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lupercal

KF Animation Editor
Location: Tasmania
Birthday: August 27
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Tasmanian

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Reviews by animation type
TV Series (156)
Reviews by star rating
4 stars
11% of reviews had a rating of 4 stars
(11%)
3.5 stars
16% of reviews had a rating of 3.5 stars
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24% of reviews had a rating of 3 stars
(24%)
2.5 stars
18% of reviews had a rating of 2.5 stars
(18%)
2 stars
14% of reviews had a rating of 2 stars
(14%)
1.5 stars
11% of reviews had a rating of 1.5 stars
(11%)
1 stars
6% of reviews had a rating of 1 stars
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1.5 star reviews

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animated cartoon The Hollywood Matador © Walter Lantz Productions
The Hollywood Matador
Rated it: 1.5
posted: Oct 16, 2015
This is Walter Lantz's first Woody Woodpecker short after having lost Mel Blanc - if you don't count the Swing Symphonies '$21 a Day', in which Woody had a non speaking part.

It's not an auspicious beginning to this incarnation. Surprisingly this has little to do with Ben Hardaway's voice work - what little there is of it is decent enough - and everything to do with the uninteresting concept and writing. I can only assume Walter was unsure of giving Hardaway too much to do, and therefore resorted to a mainly visual story involving a bullfight.

Problem is, every classic cartoon character seems to end up in a bullfight cartoon at some point in their career. It's an uninteresting concept, and this
particular version does nothing to distinguish itself. It has nothing of the frenetic, if somewhat directionless energy of the first few Woody shorts. Fortunately it was only a hiccup. Woody's next appearance, in his first 'war-time' cartoon 'Ace in the Hole' was pretty much back on the tracks.

Loop

animated movie Home © Dreamworks
Home
Rated it: 1.5
posted: Jul 21, 2015
After watching this anaemic, bubblegum movie, i felt so malnourished that I had to watch 'Eraserhead''. I don't consider Dreamworks infallible, but this time they've really dropped the ball. 'Home' is so uninspiringly dull; so predictable, and so full of vapid pop music that it's time someone stood up and said 'looking good ain't good enough anymore'.

The plot is idiotic: dumb, cowardly but 'cute' aliens somehow invade Earth and resettle the entire human population in Australia (in one city, which as far as I can tell when the map zooms in, must be Adelaide. That's the funniest thing in the movie). These aliens are so stupid and inept I can't imagine how they developed interstellar travel in the first place. They also speak English as if they picked it up from a phrase book last week - which is ok,except they talk to each other the same way. One of them, being an enlightened misfit, helps a human girl find her mother.

The pop music is not only godawful but it is deployed for whole scenes in lieu of dialog, which is incredibly irritating. I could go on, but it would just be a catalog of the film's shortcomings, and I don't think I'm failing in my duties if I just summarise by suggesting you don't waste your money/time.

The only thing holding me back from a one star rating is that little kids could watch this without being upset. Probably one for babysitters.

Loop

animated series Tales of Tatonka © Cyber Group Studios
Tales of Tatonka
Rated it: 1.5
posted: Mar 02, 2015
I admit that perhaps I'm being a little harsh on this show, and if you get the chance to see it, you should make up your own mind, but Ive deducted at least a half star for what I think is a pretty good reason. I'll get to that.

'Tatonka' is a CG French series, set in Yellowstone National park, and following, mostly, the adventures of some wolf Cubs and their friends - a Lynx, bear cub, squirrel, eagle, and sundry other animals. Each episode is introduced by Tatonka, a wise old bison who often comes to the rescue when the Cubs get into trouble, which is nearly all the time. Their parents and other adult wolves feature too, as well as coyotes.

One suspects this series was made on the cheap. The backgrounds are quite nice, but it's pretty rare to see a modern CG series which really screws up in this department. What's not so easy to look at are the fur textures of the various animals - especially the squirrel, who looks like an inflatable rubber toy. A shame because she(?) is probably the best character in the show.

Each episode ends with a real life short documentary on some aspect of wildlife in Yellowstone - rather like the real life segments at the end of eps of 'Mysterious Cities of Gold' (a French thing, perhaps). That's fine, and the segments are genuinely educational. The animated main part of each episode is usually a well paced and enjoyable enough tale, too, but almost inevitably the wolf Cubs run into trouble because they encounter the evil 'renegade' wolf pack, who are baddies because they basically behave more like real wolves, rather than frolicking around with rabbits and squirrels. Kids animation is rife with this 'carnivores are bad, m'kay?' rubbish, and that's annoying enough, but to have it monotonously wheeled out in a show which purports to be educational is plain infuriating. If this trope didn't pop up in virtually episode, the show might just be passable. I mean Kimba tried making carnivores live on insects back in the 60's, and admitted that sadly, it didn't work.

Loop

animated series Winx Club © 4 Kids Entertainment / Rainbow S.r.l
Winx Club
Rated it: 1.5
posted: Mar 06, 2013
Well basically it's rubbish, and I could have given it one star. But in its favour (amd I know this is perverse), I have seen things so devoid of any redeeming social or artistic importance as to make this look like 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (e.g., I caught half an episode of 'Voltron' the same day, and was pleased to see that it was as horrid as I remembered it from my childhood).

I'll admit I went in expecting this show to be utter rubbish, and it pretty much is - but I found myself thinking 'well, in its way, this is no more awful than some 80's garbage which people are giving 3 or 4 stars to.'

I also admit I've only watched a few episodes; enough to get a feel for it without really understanding WTF is really going on, but despite the shudderingly awful musical cameos when some valley girl/fairy casts a spell, the writing is less moronic than a few other older series which people make excuses for because they are childhood faves.

A long time back I briefly took a job as a garbageman. Once a week we'd ride on some old broken down truck in the bush, and throw people's trashbags into the compactor. The bottom of the truck was riddled with holes, and stuff would leak out and we'd have to shovel it back in. Maggots, and once, dead animals. I just about threw-up and the guy riding the back with me (a convicted murderer) said, "Oh, you see worse than this." I thought, what - dead babies? And that was the second worse job I ever had. On the basis that this is nowhere near the worst thing I've ever seen, I'm granting it 1.5 stars, and I hope it realises how lucky it is.

To learn about the actual show go to Wikipedia or something

Loop

animated movie Melody Time © Disney
Melody Time
Rated it: 1.5
posted: Oct 17, 2012
I recommend this movie to anyone who believes that Disney, as an animated feature film entity, died with Walt in 1966 and rose from the grave 23 years later with 'The Little Mermaid'.

In fact, watching this 'movie' for the first time in a long Time I was struck by the insight that, with the exception of 1937's 'Snow White' which I've always regarded as more important than great, the Disney edifice before which many of us worship consists of a frenetic blur of activity resulting in the release of 'Pinocchio', 'Fantasia', 'Dumbo' and the ultimate swansong 'Bambi' between 1940 and 1942. The blink of an eye.

Who, watching Bambi - soon after America entered the war, could have guessed that it would be 8 years before Disney released a proper feature length animated feature, and 13 years before perhaps the only other true classic feature to be released in Walt's lifetime ('Lady and the Tramp', 1955)?

And then the war. And then the cobbled together 'feature films'. Films which quickly abandoned the touchstone artistic genius of 'Bambi' or 'Pinocchio' in favour of ad-hoc collections of inferior shorts, shoehorned together, in this case, to make 72 minutes of almost pure pap.

You know you're in trouble seconds into the titles. Before the first of the seven shorts assembled here, you know that trouble is very deep, and within moments of the opening 'Once Upon a Wintertime' you realise the next hour or so is going to be agony, but you have to watch it if want to say something intelligent about it on Keyframe.

'Melody Time' is the fifth and last of the 'compilation' feature films which started with 'Saludos Amigos'. In their defense the war did hit Disney hard in more ways than one, but Good God, look at what Warner were doing around the same time.
This movie is excruciating, often nauseating (I couldn't watch 'Johnny Apleseed' on first viewing) white bread postwar American kitsch. I could imagine white families going from a matinee of this to a KKK meeting. To put it in the same basket as Bambi is a grievous insult to the artistry of the former. Gone are the sumtpous backgrounds, the perfect animation, the almost supernatural welding of music, camera angles, sound effects, character deisgn and profound emotion. In its place are horrible, stylised, minimalist late 50's designs where backgrounds are little more than token washes without kick or any sense of internal realism. Then throw in the cringingly awful narrations and voice acting (Dennis Day's narration as the 'old settler' in 'Johnny Appleseed' is so ludicrously awful it gave me my only laugh of the the movie.)

The rest of the thing is pretty much garbage. I found myself wondering, 'how could people have liked this back in 1948?' Then I read the earliest review on IMDB. It is from a guy who gives this film 10 out of 10, though he admits he hasn't seen it since it was released. I can only say I liked 'The Jungle Book' when I was five.

Let's break it down, though. The terrible thing is that about eight minutes of this film are decent. 'Bumble Boogie' probably holds up better in its entirety than any other segment. The thin drawing style makes some sort of sense alongside the 'boogie' version of 'Flight of the Bumblebee' (even if the protagonist looks like he escaped from a 20's BW short.) Watchable, but no 'Night on Bald Mountain'.

Other than this there are only achingly fleeting moments of artistry: the opening thunderstorm scene from 'The Tree', and the first couple of minutes of 'Pecos Bill' remind one of ye olde sumptuous, lyrical Disney animation, but in both cases they soon dissolve into junk.

Getting back to that idea that Disney only went off the boil in the 60's and recovered in the late 80's, and that everything before was part of a golden age - rubbish. AFAIC Disney's golden age was the early 40's, with an impressive revival for a short time in the mid 50's. After that it was a slow rebuilding, but even maligned films like 'The Aristocats' (70) run rings around this, and 'The Fox and the Hound' (80) totally crushes it.

Loop

 
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