Vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human Jonathan (Andy Samberg) fell in love in the first “Hotel Translyvania,” and in this sequel they get married and have a baby named Dennis. He has his father’s unruly red curls. But his grandfather […]
Ever wonder why Pixar’s movies always begin with a desk lamp? Watch Pixar’s first computer-animated short, released 29 years ago today.
We are delighted to have an exclusive clip from “Dinotrux,” the new series for kids on Netflix, available August 14, 2015.
New on Netflix: Dinotrux! It’s based on the books by Chris Gall. Dinotrux are huge creatures are half dinosaur, half construction vehicle. Ty Rux is a Tyrannosaurus Trux, and his best friend Revvit is a razor-sharp Reptool. Together they fight […]
Dorothy McKim produced one of my favorite of the recent Disney short films, “Get a Horse,” which brought old-time Mickey Mouse into the era of 3D CGI with an eye-popping, with a hilariously intricate choreography that literally jumps out of […]
“Shaun the Sheep is another adorably quirky animated film from Aardman, the folks behind “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run.” it is a wordless pleasure about a flock of sheep who get bored with their idyllic but monotonous life on […]
At the end of the last “Kung Fu Panda” movie we got a hint that our hero, an adopted son of a loving father, would get his first chance to meet his biological family. In this new chapter, Po (Jack […]
The Minions should pay a little less attention to villains and a little more to penguins. Like “Madagascar’s” penguins, “Despicable Me’s” yellow minions were comic relief characters who took the lead in follow-up features. But the Minions are not quite […]
Martin Sheen and Amy Grant provide the voices in this animated animal adventure inspired by Noah’s Ark, from Entertainment One (eOne). “All Creatures Big and Small” will be available for free for a limited time on Google Play starting July […]
Coming in summer 2016 from Pixar.
Before “Inside Out,” there was another animated film that explored emotions and psychological and cognitive development. Based on the pioneering work of psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, animators John and Faith Hubley created “Everybody Rides the Carousel,” with segments illustrating Erikson’s stages […]
We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle, released today. The soundtrack is also available. And don’t forget to take a selfie with Curious George! When Curious George is asked to take […]
Ever wonder what your pets get up to while you’re away? Jenny Slate, Steve Coogan, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper and Louis C.K. will tell you all about it!
The first-ever animated feature from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special presents six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project, where everyday people sit down together to […]
This animated film is inspired by the life of Bilal Ibn Rabah, one of Muhammad’s most trusted companions and known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers.
Roger Ebert liked to refer to movies as an “empathy machine.” He said that the great gift of movies, more than any other art form, is the way they can put us inside the world, experiences, culture, and perspective of […]
We are delighted to be able to share a clip from Dreamwork Dragons: Race to the Edge, coming from Netflix on June 26, 2015. Hiccup stumbles upon a mysterious, ancient treasure while exploring an abandoned, booby-trapped ship.
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams. I love this trailer.
The Adventures of Maya the Bee is a classic children’s book from Germany, originally published more than 100 years ago, about a brave little bee who breaks the rules by leaving the hive but saves the day when she warns […]
PBS’s Wild Kratts is one of my favorite series for families. I love the relationship between the two real-life Kratt brothers and their enthusiasm and sense of adventure. The episodes have a nice balance between adventure, humor, and information about […]
“Home” is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, causing utter devastation to every known life form. Yes, it is hitting the dreaded […]
When Fred Flintstone has an idea to make money that involves putting Barney in the ring with the Stone Age WWE all-stars, what can possibly go wrong? This week, we find out in The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown, […]
And don’t forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T!
Win a copy of this week’s release of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Adventures Of The Cutie Mark Crusaders! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your favorite real-life or fictional horse. Don’t forget your address! (US […]
Big Hero 6 will be out on DVD/Blu-Ray February 24, 2015. Here’s a cute clip from the DVD extras.
The Pick of the Week is a Disney animation classic: 101 Dalmatians, which has a gorgeous new Diamond edition. For some behind-the scenes info about the film, check this out.
Don’t mess with the animators! I really enjoyed this trailer for “Ratchet and Clank,” based on the Ratchet & Clank Sony game.
Our friends from Bikini Bottom are back in another deliriously silly story, so tender-hearted and cheery that there is no way to resist it. Plus, it has superheroes, a pirate played by Antonio Banderas, existential metaphysics, the guitarist from Guns […]
Despite the big names behind it, including George Lucas, who came up with the story and produced, it feels like a straight-to-DVD, about the level of Disney’s Tinkerbell series. It’s bright, colorful, self-affirming, and bouncy. And, likely to be appreciated […]
Pure pleasure: Four great Disney artists, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Josh Meador, and Walt Peregoy, paint a tree. There’s a reason they call them actors with pencils. Or, just call them geniuses.
This looks adorable. In theaters February 6, 2015.
Meredith Anne Bull stars in this week’s release “Strange Magic,” an animated musical fairy tale based on a story by George Lucas. She plays Dawn the “young, naive, unaffected and thrilled with life” younger sister of the heroine, Marianne, played […]
Remember the old scary movie line, “The call is coming from inside the house?” There’s nothing more terrifying than discovering that a place or a person you were certain was safe has all of a sudden become completely unpredictable and […]
Coming next month — a long-term passion project from George Lucas, “Strange Magic” features the voices of Kristin Chenoweth, Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cummings, Maya Rudolph, Alfred Molina, and Elijah Kelley.
The most adorable characters from the first three animated “Madagascar” movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to Kowalski (Chris Miller), the literally explosive Rico (Conrad […]
Did you ever wonder where Gru’s minions came from?
Hiro (Ryan Potter) is a super-smart kid who likes to hustle underground robot fighters with his deceptively cute-looking little bot. He has no interest in going to school until the older brother he adores (Daniel Henney as Tadashi) brings him to […]
Disney has announced “Toy Story 4,” coming from Pixar in 2017, to be directed by John Lasseter. Hurray for Pixar, and for Buzz and Woody! I’ll provide more details as they are announced.
We are delighted to have an exclusive peek at a behind-the-scenes bonus clip from Garfield’s Holiday Collection. You can see Jim Davis drawing Garfield, star of the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.
Erik Estrada and Fred Willard provide two of the most distinctive voices in Disney’s Planes Fire and Rescue, and it was a great treat to hear those voices through my telephone, as both actors called me to talk about their […]
The latest in Disney’s animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell’s friend Fawn, an animal […]
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: “Moana,” with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”) in […]
Jorge Gutierrez (Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre”) is co-writer and director of a dazzling new animated film that all but explodes off the screen in a kaleidoscope of color and energy and a love of life and storytelling and colorful characters and […]
Here’s what New York Comic-Con attendees got to see yesterday — a sizzle reel from Disney’s upcoming “Big Hero 6.”
An overly optimistic, yet inept, alien race named Boov, led by Captain Smek, invades Earth to hide from their mortal enemy and make it a new home.Convinced they are doing a favour, they begin to relocate the human race, but […]
A mischievous little girl named Ava and a “liger” (part lion, part tiger) named Lala go on an adventure in a magical land filled with animals in “Ava & Lala.” I have two copies of this charming DVD to give […]
First it was a concept album of ethereally bittersweet songs from the French group Dionysos, and then it was a graphic novel, and now, writer/musician Matthias Malzieu has brought his tenderhearted fantasy love story to the screen in the animated […]
Brooke Shields, Drake Bell, and Matthew Lillard star in “Under Wraps,” which will be out on DVD October 14, 2014. Danny and older sister Eleanor fall into an adventure of a lifetime when Danny accidentally unleashes a centuries old curse […]
LAIKA Studios (Paranorman and Coraline) has created another loveably crooked world, this time inspired by Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters! (The Ratbridge Chronicles). It’s their first period setting, a sort of slightly bent Edwardian with a touch of steampunk, in the […]
Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series from Disney Junior featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many curiosities, but when Ella and her friends’ appetite for fun lands them in some […]
Country star Kellie Pickler joins the cast in “Beauty and the Beet,” from the Veggie Tales folks, coming out October 14, 2014. (With a name like that, it was just a question of time!) BEAUTY AND THE BEET, a brand-new […]
I’m delighted to share some of the behind-the-scenes artistry that went into LAIKA Studios’ “The Boxtrolls.” You can see some of what I found so enchanting on my visit to the studio last spring.
In “Thunder and the House of Magic,” a little cat named Thunder stumbles into an old mansion owned by a retired magician, filled with all kinds of tricks, machines and curios. When the magician’s greedy nephew puts the house up […]
“Thunder and the House of Magic” opens September 5, 2014.
Jane Lynch, Danny Glover, Brooke Shields, Bailee Madison, and Drake Bell provide the voices for “Adventure Planet,” an animated adventure for the whole family out today on DVD. Norva and Jorpe are siblings who live in the tropical forests of […]
Get your food delivery menus ready. Unplug your phone. All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. They include scenes cut in syndication that have not been on television since the original broadcast. And of course they […]
I love this endearing story about how people in even the most unexpected of jobs can make a real difference.
Eight-year-old Arthur the aardvark has four adventures in this new DVD, available tomorrow, August 12, 2014. This is the perfect back-to-school treat, as Arthur and his friends find out that a candy bar may not be as appetizing as they […]
The visuals are stunning, the details are witty, the 3D effects are splendid, the songs are lively, the voice actors are top-notch, but the storyline feels like an episode of “Thomas the Tank Engine.” That’s when it was still analog […]
Tomorrow the new DVD “Wings: Sky Force Heroes” will be available and I have an exclusive clip! Josh Duhamel (Transformers) is back as Ace in the thrilling story about a heroic pilot seeking redemption in the DOVE-approved family adventure, Wings: Sky […]
Mary Blair was the designer behind the look of Disney in the 1950’s. You can learn more about her at The Disney Family Museum’s exhibit, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair. Blair’s joyful creativity―her eye-appealing designs and exuberant […]
Glen Keane is one of the all-time greats of old-school hand-drawn animation. He was responsible for characters like Pocahontas and Ariel. Much as I love computer-animation, there are some things only a hand can do, and his hand is one […]
Director Guillermo del Toro has a fabulously imaginative visual style. From “Hellboy” to “Pan’s Labyrinth,” he has created strange and intricate worlds. His upcoming animated film, “The Book of Life,” looks dazzling.
Writer/director Dean DeBlois is one of my favorite people to interview and it was delightful to talk to him about the wonderful “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Just give me the basics just to set the stage. Tell me […]
“How to Train Your Dragon 2″ is all fans of the original were hoping and has a good shot at being not just the best animated film of the year but one of the best in any category and for […]
From the brilliant folks behind Paranorman and Coraline, “The Box Trolls,” coming this fall.
Disney’s “Big Hero 6″ will be out this fall, featuring Maya Rudolph.
“Eschew the ordinary, disdain the commonplace. If you have a single-minded need for something, let it be the unusual, the esoteric, the bizarre, the unexpected.” Chuck Jones Animation director and artist Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones (1912–2002) was often asked whether […]
The Hub Network’s Villaintine’s Day Marathon airs this Friday, May 23 with episodes from “Littlest Pet Shop” featuring villain favorites The Biskit Twins (1–4 p.m. ET/10 a.m. – 1 p.m. PT) and from “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic” featuring […]
“Oh, Toto,” says Dorothy (“Glee’s” Lea Michelle), “This doesn’t look like the Oz I remember.” Tell it, sister. Why why why why why take the most beloved family film of all time, based on a cherished book, and make a […]
Time Out New York asked top animators to pick the greatest 100 animated films of all time. All the Disney, Pixar, and Miyazaki classics are there, plus some surprises. I have some disagreements, but am entirely in favor of the […]
Just because a South American frog has toxic venom that can cause instant death does not mean she cannot be adorably lovesick. Broadway belter Kristin Chenoweth (“Wicked,” “Glee”) steals the show right under the Brazil nut-cracking beaks of our old […]
I’m thrilled to have one of my all-time favorite Disney classics to give away: The Jungle Book. The last film personally supervised by Walt Disney himself, this one has brilliant voice talent (Phil Harris, Louis Prima, Sebastian Cabot) and some […]
This time of year always makes me think of “Windy Day,” one of my favorite short films. John and Faith Hubley created this wonderfully impressionistic animation using a recording of their daughters playing together as a soundtrack.
There are some cartoony hints to help you out. But if you want to see the entire list, it is here.
In this charming story, a man finds his life transformed by a robot pet.
Jay Ward’s irresistibly daffy cartoons of the early 1960’s were charming and witty, with a post-modern meta wink at the fourth wall, wacky puns, and jokes that kids would suddenly remember and understand years later. This reboot is smarmy, overblown, […]
The last animated film personally overseen by Walt Disney is “The Jungle Book,” inspired by the Rudyard Kipling story of a boy abandoned in the forest who is raised by the animals. It has some of the most endearing and […]
Everything is awesome in this fast, fresh, funny, and utterly adorable movie set in the vast world of LEGOs. Last year at Comic-Con the filmmakers said that there are two great things to do with LEGOs — you can follow […]
And the LA Times explains how they do it. As the film business has become an increasingly global one, [Rick] Dempsey’s job has become ever more complex, with languages in emerging territories added every year. The newest additions include Bengali, […]
I miss the days when the economics of animation were so daunting that we were assured a certain level of quality. Yes, there were some low points that don’t even qualify for a Disney re-issue (I could find some affection […]
This is one of the movies I am most looking forward to in 2014. I met with the director and had glimpses of some of it and it looks sensational!
Smart, exciting, funny, sweet, tuneful, and gorgeously animated, the Oscar-winning “Frozen” adapts Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale into a story of two sisters kept apart by a scary secret. Scary wolves, an enormous snow monster, a perilous journey, a […]
I always love talking to Mark Henn, one of the top animators in Disney history. Previously, we spoke about young Simba in The Lion King and the most recent Winnie the Pooh. This week, we talked about the adorable snowman character, […]
I’m delighted to present a clip from the cute new holiday film, The Naughty List. Two young elves, Winter and Snowflake, have a hard time following the rules and are prone to sneaking off for some good elf playtime. But […]
Watch a 60-second version of my Pick of the Week, the cute “Turbo” about the NASCAR racing snail.
Disney’s latest animated release will be out for Thanksgiving. Here’s a sneak peek:
Maybe it’s just me, but I think this may be the worst idea for a movie intended for children I have heard since the one about the kid bank robber. Does anyone think it makes sense to horrify children just […]
In Monsterous Holiday a young inventor named Andy reaches out to his neighbor Doctor Frankenstein to help him win the upcoming science fair. But, finding the Doctor not to be at home, he meets the next best thing, Frankenstein’s monster; […]
Pixar’s first ever television special has the “Toy Story” characters (including “Toy Story 3’s” master thespian Mr. Pricklepants, voiced by Timothy Dalton) in a story filled with funny scares and scary fun. Tonight on ABC 8PM (7 Central)
It may be a coincidence that a Russian animation studio decided to make a movie based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the Snow Queen at the same time as Disney’s big-budget feature, “Frozen,” inspired by the same […]
My very favorite series for kids has a wonderful new collection for Halloween and I have three to give away! Enjoy the ghoulish pleasures and scary delights and ghostly giggles of stories like The Little Old Lady Who Was Not […]
Remember Harold the Merman? No, you don’t, because he was dropped from “The Little Mermaid.” But you can see why writer/directors Ron Clements and John Musker were so devoted to him in one of the delicious extras on this week’s […]
After Walt Disney died, the studio he founded faltered, especially Disney animation. Following the powerhouse classics like “Peter Pan,” “Dumbo,” and “The Jungle Book” (the last animated film Walt Disney supervised personally), the animation division became mired in struggles that […]
Who would have guessed that the brightest and funniest and most heartwarming animated film of the year would not be from Pixar or Disney but Sony? And that to boot it would be a sequel, or, perhaps given the subject […]
“Planes” literally takes off from the retro world of “Cars” and “Cars 2,” with the story of a brave little crop-duster named Dusty (Dane Cook) who wants to compete in an international air race. A couple of problems for Dusty: […]
Disney is celebrating the 25th anniversary of this tuneful animated classic loosely based on Dickens’ Oliver Twist with a new Blu-Ray release. It is the story of an orphaned cat named Oliver (Joey Lawrence) who is befriended by vagabond dogs […]
Disney is celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of its most beloved animated musicals with a gorgeous new Blu-Ray. It is based on the classic Robin Hood story of the man who robbed from the rich to give to the […]
Disney is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its animated classics with a beautiful new Blu-Ray edition. Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White that also inspired the musical “Camelot,” “The Sword in the Stone” is the […]
Laika, the stop-motion animation studio behind two of my favorite films of the past ten years, “ParaNorman” and “Coraline,” has released the teaser trailer for its 2014 release, “The Box Trolls,” and it looks amazing. Nice nod to non-traditional families […]
Who declared this the summer of the animated snails? In Twentieth Century Fox’s “Epic,” a snail and slug duo stole the spotlight from the human characters, even the Beyoncé-voiced nature queen. The end credits of Pixar’s “Monsters University” features not […]
Is there more to the story of “Despicable Me” after Gru (Steve Carell) isn’t despicable anymore? The original, with Gru and Vector (Jason Segal) as warring super-villains, was one of the best animated films and one of the best family […]
“Monsters Inc.” is one of my favorite Pixar movies, filled with wit, imagination, and heart. This prequel is a lot of fun, still very funny and wildly imaginative, but a little hollow where the heart should be. One problem Pixar […]
Are snails the penguins of 2013? For a while, penguins were the adorable go-to, in movies from “Madagascar” to “Surf’s Up” to the record-breaking documentary “March of the Penguins.” But this summer, the cutest creatures in animated movies seem to […]
“Epic” means big — usually a big story filled with grand adventures. This is a grand adventure, but the story is very small, or at least its characters are. Like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” “A Bug’s Life,” and “The […]
This looks adorable. Did you recognize the voices? The cast includes Paul Giamatti, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Peña, Snoop Dogg/Lion, Maya Rudolph, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Rodriguez. But “Push It” is becoming the new “I Feel Good.” It […]
Adventures in Zambezia is a colorful new animated film from South Africa and I have one copy plus an activity book to give away. It is the story of a falcon who leaves home in search of adventure and learns that […]
Just in time for Earth Day, Ms. Frizzles and the class go on three never-before-released episodes and a bonus from the popular series of animated adventures with science, with English and Spanish language options. The episodes are: “The Magic School […]
The animated films from Japan’s Studio Ghibli are adored by many American families for their lush and intricate hand-drawn animation and imaginative story lines. But others, like me, find many of them uneven and inaccessible. The latest, from Goro Miyazaki, son […]
I was utterly captivated from the first moment of these magical opening credits. This sequence welcomes us into the world of the man who will become the Wizard and the magic he will encounter.
I think we can all agree that at least in some respects all children are Neanderthals. It is the grand challenge of parenthood to civilize these sometimes savage little creatures by teaching them language, manners, and keeping safe. And some […]
I love the work of Carter Goodrich, an artist and illustrator who has worked on films like “Despicable Me” and “Hotel Transylvania.” I was delighted to see that he has made his sketches for this week’s release, “The Croods,” available […]
One of my favorite Disney movies is out in a glorious new Blu-Ray/DVD release this week, Mulan and its sequel, Mulan II. “Mulan” is a gorgeously hand-animated film based on a traditional Chinese folktale about a girl who dresses as […]
Really looking forward to this one, featuring the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudeikis, Beyoncé, Aziz Ansari, Christoph Waltz, and Colin Farrell.
Bob and Larry bring humor and wisdom to a classic story sure to delight kids and their families in The Little House That Stood, an Easter-themed story inspired by “The Three Little Pigs” and the parable of the wise […]
This one looks every bit as adorable (and as unrelated to the book) as the first one.
A new animation studio called Rainmaker has produced its first film, “Escape from Planet Earth,” a story of sibling rivalry and aliens. It almost works as an amiable, if derivative time-waster for kids with a few jokes for the grown-ups, […]
Disney’s Oscar-nominated short is one of the best movie romances of 2012. It appeared in theaters before the feature “Wreck-It Ralph.” The music is by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s” Christophe Beck and it was produced and directed by John Kahrs.
According to this movie by the “Toy Story” folks at Pixar, that monsters are more afraid of children than children are of monsters. But monsters need to collect the screams of children to fuel their world, and children are getting […]
The joys of Christmas include sharing holiday favorites with the family and two of the best of the animated classics will be on ABC tomorrow night. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — the animated Chuck Jones version with […]
The daughter of writer/illustrator William Joyce (“Dinosaur Bob,” “Robots”) once asked him whether the Easter bunny knew Santa Claus and that inspired him to create a series of stories about the characters of fantasy and folklore who care for children. […]
Graham Chapman was the Monty Python troupe member most often referred to by the others as “the dead one.” This affectionate tribute, narrated by Chapman himself in excerpts from the audio version of the memoir he wrote before he died […]
No one wants to be the bad guy anymore. In “Despicable Me,” Gru’s delightfully dastardly plans were no match for the overpowering adorableness of three little girls. “Megamind” found that being the bad guy was no fun after he vanquished […]
“And I would have gotten away with it if not for you meddling kids!” Scooby-Doo and his pals are the ultimate in funny-scary. Created for television by Hanna-Barbera in 1969, the stories of investigations of haunted amusement parks and mysterious […]
Where do fairies come from? When a baby laughs, a fairy is born. And Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) learns in this sweet animated tale that the baby’s laugh that gave her life must have been extra merry because two fairies […]
I am so happy that Google is paying tribute to one of my favorite artists, Winsor McCay, creator of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend. McCay also invented animation. He was the one who figured out […]
Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein was a scientist who wanted to create life. Tim Burton’s Victor Frankenstein is a kid who just wants his dog back. Writer/director and master of the macabre Burton first developed this idea in a 1984 live […]
This week, Disney’s animated classic Cinderella is being released with a glorious new Three-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy, and that glass slipper really sparkles! The classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault is lovingly and imaginatively brought to life in this […]
What scared me most about “Hotel Transylvania” was the prospect of another film starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. Their last collaboration was “That’s My Boy,” by far the most excruciatingly painful experience I’ve had at a theater this year. Thankfully, just […]
Fifty years ago this week, The Jetsons first appeared on television, a sort of spin-off/bookend to The Flintstones. While “The Jetsons” did not have any characters to match the bombastic and iconic Fred Flintstone and lasted only 24 episodes in its […]
“Finding Nemo” is an ideal choice for a 3D re-release. Its Pacific Ocean setting is majestic, immersive, not intrusive, in evoking the vast sweep of the water and bringing us into the world of the tiny fish characters. Digital and […]
While digital animators create algorithms that replicate real life textures and weights and movements so perfectly they can seem real-er than reality, the small but preposterously dedicated stop-motion animators create their own three-dimensional world and invite us inside. Like its […]
Could Joss Whedon be any more lovable? He creates smart, provocative, and funny television shows with strong and fascinating female characters. He directed one of the biggest movies of the year, “The Avengers.” And now he stars as an action […]
The “Ice Age” folks have the formula down very well, and this fourth entry is one of their strongest, with enough of the familiar to be satisfying and enough that is new to keep things interesting. The real expertise is […]
“Brave” is not just one of the best movies of the year for any age; it is one of the best movies ever made from a female point of view. It has been a long time coming. Pixar’s unprecedented series […]
“Madagascar 3″ is the best of the series, bright, fresh, fun, and funny, with a terrific script from co-director and Eric Darnell, a series regular, and, a bit improbably, “The Squid and the Whale’s” Noah Baumbach. In the first Madagascar, […]
An 8-bit video-game character attempts to shed his bad-guy image by escaping into a popular first-person shooter, but inadvertently wreaks havoc in the video-game universe by freeing a digital villain. Here’s the first look at Disney’s big end-of-year release, featuring […]
Four popular Disney•Pixar movies are returning exclusively to AMC Theatres for the Memorial Day holiday weekend to provide a perfect alternative for families in the midst of PG-13 summer movie season. From May 25 through May 28, “Toy Story 3,” […]
Here today, gone tomorrow! This special Disney animation collection goes off the market April 30 and I have just one to give away! It includes: Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition 3D Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World Special […]
The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) enjoys his life of adventure on the high seas, but there are a few problems. His crew is having a spirited debate about the best part of pirating – is it the cutlasses, the looting, […]
My favorite series for children has a wonderful new collection: Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection Volumes 1 & 2. Emmy Award winner and Sesame Street veteran Mo Willems is the author/illustrator of the delightful book series about […]
This Saturday, winged unicorn Princess Cadance and her handsome groom (bridal, not stable) Shining Armor will be married on “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” shown on The Hub. Children and the adult fans known as bronies and pegasisters will […]
At the SXSW festival, “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane told the crowd he is working on a television reboot of “The Flintstones,” a beloved 1960’s cartoon series that led to a couple of not-beloved feature films. McFarlane told the audience […]
The latest from Veggie Tales is the delightful and heartwarming Robin Good & His Not So Merry Men. Larry the Cucumber stars as Robin Good, a fearless man who roves the town of Bethlingham with his band of merry men […]
Adapting Dr. Seuss for a feature film is a challenge. The movies can capture his whimsical drawings and mischievous humor but they fail when they pad his storylines and jettison his rhymes. Dr. Seuss had a genius for saying a […]
A spirited young heroine and an enchantingly beautiful setting make a story of friendship and courage beguiling in Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of Mary Norton’s popular series of “Borrower” books. First published in the mid-1950’s, the stories are on based on […]
Remember the class television series “Davy and Goliath?” The stop-motion animation children’s show about the little boy and the dog who spoke to him was owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and produced by Art and Ruth Clokey […]
“Beauty and the Beast” is one of Disney’s most beloved fairy tales and the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. This week it is back in theaters in 3D and it looks gorgeous. It is […]
There’s a mini-“Tangled” sequel before “Beauty and the Beast” 3D! Here’s a sneak peek! A full sequel is scheduled to appear on the Disney Channel this spring. Stay tuned.
I thought I knew of — and loved — every film version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” But what a delight to discover a new one, and an Oscar-winning animated version by one of my favorite artists, Richard Williams (of “The […]
Two box office champion directors and a cult favorite joined forces for a film that was a first for all of them, a 3D motion capture animated story. It is clear that director Steven Spielberg, producer Peter Jackson (“The Lord […]
If you are feeling frazzled with holiday preparations, take a moment to enjoy the pure magic of this excerpt from one of the finest animated films ever made:
The third in the series about the singing chipmunks and their exasperated but perpetually forgiving human father is a little brighter and sweeter than its predecessors. It tones down the slapstick and potty humor, meriting a family-friendly G rating. The […]
As the latest Chipmunks movie opens up this week, we remember how it all got started, with the Grammy-winning 1958 song, “Christmas Don’t Be Late:” The singing chipmunks were created by songwriter Ross Bagdasarian, who had appeared in the Alfred […]
Rescue on the Rails is the new adventure from Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. When Bertie gets stuck on Shake Shake Bridge, Gordon is derailed, and Thomas’ firebox is on fire, who will come to the rescue? Being […]
Babar and Father Christmas is a new DVD with a charming holiday story. The children of Babar and Celeste write to Father Christmas to invite him to their home town. But the letter is stolen by wicked Rataxes the Rhinoceros, […]
A sleigh pulled by reindeer? That’s so five decades ago. With the population topping seven billion and the Duggars getting ready to welcome baby number 20, Santa (Jim Broadbent) needs all the support modern technology can provide. He may not […]
Based on one of the top-selling children’s books of all time, The Littlest Angel is a new film based on the classic story by Charles Tazewell, first published in 1946. A small angel cannot quite seem to fit in until a […]
I loved the original Happy Feet, but five years later only liked this sequel. It’s still a lot of fun to see dancing, singing penguins, but the meandering storyline never catches hold. In the original, a small Emperor penguin named […]
The wonderful folks at Veggie Tales have a new DVD for the holidays, Little Drummer Boy, based on the classic Christmas carol. In this version, Junior Asparagus hears the story of a little boy whose heart was filled with bitterness […]
Roma Downey knows something about angels after playing one on television in the fondly remembered “Touched by an Angel” series. Now her Little Angels DVDs are a faith-based series for pre-schoolers to help them learn numbers and letters. Animated twins Alex […]
The popular feline bandit of the “Shrek” series gets his own feature film, one that is less of a fractured fairy tale and more of a swashbuckler. Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of Puss in Boots, the cat with […]
Just last week, I decided to watch the original 1977 “Star Wars” again and enjoyed it very much. I’ve lost count of how many times I have seen it, but I can tell you that when my then-fiance and I […]
I had a lot of fun talking to animator Mark Henn about “Winnie the Pooh” last summer so it was a pleasure to get to talk to him again, this time about The Lion King, which has had surprise box […]
“The Lion King” finishes its record-breaking theatrical re-release in 3D with its first Blu-Ray in a superpack and I have five to give away! Details below. One of Disney’s most popular animated features (and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s […]
A gorgeous new 70th anniversary “Dumbo” Blu-Ray DVD pack is the Pick of the Week. The stork delivers babies to the circus animals, including Mrs. Jumbo’s baby, an elephant with enormous ears. The other elephants laugh at him and call […]
Here’s a tribute to one of the all-time greatest voice actresses, June Foray, who celebrates her 94th birthday today. Best known as Rocky the flying squirrel, she also provided voices for Lucifer the cat in “Cinderella,” Grandmother Fa in “Mulan,” […]
One of Disney’s most popular animated features (and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s biggest blockbuster) has been re-issued in 3D. “The Lion King” is sort of a cross between “Richard III” and “Hamlet,” the story of Simba (voice of […]
I’m very excited to have a gorgeous DVD box set from the Scholastic Storybook series, my very favorite family DVDs to give away. And this one is really special, with three different collections that will inspire children to use their […]
After a promising beginning with the tart but sweet romantic comedy “Never Been Kissed,” director Raja Gosnell has been mired in the quagmire of movie junk food, “family” movies like “Scooby-Doo” and “Yours, Mine and Ours.” They are the cinematic […]
Disney’s latest film lovingly captures the magic of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems, which have been enchanting children and their parents for 85 years. They were a sort of earlier “Toy Story,” with the adventures of Christopher Robin’s stuffed tiger, […]
Pixar has made another enchanting film, witty, touching, and utterly delightful. It is “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation,” a brief opener followed by the less delightful “Cars 2.” In “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation,” Ken and Barbie are disappointed at being left […]
Po, the kung-fu master panda (Jack Black), has everything he hoped for in the first movie. He has the martial arts skills to protect and impress the community and he is accepted as a teammate by the greatest champions in […]
The influence of acclaimed Japanese animation wizard Hayao Miyazaki is clear in “Mia and the Migoo,” an award-winning film from French director Jacques-Rémy Girerd. It has a Miyazaki-like brave young heroine on an eco-themed journey and random encounters with grotesque […]
The Weinstein Company may be nowhere near the gold standard set by Pixar in the imagination and technical ability of its animation, but it beats all ten of the champion’s justifiably lauded classics in one category. Pixar has yet to […]
Director Mike Disa has a terrific piece in the Huffington Post about his new film, “Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil,” with not one but two heroines who are strong, smart, brave, and compassionate. Look at any recent animated movie. Despite […]
The DVD pick of the week is Tikki-Tikki-Tembo and More Stories of Asian Heritage, another from my very favorite series for young children and their families. This one arrives in time for May’s celebration of Asian Heritage Month in May, […]
A South American setting and striking animation lend freshness to “Rio’s” otherwise much-traveled storyline about a pampered pet who has to learn to survive in the wild. We’ve seen this tale many times — “Madagascar,” “Bolt,” “The Wild,” “Beverly Hills […]
“Hop” would more accurately be titled “Stumble,” a disappointing follow-up from the producers of one of last year’s best family films, “Despicable Me.” It is just another story of a hapless live action character who has his life turned upside-down […]
Disney has taken a 200-year-old story from the Brothers Grimm and made it just modern enough, sassy without being snarky, fresh and contemporary without any po-mo air quotes. It’s the classic fairy tale of the girl with the long, long […]
Girls in thigh-hi stockings and tiny spangled miniskirts take on steam-powered corpses, WWI bi-planes, samurai robots, and an angry dragon, along with a series of odiously predatory men in the latest film from Zack Snyder. His versions of “300” and […]
There is one perfectly charming moment in “Mars Needs Moms,” but it does not come until the closing credits, when we get some live action glimpses of the voice actors. Their faces are covered with reference dots and they are […]
“Rango” is a deliciously demented and slyly satiric take on westerns, which means it takes on America’s deepest myths about our identity. It is wild and strange and blessedly idiosyncratic, with a witty and heartfelt performance by Johnny Depp in […]
Let’s get it out of the way first thing. “Megamind” would be a much more enjoyable experience if it wasn’t so close to one of this year’s brightest family pleasures, Despicable Me. Both are stories of the clash of two […]
Another one from my favorite series that arrives in time for Black History Month — Duke Ellington… and more stories to celebrate great figures in African American history from Scholastic Storybook Treasures. The DVD includes gently animated and beautifully narrated […]
What’s in a gnome? Shakespeare’s tragic romance about the children of warring families has been adapted countless times (a high point: “West Side Story;” a low point: a recent Twitter version), as acknowledged in a cheeky opening monologue to this […]