Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

Once upon a time there was an individual who was superficially a great deal like other individuals, but had sufficiently different interests than the rest of them that he was ostracised and mocked. And his self-confidence and willingness to be himself held the day in the end, but only after a third-act chase scene that […]

It’s not enough to claim, as I was almost content to do, that The Peanuts Movie shows up as a very good example of how to do modernisation right. Upgrading Charles Schulz’s achingly melancholic comic strip that ran from 1950 to 2000, and the considerably less melancholic but sometimes nearly as iconic TV specials that […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: now we have Transformers: Age of Extinction out in the world, and I don’t even know what to do […]

What I love about animation is its capacity for creating things that you did not realise could exist. Even in the days of just about every “live” action movie with any kind of budget behind it half existing in computers full of invented locations, something about the medium of animation purchases the right to go […]

When you’ve gone right there, and titled your movie Epic, you’ve pretty much written your own death warrant. The word “epic”, after all, connotes a certain gravity and scale that is almost certainly not going to be met by an animated family film. The word “epic”, as a title, is also staggeringly boring and nondescript; […]

I know this is the most obvious possible way to start off, but: Ice Age: Continental Drift is no less than the third sequel to 2002’s blandly pleasant Ice Age, and I cannot figure out why. Okay, so why is thunderingly obvious: because the movies are ridiculously profitable (the third entry in the franchise, Dawn […]

Hop is still a fresh enough memory that one is tempted to give Rio credit solely for not sucking. Lord knows there’s nothing else to give it credit for: it is nearly the platonic ideal of a children’s movie that is completely devoid of either merit or flaw, existing solely that it might exist. Some […]

The good folks at Blue Sky Studios have done it again: yet another brilliant short film starring the bedraggled, hungry Scrat, a sabre-toothed squirrel living in the Pleistocene Ice Age some ten or twenty millennia ago, an unspeaking slapstick comedian whose single skill is hunting for acorns, something he does with great enthusiasm and virtually […]

Nobody can take this away from Blue Sky Animation Studios: their new version of Horton Hears a Who! is far and away the best of the decade’s three Dr. Seuss adaptations, although neither How the Grinch Stole Christmas – a vile film – nor The Cat in the Hat – a loathsome and vile film […]