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.
Fans who want to preserve their memory of Bugs, Daffy and the gang should probably steer clear. If however you like Michael Jordan and like the idea of seeing the toons playing basketball... meh, it's not all that bad.
Some of the songs were very good, while some were kinda forgettable.
Some of the humour was very good, while some was kinda meh.
Overall I came away with the impression that the film was trying too hard. Where the satire rolled off the cuff with Shrek, there were quite a few places in Enchanted where it felt forced. I liked the characters and I thought the strongest moments were those when they came to the forefront... Giselle interacting with Robert's daughter... or the dance at the end where I really did feel like I was watching the sweeping, live-action rendition of those moments at the end of Beauty and the Beast or Sleeping Beauty.
Generally the film was strongest when the wink-wink, nudge-nudge Disney allusions weren't quite so in your face.
It is a deeply engrossing movie with visuals that are so strange and yet not off-putting. That is usually the problem with something 'artsy' like this, that the oddness factor so completely alienates you from the viewing experience that it just becomes a long string of "oh my, that's messed up"... here I found I did care about the characters--their dilemmas and their futures--and yet the world was so beautiful and strange at the same time.
MirrorMask is a unique viewing experience that is worth checking out.
One further comment on the use of 3D animation in this film... why is it that CG visuals have been used to create everything from 'Gladiator' to 'Underworld' in live-action and yet in animation we've been doing a decade's worth of 'Toy Story's--at least in terms of visual style. MirrorMask was CG animation but it was no 'Toy Story' clone by any stretch... we NEED more films like this in the animation industry... taking a 90 degree turn off the beaten path and just going wherever imagination might take you...
I remember when this came out that I enjoyed it a great deal. It was funny, feel good and even a little touching in places. The animation was very impressive for its day and the live action actors do a good job.
I do however remember being a touch confused trying to figure out how old Casper was supposed to be... his character design doesn't provide any clues, so it was a touch odd when he would flip-flop between seeming very young and innocent... like maybe seven or eight years old... to being romantically jealous of the boy Kat likes... kid-jealous I could get--this is his first friend decades... but the romantic angle seemed a bit odd.
At any rate, that's the only real flaw I found with the story and it's a fairly minor one at that. All in all this was a fun, enjoyable film.
I remember enjoying this as a kid--which is the primary reason I hunted it down a few months back on eBay--but I don't think any but very young children would appreciate it now. Unfortunately I think older viewers would just feel it hasn't aged all that well.