Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Onward is the 22nd animated feature made by Pixar Animation Studios, and thus we arrive at a numerically exciting point. For 2010’s Toy Story 3, the last movie in that company’s virtually uninterrupted early string of medium-defining computer animated films, was their 11th feature, which means they have now been a company that makes generally […]

The oldest film of which I am personally aware that features the scripted antics of a stunt dog is the Edison Manufacturing Company’s The Whole Dam Family and the Dam Dog, which came out in 1905. So, like, they’ve had a while to figure this out. And I think I am not making a controversial […]

Sonic the Hedgehog is so deeply adequate that it’s almost hostile. The film comes fully predigested, with every single bit of its plot, every character beat, every gag telegraphing itself and its intended response; it is the kind movie for which the existence of an independent, thinking audience seems almost like an unnecessary complication to […]

First and most importantly: the title of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon can be parsed as a meaning-carrying phrase in English, and is thus a substantial improvement on its 2015 predecessor, Shaun the Sheep Movie, whose title is a syntactically incoherent mash-up of nouns. This is, I’m a little sad the say, one of […]

I admit, I’m impressed Dolittle exists. When a studio spends $175 million (that they’re willing to report in public!) on a production, you expect that there’s going to be some level of soulless quality control involved: this will be buffed and clipped sanded into a flavorless blob, but by God it will not be terrible. […]

As of 18 January 2020, 563 films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and 1967’s Doctor Dolittle is the worst one of them. This is not, we must immediately make clear, an example of a film that’s not very good that still got that nomination, and several others, because it was […]

Of all the major American animation studios to have dominated computer animation in the 21st Century, Blue Sky Studios has almost always had to settle for being the scrappy, hopeless one. And this has only become more pronounced since the 2019 takeover of 20th Century Fox by the Walt Disney Company, which makes Blue Sky […]

You’ve got to hand it to the Walt Disney Company: in only four years and two days, they managed to completely slaughter the golden goose of Star Wars. Like, the strongest brand name in the history of popcorn cinema. That Star Wars. I say this on the occasion of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, […]

If the whole point of a movie is that it follows the narrative logic of a video game, I wonder: does that mean that giving that film a “the same thing only with a few purely cosmetic tweaks” type of sequel actually counts as a strength? This question arrives on the back of Jumanji: The […]

I admire The Aeronauts for its purity. This not a movie that does anything. It’s a movie that seems to exist because somewhere along the line, a producer or writer or director (here, Tom Harper is all three, which means it’s probably safe to blame him) heard about how 19th Century scientists figured out a […]

Once upon a time, when the Walt Disney Company released a massively successful animated feature and wanted to wring some sequel dollars out of it, they would have the decency to farm them out to the B- and C-team animators at Disneytoon Studios and bury them on home video. In 80 years covering 56 feature […]

A shorter version of this review was previously published at The Film Experience There are two different, and perhaps irreconcilable ways to watch Klaus. First, we could look at it as the directorial debut of Sergio Pablos, an animator who rose through Disney in the 1990s, ending up getting his first supervising animator credits on […]