Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The films of Don Bluth have been a much more reliable source of franchise than I would have ever imagined. The Secret of NIMH got a sequel, though it took 16 years; An American Tail got three sequels, one of which played theaters; All Dogs Go to Heaven, despite being wildly perceived as a failure, […]

The dream of Sullivan Bluth Studios, later Don Bluth Entertainment, came to a miserable end late in 1994. Over the previous nine years, the company (the second one co-founded by Bluth) had ascended as high as An American Tail in 1986 and The Land Before Time in 1988, the first two animated features ever to […]

It would comfort me, somehow, if A Troll in Central Park felt like the people who made it didn’t care. The unacceptable trashiness of the end results might be more tolerable if it felt like they knew they were throwing it away. Alas, this film, the second animation released by Don Bluth Entertainment in 1994, […]

The drastic tumble that animation director and producer Don Bluth took in the 1990s is shocking and even a little bit sad. His career in the 1980s was dedicated to the idea that there was a better way to do animation than the clunky kiddie junk that Walt Disney Feature Animation had been reduced to, […]

1992’s live-action/animation hybrid Cool World is the most juvenile kind of edgy Nineties nonsense, the kind that takes something wholesome and something sordid and self-consciously mashes them together just for the same of having done it. In this case, it is a movie whose animating principle (as it were) is to ask the question, and […]

The honor of being the first Japanese feature-length animation is typically given to the 1945 propaganda film Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors, and by pretty much every definition of “feature-length” that’s correct. However, it was preceded by a 1943 film, Momotaro’s Sea Eagles, running to just 37 minutes (the shortest standard definition for “feature-length”, offered by […]

I won’t go so far as to say that there’s nothing that can prepare you for Tekkonkinkreet, the 2006 film that, among its many traits, was the first significant Japanese-produced animated feature directed by a non-Japanese person (the man with that honor was Los Angeles-born Michael Arias, who got his start in visual effects and […]

The 2001 animated feature Metropolis, a science fiction parable about robots and class struggle in an incredible Art Deco super-city, has its work cut out for it twice over. First, it’s living in the shadow of that other science fiction parable about robots and class struggle in an incredible Art Deco super-city titled Metropolis, the […]

A review requested by Gavin, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! There are two different sides to groundbreaking animation director Ralph Bakshi, and I confess that I don’t particularly […]

The 1983 animated feature Barefoot Gen has the bad luck to suffer from being overshadowed from two different directions. First, it’s an adaptation of one of the most important manga of the 1970s, Nakazawa Keiji’s very loosely autobiographical story about a six-year-old boy living in Hiroshima at the time that residents of that city became […]

It’s rare to come across a movie so very difficult to prepare for as Dead Leaves, a 2004 animated film directed and designed by Imaishi Hiroyuki and made by the studio Production I.G. The film’s style isn’t completely sui generis, and there are films that have come out since its premiere that openly borrow from […]

Rain, trains, sunlight peeking through the rain, a disaster of an ending: I do not know if 2013’s The Garden of Word has the most Shinkai Makoto of any film, but at just 46 minutes long, I do know that it has the highest density of Shinkai Makoto of any film. In a sense, it’s […]