Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Writer: Linda Woolverton (Screenplay) Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (Original Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart, Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara, Jerry Orbach


Plot: A young woman whose father has been imprisoned by a terrifying beast offers herself in his place, unaware that her captor is actually a prince, physically altered by a magic spell.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Truly Classic Disney


Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn the curse placed upon the Beast, who must wait until love can be felt before he can return to human form. In the small French town Belle is different to all the other girls, she enjoys reading and thinking for herself and lives with her inventor father. Belle has caught the attention of the town stud Gaston, the self-centred man that other woman dive at the feet off, but Belle is just not interested.

When Belle’s father goes missing she goes in search of him finding the Beast castle and being kept captive by the Beast and his living furniture. To escape the castle Belle must fall in love with the Beast but back home Gaston leads an attempted rescue for her. Can the fairy tale be cured and love found in an unlikely place?


Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast


Characters Belle is the typical strong lead female that wants to be independent unlike most of the other women she knows but only to find herself falling in love with the man kept her hostage. The Beast finds himself transformed in this form after not being accepting to other people, he is aggressive, grumpy and short tempered but once he opens up to Belle he could lift the curse. Gaston is the man all the women love and he believes he can have anything he wants and isn’t used to women rejecting him like Belle does, he is always planning to make it happen.

StoryThe story is about love, it is about love coming from a place you least expect it in fairy tale form. It would be fair to say there is a huge questionable flaw in this story because keeping a woman captive who then falls in love with you is creepy to say the least, but for the younger audience the story is perfect about finding a happy ending while being the strong independent woman.

Family/Musical/RomanceThe family can all enjoy this together because of the catchy musical numbers and the simple romance story.

SettingsEach setting shows us the different worlds Belle came from to be with the Beast showing the small-town girl could end up in a castle.

AnimationThe animation looks fantastic which adds to the fantasy animation you saw in the Disney films during the 90s.

Final ThoughtsThis is one film that the princess lovers will always love because it is about a normal girl that gets to be treated like a princess.


Overall: Wonderful fantasy romance film.





Coco (2017)

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

Writers: Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich (Screenplay) Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil


Plot: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Tagline – The celebration of a lifetime

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Magnificently Magical


Story: Coco starts as we meet Miguel a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician, his family in Mexico have forbidden any music with his grandmother Abuelita refusing to let Miguel even hold an instrument. When Miguel learns that he is related to the greatest musician in all of Mexico Ernesto de la Cruz, he wants to follow his dream and follow in his great-great grandfather’s footsteps.

On the day of the dead, Miguel tries performing music using Ernesto’s guitar, but only finds himself transformed to the land of the dead, where he meets his dead relatives, but he refuses to give up on his dreams of music until he gets the blessings of his ancestors, with the help of Hector who is desperate to visit the land of the living as no one remembers him.


Thoughts on Coco


Characters – Miguel is a young Mexican boy that dreams of becoming a musician, but his family forbid it, when Miguel refuses to give up on his dream he must travel through the land of the dead to learn why his family isn’t letting him play music, an adventure he will never forget, that will define his life. Hector is the hustler skeleton that helps Miguel try to find Ernesto, he uses his know how to guide Miguel through the city of the dead. He is trying to find a way to be remembered by the living so, he doesn’t fade away forever. Ernesto de la Cruz is Miguel great-great grandfather who is one of the most famous musicians Mexico ever produced. We have the family in both the land of the living and the dead that love and want to support Miguel.

StoryThe story follows a young boy with dreams of being a musician against his family’s wishes. He wants to break the family tradition, but a trip to the land of the dead will show him why his family is against him ever being a musician. The story dives into Mexican culture, playing on the ideas of the spiritual beliefs and family traditions and teaches you to never forget family whatever they might have done to hurt you.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Fantasy/MusicThe adventure that Miguel goes on is unlike any Pixar character as he goes through the land of the dead. The comedy seems to mostly come from Dante the dog who will make you laugh in every scene. The whole story revolves around family and can be related to by anyone. The fantasy world of the land of the dead look fantastic and plays into the idea of never knowing what is on the other side. The music has a couple of memorable songs which drive the story and even play on the emotions.

SettingsThe settings show is visual beautiful as we see the land of the dead looking something special to visit.

AnimationPixar is always going to get you seeing wonderful animation style that we know they can do.

Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening 30 minutes is run of the mile animation.

Final ThoughtsThis is a magical movie that teaches us the meaning of the family and remembering the importance of them all. This will make you smile and even cry at times.


Overall: Wonderfully animation movie.




Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, JK Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu


Plot: Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Sequel


Story: Kung Fu Panda 3 starts as we see how Kai is trying to escape from the spirit world where he has been trapped for 500 years. Po on the other hand is being pushed into become the teacher which Po isn’t prepared for and when his father Li arrives in town, he gets to learn about his past.

Po must learn the art of chi to defeat Kai and only his real father claims to be able to teach him this skill, so Po goes on an adventure of self-discovery. With Po learning about his past the rest of the Furious Six must find a way to stop Kai before he takes all of the students of chi.


Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 3


Characters Po is ready for the next step of being a master and that is to become the teacher, but as he isn’t ready he searches advice from his father only to learn that his real father is still alive and willing to teach him chi. Li is the real father of Po who wants to bring him home with the promise of teaching him chi. Kai is a vengeful spirit who was once a feared warrior but now he is obsessed with getting all the chi in the world to make him the most powerful creature on Earth. The Furious Six are barely used through this outing with Tigress being the only one who is involved in the main story. The world building of characters is good here as we learn more about the past with other warriors and future with new warriors.

StoryThe story here does show us how Po is continuing his development in training to be a grand master, we have the biggest threat in the villain who isn’t just well trained but has supernatural abilities. This is a huge improvement on the last outing and makes us want to follow the story on the deeper level. The dealing with the parent issues also does come off as an important lesson.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action once again is great and entertaining with the comedy being hit or miss throughout. This does seem to be for the family and will entertain the whole family more than the last outing.

SettingsThe settings once again look great and dive more into fantasy this time which is great to see.

AnimationThe animation looks fantastic which is something we have come to know in this franchise now.

Final ThoughtsThis is an improvement on the last outing and I feel is more entertaining than the first one, so I do believe this is the best in the franchise for the story of Po.


Overall: Enjoy the third chapter of this franchise.



Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu


Plot: Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Weaker Sequel


Story: Kung Fu Panda 2 starts as we learn of an evil peacock named Shen who has mastered the art of fireworks and has gone into hiding to make the perfect weapon. Meanwhile Po is continuing his training working as a unit in the now Furious Six and when not fighting he is training with Shifu.

With the Furious Six going into battle against Shen, Po must face the truth about where he came from as he finally confronts the realization he was adopted and what happened to his parents.


Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 2


Characters Po is still clumsy but a warrior never the less but this time he must face his past while seeing his heroes disappoint him. Shifu lets his team do the work this time not being overly involved in the story. Shen is the peacock looking to conquer China with his powerful unstoppable weapon. The Furious Six all play their part again too with Tigress seemingly getting the biggest part. The characters do all work for the film and do make this feel like a sequel adventure for the characters taking on a new villain.

StoryThe story does feel slightly flatter this time around, now Po is trained it is just the group taking on a new villain as we try to learn about where Po came from and why he is the only Panda around. It feels like a sequel but lacks the punch the first one had by trying to go overly emotional.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action is all what we expect, big and martial arts that only works for animated, the comedy seems to have dried up more just not clicking enough. This is fine for a family film though that will keep the kids happier than the adults.

SettingsOnce again the settings do look great for battling kingdoms which are surrounded with smaller town.

AnimationWe know the animation is fantastic and once again it doesn’t let us down.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel that just seems to lack the heart the first film had, leaving it all feel like it could have been a straight to DVD sequel.


Overall: Weak sequel you just can’t enjoy as much.




Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Director: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay) Cyrus Voris, Ethan Reiff (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu


Plot: The Dragon Warrior has to clash against the savage Tai Lung as China’s fate hangs in the balance: However, the Dragon Warrior mantle is supposedly mistaken to be bestowed upon an obese panda who is a tyro in martial arts.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable Family Film


Story: Kung Fu Panda starts as panda Po dreams of being a martial arts warrior joining the furious five Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper and Crane. All trained under their master Shifu but when Tai Lung escapes from prison, Shifu must accept a new student from the wise Oogway who holds a contest to retrieve the dragon scroll declaring Po as the latest Dragon Warrior.

Po is rejected by Shifu, who pushes him to the limits hoping he will quit, but Po isn’t going to just give up. This gives Shifu a chance to fulfil his destiny of training a dragon warrior to defeat his once greatest warrior Tai Lung before his evil ways take over once again.


Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda


CharactersPo is a clumsy panda that dreams of leaving his family business and becoming a warrior next to the Furious Five. When he gets picked as the next Dragon Warrior he must overcome his own fears to prove to everyone wrong. Shifu is the master that wants nothing to do with Po but when his best student is coming for what he claims to be his, he must train Po to defeat him. Tai Lung is the former student that grew in darkness which led to him being captured but once he escapes he looks to continue his rampage across the country. The Furious Five are great warriors with their own different strengths and weakness. All the characters do add to the story, we also get the inclusion of the different species which get their trademark moves to defeat opponents in battle.

StoryThe story focuses on an unlikely hero coming from nothing to become the hero in a battle against an evil that will put a former master back on the right path when he searches for the mistake he once made. This all comes off extremely well getting everything you need without making anything complicated for a family audience.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action is martial arts sequences you couldn’t pull off in real life movies which gives us no limits to what we could see and also used to add comedy to everything going on, most of the comedy is slapstick which works for the martial arts theme which fits into the family genre without getting too violent or crude with jokes.

SettingsThe settings all look fantastic for everything going on showing where Po comes from and where he could end up once he is fully trained.

AnimationThe animation all looks stunning like you would expect when you see budget this big.

Final ThoughtsThis took a while for me to see but now I have I can say I did enjoy this movie more than I thought.


Overall: Enjoyable action family movie.