ABC Film Challenge – Animation – T – Tangled (2010)

Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay) Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm (Fairy tale)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor

 

Plot: The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.


Tagline – Get tangled up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Princess 101

 

Story: Tangled starts by taking us to a fantasy land where Rapunzel the new princess is taken by Mother Gothel who has been using a golden flower to stay young, but the flowers power has transferred to Rapunzel long blonde locks.

Years later Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her mother forbidden to go outside even though she is desperate to, Flynn Rider is a thief on the run who stumbles into Rapunzel’s tower, where the two make a deal to help Rapunzel escape to see the lanterns her real parents have been lighting in hope of find their daughter on her birthday.

 

Thoughts on Tangled

 

Characters – Rapunzel is the princess of the land that is taken as a baby locked in a tower, grown up she dreams of leaving the tower to see the lanterns the royal family light every year. Once she gets out she uses her hair as a weapon and is overly excitable about seeing the world for the first time. Flynn Rider is a thief that is wanted throughout the kingdom, he relies on his charm to get him out of trouble only to end up finding Rapunzel who opens his eyes to a life on the good side of the law. Mother Gothel has kept Rapunzel as her own daughter because it will give her eternal youth, she is controlling and evil on a different level to other Disney villains.

StoryThe story does follow the fairy tale about Rapunzel, by bringing a fresh spin on everything, we get the idea that her first visit away from the tower is enjoyable for her an adventure she has always dreamed off, while also having the idea of a Disney Princess being protected in her own way. I do feel this story does have a negative side because a lot of what goes on focuses on people stopping everything to make a girl happy on their birthday. For a Disney story this is everything the fans will want.

Adventure/Fantasy/MusicalThe adventure takes Rapunzel away from the tower which was her prison to see the world for the first time, the fantasy world we enter shows us just how magic can work when it comes to the story of Rapunzel and the musical is trademark Disney.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are normal Disney locations which are fine throughout the film.

AnimationThe animation is always going to be fantastic quality from Disney which will never be doubted by anyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rough bar.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is by the book Disney princess stuff.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the princess fans out there, it follows the traditions well and brings us the fresh look at the classic fairy tale.

 

Overall: Disney hit their target audience.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – O – Only Yesterday (1991)

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: David Freedman, Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hotaru Okamoto, Yuuke Tone (Manga)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Izuka, Mei Oshitani

 

Plot: A twenty-seven-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo.


Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not Ghibli’s Strongest

 

Story: Only Yesterday starts as Taeko an office worker looks to return to the countryside for her vacation, this brings back her memories of when she was younger growing up with school and her love for the countryside.

As Taeko’s memories continue to flood back she remembers her first embarrassing moments at school, when she gets her first period and learns from fellow student it is natural, while the boys are making fun of her. We jump back to the adult Taeko who is back for the farming and she meets Toshio a young farmer that see the world the same as her, which offers her a romantic interest in her life.

 

Thoughts on Only Yesterday

 

Characters – Taeko is our leading character we look at two moments of her life, we have her childhood struggles and her returning adult self to the peace of the countryside. This character shows us the difficulties that growing up offers and adult life can be when you look back on where you could have gone. Toshio is a local farmer that shows Taeko around, keeping her company while offering a potential love and path back to the life she once loved.

StoryThe story tackles growing up and returning home after time away, following the life you love compared to the one you need to live. The ideas in the story focus on real events and don’t bring any fantasy elements into the story telling which can either interest you or put you off because when you watch a Ghibli movie you are expecting moments of fantasy at times. The real feel both takes away from the story and adds to the personal touch needed to be told.

RomanceThe romance starts off soft because it mostly focuses on the idea that home could bring a love you want over the city the love you can have.

SettingsThe settings show the two different lives that Taeko has lived, the one in the small farming village, the other from the big city, this shows which one he wants to be part of more.

AnimationThe animation works for the time because Ghibli has a different style to Disney to make it stand out.


Scene of the Movie –
Dreams.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story, while good lacks that moment to make it stand out.

Final ThoughtsThis was a good watch, but isn’t going to making it to the top of many of the re-watching of Ghibli movies for me.

 

Overall: Solid addition to the Ghibli world.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – G – Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Director: Kelly Asbury

Writer: Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Mark Burton, Emily Cook, Kathey Greeneberg, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Kelly Asbury (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham

 

Plot: The neighboring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war, but the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, are in love.


Tagline – An epic tale on a tiny scale.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Kids Will Enjoy

 

Story: Gnomeo & Juliet starts as we learn about two rival gardens, the Montagues and the Capulets, one has blue gnomes the other has red gnomes and they are at war when the humans are not around. Gnomeo leads the assaults from the blue side while Tybalt attacks for the reds.

When Gnomeo goes out on a solo mission he meets Juliet, a red that has been sneaking around only for the two to fall in love. Can their love bring an end to the war between the two sides.

 

Thoughts on Gnomeo & Juliet

 

Characters – Gnomeo is the leader of the blues he is doing everything to fight for his garden, until he meets Juliet and falls in love, he must continue his fight while trying to stay on Juliet’s good side, risking everything. Juliet is the daughter of the reds, she is forced to stay safe even though she wants her own adventure, she meets Gnomeo and the falls in love wanting to end the war from her side. We do get plenty of Shakespeare based characters with the aggressive Tybalt being the most interesting of them all.

StoryHere with this story we get another example of Romeo & Juliet being told, the waring families and forbidden love, only with gnomes and garden ornaments. The love story is fine, one we know and can learn from no a problem, the bigger problem comes with the idea of this wanting to be Toy Story with garden ornaments, but they just don’t seem to care if they upset their humans, even though when humans see them they stop.  You need to focus on one side and this just felt like something we have seen before with too many puns.

Comedy/Family/RomanceThe comedy is mostly garden puns, which can work at times, but like most puns has you groaning at times. We could see families learning from this which is good to see a proper message to people and the romance is what we know from Romeo & Juliet, you can find love in unlikely places.

SettingsThe film takes place in the gardens which have their own designs, this works for the film and makes this enjoyable to see the different designs people have for their gardens.

AnimationThe animation can’t be faulted here, everything looks the part with no problems for the audience to see.


Scene of the Movie –
That Pixar moment. Though this isn’t a Pixar movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters not caring about the destruction to the gardens while also not wanting to be seen moving by humans.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable family film, it tells a simple story with moment soft peril and puns all around, it is generic in its telling of the story and has a few funny characters.

 

Overall: Family film night sorted.

Rating

 

 

Submergence (2018)

Director: Wim Wenders

Writer: Erin Dignam (Screenplay) J.M Ledgard (Novel)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Alexander Siddig, Jannik Schumann, Reda KAteb, Celyn Jones, Jess Liaudin, Mohamed Hakeemshady

 

Plot: In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, a Scotsman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance.


Tagline – Love Has No Limits

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Love Story

 

Story: Submergence starts as Danielle Flinders (Vikander) is preparing for her submersible dive of the coast of Greenland, she has lost contact to the man she fell in love with James More (McAvoy) who unbeknown to her has been captured in Africa by Jihadist fighters.

James is using the memory of the Christmas the two met in France to keep him going in hope of freedom, while Danielle faces her fears of what could go wrong in her dive. We are left to see how their love keeps them both strong and broken in the world where they are 1000s of miles apart.

 

 

Thoughts on Submergence

 

Characters – Danielle Flinders has been using her mathematic formulas to understand the deepest part of the oceans believing one day the world will run out of oxygen and that the deepest part of the ocean could hold the answers. She doesn’t connect with people on a personal level until James comes along breaking down those walls. James More is a Scottish man working in Africa for a water company, trying to bring clean water to the remote parts of the country, he is captured by the Jihadist fighters, he keeps his relationship with Danielle as his only motivation for survival. We do meet other characters that the two interact with who helps show the predicament the two are facing.

PerformancesAlicia Vikander is always great in a drama, she has the ability to morph into many characters from different fields and times, this is no different as you truly understand her struggle. James McAvoy is great to as we see him almost play two different characters, the one that is confident and in love and the one being broken.

StoryThe story here shows us how two people on very different career paths from different sides of the world can meet and fall in love for a split second and use this to motivate them to survive and complete their goals. The meeting side of everything is nice enough we have seen it before and it works for the film fine, it is the part of the story where they are apart which interests most. Seeing Danielle facing the biggest moment of her career, the moment she has waited for, for years, but feeling broken because she can’t contact James shows her conflict, while James is facing potential death with no one to call for help using his inspiration of love for Danielle to keep him going, these two elements of the film keep us going.

Romance/ThrillerThe love the two characters feel for each other feels real, the separation they are feeling with no clue how the other one is feeling is how love can be at times and to keep us guessing to what will happen at the end is what keeps us enjoying till the end.

SettingsThe film uses the settings very well, the have the beauty of the French coastline for the meeting between the two and using the contrast of the open spaces both enjoy in their different location with the tight prisons they are both facing is very interesting to see and used perfectly.


Scene of the Movie –
The island trip Danielle takes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final act with James.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful look at how love can affect a person from the first time you meet someone, to how it will give you hope, motivation and fear when it comes to where you could find yourself in the world.

 

Overall: Wonderful study on love and careers

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Director: Christopher Cain

Writer: Mark Lee (Screenplay) Robert Mark Kamen (Characters)

Starring: Pat Morita, Hilary Swank, Michael Ironside, Constance Towers, Chris Conrad

 

Plot: Mr. Miyagi is back and he takes a new pupil under his wing; a troubled adolescent girl.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: For the Franchise Fans

 

Story: The Next Karate Kid starts as Mr Miyagi (Morita) is being involved in tribute to his fallen brothers in war, where he spends time with widow Louisa (Towers) of one of his best friends at war. Louisa is trying to raise her granddaughter Julie (Swank) after the death of her parents, but this is becoming difficult as Julie is becoming a rebellious teenager.

Mr Miyagi offers to take Julie under his wing hoping to offer her the discipline in life that she requires. The principal Col Dugan (Ironside) runs a strict regime on the students and soon clashes with Miyagi. Miyagi offers to teach Julie the art of karate to help her express the main she is feeling about her lost parents.

 

Thoughts on The Next Karate Kid

 

Characters – Mr Miyagi is remembering a lost friend from war, one of the first people he taught karate, now he takes his granddaughter under his wing to help her learn to express her pain from losing her parents, he uses karate passing on the discipline he had learnt through his life. Julie is the rebellious teenager that is filled with anger because of the death of her parents. Under Mr Miyagi she starts to learn karate to give her discipline in life. Colonel Dugan controls the students in the high school, he is strict pushing the students too far too often.

PerformancePat Morita is good giving us the same performance we have seen last time out, he doesn’t over play any part of his performance though. Hillary Swank is one of the big plus points in this movie, we know how far she went after this film and it shows us just what potential she had. Michael Ironside is always good as a villain because he is always that twisted when he plays these roles.

StoryThe story follows Mr Miyagi passing on his discipline to accept life a is comes and being prepared to defend yourself and stand up for yourself. While it is strange not having Daniel involved and we do fall into the idea that a young girl would be more interested in make-up, dancing and dresses, does feel degrading to what the film is meant to be teaching. Otherwise this does follow the same trends as the others which will keep the fans happy.

Action/Family/SportsWe don’t get much fighting in this film, sadly most of the high school fights are between boys not the one learning karate, it does feel like a family film again as it does have moments of humour too.

SettingsThe film does have new setting which changes the tone of the training too, it doesn’t have the streets smart feel to the setting being used.

Scene of the Movie – Learnt the kick.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too girly.

Tagline – It’s ancient wisdom against teenage spunk. 1,000 years of karate tradition is about to get a kick in the pants.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that you will only enjoy if you have enjoyed the previous three, it sends the same message but cuts down on the karate.

 

Overall: one of the all the fans to enjoy.

Rating