Talking Disney Canon with AnimatedKid

Hey guys! Over on my channel I recently finished my 56 week project reviewing the Disney Canon films. To commemorate that accomplishment my friend Jay over at AminatedKid joined me to talk about the canon. We went over each era and talked about the highs and lows. It’s a long podcast but I think you will really enjoy it.

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Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania Review

surfs-up2-3There are some projects that are just bad ideas. You get the most brilliant writers around and they might be passable films but the ideas are bad. Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is one of those films. It’s just a bad idea from beginning to end. It’s such a bad idea that Sony, the studio behind Smurf’s 2 and the Emoji Movie, didn’t even have the confidence to release it in the theater.  It is an absolutely atrocious film in every way including the fact it stinks up a charming original film.

After all, Surf’s Up was nominated for an Oscar back in 2007. It was a unique little animated mockumentary about a Antarctic penguin who dreams of becoming a professional surfer. It’s not the greatest movie ever made but for what it is, it is an enjoyable watch. The writing is particularly good as it pokes fun at sports documentaries and movies.

Unfortunately all of the appeal of the original film is lost in this terrible sequel. The problems start with the premise. WWE stars play a group called The Hang 5 that Cody idolizes. This doesn’t jive with the original documentary because then his motivation was surfing not the Hang 5.

surfs-up2Even if I ignore that continuity problem, the premise is terrible. The Hang 5 are voiced by WWE wrestlers including John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H and more. This stunt casting does nothing for the story except for to provide a couple of inside jokes that I did not understand.

Cody does hardly any surfing in the movie and it feels like it keeps reinventing itself every 10 minutes. One minute it is Indiana Jones, another it is Mission Impossible or Point Break. The list  could go on.  None of these characters have any charisma or personality

Jeremy Shada steps in for Shia LaBeoulf as Cody and you can tell. All of the voice acting feels bored but it is tough since the characters aren’t written in an interesting or satisfying way.

About 1/3rd of way through they are in the desert looking for some clue and I had no idea what they were doing with it but not in a good way. For most of it I was extremely bored and disengaged and I didn’t laugh at all

Normally I would be able to recommend something like this to kids but I really can’t here.  There is absoloutely nothing for a child’s intellect or creativity in all of this nonsense.

The animation isn’t even very good. It looks cheap because it was cheap.

I feel like I should have more to say on Surf’s Up 2 but I honestly don’t. It wasn’t funny, engaging, well executed or anything like the original film.

I just have to say to the WWE= get the heck out of my animated film!

Overall Grade- D-

Sundance 2017 Recap

So, last week I attended the Sundance Film Festival for the first time. Last year I went to one movie at the festival but this was my first year actually attending. I would have updated you guys sooner but I’ve been very sick.

As far as the festival as a whole it was a good experience. I’m not sure if I will want to do it again because all the driving definitely got old. I’m not used to driving into Salt Lake every single day and it gave me a renewed appreciation for the people do that commute each day.  It would make me nuts!

I ended up seeing 10 movies. One film, Band Aid, that I wanted to see I arrived within the 15 minute window before the movie starts and they had given my spot away. This was very frustrating as I had left plenty of time but there were 3 accidents slowing things down.

The 10 movies I did see break down like this:

  1. My Life as a Zucchini- I reviewed this film so you have a pretty good idea of what I thought. It’s a very unusual film. Most adult animation isn’t as adorable as this one, which make it feel different. There are shocking story elements but also sweet moments. I can see why some love this film because the animation is amazing and it is refreshing to see something so unique. Still, I personally didn’t love it but liked it. Overall Grade- B
  2. Lady Macbeth- This movie was glossy garbage. Set up as a corset ripping gothic thriller it was laughably bad.  The cinematography is beautiful and the lead performance isn’t half bad but there is no chemistry between her and the man she is with. They keep making nonsensical choices and the direction makes odd choices in the guise of art. Like a tense scene will be punctuated by a long look at a cat staring at the camera. Even the fact these 2 people are together makes no sense. Tough to like a romantic thriller with little to no romance. My audience was laughing at supposedly tense scenes. Overall Grade- D-
  3. STEP- The highlight of the festival. This amazing documentary tells the story of 4 high school seniors who have been part of a special inner-city Baltimore charter school. The step competition is merely a footnote to the journey the girls go on. You get to know their families and love the girls so much. The school counselors and teachers work together to save each of these young women. It was inspiring and will make you feel good about the world for a change.  I LOVED it! It reminded me of Hoop Dreams. Put it on your calendar for this year.  Overall Grade A+
  4. RISE- This was actually 3 episodes of a docu-series about the Native American struggle particularly with the Dakota Pipeline. It was fine and they had good intentions; however, it felt pretty propagandish to me and these kind of political message documentaries aren’t my favorite. It was neat after the screening to hear from the participants and one man sang a Native song. That was better than the movie! Overall Grade- C
  5. Animation Spotlight- I was kind of disappointed by these animated shorts.  There were a couple clever shorts but for the most part they were underwhelming and felt derivative of other surrealists like Don Hertzfeldt. They all felt like I had seen better versions by better artists, and so it just ended up being boring.  This was a big disappointment as I love animated shorts. Overall Grade- C-
  6. The Good Postman- A wonderful documentary about a man in Bulgaria who decides to do something about the Syrian refugee problem he sees all around him, so he decides to run for mayor. His opponent is hilarious and the characters are delightful. It manages to make important points while still remaining light and cheerful. Could be tighter but still very enjoyable documentary. Overall Grade- B+
  7. Wilson- I was nervous about seeing this because of the content, which is quite strong. However, it’s not one of those comedies that has profanity just to be shocking. At its core it’s actually kind of a sweet story about a man with some seriously strange quirks! Great performances by Laura Dern and Woody Harrelson make it a heart-warming experience. It was  lot better than I thought it would be.  Overall Grade- B+
  8. The Hero- This is a film where the lead performance is great but the movie he’s in is average. Sam Elliott is terrific as an aging Western movie star (brilliant casting) who finds out he has cancer. The dialogue is well written particularly between Nick Offerman as his best friend and Sam. The romance; however, did not work for me at all and felt extremely contrived and predictable with no chemistry between the couple. Overall Grade- B-
  9. The Yellow Birds- This movie tackles a lot with a brutal story about a group of soldiers in Iraq. Alden Ehrenreich and Ty Sheridan were both great and the cinematography is stunning. It is very impressive how they pulled off the war scenes on such a small budget.  Jennifer Aniston is also fantastic as Sheridan’s mother. Unfortunately the movie is held back by using a non-linear timeline so it jumps all over the place from when they first met to overcoming PTSD.  The big reveal was shocking but I think it would have been more so with a traditional timeline. Overall Grade- B-
  10. Rebel in the Rye- Fairly standard but impressive biopic about JD Salinger. Nicholas Holt is very good in the lead role and the journey of his writing is well portrayed. His personal descent into isolation was less well done and didn’t feel accurate. Kevin Spacey is fantastic as his teacher who inspires him to write Catcher in the Rye. Overall Grade- B

So the highlight of the festival was definitely STEP and low point Lady Macbeth.

On Thursday I went and saw Silence because I didn’t get into Band Aid. I hated Silence and can read my review of that film here.

Do any of these films sound interesting to you? There were a bunch at Sundance I didn’t get a chance to see but heard great things about like Wind River, Ghost Story and Mudbound. It will be great to see those when they get released to the mainstream.

Blind Spot 14: THX 1138

This month for my blind spot pick we are diving back into the mind of George Lucas. After watching Attack of the Clones and Indy 4 I lost faith in the guy to tell a good story. So this month I decided to check his debut film THX 1138 off of my list. Who knows maybe I’d like young George better than old George?

thxYou know what I think I do! THX 1138 isn’t a perfect sci-film but it is solidly entertaining and very unique.

THX 1138 is set in a black and white dystopian world. (It feels a little bit like Tron but more stark). Every part of the people’s lives is controlled including mating and emotions. They all kind of work in these giant factories and have brief names like SEN and LUH. By changing out his drug, LUH is able to convince THX to have sex with her.

thx5The couple is then chased by an agent named SEN and the entire corporation that runs the world and forced to separate. I don’t want to give any more of the story away for those that are spoiler sensitive.

thxThe acting is pretty great especially for a George Lucas movie (who is notoriously bad at working with actors). I particularly liked Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasance and Maggie McOmie as the 3 main leads.

Visually the movie is stark, glaring and always interesting ot look at. That is probably it’s greatest strength.

thx4There are some problems, however, with THX 1138. I found the story to be kind of hard to understand at first. It does not take any time to give backstories or explain the world or the character motivations at all. The dialogue is also very simple.  It’s really a movie all about the visuals and the overall broad mess.

For those sensitive there is also a fair amount of nudity in the film, so be aware of that. It is only 95 minutes but it felt longer than that.

But problems aside, if you want to watch something that is different, that a million people could all get different interpretations on give THX 1138 a shot. I think you will really enjoy it.

 

Overall Grade- B

Disney Canon Youtube Reviews Finished!

Hey guys! I just wanted to quickly share something with you. Last week I finished my 56 week project of reviewing the Disney Canon on my youtube channel. I’m really proud of each of these videos and it was interesting to see how some opinions changed on rewatch:

Give the videos a watch and I would love to have your feedback.  Thanks!

Why I Hated Silence

silence2One of the myths I hear from time to time is that only a certain kind of movie can be a terrible film. That only the Norm of the Norths or Nut Jobs of the world can be awful. No, my friends. Glossy, well made movies can still be garbage. And at least for me Martin Scorsese’s passion project Silence was that kind of film. I hated Silence more than almost any film in recent memory. I was so close to walking out and I probably should have. Let me try and explain why…Spoilers ahead.

missionIt is perhaps helpful to give a little bit of my personal life experience in giving this review. After all, we can not completely separate our experiences from how we interpret a film. I served a mission for my church from 2003-2005 in Indianapolis, Indiana. While certainly nothing like what the fathers face in Silence it was intense in its own way. Separation of family and friends was challenging but what carried me through it was a love of the people I was serving and the message.

This is the biggest problem with Silence. Never once did I get a feeling from the priests that they loved the people or even the message that much. The Adam Driver character gives us a little bit of that and he dies for the people but this is such a small part of the movie. The scene that really made me the most angry was when Christian Japanese are tortured and even crucified the two priests literally watch from a distance and do nothing for 4 days!!! There is no way anyone of that kind of religious mission would do that. It felt totally cold and inauthentic to me. Even if staring is the wiser thing to do they wouldn’t do it. There’s just no way.

I never felt that Andrew Garfield’s character loved the people he was serving and that brings me to my next biggest problem. The main point of the film seemed to be that missionary work and faith is mostly ego. This is helped by the fact that no love is shown for the people and so the reason he doesn’t apostatize is all about him. His pride is more important than anything else. This is not like A Man for All Seasons where a man of faith refuses to deny what he knows is right.  We understood a communion between God and Thomas Moore in that film. He was doing that for the people. I never felt that here. Silence seemed like a real condemnation of those who have the ego to share their witness with others.

silenceAnd maybe that was what Scorsese was going for? As an active Catholic I don’t understand why he would want to send that message but whatever (I am completely baffled at why he would make this movie as his passion project). A cynical message is fine but does he have to ram it into our heads with a sledge hammer? This brings me to my next complaint. In my eyes the film is torture porn. We get scene after scene of brutal extended torture of Christians and for what? The priest doesn’t love these people so why do we need to see this repeatedly? Each time we see these scenes it only added to the condemnation of the priest for his selfish choices and ego.

If you look at a movie like The Mission they feel similar on its surface but that film was full of hope. The priests in that story loved and suffered with the people. This was just unending torture of Christians because a Western visitor wouldn’t let go of his pride. There was no hope. No sense of a communion with God to give strength or peace.  As the title would suggest, God is in fact silent throughout the film. Even if you don’t believe in God it defies credulity to accept that such a man would not hear God’s message and be strengthened by Him. There are moments where he talks to God but the silence is all the more damning.

Again if Scorsese was trying to make a film condemning religion and God that is one thing but he doesn’t even do that well. It’s just a repetitive slog that gets some kind of pleasure out of the torture of innocent people. This movie is almost 3 hours and for the life of me I will never understand what we are supposed to gain from these torture scenes. Exhaustion doesn’t begin to describe how I felt at them. I wanted to scream out at the screen- WHAT IS THIS ALL FOR!!!!

Who are these people? We don’t even know them.  All we know is they believed but why and what does it matter if our lead character doesn’t have a relationship with them? It’s literally just torture porn and where is the enlightenment there?

Did I mention the movie is almost 3 hours long? I LOVE long movies. I recently saw Lawrence of Arabia and was completely engrossed with the amazing characters and story. I love Ben Hur, Boyhood, 10 Commandments and many other long films. But there is long and there are movies that feel long. Like I said this is just a repetitive slog that wallows in the worst of human nature.

The movie does  look nice but the whole time I kept feeling like saying ‘we get it. You like Kurosawa. Move on…” It was so obviously aping the films of the Japanese master that it became annoying. Kurosawa made long films but his characters were deep with a clear focus to why they needed to be in the film. For example, Katsushirō in Seven Samurai has layers to his character we never see in Father Rodrigues. Not even close.

When he does finally apostatize he immediately becomes an agent against the Christians, which is not surprising since he never seemed to love them to begin with. Again, it was all about his pride not his faith, which with the torture shown makes him a completely awful person. He is told apostatizing is just a formality but clearly it is not because I never got the sense that he got much hope or peace from God to begin with. Yes, I understand he is buried with a cross but that doesn’t mean he was a believer or someone who showed his belief by LOVING THE PEOPLE! Faith should be love. Faith should be hope.

You could make the claim that Father Rodrigues is a martyr for the faith but like I said with the Thomas Moore example I never felt he had an conviction or testimony beyond the mere reciting of scripture from time to time. If he believes through the end of his life than show some degree of hope or peace or something from that belief. It’s not enough to just have a cross in your hand. FAITH WITHOUT HOPE IS NOTHING!!!  How can Scorsese fail to realize this? If faith can’t give you light in dark times than what good is it?

It was at best about a man abandoned by God, which could be a compelling narrative but not one I need to see combined with the torture of Christians for 3 hours…

As I watched the movie my anger grew bit by bit but I kept hoping there would be some kind of redemption for the characters and movie. Alas, it never did and I was just left having a miserable experience. I just can’t overstate how much I hated it. It was manipulative, unfeeling, exploitative junk.

If you liked it than more power to you. This is my blog and I did not.

Overall Grade- F

Also it has some of the worst bald caps I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is nice but very repetitive and derivative of other films. Nothing too spectacular. Ugh..this movie!

Blind Spot 13: Moonrise Kingdom

moonrise-kingdomrJanuary has proven to be a very busy month with my birthday, finishing up my Disney Canon series, end of the year lists and Sundance Film Festival (half way through. Update to come).  However, I wanted to keep my commitment to the Blind Spot series and watch the January pick, so I squeezed it on Saturday.  The film is Moonrise Kingdom and I’m glad I did because it is a charming little movie.

Directed by Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom, shares all of his hipster cuteness but in ways that feel appropriate to the story. It’s about two 12 year old kids that run away together causing their community to madly search for them. They believe they are in love and share a sweet chemistry together. moonrise-kingdom6The town is eccentric like most Wes Anderson films characters are but there is a brightness here that sometimes his films miss. I know everyone is in love with Rushmore but I much prefer this. I found Rushmore to be a little mean spirited and harsh in tone where this is light and joyful. Edward Norton is particularly good as Scout Master Ward.  It made me laugh because my father is the world’s most diligent scout master.

moonrise-kingdom7The rest of the cast is fantastic including Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and more. I also liked the two 12 year old actors Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

The cinematography by Robert Yeoman was done in 16mm film and it almost has a sepia quality to it. It feels old fashioned and comforting. The production design was excellent as well as the costumes.

moonrise-kingdom5But the main reason to watch Moonrise Kingdom is the writing. I can see why Wes Anderson was nominated for an Oscar for original screenplay because it is delightful while having moments of emotional truth hidden inside. It has a dry sarcastic sense of humor without becoming harsh or judgemental. It was really entertaining to watch.

I suppose the pacing may be a little slow for some and others may find it the hipster style a little grating but I didn’t mind it.  Moonrise Kingdom is a real winner from Wes Anderson and I’m glad to get to start 2017 on a high note!

Overall Grade- A-

Oscar Nomination Reactions

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red CarpetSo the Oscar nominations are in and for the most part I am pleased. Here is my quick response to the various categories:

Best Picture-Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

I’ve seen all of the nominees and think they are all deserving of recognition. Probably biggest surprise is Fences as it doesn’t have the feel of a typical Oscar movie. I’m very happy to see Hidden Figures and Lion get recognized. I thought they might get snubbed. I guess in my dream world an animated film would sneak in there for best picture. It was such a strong animation year. Oh well!

Best Director- Damien Chazelle for La La Land, Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge, Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea and Denis Villeneuve for Arrival

No real problem with any of these nominees. All good films. I am surprised that Hollywood nominated Mel Gibson. I mean I loved the Hacksaw Ridge but didn’t think the Academy was ready to embrace Mel again

Actor- Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling in La La Land, Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, Denzel Washington in Fences

Haven’t seen Captain Fantastic but no problem with these nominees.

Actress- Isabelle Huppert in Elle, Ruth Negga in Loving, Natalie Portman in Jackie, Emma Stone in La La Land and Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins

I haven’t seen Elle but I loved Isabelle Huppert so much in Things to Come that I am happy she was nominated. I hope she wins. I do think Meryl got nominated because of her golden globe speech but she is fantastic in Florence Foster Jenkins. A lot of people criticizing that nomination probably haven’t seen the movie. I do think Amy Adams deserved to be nominated for her fine work in 2016

Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali in Moonlight, Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea, Dev Patel in Lion, Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals.

I kind of wish Kyle Chandler had been nominated for Manchester over Lucas Hedges but he is good (Frozen chicken scene alone deserved that nom). I’m thrilled to see Dev Patel for Lion even though the kid actor was probably better. He was great in Lion. Jeff Bridges was fantastic in Hell or High Water. Mahershala Ali great in Moonlight and Michael Shannon was best thing in Nocturnal Animals.

Supporting Actress- Viola Davis in Fences, Naomie Harris in Moonlight, Nicole Kidman in Lion, Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures, Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea

A very strong category. I loved all of these performances. Viola for the win!

Original Screenplay- 20th Century Women, Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Manchester by the Sea

I liked La La Land but I can probably think of 30 movies that had better screenplays than it in 2016. I have not seen 20th Century Women and don’t plan to until I can rent it because of their planned parenthood donation marketing. No thank you!

Adapted Screenplay- Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion, Moonlight

Only real loss to me is Love and Friendship. It actually improved upon a Jane Austen novel. How many movies can say that? I mean of all the things to praise Arrival for the screenplay wouldn’t be one of them…

Animated Film- Kubo and the 2 Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Red Turtle, Zootopia.

This is of course the big one for this blog! If I had it my way I would take out Zucchini and put in Your Name but these are all good films deserving of recognition.

Sound Editing- Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Sully.

All deserving but I think I would swap out La La Land and put in Patriot’s Day or Rogue One.

Visual Effects- Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, Jungle Book, Kubo and the 2 Strings, Rogue One

A little surprised Deepwater Horizon got a nomination as I don’t remember the visual effects being that great. I think they were better in Arrival or even Batman v Superman (yes I know but visually it was cool).  But Kubo and the 2 Strings getting visual effects nomination is huge!!!

Film Editing- Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Moonlight.

This one should go to Hacksaw Ridge if there is any justice but they are all worthy nominees and were edited well.

Short Film Animated- Blind Vaysha, Borrowed Time, Pear Cider and Cigarettes, Pearl and Piper

I’ve only seen Borrowed Time and Piper but excited to see the rest! I love this category. I sort of wish Inner Workings had been nominated as I loved that short and its message.

Original Score- Jackie, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Passengers

Surprised to see Passengers get in there but I enjoyed that score (but is it better than Moana?). I did not like the score in Jackie. In fact, I found it overbearing and annoying, so I don’t get that one…

Original Song- Audition from La La Land, Can’t Stop the Feeling from Trolls, City of Stars from La La Land, The Empty Chair from Jim: the James Foley Story, How Far I’ll Go from Moana

This is the category of heartbreak. No nomination for Drive it Like You Stole it from Sing Street. 😦  That Empty Chairs song better be amazing…I hope the La La Land songs divide the vote and Lin Manuel wins for Moana giving him the EGOT. Plus, How Far I’ll Go is by far best song out of these nominees.

Production Design- Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail, Caesar!, La La Land, Passengers

No problem with any of these nominees. All fantastic production design.

Cinematography- Arrival, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Silence

Happy to see Lion included with its amazing cinematography. I haven’t seen Silence yet but it looks like great cinematography.

Costumes- Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Jackie, La La Land.

The real crime here is no nomination for The Dressmaker, which had costumes that were works of art. Literally they had a traveling museum exhibit of the costumes they were so beautiful.  These were all good but nowhere near The Dressmaker. Also Love and Friendship had fantastic costumes.

Makeup- A Man Called Ove, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad

This category is always very weird. Haven’t seen Ove but I can think of a ton of movies that had better makeup than Suicide Squad. I mean I hated it but Miss Peregrine’s was better than Suicide Squad in that department…Could Star Trek Beyond win an Oscar? Seems clear choice

Documentary- 13th, Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, OJ: Made in America

I think it is a stretch that the 8 hour OJ series is deemed as a movie but whatever. It’s good and so is 13th. I haven’t seen two of the nominees but am thrilled Life, Animated got nominated. Well deserved! I’m a little surprised Weiner didn’t get nominated.

Sound Mixing- La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, Rogue One, Arrival, 13 Hours

I’m actually happy to see 13 Hours get nominated for this category. I think that was an underrated film in 2016 and glad to see it get nominated for something. These are all good sound mixing films. No problem here.

So there you have it. Biggest snubs for me are Love and Friendship and Sing Street getting nothing and The Dressmaker not getting best costumes. Biggest surprise is Kubo and the Two Strings for visual effects and all the love for Lion. Yay!

La La Land is now tied with All About Eve and Titanic for Oscar nominations which it’s a fun film but nowhere near All About Eve in my opinion. Oh well. It’s good film so whatever.

What did you think of the Oscar nominations? What did you think was snubbed? What surprised you?

Ranking Animation 2016

Hey guys! So on Saturday I finally got to see My Life as a Zucchini which means I have seen pretty much every animated film of 2016 except for Sausage Party (couldn’t stomach content on that one). This means it is time for me to do my ranking of these animated films. I made the video above which is long but I hope you all enjoy it. This was such a strong year for animation that nearly 30 films got a B grade or higher. Pretty great!

So here is my ranking of the animated films from 2016-

  1. Your Name- stunning anime film that starts out being light and funny but then turns into a powerful scifi story
  2. Moana- classic Disney magic with an Odyssey story and a wonderful lead character with great songs
  3. The Red Turtle- dialogue free but beautiful film about a man who shipwrecks and finds that nature has plans for him.  Amazing music
  4. Zootopia- a return of Disney fables with a wonderful lead character, world building and stirring message
  5. Tower- amazing animated documentary about a sniper attack in 1966. Relevant, moving and different than I’ve seen before
  6. Kubo and the Two Strings- stunning animation and a wonderful lead character that made me smile whenever I saw him
  7. Only Yesterday- this 1991 film finally got released in US. Beautiful animation and I love the kid parts so much to make up for the preachy adult parts
  8. Kung fu Panda 3- my favorite of the series. Beautiful animation and loved adoption message and Po learning to become a teacher
  9. April and the Extraordinary World- stunning steampunk film with a new and surprising story
  10. Ethel and Ernest- lovely portrait of a couple and their marriage and life. Great vocal performances and sweet animation.
  11. Finding Dory- tons of heart as we see Dory find her parents. They did some unique things and it made me laugh more than most Pixar films
  12. My Life as a Zucchini- one I am still pondering. A very unusual film but great animation with powerful moments
  13. Phantom Boy- a refreshingly small superhero story with beautiful cubist inspired animation
  14. Jungle Book- amazing realistic visuals and an improved ending/Mowgli character over original. The songs didn’t really work for me and Louie was too mean but still enjoyed it
  15. Miss Hokusai- beautiful film about a painter in ancient Japan. Enjoyed all the vignettes and stunning animation. A few things, however, I needed more cultural context on
  16. Long Way North- loved the animation without lines and simple color blocking. Great lead character in somewhat predictable story
  17. The Boy and the Beast- charming Karate Kid like story with stunning animation but some of plot points don’t really work especially ending
  18. Harmony- very smart dystopian set up where we are all judging each other for our kindness. Hurt by weak melodramatic ending
  19. Sing- very predictable story helped by good songs and characters I liked
  20. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders- a refreshing comedic take on Batman
  21. Storks- fairly forgettable but entertaining animated film. Loved message and comedy mostly worked
  22. Trolls- very uneven yet enjoyable film. Message on conformity a little unnerving but overall pleasant to watch
  23. Secret Life of Pets- story has problems and Kevin Hart bunny gets old fast but great animation and I liked Gidget and Chloe. A harmless animated film.
  24. Snowtime- some will find elements a little traumatic but they handle it well. I like the animation and big heart to it if a little bit manipulative at times
  25. The Angry Birds Movie- a decent animated film for kids with pretty good animation but some stretches bored me and the messaging of embracing anger was weird
  26. Ratchet and Clank- a fun Saturday morning space cartoon. Pretty good animation and overall was entertained by it
  27. Little Prince- I didn’t like this film. I felt it was boring and preachy. It got interesting at the end when it went all weird and dystopian but didn’t engage me. Pretty animation.
  28. The Wild Life- not as bad as most are saying. Some good animation and I was entertained except for the cats. The cats are so awful.
  29. Ice Age: Collision Course- most of the jokes are characters complaining. Decent animation but also has strange message about youth and beauty
  30. Blinky Bill: the Movie- a harmless animated adventure for kids but animation is bad and I was pretty bored by it
  31. Space Dogs 2- a horribly dubbed and animated film I didn’t hate watching. It’s very weird and makes weird choices but it is not good
  32. Bling- animation isn’t that bad but the message of consumerism and buying love and affection are off putting. Plus a horrible minions copycat.
  33. Batman: the Killing Joke- offensive, poorly animated morally repugnant film that doesn’t do the graphic novel justice at all
  34. Norm of the North- terrible animation, writing, characters, story, humor and everything else. Just awful.

So there you have it!  What do you think of my ranking?