Animated & Children’s Films

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  • Movie Review – The Secret Garden (2020)
    I’m a huge Secret Garden fan and have been since a wonderful teacher read it chapter by chapter to my rapt class in the 4th grade. It’s on my top ten list of favorite children’s books, and will be getting a reread review this year as I work through my ...
  • Children’s Book Review – Tucker’s Countryside (A sequel to The Cricket in Times Square)
    Tucker in Tucker’s Countryside (1969) is the mouse from the extraordinary and renowned children’s book The Cricket in Times Square. Here the mouse gets his own heroic tail. Or, er…tale. In Cricket — the origin novel (and animated children’s special) — small and lonely Chester Cricket gets accidentally trapped in the ...
  • Sundance Festival Movie Review – Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
    If you are a fan of recent films Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, this is the documentary you must see this year. This is a film that is nostalgic and fun, sure, but it’s also an eye-opening look at the history of children’s television. ...
  • Children’s Book Review – Bunnicula
    I’ve been doing a little light yoga reading routine each morning. I put my legs in the air for 10 minutes, before I even get out of bed, to take me from sleepy to wakey in a gentler fashion. Hey, it’s Doctor Approved! I decided to take this daily time ...
  • Movie Rewatch Review – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    My favorite of all the Harry Potter films — and books for that matter — this is just an A+ good time. If you like a quest-type adventure story, Goblet of Fire is a fine addition to the ranks of high fantasy. Unfortunately, I can’t speak for how well this tale ...
  • What I Saw During the 2021 Sundance Film Festival
    I recently got to attend the 2021 Sundance Film Festival online.  It was a wonderful experience.  I got to see an array of unique films. and discover some new favorites.  While I’ll be posting reviews of my favorite films from the festival, it would be impossible to review everything I ...
  • Movie Review – Soul (Pixar and Disney get it right, again)
    Soul is one of those films where you see a still or a short clip and you think “Aha! A children’s film; something to keep the little crotch goblins quiet for a bit.” Then you notice the Disney and Pixar names plastered all over it and, that’s it… it’s a kid’s ...
  • First Time Movie Review – Jingle All The Way
    Jingle All The Way is, most definitely, a Christmas film. I know that’s obvious but, with all the “is it or isn’t it” arguments and articles doing the rounds, I thought I’d better make sure everyone’s aware that I’m aware what I’m talking about… for a change! So what’s it about? In ...
  • First View Movie Review – The Muppet Christmas Carol
    Maybe it’s a generational thing. I was starting college for the first time when The Muppet Show was first aired. I’ve never seen Sesame Street. Well, not more than the odd clip on TV; enough to be aware of some of the history of the beasts. Throw into the mix the absence ...
  • Rewatch Review – The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Full disclosure… I am a big Tim Burton fan.  I’ve seen and enjoyed all of his films. Yes… even his Planet Of The Apes! And the thing is that you tend to think of him as a live action director, albeit with an eye for the more cartoonish aspects of life.  ...
  • Rewatch Reviews – Arthur Christmas
    First off, I LOVE Arthur Christmas! It is funny, entertaining, and endlessly re-watchable. The talent on display is awesome and the attention to detail is breathtaking. There are so many little things that you either see for the first time when you watch it, or can point out to other people ...
  • A US Classic From A UK Perspective – A Christmas Story
    A little background… At the start of the decade a change in circumstances meant I had a lot of spare time during the run up to Christmas. So what was I going to do? What I did was got hold of a load of Christmas films and thoroughly got into the ...
  • RunPee Weekly Newsletter 38th edition (December 2nd, 2020)
    The app that tells you the best time to run and pee during a movie without missing the best scenes.   The Croods 2 – New Movie Review If you or your young ones liked the original Pleistocene-based caveman comedy *Croods*, you may as well check out the sequel, since there aren’t a ...
  • Croods 2 Character Voices
    Croods 2 Character Voices
  • Movie Review – The Croods 2
    This is definitely a young kids movie. There’s lots of super saturated bright colors and silly cartoon antics that the characters almost constantly go through. In that light most young kids will probably like it. However, I wonder if they’ll like it anymore than just watching any old cartoon movie ...
  • Indie Movie Review – Emily and the Magical Journey
    I have to admit to feeling a bit like Groucho Marx over this film… “Why, a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can’t make head nor tail out of it.” It’s a family film aimed at feisty, imaginative young girls, and ...
  • Indie Movie Review – Attack Of The Demons — it’s animated and it’s horror! Why isn’t this done more?
    I seem to always start off by saying that I’m probably the worst possible person to be writing the review and this is no exception. I’ve said often enough that I’m not one of your rabid horror fans but I’ll usually watch one with minimal prompting. So… ghosts? OK. Vampires? ...
  • Hobbitses – A Tolkien history – Behind the Lord of the Rings in epic fantasy films
      Typical! Wait decades for a film with hobbits in, and six come along at the same time! At least, that’s how it felt. Like many teens of the time, I had my copy of the single volume paperback edition of The Lord Of The Rings, shortly after it was first ...
  • New Movie Review – Mulan (Live action 2020)
    The obvious first step with a look at a film like Mulan is to do a compare and contrast piece with the 1998 animated version. And, obviously, there will be a bit of that but, bottom line, it would be a bit like comparing and contrasting apples and tractor parts… ...
  • Scoob! and the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe
    Warning: contains spoilers for Scoob! I grew up on the cartoons of Hanna-Barbera.  Before they moved them all to Boomerang, the USA Network used to air them on a show called Cartoon Express.  Every summer, I went to Kings Island theme park where they had live mascots from the cartoons just ...
  • First View Movie Review – Matilda (1996)
    Matilda is the strangest, nastiest kid movie I’ve ever seen. My mother and I were astounded throughout at how grotesque this was, and how unappealing. Not even the cute actress (Mara Wilson) could save this caustic tale. It wasn’t until I saw the credits that this was based on a classic ...
  • Classic Movie Review – The Goonies
    The Goonies ‘r’ good enough for me! Here’s another Amblin Entertainment kid-based movie by Steven Spielberg that still holds up over time. The Goonies (from 1985) is a charming, fun ride featuring pirates, monsters, secret passageways, treasure maps, cunning kids, and more bike chases than E.T. (What is it with Spielberg, kids, ...
  • Movie Review – Artemis Fowl, from a novel novice
    Honestly, I have to ask: What WAS this? I’m told the Artemis Fowl books are top shelf, but the origin film is merely…meh. So I watched the movie with low expectations: usually that means I can walk out feeling somewhat sated. In this case, I was infuriated. How hard could it ...
  • There’s an E.T. sequel and it’s awesome
    I just finished watching E.T. for basically the first time. I only saw it one time in 1982, and 38 years later didn’t remember anything beyond the “Phone Home” shtick. I wrote this grand review about the symbolism in E.T. with a lot of thoughts tending towards the introspective. I ...
  • Classic Movie Review – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
    What an enchanting film! E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is deservedly among the greats. Steven Spielberg proved he was mighty with the movie-making. Who else can take a goofy premise (suburban boy befriends gentle alien) and make it so compelling? So buoyant and wondrous. It seems like it would be a ...
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