Posts Tagged ‘animation’

In a nutshell: Disney gets back to its roots with a not so Grimm fairy tale.

Popcorn rating: 4/5

The Mouse House once had the market sewn up in animation. Uncle Walt’s studio had been synonymous with superior animation, reaping such classics as Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Bambi. Then Pixar and Dreamworks, founded by young whippersnappers with big dreams and technological wizardry, upset the planetary alignments with trailblazers like Toy Story and Shrek – which reinvented the fairytale genre forever.

Pixar and Disney are now one and the same with John Lasseter head honcho of animation, but Tangled, the studios 50th animation feature is more in the vein of the traditional Disney animation format than Pixar’s – but with a modern twist.Disney apparently re-jigged the classic tale of Rapunzel – a princess locked in a tower – to the more unisex Tangled, placing the male love interest at the centre. Cynical marketing ploy or not, it works.

What Disney has always done best are the little touches and directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard and a fabulous team of animators deliver in spades. Tangled takes place in a typically luscious technicolour landscape and is as gorgeous and sparkly as the heroine’s magic hair (a new addition to the original tale). The absolutely mesmerising lakeside lantern scene is a joy to watch – the sort of breathtaking sequence that made Disney so great.

The vocal talents are also great. Pop princess turned actress Mandy Moore impresses as Rapunzel, Chuck’s Zachary Levi is spot on as the dashing but bungling hero Flynn and, best of all, is stage legend Donna Murphy as villainess Gothel, all nailing the catchy musical numbers.

The variations on the Brothers Grimm traditional plot are a similar success, with surprising and crucially enjoyable twists and turns, resulting in an action packed and entertaining take on a damsel in distress – a formidable force herself, armed with her hair and a frying pan.

Funny, touching, thrilling, romantic and absolutely gorgeous, Tangled is Disney at its traditional best, with enough modern infusion to keep the discerning child audiences of today entertained. Despite the intended unisex audience possibly more one for the girls – but one tale that will spellbind little princesses, no matter what their ages.

Reviewer: aoifewantonmovielover

In a nutshell: The boy wizard faces his destiny, fans are left hanging but way-hey! The studios make a recession-busting fortune.

Popcorn rating: 3/5

The end is nigh. But don’t worry too much, it’s not the “end” end…not just yet anyway.

To do justice to JK Rowling’s final doorstopper in the series, studio Heyday Films have split the action into a two-part extravaganza – and Director David Yates sets his cards from the off, as Bill Nighy’s Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour intones into the camera: “These are dark times, there’s no denying.”

The fun at Hogwarts is over…in fact, we are leaving lovely, warm, safe Hogwarts behind altogether as our trio go on the run and smack into danger, intrigue and a new battle against eVil.

And, what with chasing horcruxes, growing up, the first flush of love and the rise of old “nostrils” and his Death Eaters …Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is a busy affair. Fortunately, with the luxury of a second instalment to play with, Yates is in no rush to bring the magic to an end.

At just shy of two and a half hours, Part 1 explodes with a dramatic (and frightening) sequence dropping us smack into the action but unfortunately stalling and stop-starts dominate the remainder as Harry & Co. run/disapparate/meander (delete as appropriate) from scene to scene.

Overall, Deathly Hallows is not so much a build-up for the final battle in Part 2, as an exercise in schizophrenic pacing.

However, when it’s on the money, it’s absolutely thrilling. Standouts include:

  • The trio infiltrating the now corrupt Ministry – a section delivering laughs, tension and horror with aplomb
  • A closing act chase in a forest with the frenetic intensity of a Bourne film
  • Ben Hibon delivering a beautiful animation sequence for the fable of the Deathly Hallows.
  • A cast which brings so much prime acting talent from this side of the pond together in a range of adorable, horrible and altogetherwonderful characters (Bonham Carter, Mullan, Fiennes, Thewlis, Walters, McCrory, Spall, Rickman, Staunton, Coltrane..etc)

The less said about Harry and Hermione’s homage to Strictly Come Dancing the better.

Boding well for the final instalment, Part 1 is an uneven but extremely entertaining appetiser. Harry’s game remains spellbinding stuff.

Reviewer: AoifeWantonMovieLover