Film Review: Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

★★★★ The 23-year wait for a sequel to Aardman Animation’s smash hit, Chicken Run, is hardly the longest stretch between films. And yet, any kid who grew up in the late 90s/early 2000s will no doubt eat up this belated, adorable feature like a particularly tasty chicken dish. Kids today have such short attention spans … Continue reading Film Review: Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

TV Review: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Edgar Wright’s 2010 masterpiece, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, may have bombed at the box office upon initial release, but in the years since, it has leveled up into an endlessly rewatchable cult classic. As an audience member, I eagerly awaited a chance to see this story continue in one way or another. A sequel … Continue reading TV Review: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Woodstock 2023: Slide

★★★★ Legendary animator Bill Plympton brings to life his first film since 2016’s Revengeance: the vibrant, outrageous, and endlessly entertaining musical/comedy/western, Slide. Named after its completely mute lead character and his “slide guitar,” this surreal movie overflows with ideas and mesmerizing imagery. Plympton individually animates every frame of his films himself, via his own Plymptoons … Continue reading Woodstock 2023: Slide

Fantasia 2023: The First Slam Dunk

★★★★ Come sports fans, come animation buffs, come consumers of impeccably-crafted dramas! Eye-popping, stunningly-realized animation is becoming all the rage lately, and Japanese import The First Slam Dunk, based upon the popular 90s manga and anime series, arrives at the festival to continue this trend. For what essentially boils down to one feature-length basketball match, … Continue reading Fantasia 2023: The First Slam Dunk

Tribeca 2023: Elemental

★★★★ Any new Pixar film is cause for celebration. While many modern animation studios have tried to keep up with the consistently excellent quality of the Disney/Pixar collaborative brand, few have resulted in their staggering frequency of masterpieces. Coming on the heels of Turning Red and Lightyear, Elemental reminded me most of Inside Out—definitely a … Continue reading Tribeca 2023: Elemental

Film Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

★★★★★ Serving as the definitive Spider-Man cinematic experience, Across the Spider-Verse expands the scope of the mythology like never before, forming a deeply emotional visual extravaganza. This trio of directors (Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson) have crafted a movie that manages to transcend its complex inspirations. While the previous animated iteration, Into … Continue reading Film Review: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

SFFILM 2023: Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia

★★★★ A decade after the first Ernest & Celestine wowed critics and captured the hearts of fans everywhere, their return trip has been booked in whimsical sequel, Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia! While the last movie explored Celestine’s tense family connections and burgeoning career as a mouse tooth fairy, Gibberitia turns the mirror … Continue reading SFFILM 2023: Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia

Film Review: The Magician’s Elephant

★★ For some strange reason, the animation segment of Netflix has a bad reputation, despite having several gems such as Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and My Father’s Dragon. All things considered, The Magician’s Elephant could have ended up falling in this category. The film boasts some big-name talent amongst its voice cast that includes Noah … Continue reading Film Review: The Magician’s Elephant

Berlinale 2023: Deep Sea

★★★★ Animation as a medium is often undersung and underestimated—all the more reason to seek out nearly every animated film that I come across. In recent years, some of my favorite animated features have emerged from the film festival circuit. Last year alone, 2D-animated marvel Titina, bizarre ultra-gory Unicorn Wars, stop motion horror fantasy Wendell … Continue reading Berlinale 2023: Deep Sea