athena's avatar


KF Animation Editor
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Birthday: March 4
Bookmark and Share

About me:

For me great animation is a marriage of two other big loves of mineóbeautiful art and captivating storytelling. You nail those things and it's almost guaranteed that you'll have my eyeballs glued to the screen. I grew up on Disney films like Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast so my tastes tend to unconsciously lean that way, however I love seeing animation that breaks new ground and really shows where the medium can go.


drawing, painting, animation, absorbing pop culture, animation, web design, writing, animation...

Animation that I love:

How to Train Your Dragon, Mary and Max, Tangled, Princess Mononoke, The Incredibles, Nightmare Before Christmas, Rescuers Down Under, ... etc. etc.


my blog

Reviews by animation type
Reviews by star rating
4 stars
20% of reviews had a rating of 4 stars
3.5 stars
22% of reviews had a rating of 3.5 stars
3 stars
29% of reviews had a rating of 3 stars
2.5 stars
9% of reviews had a rating of 2.5 stars
2 stars
10% of reviews had a rating of 2 stars
1.5 stars
5% of reviews had a rating of 1.5 stars
1 stars
5% of reviews had a rating of 1 stars
(click the animation type or star rating to filter review list)

Reviews for Animated Special

holiday animation Strawberry Shortcake's Housewarming Surprise © Nelvana
Strawberry Shortcake's Housewarming Surprise
Rated it: 3.5
posted: Aug 09, 2009
I was one of those little girls who was REALLY into Strawberry Shortcake as a kid. I had the mini figures, I had the dolls and re-watching this on YouTube actually gave me goosebumps as it brought back so many memories. For me, this was and likely always will be the quintessential Strawberry Shortcake special.

I remember loving the international flavour to the show and how Strawberry Shortcake used her wits to defeat the Purple Pieman with his own berry birds. Where the animation in the earlier specials is rudimentary, here it takes on extra little flourishes of expression and little mini-gags particularly with Custard and Sour Grapes' snake, Dregs.

And even after all these years, the songs just make me smile. They'd probably be irritating coming from any other special, but there's something about that thing that taps into your childhood that always creates a positive memory.

holiday animation How the Grinch Stole Christmas © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Sib-Tower 12 Productions
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Rated it: 4
posted: Dec 03, 2006
I'm continually amazed that, in an age where MTV hip-ness and pop culture satire is infecting animation in general, a holiday special like this one is just as entertaining as it was when it was first released over 40 years ago.

For me the real star of this short is the Grinch's dog, Max. We know that the Grinch can't be a completely terrible villian if he's won the loyalty of this cute little guy.

Be sure to catch this one again when it airs over the holidays.

holiday animation Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys © Goodtimes Entertainment
Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys
Rated it: 1.5
posted: Nov 14, 2003
Well, it's a direct-to-video, 3D computer animated remake of a classic Christmas stop-motion film.

oh, where to start...

I think the best thing I could say for it is that it's not terrible. There are moments that are funny. Rudolph's struggle with his new celebrity status and his "novelty" nose seemed like an interesting place to take his character. The song done by Queen Camilla was even rather catchy.

Unfortunately, those barest glimpses of hope are dragged down by truly dismal computer animation. I was spotting CG errors that I know the instructors at my animation school would've fried me for if they showed up in my work. Rudolph and friends have little to no facial expressions--basically eye blinks and mouth movement only... yes, my kingdom for a raised eyebrow... and the characters stay just a little too true to the jerky quality of the stop-motion original.

Probably best to avoid this one in the rental aisle.

holiday animation Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas © Disney
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Rated it: 3
posted: Oct 31, 2003
I am usually not a fan of direct-to-video sequels but this one genuinely surprised me. The characters were true to the original, displaying a surprising amount of depth in showing the tentative friendship growing between Belle and Beast. I thought the Beast's crisis over Christmas was very believable and fit into what we knew from the original film without appearing to be shoehorned in. The animation wasn't stellar but it too had its moments--I particularly liked the character design for Angelique. And finally the songs, which are usually the low-point for me, were quite nice with the "Stories" song and "As Long as There's Christmas" being my favourites. I thought someone was very smart in letting Paige O'Hara do most of the singing in this film. My only complaint would be that after all this great setup, I thought the climax of the film was pretty weak.

All in all though, it's a worthwhile film.

holiday animation Barbie in the Nutcracker © Mainframe Entertainment
Barbie in the Nutcracker
Rated it: 3
posted: Oct 07, 2003
Over the years I have seen many different movie renditions of the Nutcracker story and those tales tend to fall into two categories--either ballet people doing the ballet with lots of dancing and little plot or movie people doing a plot-driven movie and completely ignoring the fact that the material originally came from a ballet.

"Barbie in the Nutcracker" somehow manages to pull off both.

Where many animated movies might throw in musical numbers as the eye-catching parts of the story, here we have wonderfully charming ballet sequences... and by that I mean computer generated characters performing realistic ballet--making excellent use of motion capture technology on real ballerinas (the New York ballet company, I believe). There are segments of the film that feel almost like Fantasia, where you are being pulled into the movie through pure classical music and almost lyrical visuals on the screen.

The story itself is also surprisingly good and takes the time to bring warmth and life to its characters--particularly Clara (Barbie) and the Nutcracker. Tim Curry also does a very nice job of creating a witty evil Mouse King--I particularly liked the scenes where he's throwing his weight around and interacting with his sidekick, Pimm. Barbie fans and non-fans alike will probably notice the appearance of numerous characters from the Barbie universe (Kelly, Tommy, et al.) but the toy aspect of the film never intrudes upon the story.

A holiday classic for all the little girls--and not so little girls--in the family.