Monday, April 27, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: My Little Pony - Cakes For The Memories | #FriendshipIsForever


Season 1, Episode 2: Cakes For The Memories
Written By Josh Haber


After Twilight Sparkle and her friends from all across Equestria and beyond helped her defeat the Legion Of Doom towards the end of Season 9, preparations for her upcoming coronation as the Princess Of Equestria were soon underway once again with Rarity in charge of making her coronation dress among the many things to prepare for the big day...but what Twilight Sparkle herself didn't know was that Starlight Glimmer and Spike with the help of their friends were putting together a special surprise gift for her when she eventually moved away from Ponyville to start her new life: a scrapbook of memories that each of Twilight Sparkle's friends helped select from throughout the years they've been together.  With Rarity's portion of the scrapbook having been completed last week, it's finally time to see which memories that Pinkie Pie will choose for her section as we enjoy some 'Cakes For The Memories'...let's take a look!

CAKES FOR THE MEMORIES: Pinkie Pie reminisces about her past moments of laughter while making the cake for Twilight Sparkle's princess coronation.

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Just like last week's episode 'A-Dressing Memories', 'Cakes For The Memories' is another clip-show going over some of Pinkie Pie's best and not so best moments...at least in this case, Starlight Glimmer and Spike have learned from past experience and not try to hide the entire time while at the same time doing that anyway of which I guess it's kind of part of the joke.  But much like 'A-Dressing Memories', 'Cakes For The Memories' seems to have a little more focus on Seasons 1 through 3 more so than the later seasons because again they bring up the first two episodes of the series while also bringing up 'Feeling Pinkie Keen' and they even do the 'watching paint dry' scene during 'Too Many Pinkie Pies'...again, it's still hilarious.  I laughed a lot more this week than I did last week because Pinkie Pie is just the best at being random and they really take advantage of it here because instead of just going through scene by scene, there's even a couple of montage sequences where you've just got a couple seconds at a time: I think one montage was just about how many holidays Pinkie Pie has come up with over the years and...yeah, that even surprised me with how many they managed to dig up and then another montage about how many costumes Pinkie Pie has come up with over the years and again seeing them all in quick succession is a lot more entertaining-it seems like something that a fan would put together on YouTube.  But listening to the very first character song in the series 'Laughter Song', I kept thinking to myself 'are they gonna do 'Smile Song', are they gonna reach that point...they've got to get to that somewhere'...and even though I was enjoying clip after clip and montage after montage, I kept thinking 'they can't go through the entire clip-show without showing Pinkie Pie's best song' and thankfully they did and I had the biggest grin on my face the entire time-even so many years after it first came out, it is still excellent...while something like 'Laughter Song' is a little simplistic, 'Smile Song' is some of Daniel Ingram's best work hands down.

Although speaking of the My Little Pony staff, there was a tweet by Jim Miller that basically says these six clip-show episodes were put into production after the series finale but before the last day DHX Media had done anything from My Little Pony...and while I already knew about these clip-show specials for a while ever since the 'A Decade Of Pony' documentary last year, I am honestly glad that they were able to come up with something after the final episode of the series because I don't think they would have been quite as effective if they tried to release these clip-show episodes before the series finale...it would have been a fair way to build up hype towards the series finale and it wouldn't have detracted from the series finale because that final scene of the future Mane Six and Spike against the sunset is still absolutely beautiful the way they put that together, but I do think that these clip-show episodes many months after the series has come to an end is probably the best way you could have released such ideas.  It certainly has made me reminisce about older days when I used to really look forward to new episodes every single week and yet at the same time it's going back over some of the greatest bits from some of the greatest episodes in the series all while tying everything together into the scrapbook which again is such a lovely sentiment.  Now seeing that there are supposed to be six clip-show episodes and Twilight Sparkle is the one who's been front and center remembering all these things from years past, I have to wonder 'does that mean the final clip-show episode is gonna be all about Twilight Sparkle's best moments' or honestly I'm hoping that it might actually be more about Spike because you can see a lot of Twilight Sparkle in these flashback scenes even though the first two clip-show episodes are primarily focused on Rarity and Pinkie Pie and I really hope they emphasize Twilight Sparkle and Spike's best moments together...in the sixth clip-show episode at least.

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Overall, there was still a lot to enjoy about 'Cakes For The Memories' from the very few new scenes that they included here because...oh goodness, that one face Pinkie Pie makes in Twilight Sparkle's bedroom during the third act!  I have to imagine in the prime days of the My Little Pony fandom, people would have been memeing that one clip endlessly...I have to believe that would have happened, but this clip-show special was a lot of fun and many within the My Little Pony fandom finally learned in the interim that this is something that has been on the backburner for a number of months now and I'm glad that they are releasing them a ways after the series finale since I think they were more effective that way and that is why I'm giving 'Cakes For The Memories' a rating of an 8 out of 10.  With that said, I'm True Blue and I'll see you all next week when we see what Fluttershy has to offer because...has she got a zoo, I'm telling you-it's a world class 'Memnagerie'!


Cakes For The Memories-8/10

'FRIENDSHIP IS FOREVER' OVERALL RATING: 8.25/10

Sunday, April 26, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: Catwoman | #Catwoman80

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/34578/p34578...
CATWOMAN
Written By John Brancato, Michael Ferris and John Rogers
Composed By Klaus Badelt
Produced By Denise Di Novi and Edward L. McDonnell
Edited By Sylvie Landra
Directed By Pitof

When the movie 'Batman Returns' came out, people mostly had one reaction: the hell was that?! But they also had another reaction: Catwoman was pretty cool, and thus a movie based on the anti-hero was in development forever...Tim Burton went back and forth on the project, Michelle Pfeiffer went back and forth on the project, scripts were rewritten and retooled until it finally reached the perfection that only years and years of development can give us. Just look at the costume of our main character...oh gosh, let's just get this over with! 'Catwoman' not only tops a lot of "worst comic book films of all time" lists but it also tops a lot of "worst films of all time period" lists and you can definitely see why: it is a special kind of "bad", the kind of bad that the main characters from 'The Producers' would put together as an intentional flop to cash in on some sort of money scheme-yeah, that bad! I'd say let's review it, but really this is more like a study...a study in asking the questions how, why and...no, those are enough. In honor of the character's eightieth anniversary, let's go ahead and "study" the epic failure that is 'Catwoman'.
CATWOMAN: "Catwoman" is the story of shy sensitive artist Patience Philips, a woman who can't seem to stop apologizing for her own existence that works as a graphic designer for Hedare Beauty-a mammoth cosmetics company on the verge of releasing a revolutionary anti-aging product. When Patience inadvertently happens upon a dark secret her employer is hiding, she finds herself in the middle of a corporate conspiracy and what happens next changes Patience forever.
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I mean, Halle Berry's performance is by no means good but let's face it: there's nothing any actress could bring to it to make it work-I mean when the script calls for you to rub catnip on your face, how well can you seriously portray that? It's over-the-top and goofy, but I think that just adds to the insanity that the film has already gotten across. So in all fairness, I see no reason to ball her out for it...so to Michelle Pfeiffer and anyone who may be still upset about not being cast in the leading role, haven't you ever put together that maybe not being in this movie is the best thing that could ever happen to you? I mean, 'Catwoman' is beyond bad-like, head-scratching "how on Earth could anybody take any sentence in this seriously" bad. It's a marvel, it can barely be put into words, nothing in any realm of reality could save it from the bad writing and directing that consumed every frame of this picture...yeah, it is that bad.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: The Lorax | #EarthDay

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/8869312/p886...
THE LORAX
Written By Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Composed By John Powell
Produced By Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and Audrey Geisel
Edited By Ken Schretzmann, Claire Dodgson and Steven Liu
Directed By Chris Renaud 

It's not easy turning a children's book into a ninety-minute animated film and actually make it good: when they would come up, they would most likely fail with a good example of that being 2011's 'Mars Needs Moms'.  There are a few times when Hollywood would try to take their hands on something from Dr. Seuss and try to make it a big hit, some cases 'yeah' and some cases 'hell no'...but now that it's the Lorax's turn to go into the big screen, will it grow into a well-made environmental film or will the Lorax get a big carbon footprint marked on his butt?  Let's find out, this is 'The Lorax'!

THE LORAX: Twelve-year-old Ted lives in a place virtually devoid of nature, no flowers or trees grow in the town of Thneedville where he would very much like to win the heart of Audrey-the girl of his dreams.  But to do this, he must find that which she most desires: a Truffula tree thus he delves into the story of the Lorax, once the gruff guardian of the forest, and the Once-ler who let greed overtake his respect for nature.

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In the movie, there are two different stories it's trying to tell us: there's the original story from the book and a completely made up plot for the film.  The best way to describe it is that what's in the book works and what isn't doesn't...allow me to explain: whatever they could adapt from the book is where the strongest parts of the film are, it's where the message takes effect the most and where it has the most character development...in the made up plot however, there are several plot holes that leaves questions unanswered like about some people's thoughts on trees and stuff-not to mention the reason that motivates the characters to do something is just weak, you know the reason why this is all happening is because some kid has a crush on a redhead?  Yeeeah...not for the environment nor because he's interested in nature, it's because of a girl...yeeeah anyways, another flaw that the movie has is that it suffers from something that I like to call 'DreamWorks Syndrome': it's when a film relies most of its humor on pop culture references and modern songs-it just becomes unfunny every time that happens, then becomes funny when its own humor appears.

Without a doubt, the animation is the strongest point of the movie-the obvious point being that this is the most colorful animated film I've seen in a while and the way they use it to suit the mood really works.  Because of this, it makes the background animation the strongest element of the animation with a style of an urban Dr. Seuss and the very creative cars and the structure of the homes really fits the theme of the movie.  When it comes to the characters, the character animation is well done...but then there's the character design: I know that it's the original design of the Doc himself, but I feel like it doesn't really translate well to computer animation.  Now I know that this isn't the first time there was a computer-animated Seuss film since we did have 'Horton Hears A Who' four years prior, but here's the thing: in 'Horton', there is a bunch of weird Seussical creatures like the Who's and all these different animals...in 'The Lorax' though, there's only people and bears and birds and fish and it just doesn't look right with some of their eyes so close together especially when most of the characters aren't from the book yet I will give them credit on the other hand to keep it in the Dr. Seuss style.

Now we come to the characters and...okay, let me start off with the characters that I like which are The Once-ler and 'St. Lorax'-you'll understand why I call him that if you saw the film: the only reason why I like these characters is because they are the only ones with character development and their own personalities and the film would get really interesting when they interact, but the only problem I have with them is that the Lorax doesn't appear on screen that much and the Once-ler...just lose the guitar, man.  The rest on the other hand end up being either one-dimensional or taken from another film: Audrey is just the love interest of the movie, the bears and the fish are pretty much the Minions from 'Despicable Me'-seriously, they both only babble talk while looking slightly different from each other and are only there to make the kids laugh, the villain O'Hare reminds me way too much of Lord Farquaad from 'Shrek' to the point where he looks like if Farquaad had a baby with Edna from 'The Incredibles', Grammy who reminds me a bit of Granny from 'Hoodwinked', the rest like Ted's mom or the Once-ler's family are there just to make a stupid pop culture reference or a dumb modern joke...and finally there's the main character Ted, I kept him for last because there's one thing about him that really bothers me: it's not the character himself nor that he's voiced by Zac Efron, it's that he's just a kid...he's always in love with Audrey but Ted is smaller when comparing the two and he looks like a kid, it's just that they're taking this like a Disney movie like he's destined to love her forever yet he's just a kid like I said!

Yeah, there are some musical numbers in this film and I gotta say...ugggh: I know that there isn't a lot, but they are just so bad...it's unavoidable to talk about since all there is is just attempts of modern pop songs and a rap song and they are terrible.  It doesn't really help that I'm not a fan of today's modern songs where I'd have to listen to the same ones everywhere I go, now what irritates me the most about this is that they're not the worst songs ever made like the animated Titanic's rapping dog or Rebecca Black...it's just that it's unneccesary: don't burst into song about what you're doing or how you feel, just give us a montage of it or just...well, I don't know-do it!  I know that's the point of a musical, but this is not a musical since they just come out of nowhere without warning and there isn't a lot of them either...and come on, this is 'The Lorax'-do we really need crappy songs like 'Thneedville' or 'Let It Grow' or even 'How Bad Can I Be'?!  The only reason why they are made is just because they got to hit that ninety-minute mark...never again, movie-never do that again!

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Though it's not as bad as the live-action remakes of 'The Grinch' or 'The Cat in the Hat' and the animation style is colorful and lends its way to Seuss's world better than live-action, 'The Lorax' despite being a mixed bag still sucks in capturing the spirit of Dr. Seuss: instead of being poetic, it panders to the mainstream...instead of having it speak to everyone, it paints extremes that alienates the truth of the story...and instead of being dark and subtle, it knocks you on the head with its message ironically making it far less memorable thus I'm giving 'The Lorax' a rating of a 5 out of 10.

MLEEP Reviews: WALL-E | #EarthDay

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/174374/p1743...
WALL-E
Written By Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon
Composed By Thomas Newman
Produced By Jim Morris
Edited By Stephen Schaffer
Directed By Andrew Stanton

Well, you either love 'WALL-E' or...actually, I can’t think of anyone that hates 'WALL-E' but there are some people who are indifferent to it. Bottom line, there seems to be these two camps in terms of talking about the movie: those who love the movie from beginning to end and those who liked the first half but don’t really like the second half that much...and sad to say, I’m kind of in that second boat: I don’t hate it, it’s just...after the first act, it...well with today being the annual tradition of Earth Day, seems like a good time as any to take a look at this film and find out what I ultimately have to say-this is 'WALL-E'!
WALL-E: WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class) is the last robot left on Earth spending his days tidying up the planet one piece of garbage at a time. But during 700 years, WALL-E has developed a personality and he's more than a little lonely until he he spots EVE-a sleek and shapely probe sent back to Earth on a scanning mission
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You can probably guess which halves people seem to like or dislike with this movie: a lot of people seem to really enjoy the first half where there’s little-to-no dialogue, a lot of atmosphere, a lot of quiet moments and all we have to focus on is the friendship/romance of these two machines-it’s very slow and I think a lot of people thought they’d be bored by it but actually this is the part that most people seem to enjoy the most. The second half...I don’t think goes downhill, it just isn’t as good as the first half: we see what mankind is up to, we see they’re not totally beyond hope, that they do in fact have some likability and...yeah, we want to see them return to Earth and repopulate the species again. I guess my major issues with the second half is one: we know what the lesson is gonna be-hell, we know what the lesson is in the first second of the movie: it’s a cautionary tale about the future and technology and pollution and...yeah, it’s good and it was much more powerful when you didn’t hammer it in-the environment is all you need! My second issue is that the world that they create for humanity is not all that interesting and I don’t know why: the ship should be really cool with all the hi-tech gadgets and technology and all the funny little jokes they have going on and they’re by no means awful, but it’s just not Pixar’s A-game joke material. The humans all sort of look the same and act the same and a lot of the other robots aren’t really that memorable and the commentary is pretty clear and...yeah, is it awful? No, I think a lot of people just thought after that first half that there was something even stronger than it was building up to-like, an even bigger conspiracy and there is one...sort of: the ship’s computer does sort of a HAL 9000 and doesn’t want humanity to return, but...eh, there’s nothing that much to it.
I think a lot of people would have been happier if they either just kept it on Earth the whole time and humanity was sort of the great mystery or maybe if the second half was like a space adventure where they go through all sorts of different worlds and planets and galaxies and...I don’t know, just something a little stronger than this. But honestly, I think it’s just the Lilo and Stitch effect: it’s not that one part is necessarily bad, it’s just that one part was so unbelievably good that it overshadows the other half. Some points are also weird-like, I don’t know why they have live-action people at some times and then computer-generated ones at others...they don’t try to make the CG-animated people look like real people, so it’s kind of distracting. I also never got how if EVE is supposed to be the machine that goes down and tries to find life-the delicate life that she needs to protect, how come she keeps blowing up everything? Like...if anything moves, she just destroys it-isn't that kind of going against what the mission is?
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Well outside of that, I think 'WALL-E' is a very enjoyable picture: I think it could have been an unbelievable film if it kept the tone it had in the first half, but it’s still smart enough and it still has some creativity and it still keeps your interest thus I like the film. I don’t know if I would see it that many times again, but I think it was enjoyable once: it has some entertaining as well as mature, moments for kids and it has some great atmosphere for adults...and in my opinion, that’s more than enough to recommend it and give 'WALL-E' a rating of a 7.5 out of 10

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: My Little Pony - A-Dressing Memories | #FriendshipIsForever

Season 1, Episode 1: A-Dressing Memories
Written By Josh Haber

The final season of 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' sure was an eventful one, wasn't it: from the royal sisters Princesses Celestia and Luna retiring with Twilight Sparkle assuming the throne to three of Equestria's biggest villains joining forces to plot the ultimate destruction of Equestria after being summoned by an ancient foe from long ago, it was quite an action-packed roller coaster ride of emotions all leading up to the eventual passing of the torch-I mean, crown-and the Mane Six forming their very own Council Of Friendship to meet once a moon but not before Starlight Glimmer and Spike gave Twilight Sparkle a special scrapbook full of memories that her friends had chosen from throughout the years they had known each other...yet one question remains: which memories from throughout all nine seasons of magical adventures were chosen to include for the scrapbook? Well...now that half a year has passed since the series finale of My Little Pony aired, it's time to finally find out in a new mini-series of clip-show specials under the name of 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Forever' and it looks like the generous fashionista Rarity is up first as we begin 'A-Dressing Memories'!

A-DRESSING MEMORIES: Rarity reminisces about her past moments of generosity while making the dress for Twilight Sparkle's princess coronation.

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Even if we have known about these clip-show specials for a while now ever since the 'A Decade Of Pony' documentary that accidentally premiered before the series finale of My Little Pony last year...and you know how the fandom can be about spoilers, I was genuinely surprised to see that they're releasing more content for My Little Pony's fourth generation-I mean it's not much since it's basically a clip-show yet there is some new material here and it specifically works into a scrapbook that Starlight Glimmer had presented to Twilight Sparkle in the final episode of Generation 4 and...yeah even though I already knew these were eventually coming, I have to admit that it actually got me a little excited again to watch these characters and see these old scenes and think about what it's actually leading to because 'A-Dressing Memories' is the first of several clip-show episodes that are coming out every Monday and I have to admit that it's actually really nice to be looking forward to new My Little Pony content every week even though it is just a little bit every week.

With this episode being titled 'A-Dressing Memories', you know right away that Rarity will be the star of the show as she and Twilight Sparkle are reminiscing about some of Rarity's best moments and some of her not-so-good moments: you see clips from the very first episodes of the show 'Friendship Is Magic' in Season 1, you see clips from 'Rarity Takes Manehattan' in Season 4, I was a bit surprised to even see 'The Cart Before The Ponies' from Season 6 and then back to 'The Return Of Harmony' in Season 2 and 'The Saddle Row Review' also from Season 6 and 'A Dog And Pony Show' from Season 1 and then all the way forward to 'Best Gift Ever' which was a special release between Season 8 and Season 9...and in every circumstance, I just had this big smile on my face. I was laughing at the comedic bits and I was really enjoying the music and really appreciating just how far Generation 4 had come from the early seasons to the later seasons because when you're seeing new clips and then immediately go back to a Season 1 episode, you can tell there's been a lot of progress on the character models and the backgrounds and even little knickknacks that they use throughout and this is all to help fill Starlight Glimmer's scrapbook which again is kind of a lead-up towards the final episode of the series. I was hoping that the writers never came up with anything beyond the final scene of the future Mane Six and Spike against the sunset in the last episode of Season 9 because it is such a lovely and beautiful moment and a great way to end things off...but in the interim because there is a lot of space between Twilight Sparkle's coronation and this final scene, you could fill a lot of stories with that -you really could!

But that still leaves a question: why are they releasing these clip-show episodes...is this something that's going to be released on DVD and marketed towards little kids as new My Little Pony content? I mean, it wouldn't be the first time that they're grabbing clips from various episodes to show to little kids...or it could be that the state of the world right now is basically putting the writers and animators and a lot of people at Hasbro up against the wall and they're trying to think 'well if we can't create the content we were expecting to have ready by this time of year, we got to come up with something that's really quick and easy to try and keep fans interested in the property...hey, what about a clip show?'. Tons of sitcoms and cartoons throughout the decades have used this format and...yeah it's not the best way to release new content, I still have to admit that I was enjoying it. I was reminiscing about when I first watched these episodes years ago-I mean, in particular the Season 1 and 2 episodes which I was just watching on my own and I hadn't really told anyone that I was interested in My Little Pony way back in those days before I started making any content for YouTube and then looking at some of the newer episodes in Season 4 and 6 and the 'Best Gift Ever' special and remembering when I got to watch those for the first time and start talking about what I loved about each of these works and what I think they needed to improve on and...I don't know: as these characters were going back through their own memories of Rarity at her best and Rarity in her not-so-good moments, it made me reminisce about my own experiences watching these episodes for the first time.

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I know that 'A-Dressing Memories' is not an entirely new episode since there's barely a few minutes of scenes here that haven't been released before and while I would have preferred to come up with an entirely new story, I think it's nice that if you are trying to do a clip-show...it's actually something that is leading up to a truly lovely moment during the final episode of Season 9: all the work that went into Starlight Glimmer and Spike gathering all these little memories for the scrapbook. But overall even though it isn't a whole lot of new content and even though this may be Hasbro's attempt at releasing something because so much of everything else has pretty much ground to a halt, I'm actually looking forward to more of these 'Friendship Is Forever' specials in the coming weeks.

This was written by Josh Haber, one of the veteran writers of My Little Pony's fourth generation-I mean, he started his work back in Season 4's 'Castle Mane-ia' so it's nice to have not only one of the writers from Generation 4 but also using the assets and I hope the animators from DHX Media to help put these things together. It was such a genuinely nice surprise to suddenly find out they released new content for Generation 4 of My Little Pony...even though it's reminiscing over really old episodes that came out years ago, I think it's a nice little treat every week when combined in this way and I look forward to more in the future thus I'm gonna give 'A-Dressing Memories' a rating of an 8.5 out of 10. With that said, I am True Blue and I will see you all next week as we join Pinkie Pie for some 'Cakes For The Memories'...


A-Dressing Memories-8.5/10

'FRIENDSHIP IS FOREVER' OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10

Sunday, April 12, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: Hop | #HappyEaster

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/8395447/p839...
HOP
Written By Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch
Composed By Christopher Lennertz
Produced By Chris Meledandri and Michele Imperato Stabile
Edited By Peter S. Elliot and Gregory Perler
Directed By Tim Hill

You know...for a holiday as heavily capitalized as Easter, it's kind of surprising to realize that there's not much movies about it: what I mean is that there seems to be very few movies dedicated to Easter despite the fact that it's one of the most celebrated and most commercialized holidays alongside Halloween and Christmas.  Sure there are a good chunk about what happened to Jesus during that time, but I mean more the marketable and family-friendly side of Easter...you know, the one with all the decorated eggs and chocolate to the legendary bunny and the neverending confusion of how we as a society went from the resurrection of Christ to some rabbit hiding eggs all over the place.  But surprisingly even with all the movies featuring Santa and the terrors of All Hallows Eve, Easter gets very little representation...there are a handful of television specials that do occur, but for the most part the Easter Bunny only gets his time on the big screen when all the other holiday mascots have to come together like in the Santa Clause sequels and 'Rise Of The Guardians'.

Maybe there is a reason as to why there's little Easter cinematic representation-like maybe it's just the timing of it all is not usually the strongest when it comes to box-office revenue or something like that, you know it's more of a financial reason than it is a creative reason.  However, there was one movie that decided to go and take that risk...one movie that decided to take the Easter Bunny and put him in the mainstream in the hopes to turn Easter into a true cinematic event and that was the simply titled 'Hop'.  Back in 2011 during the beginnings of Illumination Entertainment before they became the well-known animation titan, the studio created a live action-animation hybrid that tried to update and modernize the Easter lore...however when it was time for the bunny to make his big-screen presentation, the results were a bit like a rotten egg since critics did not have a good time with this movie and gave it some negative reviews on top of the film being mildly profitable at best at $184 million dollars at the box office making this as of 2020 not only Illumination's only live action-animation hybrid but also their least successful feature.  Can E.B. still manage to deliver a performance as sweet as candy, let's find out...this is 'Hop'!

HOP: Beneath Easter Island in a giant factory that manufactures the world's Easter candy, the popular rabbit is preparing to pass the mantle to his son E.B.. But E.B. has no interest in the job and would rather be a drummer, so he runs away to Los Angeles where an unemployed slacker named Fred O'Hare accidentally runs into him. Feigning injury, E.B. tricks Fred into giving him shelter but an over-sized chick is planning a coup back on Easter Island.

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Now, one thing that I would like to make something clear before we actually get into this is that I am actually someone who does like to watch the Illumination films: I mean we can all agree they're not the best movies out there, but I find their films are actually both well-crafted and enjoyable that does contain a good blend of humor and heart and I mean I can't be the only one who thinks that way considering that they did make many of the most successful animated features of the 2010 decade...you know the numbers don't lie here!  So with that said, I feel like it is gonna be pretty interesting of me to go and finally check out one of their first movies like back during the days when they were still experimenting and still trying to find an identity of their own and...after that I have finally seen this, I just need to comment that you really do have to give credit to the Illumination movies that were released afterwards: considering that they're much more different than 'Hop', well...they could've been so much worse!  Let me start this off by saying that 'Hop' is one of THOSE live action-animation hybrids...you know, the ones where the starring cartoon character meets up with this average Joe and then they end up turning this into a buddy comedy where they pawn together and help each other achieve their goals while stopping the bad guy.  It follows the exact same cliched formula beat by beat without missing its mark-considering that the director is the same guy that did the 2007 'Alvin And The Chipmunks' movie, I wouldn't be surprised if that was legitimately the goal!  As you could tell, the biggest problem with the feature right off the bat is that the story is terrible...completely formulaic, unpleasantly predictable from top to bottom and tries so hard to be like every other movie of its kind instead of having an identity of its own resulting to feel easily forgettable and blends too well with the crowd of family-friendly features that not even its Easter theme can make it stand out!  Even the message of the movie of being yourself is dreadfully dull that adds to the feature's predictability instead of giving it some substance, it didn't even bother to leave any surprises at the end either: I mean, how can anyone get an emotional reaction when Fred ends up becoming the first human Easter Bunny when the movie literally establishes that right at the beginning?!

On top of that, it focuses so much on copying a lot from these family hybrid movies that it forgot to give some of that focus onto the movie itself and makes it feel like it's going all over the place constantly flip-flopping on the characters' goals like E.B. wanting to be a drummer while hiding from the Pink Berets from bringing him back home or Fred looking for a new job while failing to hide E.B. from the public...and then there's the humor of the film: while it's not terrible and I will admit that there are a few times when it did deliver a clever joke or a good snarky remark, but for the most part it's the same tiresome gags from these types of films that end up making the experience feel more uncomfortable from slapstick to wacky coincidences to James Marsden's reactions to E.B.'s shenanigans.  The most positive that I could go in terms of the story would be that at least it didn't go towards the full bottom of the barrel since there have been worse like 'The Smurfs' that showered the whole feature with cringy product placements everywhere, but that doesn't change what 'Hop' did on its own is just awful.  In short, this movie has an entirely hopeless script: completely unoriginal, completely predictable, barely funny, barely engaging and the directing takes any chances away from it to have it be its own movie like to have its own voice to be unique or anything like that.  But you know what is the worst thing the script has done to this movie, it's that the script took all the materials it had and turn it into wasted potential and I consider that to be the worst thing because when you do look at the materials that it does have...honestly, this is actually the tools it needed in order for it to potentially become a very solid Easter movie.

Say what you will about Illumination's films, but one strength they consistently have is that they always deliver well-crafted and often creative and immersive animation that help balance out some of its weak points...this is also the case with 'Hop' because as bad as the writing can be, the visuals are really nice: my favorite scene is during the opening credits where the movie gives the audience a tour of the Easter Factory in the style of Willy Wonka highlighting the Easter magic with all the chocolates and candies being made while emphasizing the vibrant colors around the area.  With that said, it goes without saying that the animation is great and surprisingly blends well with the live-action environment where E.B. has no trouble fitting in and interacting with the real actors.  While the character animation keeps itself tame to keep its movements more believable, there is still a lot of playfulness and expressiveness featured and makes the most out of characters like E.B. and Carlos to help gain some enjoyability...at least for the eyes, even the designs are charmingly cute with a good mix of that classic Disney cartoon style and realism-then again, it does help that this movie isn't taking classical cartoon characters and turning them into CGI monstrosities!  Also even if the story is a raging dumpster fire, the way it modernizes the Easter legend is an admirable trait-in a way, it's kind of similar to 'Arthur Christmas' where they take holiday icons and turn them into a family business and use the help of modern technology to make their crafts while also retaining the traditions and meanings of the holiday: if it weren't for that embarrassing story, this movie would have been a lot stronger if it focused more on that aspect...it would have been good if the movie was more like an Easter version of 'Arthur Christmas' where it spends more time on the world they're in instead of E.B. giving James Marsden a hard time-no wonder he quit Hollywood to become a cop in the little town of Green Hills, at least no cartoon rodents would bother him there!  Another thing I will give credit to is the acting...well, at least a bit: in general they're not great, but they do their job decently and make the most out of what the script demands them to do even if it's not as much as they should like Hank Azaria as Carlos...but one that surprisingly stands out from the rest is Russell Brand as E.B., he would seem like the snarky jerk that just wants to be famous yet Brand's performance actually gives some charm to the character making him likable and even have the viewers be emotionally invested to see his drumming dreams come true-even the snarky side is actually well delivered to where most of the good jokes come from him!

In a way, some could say that 'Hop' was a victim per se of the Hollywood system back when it was made: it did actually have the right tools necessary to go and create a potentially great movie, a great holiday movie, a great Easter movie all with the right concepts along with the right actors and the right artists and animators for the job yet the system required this movie to go and act the same way...it's a live action-animation hybrid, so it needs to be like all the other live action-animation hybrids to the point where I wouldn't actually be surprised if the reason why 'Hop' exists is because it wants to go and capitalize on the success of the 'Alvin And The Chipmunks' movie-I mean just like I said, they hired the director of the first movie...I mean, it couldn't be that much of a coincidence!  But ultimately even with all that said, what ended up happening with 'Hop' is just now it's only a product of its time and that's the best way to describe this movie.

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Overall, 'Hop' is just a product of its time...a movie from that small period between the late 2000's and early 2010's where Hollywood was mass producing these live action-animation hybrid family films that virtually do the exact same thing and result in a set of unpleasantly weak features.  Even if it's not based on a cartoon, it follows the exact same steps and suffer from many of the same problems...granted it's not the worst of these movies since it does have its share of well-earned merits like great animation that can blend well with the live action as well as good performances from the actors and a fascinating concept of reinventing the mythology of Easter, but all that was wasted on a hopeless script and directing that made the feature become just another bland kids' flick resulting in one of Illumination Entertainment's weakest films.  At the most, I can only recommend this as a kid distractor during Easter...if you ever want to keep them occupied during those Easter parties or family gatherings, this is harmless enough to have them sit quietly for ninety minutes.  As for my rating, there is just enough to keep this away from calling it a bad film so I'm giving this a 5 out of 10...it's a chocolate bunny with a great-looking exterior, but disappointingly hollow on the inside.

Considering that this movie didn't gather as much attention as something like 'Alvin And The Chipmunks' or 'The Smurfs', maybe there actually is a reason why Easter isn't commonly found in movies as much as Christmas or Halloween: now this doesn't necessarily have to be because of 'Hop' or 'Hop' influenced that whole thing for future Easter movies to come, it's nothing like that...it's more because of Easter itself, it's not a holiday that's associated with watching movies as a tradition: you don't see much people hyping themselves up for the big day by watching films that includes bunnies and eggs and all that kind of stuff.  If they would go and watch a movie for the occasion, then what they would do is watch a film that has a story that's based on the Bible...you know something like 'The Ten Commandments', 'The Passion Of The Christ', 'The Prince Of Egypt' or any of those biblical features.  The Easter Bunny may be a legend, but he sadly ain't a movie star...guess you can't take away the spotlight from Jesus on every occasion.

MLEEP Reviews: The Pebble And The Penguin - 25 Years Of Pebble Presents | #PebbleAndThePenguin

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/16643/p16643...
THE PEBBLE AND THE PENGUIN
Written By Rachel Koretsky and Steven Whitestone
Composed By Barry Manilow, Bruce Sussman and Mark Watters
Produced By Russell Boland, James Butterworth,
Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy
Edited By Thomas Moss and Fiona Trayler
Directed By Don Bluth and Gary Goldman

Today, we're gonna look at a film by Don Bluth-dammit, how come he keeps turning up here?! I mean it's not like the guy isn't a good director since he directed some great movies like 'The Land Before Time' as well as 'An American Tail' and 'The Secret of NIMH'-one of my all time favorite films...but much like Arnold Schwarzenegger for every good film he's made, he's also made a bad one and not only are they bad but they're weird...unbelievably weird, case in point: The Pebble and the Penguin. If you took a combination of NyQuil and Vicodin and decided to watch Happy Feet for an hour, this is probably what you'd see...yet another strange and often clumsily animated film that wants to look nice as opposed to make any logical sense, but just how strange and clumsy can this pebble-loving penguin get after twenty-five years? Let's find out, this is 'The Pebble And The Penguin'!
THE PEBBLE AND THE PENGUIN: In this animated tale set in the South Pole, bashful awkward penguin Hubie pines for the beautiful Marina but the bullying Drake also has an eye on her. When Hubie finds an impressive pebble to present to Marina, Drake causes Hubie to get caught in a fishing net and sent off far from his native beach. With the help of his energetic new friend Rocko, Hubie sets off on a treacherous trip back home to win the heart of his beloved.
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Well, how do I put this? Out of all the bad Don Bluth movies, 'The Pebble And The Penguin' is probably the least bad since it almost works: the voice acting's not bad and while the animation can be sloppy, it's still Don Bluth animation which is always impressive yet it just gets lost in the generic story and those few really weird turns that either work to Bluth's advantage or don't of which they they don't in this case. It's not really a film I'd recommend for kids as there's much better films to show them, but it's not terrible as is...and if a kid really wanted to see it, I guess there'd be no harm thus I'm gonna give 'The Pebble And The Penguin' a rating of a 6 out of 10

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: The Prince Of Egypt | #Passover

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/v22vodart/22187/p22187...
THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
Written By Philip LaZebnik
Composed By Hans Zimmer
Produced By Penney Finkleman Cox and Sandra Rabins
Edited By Nick Fletcher
Directed By Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner and Simon Wells

In the old days, the big competition used to be Disney and Warner Bros. and in some ways they still are competitors...but when it comes to film, hands down Disney won the battle. But now, a new contender seems to have come out of nowhere known as DreamWorks which in many ways is to Disney what Warner Bros. cartoons are to Disney cartoons. Disney was always described as the classical music of cartoons where Warner Bros. were described as jazz yet Disney and DreamWorks seem to work the same way: both are alike in many ways but DreamWorks seems to take a few more chances for the most part. They too try to succumb to what the general audience will enjoy but they throw in a few more twists and turns, stories and characters that are a little bit more off-color at least compared to the Disney formula and it turned out to be a success with many of their movies being big hits and some of them not being such big hits. But financial stability doesn't always mean artistic success, so let's take at one of their earliest animated features in celebration of the annual tradition of the Passover holiday...this is 'The Prince Of Egypt'!

THE PRINCE OF EGYPT: In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses upon discovering his roots as a Jewish slave embarks on a quest to free his people from bondage...but when his plea is denied by his brother Rameses the new pharaoh, a series of horrific plagues strike Egypt thus Moses finally leads the Israelites to freedom by parting the Red Sea and drowning the Egyptian army to which God then gives Moses the Ten Commandments-a list of rules for his people to live by.


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The film is gorgeous, this is one of the best-looking animated films I've ever seen: I'm not even really a big fan of Egypt or the desert, but good lord the shots and the angles they get in it...it's just unbelievable. So much attention is being drawn to how to tell this story faithfully, but not exactly the same as 'The Ten Commandments' and it does exactly that since it has its own unique style and its own unique look. The characters are even different as well: the relationship between Moses and Rameses seems genuine, they both now have grown up and they both now have new responsibilities that they wish to honor and do not want to break but yet they're still family at the same time and this is what makes great drama-that's Val Kilmer and Ralph Fiennes as the voices of Moses and Rameses and both of them are fantastic! As for the other celebrity voices, Jeff Goldblum and Patrick Stewart as Aaron and Pharaoh Seti are distracting at times yet still match well to the character and tone that the movie's trying to get across...it's just distracting in that you can tell it's their voices, but you warm up to them pretty quick.

Something else I've never talked about is the music, the music is also wonderful: I think the theme they have for the burning bush is one of the most comforting and nicest themes I've ever heard...it's just a great sound and creates this wonderful mood. Now some people can and have been turned off by this movie because while 'The Ten Commandments' was just intended for adults, 'The Prince Of Egypt' is more older children and adults which is to say that there are songs as well as some comedy relief and there are some weirdly drawn characters...and yes, that can be distracting at times since there's no segue into the songs half of the time. Steve Martin and Martin Short as the high priests Hotep and Huy are a little odd and out of place at times...and horrible to say but because it is sort of a Disney-style, maybe it could've benefited more from a little bit more than Disney design-I mean some of them look good, but others do look kind of odd.

But with that said, the distracting moments are never too distracting...and you know what, I like the songs: I think they help move along the story and they do it in a very visually and musically interesting way thus I don't mind them since I think they really work yet many would argue you should probably leave some of the stuff behind if you're really gonna tell the story of Moses and you want to step up your animation company and make it more adult. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel that was totally true especially with something as heavy as the story of Moses, but I also understand the need to appeal to a general public and I think they work it in pretty well like I said thus I stand by it at least by the songs.

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I do feel bad that 'The Prince Of Egypt' is not more appreciated and maybe it is because 'The Ten Commandments' was just such a landmark...and even though this is a good film, yeah it's probably not really a landmark in any way at least not in the way that most people view cinematic landmarks yet I still think it's a good and strong film that's actually better than 'The Ten Commandments' in fact: it has great characters, it has a timeless story, it has wonderful music and it has breathtaking animation with some breathtaking visuals. Even if you're one of those people that can't fully get into it, I still say check it out because there is some really great stuff in it and I think the story of Moses deserves to be told from a different point of view and this is a very smart point of view. What else can I say, I love it...I've seen it a million times before and I'll definitely see it a million times again and that is why I'm giving 'The Prince Of Egypt' a rating of a 9 out of 10

MLEEP Reviews: The Little Engine That Could - 30 Years Of Thinking One Can | #LittleEngineThatCould

The Little Engine That Could (1991 film) | The Little Engine That ...
THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD
Written By Ray Rhamey
Composed By Ben Heneghan, Ian Lawson and Mark Mueller
Produced By David Edwards and Mike Young
Edited By Terry Brown
Directed By Dave Edwards

So many of us are familiar with the childhood classic 'The Little Engine That Could', probably the most famous railway story in the world...no offense, Thomas!  But contrary to public belief, the first version of the story was published under the title 'Thinking One Can' in 1906 in 'Wellspring For Young People' which was a Sunday school publication yet the version we're all familiar with was published as a children's book in 1954 written by author Watty Piper with illustrations by George and Doris Hauman.  Now the book itself is pretty famous on its own and there have been some animated adaptations of the book that have been produced over the years with the first being made with cut-out animation as far back as 1963 for television yet only one scene of this version is known to still exist today...but the version we'll be looking at today in celebration of the book's ninetieth anniversary is the most famous and a childhood classic, however this review is gonna be a little different as it will be more of a comparison between the book and the film since everyone knows the story already: while the stories between the two are the same, there are some differences between the book and the film that make them stand out from each other yet they still hold up in their own way...so without further ado, let's think we can and dive right into 'The Little Engine That Could'!

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD: A little switch engine named Tillie must help the birthday train reach a town that holds a kid's upcoming birthday party.

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Let's start with the opening...the movie begins with a young boy named Eric reading the story of the little engine wishing that it will arrive in time for his birthday the next day yet his older sister Jill scolds him for believing in such things. Now in the original book, this sub-plot is non-existent yet it does give a good introduction of what's to come for the rest of the movie...and even though the scene is pretty brief, it does let you have a chance to see what lies ahead through the eyes of a child always believing and following one's dreams. We then switch to a train station where the control tower that's literally named Tower voiced by Neil Ross starts off the morning by sounding his whistle waking up the engines that are asleep in the roundhouse where we are introduced to the title character: The Little Engine, who in this is named Tillie voiced by veteran voice actress Kath Soucie-better known for her roles as Fifi La Fume from 'Tiny Toon Adventures', Phil and Lil DeVille from 'Rugrats' and as Princess Sally Acorn from 'Sonic SatAM'. Now, a commonly made joke among many within the Thomas The Tank Engine community is that Tillie is 'Thomas' long-lost sister' and that's actually a pretty good comparison-I mean, just look at her: just from the first minute, you can tell she's determined to do her best at whatever work she's given...but unlike Thomas, she actually remains likable after a few years!

In the original book, The Little Engine had no occupation other than being just an engine yet she's given the occupation of switch engine in the movie and is made much smaller than the other locomotives she works with a lot like Thomas and not to mention that her design is true to the original book illustration with her face being on the smokestack...but whereas the original book illustration was kinda creepy in my opinion, her design for the movie is actually kinda cute and only made cuter with the inclusion of Kath Soucie's vocal performance. It is then we are introduced to the other engines such as Farnsworth or as I like to call him 'Gordon's prissier cousin' voiced by veteran voice actor Frank Welker...who makes him sound like an even gayer version of Fred from 'Scooby Doo', Pete who is a red engine with a literal smoking habit voiced by veteran voice actor Peter Cullen which is awesome that they got Optimus Prime in this, there's also Georgia voiced by Bever-Leigh Banfield...who I have never heard of and finally we have Jebediah who is the oldest and most rundown of the engines who pulls the milk train again voiced by Frank Welker-move aside Mel Blanc, we might have another man of a thousand voices on our hands!

But Tillie doesn't want to wake up Jebediah and instead tries to pull the milk train herself but to no avail...again, a lot like Thomas. So after her plan fails, Tillie notices that Tower assigns Georgia to take the special birthday train over the mountain to the town and the train is given a name unlike the book where it's just called a train...how painfully generic! In charge of the birthday train like the book is Rollo The Clown voiced again by Frank Welker...Frank, I love you man: not only does he voice Jebedian and Farnsworth as well as Rollo in this movie, but he also voices Jeepers The Monkey, Perky The Elephant and even a bald eagle. But before we jump too far ahead, we still have the other toys to introduce: the other toys on this train include a ballerina doll named Missy also voiced by Kath Soucie, Handy Pandy played again by Neil Ross, Grumpella-a grumpy toy bird played by B.J. Ward and a stretching doll named Stretch voiced by...nobody-no seriously, he doesn't say a damn thing in the entire movie and is just there to have a crush on Missy! Well technically, he does have one line...but overall he's pretty forgettable-way to waste your talent, Scott Menville!

Anyway, we cut back to Eric and Jill who are still arguing over the existence of the birthday train...well, that served absolutely no purpose and this to me just distracts from the story. Speaking of which as the birthday train heads on down the railroad toward the town just over the mountain, something goes haywire inside of Georgia causing her smokestack to explode and forcing her to stop in a siding-thank goodness this is a kids' movie or else something like that could've killed a lot of people! This points out another difference between the book and the movie: in the book, there was never a fully explained reason why the train stopped...but in the movie, there is actually a legitimate reason seeing as the engine broke down due to a busted boiler-if I may borrow a quote from my Thomas The Tank Engine library, 'well bust my boiler'! Also in the book, it's never explained what happened to the broken down engine when the toys try to signal for a new one...in the movie, Georgia signals for help alerting Tillie to contact Doc to go out and help her.

So Georgia is taken back to the roundhouse while the other toys try to flag down another engine to help them get over the mountain with the first engine they flag down being Farnsworth which in regards to how he is flagged down is where I have to quote Thomas The Tank Engine again with the famous line of 'luckily no one was hurt'...but anyway, Grumpella asks Farnsworth to help them over the mountain to which the stuck-up diesel rudely refuses while explaining that he has just pulled a fine passenger train over the mountain so fine people can enjoy the view or sleep comfortably or eat in the dining car-wow, he's just as bad as Spencer or as some call him 'a Mallard reject'! Next, they try to flag down Pete and ask him again to help them over the mountain and yet he also rudely refuses while explaining that has pulled a freight train with a very important printing press over the mountain which will print books and newspapers for grown-ups to read about important things...my faith in Prime has been shattered-died for my sins, my flank!

Meanwhile back at the station, Tillie asks Tower if she can pull the train which results in probably one of the douchiest responses in kids' movie history...I mean, geez Tower-chill on the tude! I mean, what the hell is wrong with this guy: he just says no to her right out of the blue with no rhyme or reason and doesn't even care if the birthday train will make it on time...this guy's a bit of a douchebag, well what do you expect from a guy who literally blows his nose at you? So then Jebediah comes along, the toys ask him and he says that he'd love to but explains that going over the mountain is too much for him these days...finally, a reasonable answer to why he couldn't pull the train! So after Jebediah returns to the roundhouse, Tillie sneaks by a sleeping Tower to go and help them out which results in one of the most memorable highlights of the film: the famous chant from the book spoken ever so beautifully by Kath Soucie as Tillie to the beat of the musical number 'Nothing Can Stop Us Now'. Mark Mueller...we salute you, my good man-yeah, this really is an awesome song: it's the kind of song that just inspires you to do your best in order to accomplish your goal. Even though this is the only musical number in the movie, it really does leave an impression on you...it's like the children's version of a song about The American Dream promising possibilities of prosperity and success if you try hard enough-in fact when you think about it, the story of 'The Little Engine That Could' really is a metaphor for The American Dream...at least that's what most critics think about it.

While the song may have been fun, the trip up the mountain...isn't-in fact, is it just me or does the path over this mountain seem a little death-trappy? The sequence alone of Tillie and the birthday train narrowly avoiding falling off of a collapsing bridge makes the Big Thunder Mountain rides at the Disney Parks look more safe until they come across the snowy equivalent of Castle Grayskull from 'Masters Of The Universe'-in fact, this actually raises a question: if Tillie has to face all this danger going up this mountain, then how in the world did the other engines get by without so much as a single scratch...and I know I'm gonna get the answer of 'it's magic, b---h' just by asking that. But then as if things couldn't get any worse, an avalance begins to fall resulting in Tillie and everyone on the birthday train being buried alive...ummm whoa. Ooookay I give props to the movie for trying to be edgy, but...geez, trying to kill someone off?! This was totally not in the book...anyway, we cut back to Eric who wakes up out of bed during a storm and goes to the window still waiting for the birthday train to arrive. You know...I find it ironic how during the scene with Eric, we see the book he's reading on the bed open to the page which described the events that just happened-wasn't that a literal surreal? He practically has the whole script of the movie in his possession, so why should he be concerned...he could just read ahead of the story and see that everything's gonna be okay!

Still, the next scene showing Tillie and the birthday train lying motionless and buried in the avalanche sure is depressing...insert 'Boomer Will Live' joke here and it turns out that ain't too far from the truth as she wakes up and pulls everyone out of the snowbank. So Tillie pulls the birthday train down the mountain and into the town where all the children gather to meet her including Eric and Jill to which the little engine happily agrees that it was worth it before we fade into the end credits


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Overall, 'The Little Engine That Could' is a wonderful little movie...even though it's only thirty minutes long, the story is so captivating that you won't even notice: the character designs are great, the animation is pretty good and the voice acting is spectacular. Kath Soucie does a great job at capturing Tillie's determined personality and even though it has some major differences from the book, the movie still stays true to the original story while doing a good job of expanding the narrative into a larger story of self-discovery. It teaches kids a solid lesson to always believe in yourself and never give up and unlike most children's films, it doesn't constantly shove the moral down your throat...it comes in a nice and steady pace and I still hold this movie that I always enjoy watching near and dear to me as an adult, so I'm gonna give 'The Little Engine That Could' a rating of a 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: A Goofy Movie - 25 Years On The Open Road | #AGoofyMovie25

Image result for a goofy movie
A GOOFY MOVIE
Written By Jymn Magon
Composed By Carter Burwell and Don Davis
Produced By Dan Rounds
Edited By Gregory Perler
Directed By Kevin Lima

I wasn't really sure why so many people wanted me to review 'A Goofy Movie', but I will say that in a sense I was the exact wrong age to see this when it came out since I think I was just about to turn a year old...and when you're just discovering the world around you for the first time, you probably wouldn't know what a movie was or even who Goofy was until you're a bit older. So keep in mind, I didn't grow up with 'A Goofy Movie' since I actually saw it years later...but for what I saw, I didn't think it was that bad-I mean, okay it's not among one of the best Disney films or anything. But you know what, I was actually kind of pleasantly surprised for what I could’ve gotten...are we really seeing ‘Eye To Eye' after twenty five years?  Let's find out, this is 'A Goofy Movie'!

A GOOFY MOVIE: Though Goofy always means well, his amiable obliviousness and klutzy pratfalls regularly embarrass his awkward adolescent son, Max. When Max's lighthearted prank on his high-school principal finally gets his longtime crush, Roxanne, to notice him, he asks her on a date. Max's trouble at school convinces Goofy that he and the boy need to bond over a cross-country fishing trip like the one he took with his dad when he was Max's age, which throws a kink in his son's plans to impress Roxanne.

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So yeah, kind of a standard story but what really sets it apart oddly enough is the connection between the father and the son with Goofy just wanting to be a part of his son Max's life and the son of course wanting his independence: this could easily be shown through a bunch of throwaway lines and...yeah they're in there too, but actually there's a lot of quiet and dare I even say it kind of mature moments in this movie. I mean, it never goes too far since it always comes back to the fact that it's a funny cartoon-for example, look at the opening dream sequence! Artistically, this is a very nicely laid out movie...and I mean, think about it: you're doing "Goof Troop: The Movie"-would you expect any of this to be in it?  In fact, it's actually kind of cool to see Disney animate some modern day technologies-like, when's the last time you saw a hot tub in a Disney film...and really, they don't take their gloves off even when they go swimming? I will say one of the downsides is that there's very little of Pete's family and that was always my favorite part of the show: we don't even see the wife Peg, the crazy daughter Pistol or the dog Chainsaw and I really miss them-they were funny! But to be fair, that's not the movie's focus since it really is supposed to be about the father and son and they keep it where it should be.

The songs, I don't remember too well with the exception of the opening number 'After Today' since I have to admit it is pretty catchy and the song 'Eye To Eye' done by the pop star Powerline at the concert is also pretty enjoyable but mostly for awkward corniness because scenes like this and even a played-down Pauly Shore actually work okay in the movie in the same way that Zack Morris works in 'Saved By the Bell'-yeah, you know it's not really popular...but you know what, you'd give it a pass: it's cute, it's energized and the characters are having a lot of fun in it. The romance actually isn't that bad either since Roxanne is actually kind of cute and likable and the two of them actually do share a believable chemistry, though I don't know...has the shy stuttering guy in the corner really ever gotten the hot girl? Well I'll tell you, NO IT HASN'T!

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But overall, 'A Goofy Movie' is a very fun film: it's bright and colorful, it's got good stuff for kids and it's got a couple of good things for adults as well. The jokes are pretty clever and the characters are pretty likable...it's no masterpiece, but I think it's definitely worth a look and that is why I'm gonna give 'A Goofy Movie' a rating of a 9 out of 10.