ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2019 – L – The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Brenda Chapman (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Donald Glover, Beyonce

Plot: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.


Tagline – Be Prepared.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Animation is Fantastic, the Rest is Terrible

Story: The Lion King starts as a young lion cub Simba learns about the kingdom his father Mufasa rules, he learns his place in the pride and just what he will need to do to be prepared to take over one day. As Simba continues to want to learn about his place, he only gets himself into more trouble, forcing him to leave.

As Simba grows up under the guidance of Timon and Pumbaa, he learns to take life more laidback until Nala finds him, getting Simba to return to end Scar’s reign of terror on the kingdom.

Thoughts on The Lion King

Characters – Simba is the young king to be, he is starts as a cub that is exploring his future kingdom, already wanting to break the rules, as a cub he attitude towards Scar doesn’t make their bond get any better. After he is forced to run and hide after his father’s death, he sees a new lifestyle, until he learns that he must learn his rightful place in pride rock. Scar is the brother to Mufasa, he was next in line to be king before Simba and he wants his chance of being king of the pride, he has always been planning his own ideas to take over, breaking the rules, close to be exiled. Mufasa is the king of pride rock, every animal looks up to him and he protects the land fairly. Zazu is very annoying, it sad that they decide to make more bout the voice actors stand up than an actual character. Timon and Pumbaa are the unlikely partnership of a warthog and a meerkat that helps Simba see life in a different way and want to use him as protection for their own life, they do have excellent chemistry though.

StoryThe story here follows a young lion cub that sees his father killed and must learn his place in the world to reclaim his rightful place as king. This is a remake of the 1994 version of the film, with the story offering little to nothing new to what we saw back then in storytelling, it does seem to make more out of the villainous ways of Scar, with him always holding a grudge against Mufasa, knowing he could never replace him. Simba however is made to feel a lot more annoying as the cub, he is an entitled character who only seems to care about himself. If you want to see the same story, it is a lot easier and more reward to watch the 1994 version.

Adventure/MusicalThe adventure is showing how Simba must learn about his future even after running from his past., the musical side of the film, well we are going to go through the songs comparing them to the originals,

  • The Circle of Life – Weak

  • I Just Can’t Wait to be King – Lacks the Sparkle

  • Be Prepared – Serious what was this?

  • Hakuna Matata – Passable, the best of the songs so far, but still not on the level of magic as the original.

  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Cut too short.

  • Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Oh, Boy this was bad.

  • Spirit is a new song and is the only one that seems to fit this film.

SettingsThe film does recreate the original settings, well but this is more about just how good the animation really is.

AnimationHowever much we can talk about the weaknesses in this film, the one true standout part of the film is the animation which looks beautiful and the team involved should get all the praise in the world.


Scene of the Movie – Timon and Pumbaa’s entrance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Simba is more annoying this time around.

Final Thoughts This is such a pointless remake that only gets the praise for the pure quality of the animation being used, otherwise it just does nothing.

Overall: Just Terribly weak outside of the Animation team.

Original v Remake Weekend – Pete’s Dragon (1977)

Director: Don Chaffey

Writer: Malcolm Marmorstein (Screenplay) Seton I Miller, S.S. Field (Story)

Starring: Helen Reddy, Jim Dale, Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters, Sean Marshall

 

Plot: An orphan boy and his magical dragon come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit.


Tagline – Featuring Elliott, the fearsome, frolicking, fun-loving dragon!

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Family Film

 

Story: Pete’s Dragon starts when orphaned boy Pete (Marshall) is trying to escape from his abusive family along with his dragon Elliot, who just so happens to be able to become invisible. Pete finds himself in a new fishing town, where Nora (Reddy) and her drunk father Lampie (Rooney) take him in, with Nora letting Pete believe the dragon is real, while Lampie has seen it for himself.

When a stranger and con-man Dr Terminus (Dale) arrives in town, he learns about Elliot and wants to dragon for his own reasons, which will see Elliot suffer, can the town and Pete come together for the better.

 

Thoughts on Pete’s Dragon

 

Characters – Pete is an orphaned young boy, he is in an abusive family that makes him to work he isn’t old enough to be doing, he manages to escape with the help of his magical dragon that guides him to freedom, he gets a chance with a new family and town where his stories about the dragon turn the heads of the people. Nora is the kind lady that takes Pete into her home, she lives and operates the lighthouse with her father, while hoping to see her partner return from the ocean. Dr Terminus is a con-man that goes from town to town taking people’s money for false promises of his medicine, he wants the dragon to help him improve his own profits.

PerformancesSean Marshall as the young boy which works without being annoying which his character could easily become. Helen Reddy gives us on of the purest nice woman performances in film. Jim Dale does make for an entertaining villain through the film. Mickey Rooney does bring us the extra comedy though it doesn’t always hit.

StoryThe story follows a young boy with a magical dragon escaping from an abusive family finding a kinder family while escape the clutches of people that want him or the dragon. The idea of the story is delightful because it shows that the magical dragon is here for a reason, to help a young child in need, it does show how people can look at people that could fear change instead of accepting change, only it does feel like certain elements have dated in cultural story. We do get everything needed to hit the emotional factor showing the different nature of humans in the era this is set.

Adventure/Comedy The adventure side of the film shows how Pete has made a friend that most don’t know even exist. The comedy does come from Elliot which can get laughs, while the rest of the humour does come from mishaps going on.

SettingsThe film is set in a small fishing town which sees everyone that lives there knows each other and what is going on in town.

AnimationThe animation comes from seeing Elliot on screen and for the time this made everything looks brilliant.


Scene of the Movie –
Apples.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain jokes feel dated.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful 70’s Disney movie that showed us just how life can be difficult until something magical could change it for one young boy.

 

Overall: Charming adventure.

Rating

 

 

Hugh Jackman Weekend – Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Director: Peter Ramsey

Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire (Screenplay) William Joyce (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Khamani Griffin

 

Plot: When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.


Tagline – The Sandman Is More Than A Dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Animation

 

Story: Rise of the Guardians starts when Pitch or the boogeyman decides he wants to take back his role as the one children feared, the guardians of childhood memories, North (Santa), Tooth (tooth fairy), Bunny (Easter Bunny) and Sandy (Sandman) must bring in the newest guardians Jack Frost, the one that is being ignored as never believed in by children.

When Pitch starts to gain more power, the guardians must use all their abilities to fight back to keep the childhood hopes and happiness alive as Jack will find his place along side the guardians.

 

Thoughts on Rise of the Guardians

 

Characters – Jack Frost is the spiritual figure that nobody believes in, he keeps children happy everyday, but no one will remember him for his work, now he gets given a chance to become a guardian giving him the chance to be the hero the world needs. North is the leader of the guardians the first selected to help to replace Pitch giving the children of the world hope, even if he does feel like colossus from Deadpool. Pitch was once the one that struck fear into children, he wants his crown back and will look to take the belief out of any children in the world. Tooth, Bunny and Sandy make up the rest of the guardians that have mixed feelings towards Jack being chosen as their newest member. Using the iconic fantasy characters does make us understand what they thieve for, but is often used for a pun throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows a reckless potential new guardian that must prove his place in the guardians with the much more experienced and famous icons of fantasy. While this does follow a generic idea, it is fun throughout and does play into the idea of childhood innocence keeping legends alive. The idea of Jack Frost needing to find his place in the battle is the strongest part of the film and is easily the one part of the film you want to see most of.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure that Jack Frost must go on brings him to the next moment of his stage of immortality, being on a level with a Santa or Tooth Fairy, this is him finding himself in this world that is full of fantasy icons that children will always be believing in.

SettingsThe film takes us to different lands which would be the ones you would imagine finding the fantasy icons, the north pole being the most iconic.

AnimationThe animation standard is top notch just like we are expecting from a major study involvement in a film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me A lot of the jokes are aimed at how people would imagine talking to each of the guardians.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantasy family animation that can be enjoyed by all, it doesn’t over test the audience and comes off fun throughout.

 

Overall: Fun family animation that will give you a smile.

Rating

 

 

Boonie Bears: to the Rescue (2019) Movie Review

Director: Leon Ding

Writer: Brian Bullock, Leon Ding (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rick Jay Glen, Siobhan Lumsden Paul ‘Maxx’ Rinehart, Justin J Wheeler, Toni Thompson

Plot: Make way, all-the forest has an unexpected visitor. The Bear Brothers and Logger Vick are shocked to discover a tiny baby girl in their sprawling territory among the pines. But the long-time enemies instantly warm to this lost little angel and in order to care for her, agree to the unthinkable: They establish a truce. Yet even as these rough-and-tumble outdoor hombres undergo an uproarious crash-course in infant care, danger lurks on the edge of their paradise.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Monsters Inc Meets Yogi Bear

Story: Boonie Bears: To the Rescue starts as Logger Vick clashes once again with the bear brothers Briar and Bramble, who manage to steal his new tool case, leaving Vick with another case, which happens to contain a baby girl, one that has been missing for a week.

When Vick tries to do the right thing for the baby, he only finds himself on the run from the law and the original kidnappers, before he reluctantly teams up with his enemies Briar and Bramble to return the baby.

Thoughts on Boonie Bears: To the Rescue

Characters – Logger Vick has been working on cutting down the trees in the forest, which has seen him become rivals with a couple of bears, his rivalry has seen him spending more time trying to allude the bears, than dealing with his actual job, when his latest equipment is take by the bears, he learns a new responsibility when he must take care of a baby who has become lost in the forest. Briar is the smarter of the two bears, he always has a plan in mind and lets Bramble learn his correct place in the couple’s plans. Bramble does focus on getting most the laughs between the bears, he is meant to be the dumber of the two which comes off clear, with how he deals with keep Lola happy. Lola is the baby that ends up under the care of the unlikely partnerships between bitter rivals.

StoryThe story here follows the unlikely union of the television show character Logger Vick and the brother bears Briar and Bramble as they want to protect a little baby girl they find in the forest, who is being tracked down by criminals. If you have seen the TV show, you will enjoy seeing the unlikely union, think Bugs Bunny working with Elma Fudd. If you haven’t seen the TV show you will see how characters similar to Yogi Bear and Ranger Smith clash over certain things. Having this mixed together we do get a Monsters Inc environment, with the baby being thrown into the hands of people and animals with no idea how to raise them and them finding comical ways to make her happy. This is clearly marketed for a younger audience and you can see why they would be happy to sit and enjoy the characters adventures.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure side of this film shows us just how far the unlikely group will go to save a baby, it has plenty of references to other adventure films too, while this might be one that is targeted more for the younger members of the family, parents could enjoy watching with their single figured aged children.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to get an extra laugh here and there, as it shows us just how the three characters live with their own rivalry.

AnimationThe animation in the film does look like it has come from a TV show, which still makes it look fantastic throughout.


Scene of the Movie – The bonding between the three.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Being unsure what the rivalry between Logger Vick and the bears really is.

Final Thoughts This is a fun family comedy that will keep the younger audience happy throughout the film, it does have a big heart at the centre and could be compared to Monsters Inc and Yogi Bear with ease.

Overall: Fun family animation.

Scooby Doo: Return to Zombie Island (2019) Movie Review

Director: Cecilia Aranovich, Ethan Spaulding

Writer: Jeremy Adams (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Frnak Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci, Janell Cox, David Herman, John Michael Higgins

Plot: The gang is pulled out of retirement to investigate a mystery on a familiar zombie-infested island.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Standard Adventure

Story: Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island starts when the Mystery Inc team, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo decide to give up solving mysteries and sell the Mystery Machine, looking to have fun they win a holiday in a tropical island, which just so happens to be infested with zombies, but the group refuse to look to solve the mystery.

The resort the gang end up, just so happens to be Moonstar Island, the very location where the gang faced one of their few real mysteries of the supernatural, only the island has unfinished business with the gang and they must break their promise to not be involved with a mystery.

Thoughts on Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island

Characters – Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have both become tired of solving mysteries, they want the team to stop and get their way, they win the holiday for the gang which sees them going to an old location needing to decide whether to let the group solve the mystery on the island. Fred has sold the Mystery Machine, he is having daytime dreams of it returning to him, where he judges most other vehicles for not being on the same level as his beloved. Daphne is here, though we don’t see anything we haven’t seen before from her, while Velma has a blog showing us just how the character has evolved for the time, which does show the frustration here character has when she can’t solve the mysteries anymore. Most of the new characters are left to feel just here with only Alan the hotel manager and Seaver being properly introduced.

StoryThe story here follows the mystery inc gang who get invited back to an old location to solve the mystery from their past, only to find themselves needing to fight cat people once again. The story tries to be self-aware of many of the previous films, which has worked before, but for some reason doesn’t quite click this time. The fact we have seen the evolution of Velma and not the rest of the characters disappoints, which also seems to play along the idea of being a film within a film, that just again puts too much wink, wink, nudge, nudge to the audience. If you are a Scooby Doo fan, this story is everything you need, even if it does have a couple of flaws along the way.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure does see the gang return to one of their most famous locations, which is different to much of what we have seen before, while the comedy does land in a couple of places very well.

SettingsThe film does take the gang back to Moonscar island to face a new host of enemies in one of the most famous locations.

AnimationThis does have the typical animation you are used to seeing for the Scooby Doo movies, it never lets down and works for the slapstick side of things.


Scene of the Movie – The big jump.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Daphne is almost just painted background character.

Final Thoughts This isn’t the best Scooby Doo animated movie, it disappoints in a lot of places with how it handles certain decisions in the story and too many wink wink nudge nudge moments.

Overall: Basic Scooby Doo.