Animation

Mon
31
Aug

Superman: Man of Tomorrow Misses Audience of Today

Superman Man of Tomorrow Review

With JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: APOKOLIPS WAR, the interconnected DC Animated Universe was brought to a close -- or a new beginning, depending on your perspective.

SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW may be that new beginning, as it gives viewers a Superman who as not yet even put on the cape. 

Clark Kent (Darren Criss) is an intern for the Daily Planet, yet to have his own byline. Lois Lane (Alexandra Daddario) has only just broken into the ranks of the press, having been responsible for the downfall of corrupt magnate Lex Luthor (Zachary Quinto). The world is only just getting introduced to the idea of superheroes, what with the rare glimpses of Superman's exploits as the "flying man" wearing the aviator helmet and goggles, and the even rarer shots of the Bat Man of Gotham City.

Thu
23
Jul

Scoob! Gets Scooby-Doo Right--but Nobody Else

Scoob Bluray

The first trailer for SCOOB! looked promising. We saw a stray pup find a friend, and we saw a lonely kid find a team. If this had stayed with that, an adolescent version of Mystery Inc, things might have gone a lot better, because it really was one of the better parts of the film.

Fri
26
Jun

Magic and Monsters Collide when Shazam Makes LEGO Debut

Shazam - Magic and Monsters

We saw this hinted at in the last LEGO BATMAN animated movie, FAMILY MATTERS. It was more than just an Easter Egg when Batman received assistance from a young boy named Billy Batson, as was revealed in the movie's after-credits scene that showed Billy boarding a mysterious subway car that whisked him away.

Thu
28
May

Harley Quinn: Potty-Mouth Bloodbath Version Fun for Adult Comics Fans

Harley Quinn Season One DVD

If you go into the DC Universe streaming series HARLEY QUINN expecting it to be an extension of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES or any of the other DCAU projects, then you've put up an unnecessary barrier to enjoying this show. Yes, the series has Batman and Robin and the Justice League, and yes it has more DCU villains than you could feasibly lock up in a single asylum. But this is the DCU as viewed through the lens of Mad Magazine, with the editors high on cocaine while wearing bondage gear. It's irreverent, it's foul-mouthed -- and it's funny AF.

Wed
08
Apr

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Hits Like a Hard "R" G.I. Joe

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE opens, as one would expect, by presenting itself as the origin of Hanzo Hasashi (voiced by Patrick Seitz), a great warrior who returns to his village to find it completely eradicated, including his wife. His final vision before his death is the brutal murder of his young son.

Hasashi awakens in the Netherrealm, where he is about to be tortured for all eternity by a demon. But Hasashi's will is indomitable, and he manages to fight his way through an army of demons, to the door of Quan Chi (Darin De Paul), who offers Hasashi an opportunity to get his life and family back -- by obtaining the key to unlock Quan Chi's imprisoned master through a competition held between the many realms. The competition comes with an opportunity for revenge against the man who killed Hasashi's family. And so Scorpion is born.

Sat
07
Mar

The Quest for Family Connection Drives Disney Pixar's Latest Film Onward

Onward

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt lead this charming Disney Pixar road-trip / buddy movie in a literal quest for magic.

ONWARD presents a world that was initially sword-and-sorcery, and allows it to evolve into one of modern convenience while retaining its culture and creatures. Unicorns are nusance animals, small dragons are kept as pets, and the ways of magic have been long forgotten for smart phones.

Sat
23
Nov

Elsa and Anna Go Into the Unknown in FROZEN II

Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven Go Into the Unknown for FROZEN II

FROZEN 2 has a high bar to get over, what with the first film having produced a main theme that won an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Critics Choice award. But this film is all about taking leaps, as the characters go through their own transformations in this richly layered tale that is more stage musical than its predecessor.

It's autumn in Arendelle, the season that reminds us that life changes. And where the scenery does this with subtlety, Olaf the Snowman (JOSH GAD) does it with overtness. He's rather old for a snowman now, and with age comes a certain wisdom. Anna (KRISTEN BELL) assures him there are some things that will remain constant. Remember them, there will be tragic callbacks later to them in the movie. While Anna comforts Olaf that things will go on changeless, Kristoff (JONATHAN GROFF) is preparing to introduce a big change in his and Anna's life by proposing -- if he could ever get the words out without Anna finding a self-conscious way to twist all his words.

Tue
19
Nov

When the Subplot is More Engaging than the Main: Angry Birds 2

The world is all divided into three parts. On the first, there is the island of the flightless birds, who get around in the air through the use of giant slingshots. On the other island live the green pigs, with whom the birds are at constant prank war. Chief among the warrior birds is Red (JASON SUDEIKIS), who is revered because he protected the island from the pigs and their leader, Leonard (BILL HADER) with the help of his friends Chuck (JOSH GAD) and Bomb (DANNY McBRIDE).

But there is a third island, an island of ice, newly discovered and declaring war upon the lands of both pig and bird, launching giant iceballs through the air and reigning down not pranks but destruction. Having a common enemy, birds and pigs forge a truce to work together and stop the mad plans of Zeta (LESLIE JONES) who seeks revenge against the one who jilted her years ago -- Mighty Eagle (PETER DINKLAGE).

Wed
13
Nov

The Swan Princess Gets 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Release

Swan Princess 25th Anniversary

With the market on fairy tale princesses seemingly cornered by the House of Mouse, it is nothing short of a miracle that Sony managed to be the first to snag the story of "Swan Lake" for an animated musical adaptation. Now, twenty-five years later, THE SWAN PRINCESS makes a dazzling appearance on Blu-ray, just in time for the holidays.

Sun
13
Oct

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines Resets Origin Told in Previous Animated WW Flick

Wonder Woman Bloodlines

WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES is a callback to the DC Universe crossover event of several years back. It has nothing to do with that event however, so don't get excited if you were a fan. Rather, this new release from the DCAU represents the origin of Wonder Woman (ROSARIO DAWSON), with Steve Trevor (JEFFREY DONOVAN) crashing near Themyscira after attempting to shoot down an incursion of Apokoliptian parademons. This serves to tie the story in better to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR, to cement Diana into the mythos.

Diana sacrifices her life on Themyscira, defying her mother, Hippolyta (CREE SUMMER), and losing her life on Themyscira for good in choosing to help Trevor and defend Man's World.

Wed
09
Oct

Death and Return of Superman Releases as Single Movie Experience

Death and Return of Superman Bluray

Previously released in two parts, THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN and REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN have now been edited together into a seamless, single movie experience.

Superman (JERRY O'CONNELL) is struggling. As Clark Kent, his relationship with Lois Lane (REBECCA ROMIJN) is difficult to commit to as he has been keeping a huge secret from her. He becomes particularly nervous about this when his parents come to town and meet Lois for the first time. The advice of his fellow Justice League members is that he should open up to her if he wants her to be a larger part of his life.

Thu
26
Sep

Abominable Transports Audiences to Magical Adventure

Abominable from DreamWorks Animation

Take the family on an exquisite, imaginative tour of Asia courtesy of Dreamworks' newest animated feature, ABOMINABLE.

Yi (CHLOE BENNET, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.) is a young girl with a driving ambition. Her day is spent sprinting from job to job, scrounging up cash and grunging up her appearance. Her mother (MICHELLE WONG) and grandmother (TSAI CHIN) are unaware of how she spends her time, or why she's gone all day long. We quickly learn that Yi is saving up to travel the world, so see all the places her recently departed father wanted to take her. 

While spending some quiet time in the hideout she has built on her rooftop, Yi has an unexpected encounter -- with a Yeti! She names the big fuzzy creature Everest, after the mountain she believes to be his home. But Everest didn't just wander onto Yi's roof by accident. He's an escapee from what was to be a major zoological exhibit, and the man behind his capture, Mr. Burnish (EDDIE IZZARD), wants him back at all costs.

Mon
26
Aug

LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters Combines Two Adventures into One LEGO Movie

Batman Family Matters, LEGO DC

There's a new villain haunting the dark streets of Gotham City -- and he knows the secrets of the entire Bat-family!

Who is this mysterious Red Hood (JASON SPISAk), and how is he so familiar with Batman (TROY BAKER), Nightwing (LOREN LESTER), Robin (SCOTT MENVILLE), Batgirl (ALYSON STONER) and even the latest member, Batwoman (TARA STRONG)? That's the mystery they have to solve before Gotham is blown to smithereens, as the Red Hood has set five bombs to go off in town, each guarded by an Arkham Asylum super-villain. 

Mon
05
Aug

Gotham's Worst All Involved in Batman: Hush, on Blu-ray and DVD

Batman Hush

The iconic Batman tour-de-force that served as a vehicle for Jim Lee's introduction to the DC Comics stable, HUSH, is the latest storyline to be adapted into the DCAU straight-to-DVD library, and scene omissions and straight-up plot changes, it's a largely enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes.

Fri
05
Jul

RWBY Returns November 2nd to Rooster Teeth With Volume 7

RWBY Vol 7

Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang have fought hard alongside their friends to bring the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas, the northernmost Kingdom in Remnant. However, the futuristic urban-sprawl may hide just as much danger as the Grimm-infested tundra that surrounds it. Enemies and allies will collide as our heroes fight to stop Salem's forces, but banding together is dangerous when you don't know who you can trust.

In a world filled with horrific monsters bent on death and destruction, humanity's hope lies with powerful Huntsmen and Huntresses. Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long are four such Huntresses in training whose journeys will take them far past the grounds of their school, Beacon Academy. Though each may be powerful on their own, these four girls must overcome dark forces and work as a team if they truly hope to become the next generation of Remnant's protectors.

Sat
22
Jun

Sheriff Woody: Complex Messiah

Woody and Forky

He seeks out to save those who are lost. He loves without expecting or receiving anything in return.  He gives of himself to fix those who are broken. He instills an inner voice in the one closest to him to carry on in his absence. And, in the end, he ascends.

He's Sheriff Woody, stuffed savior and prophet of Pixar. And nowhere is that made more evident in this (final?) chapter of the Pixar pioneer franchise, TOY STORY 4.

We begin where it all began -- at Andy's house, and the donation of an outgrown toy. Bo Peep (ANNIE POTTS) is being given to another child, and Woody (TOM HANKS), as always, is prepared to rescue her. But it's Bo's time to move on -- although she does make a tempting offer for Woody to follow along, reminding him that toys "get lost" all the time. But realizing that Andy still needs him, he has no choice but to remain and let Bo move on.

Sun
09
Jun

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Come to Blu-ray -- Almost Complete, Almost Perfect

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Almost Complete

Let's face it. Even the youngest of television viewers can figure out the plot of a Scooby-Doo cartoon after seeing three or four of them. The Mystery Inc gang was a group of meddling kids who knew how to ride mine cars, run back and forth across the screen, and drop a net on a ghost who would end up being a guy in a rubber mask.

Something had to be done to keep the kids coming back.

One of the ways the folks at Hanna-Barbera stroke to keep Scooby-Doo fresh and relateable was to bring in guest stars, people or characters whom the viewers already knew. Thus was born the New Scooby-Doo Movies, a series where the gang would meet up with famous celebrities or other Hanna-Barbera cartoon properties. This added a new layer to the mysteries -- which, nonetheless, involved the being taken for accidental rides, running back and forth across the screen, and dropping nets on ghosts who ended up being someone in a rubber mask. Only now they had help.

Tue
04
Jun

Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fun Action Flick with Anime Sensibilities

Batman vs TMNT Blu-ray

When high tech thefts occur in Gotham City, pulled off by stealthy ninjas, eyewitness accounts place a team of metahumans at the scene of the crime; "lizard men" Batgirl (RACHEL BLOOM) calls them. But these are not lizards. They are a quartet of terrapins, previously exposed just over a decade ago, to a DNA-altering substance that changed them into anthropomorphic creatures who were trained from an early age in the ancient Japanese martial arts. Yes, they are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they've come to Gotham City from New York hot on the trail of the evil Shredder and his minions, the Foot Clan.

Sat
01
Jun

How To Train Your Dragon Wraps with The Hidden World

How To Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

The village of Berk has become overrun with dragons. For most fictional medieval villages, this would be the apocalypse. But Berk is a dragon sanctuary, and their leader, Hiccup (JAY BARUCHEL), leads a rag-tag band of raiders on rescue missions to save dragons from trappers and poachers, bringing them back to the ever-more-crowded town.

Things take a turn, however, when dragon hunter Grimmel (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM) enters the scene. More than being ruthless and relentless, Grimmel is a strategist who plans three steps ahead, and he has a single minded goal: destroy all dragons. For that, he needs to get his hands on the alpha dragon -- Hiccup's partner, Toothless.

Tue
16
Apr

Future Shock as Legion Villains Battle the Justice League

Justice League vs Fatal Five

Just when I was getting used to the idea that every DC Animated Universe release was going to be a continuation of the New 52 paradigm, they throw us a curveball and give us another chapter in JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED -- and a most welcome one at that!

The voice acting trinity of Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, and George Newbern return as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, with Kevin Michael Richardson joining the team as Mr. Terrific and Daniela Bobadilla as potential League recruit, Miss Martian.

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