula (also cross-species, more or less). Note these characters all fall within the same Disney Era. It’s the formula that worked back then.  🙂

The magic carpet is really kind of awesome, and reminds me of Dr. Strange’s playfully loyal cloak.

But, really…there’s a lot of filmatic references to other classic movies here.  Moment from Raiders of the Lost Arc, from Titanic. That could be an entire article itself, so I’ll keep on keeping on.

Also worth noting — as this is a film from the Disney Renaissance period —  is how A Whole New World entices young people (or as in The Lion King, animals) to follow a path they never planned: to follow their dreams. This song works wonderfully here.

Who is the Disney Classic Aladdin MVP?

Um. Hey, wait…Aladdin is an orphan and a Chosen One? Ever see that anywhere before? (Answer — many many times before, with and without magic. And I bet the entire Internet we see it after Aladdin too.)

Back to to Robin Williams as the manic Genie. It’s a whole world of sad now, knowing Williams ended his own life via suicide. He made the Genie something special — something giddy and outstanding —  in his depictions of the wildly excitable magic-wish-giver.

I don’t know how the live-action version with Will Smith could even come close, since this was probably the closest Williams came to creating his own persona via film, and no one can truly compete. Honestly, I’m not sure how the animators followed William’s improv as well as they did. This version of the classic is worth watching just for seeing Williams on top of his game (even though he doesn’t appear until the half-way point in the film).

The past and future of Disney Live Action

Overall, Aladdin the film is still kind of cool, although it’s not as exciting as I remembered.  It’s no Little Mermaid, The Lion King, or Beauty & The Beast (the top representatives from the Disney Renaissance Era, which all hold up so nicely.)

What stands out is how this is a Disney Princess tale where the princess takes a back seat. It’s a male-focused movie, and that’s a welcome branch off the typical trope. Jasmine isn’t sidelined at all, but the POV is about the ‘prince’.

That’s unusual. Imagine Eric from The Little Mermaid being the main POV, or even the otherwise bland Prince Charming from Cinderella. I think that would be interesting for the next live-action versions.

However: one of the most important and enduring aspects of Aladdin remains the same as it has for centuries…if you could have three wishes granted, what would they be? And how would you word them to escape the inevitable sneaky clauses?

Dumbo Review – The Original 1941 Animated Classic: High Time for a Remake

animated dumbo 1941 classic
Such a cutie. But the classic is off-putting and makes you cry. A lot.

The original 1941 Dumbo is a strange little movie. Not only is only an hour long (it’s almost a long “short”, if you get my meaning), but has many weird scenes of mostly padding (which would make for great Peetimes, BTW).

It’s also…um…wildly racist (there’s no other way to say this, and not in just the scene with the jeering crows — don’t even get me STARTED on Song of the Roustabouts). And Dumbo is so casually, completely inhumane. The moniker “Dumbo” alone is intended as a cruel nickname by his own fellow elephants — his actual birth name is Jumbo Jr, in case you wondered.

But much worse, Dumbo the film depicts the massive abuse of circus animals, with harsh whips, cruelly binding leg chains, and minuscule cages. Circus performers are willing to toss baby animals a thousand feet off of rooftop platforms, because they reason the higher the fall, the more money they will make…and so what anyway, because “Elephants are made of rubber.” (Listen to the clowns talk this over. Seriously.)

Also, a crucial plot point features the main character, an infant, getting massively drunk. The ‘pink elephants’ sequence is played for laughs, but, you know what? I’ve been drunk, and I don’t hallucinate. That watered-down champagne must have had something much more hard-core in it. The scene is weird as hell, and if I was a child, it would give me nightmares.

These things just wouldn’t ‘fly’ today – pardon the pun.

From the get-go, I honestly thought Dumbo was a strange choice for one of the first live-action remakes from the Disney Vault. There are a whole lot more bigger hits to choose from, and at least a dozen Disney Princesses to get through.

But. It’s not all bad: Dumbo has Disney Classic status after all.

So, I re-watched the original to prepare for the 2019 Dumbo redo and, yes,  I sentimentally cried. A lot. Granted, I’m an easy crier, but the mother-child scene set to the tune of “Baby Mine” had me really blubbering. Dear lord. Much as I complain about the unforgivable inhumanity of the 1941 Dumbo, this is absolutely a moment I want to see in the remake.

There’s other good stuff too. The unnamed mouse deserves a medal for going above and beyond in being a true friend. We should all be so lucky to have such a “mouse” in our lives. Compassion, as a concept and in execution, is where Dumbo shines.

I’ll talk about that below the video of the original trailer:

So I wondered about the Dumbo remake. Maybe the general theme of love and kindness is enough of a reason to drag this out of the Vault.

The aforementioned kindly mouse who befriends poor baby Dumbo contains a great message: even one small person can make all the difference in someone’s life.

And Dumbo reminds us that taunts hurt, especially about body image: it’s not just about teenage girls. There is tremendous pressure to be a perfect physical specimen. This is certainly timely in our modern era.

And the crows do come around and help transform Dumbo’s life. Their song is a showstopping standout (“When I See An Elephant Fly“) with the bestest puns, and I hope this is retained — minus the off-putting racism.

Ultimately, my hope is the new Dumbo will increase awareness about the plight of elephants in worldwide circus acts and zoos. And in the wild, if one can dream. I was heartened to learn  PETA contacted Tim Burton to change the ending of the new Dumbo — and Burton did! —  in a way that should be very satisfying and maybe give us a few tears of joy in an iconic film, for once.

You will believe an elephant can fly.

Flying is, of course, a metaphor for finding one’s own path to happiness and meaning. And I say YAY, with fingers crossed, that the remake will give us exactly that transcendence humans can achieve if we care enough.

Soapbox off.

(PS: Extra note: Dumbo won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Original Score. I’m adding the videos and lyrics to some of the iconic songs to RunPee already — see below.)

Movie Grade: I can’t even grade Dumbo without overthinking it. I like the idea, and there are lovely grace notes, but man, is this film is so bizarre for today’s audiences. I wouldn’t let children watch it without a lot of discussion. Maybe give it a C+ for what they attempted to do, within the mentality of the 1940s. Buried under all the uncomfortable weirdness and unpleasantry, there’s a good message and a lot of heart.

Dumbo – Lyrics and Video to the Original Disney Classic Song Baby Mine

Movie Review – Dumbo – A remake your kids will enjoy

The Biggest Upcoming films of 2019 – Get Excited!

Pixar Fast Fact Video – Easter Eggs in Incredibles 2

Incredibles is simply a great superhero film
Incredibles 2 is kinda incredible.

Be happy, Pixar fans, as the galaxy’s best animated superhero movie sequel is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

To remind  you how good Incredibles 2 is, I’m introducing you to a duo of video superheros themselves, the Super Carlin Brothers. These guys love Pixar, and came up with the mind-blowing, probably unlikely, but strangely fitting Pixar Theory, one that spans from the dawn of time (The Good Dinosaur) through to the far future (Wall-E). But this post isn’t about The Pixar Theory video (although you should see it). I’m just giving these dudes a call-out for their Incredibles 2 insights.

Remember, [pullquote]Pixar uses a winning combination of top notch animation; flawed, yet big-hearted characters; great ensemble chemistry; a quest structure; engaging pathos; and legit humor that may go right over kid’s heads, but adults will most certainly enjoy.[/pullquote] Incredibles 2 even takes charming their adult audience a step further, showing  animated characters drinking beer, something unseen on the big screen before, and normally reserved for someone like Homer on The Simpsons. (I don’t know why I’m so impressed with Mr. Incredible drinking beer. I suppose it’s fun to see heroes being less idealized and more human. I doubt Captain America drinks ale, but we’ve seen Iron Man sipping whiskey, and I’ll bet Thor loves himself a good mug of mead.)

Here’s the roughly 8 minute video about Pixar and Incredibles 2 for your enjoyment:

While you’re here, this 10 minute companion video argues that the Incredible family moved into Syndrome’s House in the sequel (the big bad from Incredibles 1, if you recall):

Here’s our catalog of Incredibles Movie Reviews and Articles on RunPee.com: 

All Incredibles Related Posts (click this link).

Just highlighting a few below:

Movie Rewatch – The First Incredibles

Incredibles 2 & the Success of Animated Movie Sequels

WTF: Pixar’s Bao Short Before Incredibles 2

Movie Review – SmallFoot

That guy is barefoot in the snow a lot. Just saying.

It is such a relief to watch a movie I can give an A+ rating to without hesitation! It was charming, warm-hearted (albeit set in a cold place), engaging, funny, and surprisingly detailed. I especially loved the many interesting things to look at in the yeti village. I was never bored. I see a lot of movies for RunPee, and not being bored scores high in my book.

A couple of the songs were quite good, and the “Let It Lie” number by Common is a straight-up standout. That entire scene (the one with the Stone Keeper and Migo inside the mountain) was captivating.

Small Foot had some great elements of world-building, which is nice to see in an animated kid flick. The details of the yeti town, their mythology, the backstory…everything fit together seamlessly. I was really surprised how even small details (like why the ice cubes were chipped into spheres) came together later on.

The ‘short Yeti’ comic relief character was a bit tiresome, but that’s my only nit to pick. I’m sure the kiddos liked him well enough. The ‘dumb Thor’ Yeti made the geek in me smile. Mostly, the Yetis and their world were well drawn, the voice work was pleasant, and the climax and denouement actually came from a logical place in the narrative.

It’s also nice to see a movie with no villain. Sometimes watching a plot based around an obligatory ‘bad guy’ makes for tiresome viewing. Writers have to be more creative to do it this way.

There’s a great message about tolerance, without banging the audience over the head with it. I also liked that we saw humanity from an outside perspective, recognizing both the good and the evil inherent in our species. I’d hope that if we found other intelligent beings somewhere, we’d know enough to try communication before hostility.

Outstanding film.

Movie Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: Here are 3 Peetimes of various lengths. If you can manage the 1st one, you won’t have to rush and you miss very little. I was surprised how hard it was to find good Peetimes in this animated film — it’s a tightly woven tale with very little downtime. They put a lot of plot development and world building into this. I also didn’t want to place a Peetime during any of the musical numbers, since I figure if you’re watching this, you’d probably like to hear the songs. One note: if you decide to duck out during a song, do NOT leave when Common/The Stone Keeper does his number. It’s just that excellent.

One More Note: I liked Common’s song Let It Lie so much, I had to look it up for you.  It’s just as good on a second listen — gives me chills. DON’T PLAY if you haven’t seen the movie yet:  it’s got the film’s biggest spoilers in it. Otherwise, enjoy!

Movie Review – Teen Titans Go!

I’ll try to stay away from spoilers, but let it be said of Teen Titans Go To The Movies! that there are hilarious references to the Marvel universe, along with a multitude of other jabs toward superheroes in general.
The plot was typical of most animated movies about the good, the bad, and the ridiculous. Lots of bathroom humor that kept the kiddies laughing in their seats, while keeping the adults entertained as well.
This is a great movie to get the kids out of the house, out of the heat, and out of parents hair for an afternoon.

Movie Review – Incredibles 2

Pixar is known for their genius in telling stories that appeal to adults as much as kids. Incredibles 2 is no exception.

As with every sequel, the question is: was it as good as the first? I’d say, “Close, but not quite.” Which is a compliment considering how good the original was.

I don’t think it was as funny. Not just me, but my five year old niece watched the first Incredibles (for the dozenth time) last night and she laughed repeatedly. She sat right next to me while I did the Peetimes for Incredibles 2 and I didn’t hear her laugh nearly as many times. (There’s never been a better litmus test.)

This is a long movie for kids. It’s two hours long from opening to end credits, not including the seven minute animated short.

Speaking of which, what was up with that animated short? I don’t know about you, but that didn’t seem appropriate for kids at all. Personally, I’d say that short is an excellent time to duck out and make a last run to the restroom or concessions before the movie starts.

Grade: B+

Peetime Meta
Important: if you use the Timer, make sure you start it after the animated 7 minute short. We do not include this cartoon in the runtime.

I would recommend the last Peetime. It’s the longest and doesn’t involve any action, or much humor. The other two Peetimes are good, but fairly short.

Personally, if you have small kids, I would highly recommend taking them to the restroom during the short cartoon before the movie. It has nothing to do with the film, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for kids. My 5 year old niece was shocked and didn’t get it.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: Important: if you use the Timer, make sure you start it after the animated 7 minute short. We do not include this cartoon in the runtime.

I would recommend the last Peetime. It’s the longest and doesn’t involve any action, or much humor. The other 2 Peetimes are good, but fairly short.

Personally, if you have small kids, I would highly recommend taking them to the restroom during the short cartoon before the movie. It has nothing to do with the film, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for kids. My 5 year old niece was shocked and didn’t get it.

Note: There is a warning at the start of this film about epileptics, and seizures being possibly caused by this film. You will see why. Take the warning seriously if this is a concern.

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

Incredibles 2 & the Success of Animated Movie Sequels

Sequels are big deals for today’s audiences. We’re willing to watch 19 ( soon 20) films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve got DC and their endless versions of Batman, an evolving Star Wars franchise, Star Trek reboots, and sequels to things we never asked for, like Hot Tub Time Machine 2. It’s clear we crave sequels  — and it is Big Business.

But do animated movies deserve the same treatment? Usually animated followup films are the “straight to video” type, like The Little Mermaid 2. Those are usually for the young children who are happy to watch more of what they loved the first time.

[pullquote]What animated movies get the sophisticated full cinematic treatment? More than you’d think. [/pullquote]We’ve got sequels to Toy Story, Cars, Monsters Inc, Despicable Me, Finding Nemo…all enjoying moderate success at the box office. Pixar has a great formula: they know how to engage adults with sly references, appeals to nostalgia, and jokes that go over kids’s heads. We don’t even have to bring a kid along to make it socially acceptable to see these “cartoons” — no excuse is needed.

We’ll see how Incredibles 2 does its job of luring grownups to the box office. The trailers look fun, although the “Mr. Mom” routine is quite dated by now. I hope they don’t milk that angle too much. It’s not a big deal these days for men to do the child-rearing.

I look forward to seeing what exactly Jack Jack’s powers are about. And I hope they continue the theme of the original film, where the supers are living under massive repression. It would be fantastic to take up the banner of freedom for supers, which, after all, is even something we’ve seen in live action superhero flicks like X-Men 1&2, and Captain America: Civil War.

[pullquote position=”right”]So it seems that animated sequels are perfectly acceptable, and people are willing to pack the theaters to see them.[/pullquote] I know I loved a return to the undersea world in Finding Dory, and folks can’t seem to get enough of Toy Story ( I refuse to watch Toy Story 3 out of self-preservation — I don’t want to watch a movie I know will make me cry). The Minions are reliable for a good time, and the Monsters, Inc prequel was a fun romp. I don’t think I know of any other animated prequels, so that might be a unique category.

We’ll see how my predictions pan out.

Do you watch animated movies? What are your favorites? Comments are below.

Movie Review – Isle of Dogs

Do see Isle of Dogs if it comes anywhere near your theater. It’s creative and quirky, with a great voiceover cast of big stars…and this is honestly something I haven’t seen before. Everyone in the production really pulled out a stylish little film. There are moments in this stop-animation tale that are sort of strange and artsy (I’m not normally a fan of artsy), but the story settles into a small-scale kind of epic adventure once the dogs start talking. There’s light humor, and “biting” humor, so both kids and adults will be able to “sink their teeth” into this (sorry about the puns).

I appreciated the conceit that the dogs are totally understandable, and the humans speak in gibberish (to them, and therefore to us, unless you speak Japanese). That was pretty clever. All the dogs were given a loving treatment, with their own personalities, and best of all: they didn’t come across as furry talking people (as Disney/Pixar oft do with their animal sidekicks). Their behaviors and conversations were recognizably doggie. Another item: the dogs of “our pack” stoically bear the kind of dorky names people have given them across time, like Chief, Spot, Buddy, Rex, Duke, King, Boss…it was cute.

And be warned, the cats in this movie seem fairly evil. “Finding the Cats” could be a vastly amusing drinking game — the corrupt government officials uniformly carry them around; they appear as statues, as logos on appliances and storefronts, and as iconography incorporated into maps and artwork. It’s somehow both subtle and overt.[pullquote position=”right”] I kept expecting the proliferation of cats to have some great meaning, but that would be too obvious. Isle of Dogs is smarter and sneakier than that.[/pullquote]

Really, the dogs as individuals were great. I could have sat through an entire movie with just the pack, hanging out, talking about favorite foods and their masters, flirting with the females, and composing Canine Haiku. Anytime we cut away to the people in the city, I started losing interest. Fortunately, most of the movie centers on “our pack” in this doggie dystopia, and it’s really groovy. There’s a few heartwarming moments to get teary-eyed, scattered throughout, but no real sob-worthy scenes. (I always like a head’s up if there might be ugly crying in my movie future. Yes, I’m still wary of seeing Toy Story 3.)

And I’m a sucker for hearing Jeff Goldblum’s voice from a dog’s snout. (The man embodies quirk.) Listening for all the celebrity voices was a treat. The screen lists the characters and actors in the intro, but it goes by so quickly that you can’t remember who plays what dog by the time you meet them. Part of the fun is recognizing these A-List actors as the film plays out.

There are a TON of visuals packed into most scenes, and it occurs to me this is the perfect kind of film to own on DVD, and play when you want something enjoyable in the background on house-cleaning day. You’ll keep finding things you missed on prior viewings. I can think of several scenes I wanted to pause the movie at, just to keep up with the casually sly asides going by.

Well paced, easy-going, unusual, and at times highly satiric. A real creative showstopper, Isle of Dogs gets a well-deserved A.

Movie Grade – A

Movie Review – Coco (RunPee Jilly’s POV)

This wildly beautiful animated film celebrates Latino culture, inter-generational family connections, one possible interpretation of the afterlife, and, most obviously, what the Day of the Dead is all about.

I’m not an expert on Mexican holidays, but it felt authentica. The animated humans were pretty adorable, and the Miguel/Hector interactions  stole my dark little heart. Then the perito…what can I say? He seemed firstly like a typical cutsie sidekick, but we get a little Scooby treat in the end.

Even the cast and plot held together — which in animated films can be hit or miss. Coco is on the level of Inside Out for me: giving me deeper things to think about, with a visual feast to sit back and enjoy.

The “real world” first act was only okay, (which brings the grade down from a perfect A+ score) – kind of like a Mexican Footloose – but once we let any semblance of reality go, crossing the bridge to the afterworld, things become fabuloso, wacky, quirky, and really, really fun.

New anthology films in this undead setting could start a whole new franchise. Like traipsing to a more colorful Narnia, we’d enjoy staying in the brightly festooned, colorful cities, teeming with glitzy skele-people and their bold, big lives-after-death. Nice place to visit, I think.

What this film does best of all (besides making me sob like a baby: be warned) lies in the pretty. It’s gorgeous. Every scene in the land of the dead is phenomenal.  Worth seeing in 3D, and definitely worth owning as a DVD, to play over and over again, no matter what your nationality, or afterlife belief.

Good, solid entertainment for anyone, at any age. This one reaches the ranks of the better animated movies (feel free to post those in the comments for discussion). Darkly beautiful: thanks, Pixar!

Movie Grade: A