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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)
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4 stars
11% of reviews had a rating of 4 stars
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24% of reviews had a rating of 3 stars
(24%)
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18% of reviews had a rating of 2.5 stars
(18%)
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14% of reviews had a rating of 2 stars
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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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2 star reviews

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animated cartoon I Yam What I Yam © Fleischer Studios
I Yam What I Yam
Rated it: 2
posted: Feb 15, 2015
I don't really have much to add to Starlac's review of this relentlessly rhythmic very early Popeye short - I basically fully agree with it, and suggest you read it.

Popeye, Olive and Wimpy (in his first appearance) are rowing a dinghy (actually Olive does all the rowing) which eventually fetches up on the shores of the New World - which raises the question of where they were rowing FROM. However it provides the pretext for the trio to be continually attacked by 'Indians'. This in turn provides the excuse for two punning sight gags. In the first Popeye clobbers a bunch of Indians who, flung to the ground, turn into 5c coins. This was baffling to an Australian, until I learned that dimes featured an 'Indian head' between 1913 and 1938. It still doesn't quite explain the gag, though. The second features an excruciating pun,when the chief of the Indians attacks Popeye, is clobbered, and sheds his disguise, revealing himself to be Mahatma Ghandi - an Indian, get it? Ghandi had been in the news a little before for 'leading the Indians' on the famous 'salt march'.

Popeye really came into his own two years later when the muttering, inspired ad-libbing Jack Mercer took over from Billy Costello, who was sacked for allegedly being 'difficult to work with' and for 'bad behaviour'. Ironically, for behaving like Popeye, I suppose.

Loop

animated movie Planes © Disney / Prana Studios
Planes
Rated it: 2
posted: Jan 06, 2015
Well, against my expectations I kinda enjoyed 'Cars', and this is set 'above the world of Cars' or some such. But that should have been a warning sign. Nothing about this movie is even remotely original. Instead it's clearly a marketing spin-off ploy by Disney. Everything is horribly paint by numbers, down to the point that around two thirds of the way through, I paused it, and sketched out what I thought the rest of the film would involve, and except for some of the locations being different I was totally correct.

I wonder what it was about 'Cars' which made it work for me to the extent that it did, because as I saw the opening scene of this movie, and the fighter planes have mouths - and then planes with TEETH, I just groaned 'No way!' I mean, seriously, whatever happened to good old mammals. What are they going to anthropomorphise next - abstract concepts? "Coming this summer from Pixar - The Beaufort Scale!"

To give them their due, if you can buy the whole planes with eyes and mouths, and apparently sexual desires, and it doesn't bother you that New York is filled with skyscrapers which presumably nobody inhabits, well they do do a reasonably good job of extracting emotion from the movement of landing struts and propellers and wings, etc, but this is only a fraction of what it would take to have made this film really soar. There are some very nice backgrounds, especially in the Himalayan sequence, but at other times the animators seem to just be slacking off, and though Dusty is a likeable enough character, he's the best of a woefully predictable bunch. I kind of like Ashanti's little speil about reincarnation, but that was just a few seconds of mild cleverness.

I can't swear I've watched every Disney film in between (ok, I definately haven't watched 'Chicken Little'), but this struck me as their worst since 'Teacher's Pet', and at least that tried to be different.

There'so nothing obnoxious about this, and it will probably entertain kids, but I'd have felt bummed if I'd paid to see this in a cinema or even rented it except on half price Tuesday. And I'm getting tired of writing two and two and a half star reviews.

animated series Robot Chicken © ShadowMachine Films / Stoopid Monkey / Williams Street / Sony Pictures Digital
Robot Chicken
Rated it: 2
posted: Dec 19, 2014
Robot Chicken is probably the best short, sketch-based, stop-motion TV series ever made. So much for the bad news.

Created by voice actor Seth Green (Chris from 'Family guy'), RC crams lots and lots of staccato fast bits into its brief running time, so if you don't like what's on, don't worry too much; it'll be over before you have time to be seriously annoyed by it. This is definitely a saving grace. Although the percentage of really funny sketches isn't high, you're never far from one.

The style of the humour would have been a revelation for TV animation once upon a time, but Adult Swim and Williams Street in particular have been doing variations on it now for nearly 15 years. Still, how often does something come along that is breathtakingly new, and good at the same time?

Robot Chicken isn't as surreal as 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' or even 'Frisky Dingo', but the blink-and-you've-missed-it speed of the bits (some are just three seconds long) creates a kind of non-sequitur feeling to the whole show, somewhat regardless of the actual material.

Gross-out humour and general scatology are employed, but not so relentlessly as the worst offenders in this category, where they become the whole point of the show. There's enough genuine creativity to keep this chicken's head above that low water mark, and combining the style and format with stop motion means the show will stand out in the crowd. It nearly got 2.5 stars from me.

If you want to see genuinely hilarious, surreal and fast stop-motion which doesn't need schoolboy crassness for a crutch, 'A Town Called Panic' still sets the bar. If you can find it.

Loop

animated cartoon Wolf Hounded © Hanna-Barbera
Wolf Hounded
Rated it: 2
posted: Oct 19, 2014

I'm tempted to give this an extra half star, as it was Loopy's first appearance, but for reasons which will become apparent soon, I thought I'd best leave it at 2.

I don't think any Loopy shorts have been reviewed, perhaps a short intro is in order.

'Loopy de Loop' was the title character of Hanna-Barbera's first and only venture into the realm of theatrical shorts, his run lasting for six years. He was also very nearly HB's first character, period, but I believe Yogi Bear beat him to air by a year in 1958.

Sporting a French-Canadian accent ('Loopy' from 'Loup', of course), Loopy's schtick is that he is always 'kind, considerate and charming' - despite his inevitably being met with hatred, outrage and misunderstanding by everyone he encounters. It struck me tonight that in this he is slightly reminiscent of Pepe le Pew - also French and misunderstood - but I think it's fair to say that Pepe's intentions are seldom as altruistic as Loopy's, nor does he generally suffer greatly as a result of them, whereas Loopy is so regularly beaten up, chased, yelled at and generally berated that I'd like to have seen him crack up in one episode and attack someone, since that is what everyone persecutes him for doing. But no, he remains heroically true to his mission, to disabuse humanity of its evil image of wolves.

This is the very first Loopy short, and introduces a character which is, to be honest probably more loveable than most of the stories he finds himself in. Loopy re-tells the 'Little Red Red Riding Hood' story (conflating it with 'The Three Little Pigs',) who he describes as juvenile deliquents. His attempts to do the right thing end up with predictably catastrophic results, though being his first appearance, people would not have learned the rolling-gag yet. And he does, at least this time, earn an admirer, however unwanted

This is not a particularly good debut, and later episodes were often better, though it has to be said few really rose above 'pretty good'. It's more a case of enjoying the character. The animation in particular, in this first outing is horribly basic for a theatrical short. HB's team can't even be bothered making the sky blue (in early episodes its a monotone sepia. Blue sky and clouds would appear a little while later), and in this particular short they can't even seem to afford to bother with things like the ground or horizon: trees seem to float in sepia mid-air. This would actually improve surprisingly quickly, and only the very early shorts suffer like this (Starlac, BTW, is apparently profiling these in order. The four Loopy shorts in our database so far are the first four released).

Hanna-Barbera were responsible for some abominations, particularly by the early 80's - but Loopy isn't one of them. He was misunderstood as a character, and orphaned as a cartoon star, though the shorts were syndicated as a TV series in 1969. If you like him, you'll probably like all the shorts to some extent. If you don't, there's not much else to chew on.

Loop (no, I'm not named after him: they just had the same idea I did)

animated series The Looney Tunes Show © Warner Bros.
The Looney Tunes Show
Rated it: 2
posted: Oct 18, 2014
I don't think I've seen 'Loonatics Unleashed', so I have no opinion as to whether this outing is an improvement. Actually I probably wouldn't have seen this show except that they started airing 'Adventure Time' at 6PM, and my PVR started catching the end of 'The Regular Show', which airs before it - so I started recording that, and catching the end of 'Unleashed', and you get the idea...

First, I don't have a problem with the whole resetting in suburbia, and near episode length stories. Actually I think I'd have been more annoyed if they'd tried to make each episode a collection of traditional Looney Tunes shorts. As classic as many of them were, to imitate the style of 60 years ago would be moribund, and the product would instantly be tarnished by comparison with the originals. It still is rather lame, of course - just look at the army of male voice actors it took to replace Mel Blanc - and there's some A-league voice talent there, too. Needless to say, the animation is just TV quality, and more 80's than 2010's, but at least it's not CG (the later seasons seem to have lost the Roadrunner shorts and musical numbers)

It's a watchable show with no ghastly problems, though I do wonder what sort of audience it has in mind. Surely it's purely a kids show, designed to appeal to a new, young audience without major issues about the old theatrical shorts, which could be quite sophisticated. But then Daffy comes out with a word like 'Kafka-esque', and you wonder...

Another slight disappointment is the new female characters. Lola and Daffy's gf have basically no personality - or perhaps more correctly, they have normal personalities whereas everyone is a nutjob. Which raises the question, why in hell would a good-looking, well-balanced female go out with Daffy? Why would anyone share a house with him voluntarily for that matter? In this series he's basically a narcissistic sociopath.

Oh well. This series clearly didn't set the world on fire, and didn't deserve to, but it's really not worth getting bent out of shape over, either.

It's really not that bad, if you come to it without expectations.

 
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