The Kingdom Hearts series, on the decline for several years now, has finally been given a much needed boost by the release of Dream Drop Distance. A stellar title and a must-own for the 3DS, it shows that there is still hope for the franchise.
It is heartening to see so much well-crafted entertainment geared toward whole families in a single year. That increases the likelihood of a new generation that wants to grow up and make great movies. However, it is also a signal to the makers of strictly grown-up films to wake up and get creative again.
Marvel’s animation division, together with cartoon grand masters Film Roman, is on a roll with The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Currently broadcast by Disney XD for primetime audiences, this relatively new superhero cartoon may amaze you with its depth and maturity.
It would not be the first time Disney has reinvented the Hundred Acre Wood for a new generation, but could they resist the temptation this time around to get snarky and crass? Sure, it would have been high blasphemy of the first order, but what if the wrong hands had gotten hold of this project and chosen to – if I may – “Shrek it up?” If there is one thing that does not belong in Winnie The Pooh, it is a “pooh” joke.
Disney’s sequel is an immense, vividly hued carnival for the eyes. What it lacks in smart dialogue and nuance—and it does certainly lack these things—it makes up for with astounding visual effects.
In a delightful introduction, Mickey sneaks into the magical hobbyshop of the wizard from Fantasia, Yen Sid, and ends up causing a bit of a ruckus. He flees the scene of his crime, and happily forgets what happened, probably thinking it was all a moldy cheese induced nightmare. Until of course many years later, a monstrous form rips Mickey out of his bed and drags him kicking and screaming into an alternate dimension while the mouse struggles in vain to escape, only barely grabbing a paint brush during the ordeal.
Tangled isn’t too cool for school, it’s just really cool, and once the film stops apologizing for being a fairy tale and gets down to the task of just being a fairy tale it reveals itself to be one of the best (non-Pixar) Disney animated films in over a decade. Smart entertainment, sidesplittingly funny and never condescending to the little children making up the target demographic. Tangled is classic Disney.
In this article, and several to follow, I hope to stir up your fondest movie-watching nostalgia, if you will forgive me the crime of indulging in some of my own.
As you probably know – but in case you don’t – the concept of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is based upon a famous segment of Disney’s 1940 animated musical Fantasia. In it, apprentice Mickey Mouse royally screws up the housework and incurs the wrath of his master, a stern and imposing wizard. You will be pleased to know that the new film reconstructs the classic short, and it’s just about the most enjoyable part of the movie.
Cage is content and comfortable playing over-the-top oddballs. He’s not the picture of versatility we once thought him to be, but he sure looks like he’s having fun up there. His biggest problem is picking the appropriate vehicle for what he loves doing.