Hello, Spongey here.
It’s time again to rank some animated movies of a year from worst to best, an idea I totally didn’t take from a YouTube Channel you should be subbed to.
…Should have made that joke at the start of this.
Anyway, we’re at the point where there isn’t that much for history. Things are looking uncertain as Disney is really struggling and Pixar is rising. Although even they showed this year that they aren’t perfect.
More than any other year so far, we saw quite a bit of variety in terms of style and studios. And yet, most of this year has been forgotten. Seriously, even the bigger hits this year can be called Underrated to some.
We’ll see if they deserve more attention. Awards wise, the Oscar Nominees were Cars, Happy Feet and Monster House. I like the latter two fine as you recall but they weren’t the stronger choices…and yet Pixar ended up losing.
You’ll see if I agree with them or not later. The Annies nominated those along with…Open Season and Over the Hedge. Huh. At least they gave Cars the award.
The Golden Globes finally started their own Animated Feature Category and the nominees were the same as the Oscars,but they gave it to Cars.
With that said, let’s take a look at what 2006 has to offer. It has a whopping 15 movies we have to get through so we gotta get to it. Is it better than 2005? Are the movies worth remembering?
This, is Ranking the Animated Films of 2006
Arthur and the Invisibles: It’s almost an animated movie but it’;s too much of a live action hybrid to count for me. Looks somewhat interesting though.
Animal Crossing the Movie: Yes, this exists and it has no American release. Apparently it’s another actually good video game movie so there’s that.
The Girl Who Lept Through Time: I’ve heard good things about this one. Release was too limited to count for the full list but hopefully someday I’ll watch it.
Bambi 2: I hear it’s another decent Disney sequel, neat,
Brother Bear 2: This one, not so much.
Codename Kids Next Door Operation ZERO: I really like this one, it’s a good movie of the series with some great stuff. It honestly is one of the best ones from this year.
The Fox and the Hound 2: I’ve seen this one and still don’t get why it exists.
Full Metal Alchemist the Movie: I’ve actually seen this anime and can this movie was a good ending for it.
Leoory and Stitch: Great end for the series IMO.
The Little Cars: Ah yes, the legendary start for Video Brenquedo. …Yeah.
Romeo and Juliet Sealed with a Kiss: Yeah, another too limited one. But here’s my review that goes into why this one is so bad: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/romeo-and-juliet-sealed-with-a-kiss/
Teen Titans Trouble in Tokyo: I think it’s pretty solid.
Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/requested-reviews-2-superhero-edition/
Onto our many movies.
“I wanna apologize for Doogal”-Butch Hatman
When I started this, there where some movies that popped in my head as ones I couldn’t wait to watch, either because they sounded really interesting…or they sounded really bad and it would be fun to tear them apart.
This is the latter and it did not disappoint…sort of.
For those who don’t know, in the U.K they made a movie out of an old kids show and for some reason, The Company that Shall not be named wanted to bring it over here, so they re dubbed the whole thing with an American cast and re-wrote it.
They even brought in Butch Hartman himself to help out…and then threw away most of his stuff without telling him. The result is a big mess that everyone hated.
Now, I didn’t watch the original version since some reviewers like Rebel Taxi already did the thing of comparing both, so I felt it would be better to just judge it on it’s own.
From what I can tell, it’s much like the Not Cool/Holidaysberg thing where the other is better but still not very good. It seems pretty boring but with some slight charm to make it not terrible.
This kept the boredom and added obnoxious-ness. You’ve likely heard the main complaint before, that it’s almost nothing but annoying jokes like fart gags and pop culture references.
Most of which amount to them just mentioning a thing and calling it a joke. You already know all that but I was surprised by how boring it is. There’s not too much to it other than a pretty typical story that has nothing special and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
During the few breaks between the really bad jokes, there’s not much it has to offer. If the original was like this, they should at least TRIED to improve on it instead of making it worse.
The characters are mostly one note and annoying, especially the villain who gets the worst jokes. I don’t really care about anyone, which gets rid of any tension.
The animation is…actually okay for the most part, but the rendering can make it as cheap looking as it is. There’s some nice-ish looking moments but overall it looks pretty Direct to DVD.
However, I actually do have one positive they could have expanded on.
Doogal has this human owner/friend girl who gets frozen/trapped and they attempt to show how much he cares about her and tries to save her, especially since it’s his fault she got trapped, as he is rather clumsy.
It doesn’t add up to much but I could easily see this working in a better written movie. The fact that I actually managed to find itself that could have worked in this puts it above a few other animated movies I’ve seen.
(Also, the actors are trying and there a few okay jokes)
That and the fact that it’s just a butchered dub of a movie that likely isn’t one of the worst. I’ll take over something that was crap from the start.
But either way, Doogal is a mess. The humor is all bad, the animation is nothing great and it’s all an incredibly boring butchering of what I assume is a better movie.
Regardless how it compares to the other one, it’s still preeety bad overall. At least helped make the other weak movies on this ranking look way better.
Here’s one you likely haven’t heard, or at least don’t know much about. I kept seeing it on Cartoon Network in the late 2000’s or so and would also see it at Walmart.
I assumed it was some random direct to video thing…but when I sat down to do this project, I found out it was given a wide theatrical release. After watching it, I have no idea why.
I won’t harp on the animation too much as they animators apparently weren’t given much time to work on this, but it’s still fairly poor with weak rendering. It very much looks like it belongs on the Direct to Video market.
Don’t worry, the writing isn’t much better. The story is fairly generic with this loser kid with a workaholic Dad (this aspect isn’t even important overall), who is fairly one note, as are most of the other characters.
But the most notable thing about this movie is how bonkers it is. The kid finds a talking ball that only he can hear and he has to track down Babe Ruth’s bat after it’s stolen by some guy who works for the Cubs’ manager who wants it stolen so the Yankee’s can close.
Oh and the bat can talk too. She’s voiced by Whoopi Goldberg.
…Yeah. Nothing here makes any sense. Things often just happen because the characters are idiots, like when the kid’s Dad blames his son for the theft even though he clearly mentions seeing someone steal it.
There’s no real explantion given as to why the Ball and Bat can talk. It’s implied it’s because Yankee (that’s actually his name) believes in the spirit of Baseball or some crap but that’s not really good enough.
I may not know why they talk but I sure wish they didn’t because they are bickering jerks most of the time. Also, Robin Williams voices the manager and he goes uncredited despite having a decent sized role.
Yikes. While we’re on the subject of the manager, I love that the Cubs signed on for a movie where they’re the villains.
The interesting thing about this movie is that it was actually a passion project from Superman himself, Christopher Reeve. Yes, really. As such, it does somewhat have it’s heart in the right place.
Plus, there are a few okay moments, and the voice work is generally solid, even if some can be annoying due to what they have to work with.
Overall, Everyone’s Hero is a bonkers combination of insane and generic. It’s almost worth watching just because of how crazy it gets. It does get fairly dull in the 2nd half, which is why I didn’t do a full blown review for this even though part of me wanted to.
But some ironic enjoyment and heart doesn’t make up for how odd and weak this one is. It just barely escaped being Bad for me.
Everyone’s Hero: The Baseball equivalent to NFL Rush Zone…even if it’s not as bad.
Bet you forgot about this one, and I don’t blame you. The only reason I remembered it is that I actually watched it sometime in the late 2000’s because it was on TV.
I don’t think I liked it even back then and I still don’t. The most baffling thing about it is that was released by Disney, and unlike Valiant their logo is right on it.
I assume this was going to be a Canon film at one point and while they canned it, they needed a film for 2006 so they just put this one anyway. It’s actually part of the canon in some countries in place of Dinosaur.
It’s not really that bad of a movie as it is more competent than some others of it’s kind. The animation at least has good movements, the acting is pretty good and there are some chuckles here and there.
It also at least tries to tell a story. It doesn’t do it that well but at least it tries. I actually do like the part where Samson’s Dad was an actual asshole and that had an effect on him.
It’s small but it was interesting to have some kind of parental figure but an asshole in a way that works. Even if Samson himself is a bit dick-ish early on.
The rest of the movie however, is pretty dull. The story is mostly full of cliches that reminds me of better movies like The Lion King, Finding Nemo and of course, Madagascar..
Now, this was put into production first so the last one I can forgive but it doesn’t change the fact that it indeed is a better movie.
The characters are pretty one note and weak (we don’t even get to know Ryan that well before he gets taken to “The Wild”), and the humor mostly isn’t that good. The villains are just kind of odd (They want to become carnivores to get higher on the food chain…yeah), although Patrick Warburton is always a win.
Even the animation has this realistic style that does not fit at all with the tone. Plus, the rendering can be a tad weak at times, especially by 2006 standards.
The film is just really forgettable. Even it’s flaws have been done worse in others movies. There’s just nothing especially memorable about it which would be fine if it was at least okay despite that but it really isn’t.
A lot of it is just the animals running around without much to really support it, and the comedy isn’t good enough to make me forgive it. It never really angers me, I was mostly just bored.
It’s fairly competent in some ways but overall, The Wild is a pretty forgettable movie where ever aspect is just not that well done. It’s better than some others I’ve seen, but it’s still not very good.
Still better than another animated movie with Wild in the title at least.
(Also, this was the last Disney movie with that classic logo before it was changed. What a way for it to go out)
“If your kids like poop jokes as much as I do, Open Season will put a big smile on their faces”-Kevin Smith
Now we reach the debut of Sony Pictures Animation. Before they gave us food, monsters, and Emojis, they started with this little picture that no one remembers.
And yeah, there’s a reason for that. It’s very clearly a first effort. But to be honest, it’s on the higher side of Meh for me.
There’s nothing really THAT bad here, it just overall feels very routine and forgettable. There are a few things that are okay here, and you can see that it had the potential to be at least a bit better.
The relationship with Boog and Beth is honestly kinda sweet and I do like the general premise of him ending up in the woods and being forced to fend for himself.
The villain is enjoyable due to Gary Sinse’s performance, and the animation on him which gives us a taste of that cartoon-y style that SPA would later perfect.
Speaking of animation, even that’s fairly standard. Passable in terms of movements but the rendering needed a tad more work.
Most of the movie is just sort of dull, with not much in the way of laughs or anything that interesting. But the main thing that pushes this right into Meh is Eliot.
Besides being generally annoying, he pretty much causes most of the problems in the movie. He convinces Boog to come with him and get kid friendly high, which causes Boog to be Tranq’d and taken to the woods to begin with.
And of course he never really makes up for it that much and when he’s yelled at, I am totally on Boog’s side. He’s far from the worst example of this kind of thing, but he still drags it down for me.
I don’t really blame Ashton Kutcher since the witting didn’t give him much to work with. He manages to be fine despite this at least.
Overall, Open Season is a weak animated debut for Sony. It has it’s moments and is mostly harmless but it doesn’t offer you anything you can’t get anywhere else.
This is fine for a first movie though, and they would improve a lot in the future. But for this first movie still stands as fairly lackluster and just kind of generic.
Also, how did this get 3 Direct to Video sequels?!
(Also also does Patrick Warburton have to be in everything?!)
We’ve talked about the series a couple of times, now it’s time to finally discuss the movie that started it all. I remember not caring for it as a kid simply because the plot was different from what the trailers promised.
But now that I’m older I can have better reasons to not care for it! Actually, the weird thing is that this was better than I thought would be. As you can see, it’s still not good but it oddly could have been.
But let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, the male cows have udders. Yes, it’s weird and icky, especially these days. It’s also odd that they simply did it because they thought it was funny, mostly because it ties into my main problem.
Also, the animation is pretty okay. The rendering and character animation is pretty passable for the budget they had, but it’s nothing that special either.
Anyway, from the advertising you’d think this would be just a big silly comedy and it starts off that way. But then it suddenly decides to be surprisingly dramatic and serious.
Seriously, I criticized Ferdinand for it’s tone shifts but it has nothing on this. You have the iconic rap from Biggie Cheese, along side a dramatic death scene from Ben. (That’s not a spoiler, it happens in the first half hour).
I feel it should have juggled them better or at least picked the former like the TV Series did. The comedy itself is fairly weak, not awful but it only made me chuckle a few times.
But the weird thing is that the drama itself is…kind of executed decently sometimes. Seriously, some of it actually does work, and there’s even some nice looking shots.
The story itself is pretty predictable but I feel the general concept of Otis needing to step up as a leader after Be dies is an interesting one that does lead to some decent moments.
But besides the tone issue, the story can feel aimless at times. There’s a whole section with him getting revenge on a kid that is supposed to show him giving in to his silly side but it just ends up going nowhere.
It comes really close to being decent as it has some okay themes and can pull off dramatic scenes better than you might think. Plus, the acting is generally pretty solid, with Sam Elliot being the stand out as Ben. Yes, even Kevin James is decent even if I prefer Chris Hardwick’s Otis.
Overall, Barnyard actually could worked as it has some surprisingly good dramatic moments. But it does not mix well with the wacky comedy, especially when your lead has these udders that were only put on to be funny.
I don’t regret watching it but I feel there’s better out there when it comes to both comedy and drama. It’s better than you think it would be, but not as good as it could be.
The Series has problems but I’d stick with that one. These party animals just work a bit better there, at least for me.
The Ant Bully:
The folks who brought you Jimmy Neutron bring us their sadly last theatrical film. As far as animated ant films go, I think it’s not as good as A Bug’s Life but it’s better than Antz.
It’s not the highest good as it some flaws, mostly stemming from the clunky first act. Lucas (voiced by Aang) is a bit too whiny early on and that can make it hard to care about him, at least in the first half.
And there’s some of that same slightly cringe-y humor Jimmy had, although that’s mostly with the humans. Also, the human designs look kind of off at times.
But once the ant world takes over, it becomes more solid. The animation on the ants is pretty solid and their world is a well thought out one. It’s interesting to see how they work together as a colony.
There’s a pretty good scene where Lucas explains how the humans don’t really work together all the time like the ants do and they say it’s kind of a shame. These days, I’m inclined to agree.
I wasn’t totally sure about the dynamic Lucas, Zoc and Hova at first but it managed to be fairly interesting, even if it’s fairly cliche.
The other characters manage to be likable enough, and the voice work is pretty good, including Nicolas Cage has been kind of hit or miss with his voice work.
The story isn’t especially original but it gets the job done and there are some nice moments. Plus, it can have an epic feel at times with some of the battle scenes, including the climax.
It has some clunky moments and a few cliches but overall it’s a passable diversion as far as these kind of movies go. It’s far from a must see but for what it is, I did manage to enjoy it.
Plus, in the climax the ants bite the villain in the nuts. What’s not to like?
Here’s one I reviewed 5 plus years ago I can skip. I decided to re-watch it just to see if my opinion has changed and it hasn’t, I just have a better idea of what to make of it.
I really want to love this one, as it has a lot going for it. Mostly in terms of the well executed songs and the excellent animation. But on a writing level, I still feel it’s mostly just fine.
The main conflict is interesting enough despite how cliché it is, but it does feel aimless at times. Especially in the middle, where it’s clear they weren’t sure where to go from here.
The environmental stuff is less intrusive than I thought it was, but it’s still a tad annoying. Speaking of annoying, still not big on Ramon, sorry
It ends up being a pretty enjoyable movie, just nothing that special in terms of the script. It’s a shame as it should have been great, or at least higher on this ranking.
But as it is, it’s a fun movie, just a flawed one.
Over the Hedge:
We’ve hit the period where Dreamworks mostly made sorta middling movies, at least in terms of how people remember them and this is one such example. But in this case, I do enjoy it.
It’s actually better than I remember it being, but I do think it could have been better in some areas. The problems actually don’t bother me that much given I don’t think it was ever going to be a classic but they do exist.
The main one is that is fairly cliche and predictable when it comes to the main story of RJ getting them ot steal food for the bear and Vern doesn’t trust him at all, especially when the other starts to prefer RJ.
I’ve seen worse offenders but some parts get a bit slow since you know what will happen. It’s also weird how we get two big sad moments when just the one we get later one worked fine.
On the bright side, the split up is part is actually really short and still works for the story, so that’s good.
Plus, the animation on the humans still isn’t quite there.
The rest works fairly well though. It does have some nice moments where I did care, at least more than I was expecting. The characters are likable/enjoyable and the comedy is actually pretty decent.
I laughed more than I expected at least, and yes that scene with Hammy near the end is the best part. Even if an X Men movie totally ripped it off.
I also like the satire it has on how humans consume a lot, as it leads to some funny moments and it doesn’t beat you over the head with it. Although I’m not sure this message works quite as well coming from a company like Dreamworks…
The celeb actors, while kinda pointless as usual do at least do a pretty good job, although I wish a few like Allison Janey got to do a little more.
The animation as a whole isn’t Dreamworks’ best, but it gets the job done decently well, not too much to say there.
Overall Over the Hedge is solid. Hardly any special due to a just okay story but they do manage to make you care about the situation and there;s enough solid comedy and nice moments to make it a solid experience.
It’s a weaker good from Dreamworks but for what is, it’s an okay way to waste 81 minutes. It’s a perfectly serviceable family film which is fine sometimes.
We’re come to the final Aardman Movie they did with Dreamworks and after watching this I’ve finally seen all the Dreamworks movie at least once. And it’s a solid one to end on in that regard.
It’s on the same level as Early Man where it’s a tad weaker story wise but it has enough charm to make enjoyable. The story itself isn’t really the focus here, it’s more about this crazy situation Roddy finds himself in.
The main weak thing about is that it falls back on some cliches, especially with Roddy and Rita’s dyanmic. I don’t even need to say what it is. They’re a Male/Female pairing in a kids movie, you know exactly what their dynamic is.
It’s not done too badly but it is a bit eye rolling sometimes. I think the thing I appreciate the most about the movie is the pacing.
It mostly goes at a steady clip, not really slowing down too much so it can just focus on crazy antics. That’s good because it doesn’t force in any unnecessary plot elements that could slow it down.
Maybe it could have been deeper but Aardman has never been too deep, and with this plot it would have been hard to be complex anyway. The comedy hits more often than not, and this sewer city is pretty creative.
The story does get sort of crazy with the amusing villain’s plan too. Honestly, the leads end up being the least interesting characters compared to everyone else, who are mostly more enjoyable.
Although those singing slugs are kind of annoying. And in hindsight they give me some Minion vibes.
While they did sadly switch to CGI for this one, they did give it a Stop Motion feel that was pretty well done. Sometimes I forgot it was CGI, so it was pulled off well.
It’s clear Dreamworks meddled a lot with this one (hence they split up), but it still managed to be enjoyable. It’s nothing too special but it has enough charm and creativity to be worth a watch.
Far from great but still fun for what it is.
A Scanner Darkly;
A few posts back I talked about Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, which I was honestly not a fan of as I mostly found it kind of pretentious. Now he brings us his 2nd Rotoscope movie which is thankfully a lot better.
But I still wouldn’t say it’s that great. I can’t totally blame him this time as this is based on a Philip K Dick novel so maybe the flaws are more with the book.
There’s really nothing wrong with this movie per say, you all know how my taste works when it comes to these kind of movies. Sometimes I will give in and like them quite bit like Blade Runner (heh, speaking of Phillip K Dick) and other times I can’t quite get totally into it.
This movie can be just a tad too slow and aimless for my tastes and I think perhaps there could have a bit more to it in some areas. I can’t put quite my finger on what but I think maybe it could have hit me harder.
Still, it does work. The style gives it an interesting feel, which fits for the kind of movie it is.
The premise is that in the future someone goes undercover to infiltrate the drug underworld as this new substance has made things way worse and he uses this Scramble Suit that changes his appearance to maintain privacy, even from his fellow officers.
It’s decently interesting as we see how Bob gets sucked into all this and there are some interesting ideas. That Scramble suit shows off the Rotoscope style really well, by the way with how it changes every part of you all the time.
The performances elevate it a fair bit, especially Robert Downey Jr as you’d expect, although Keanu Reeves is surprisingly good as well.
It’s a solid cerebral movie with an interesting premise it explores decently well. I just couldn’t get fully into it at times, and I’m not totally sure why. I guess it is my taste although this does just have a 69 (Nice) on RT so maybe it really is missing a little something,.
Still, I really do respect it a lot for at least giving us this kind of movie in American animation. It isn’t 100 percent my thing but for the most part I would say it is good and does quite a bit right.
If you’re into this kind of movie, I say at least give it a shot. There’s better examples but it’s at least unique and stands out among other animated films this year.
I have nothing else to say, nor do I have a bad pun. Moving on.
I reviewed this one too and I actually still agree with it. It has some problems in all 3 main areas but it has plenty to like and has some pretty neat stuff in it. It’s not one of the great creepy kids movies, but it’s still a decently fun one.
Ice Age: The Meltdown
And so we have our first Ice Age sequel. I reviewed 4 and 5 and only touched on the other sequels so now I get to re-visit them to see how they hold up.
I always felt the series was solid until 4 and this was honestly a pretty good sequel. It is lesser than the first but it’s not like the first was perfect anyway.
I think this one is at least a bit better than most people give it credit for. The main issue is that it does have a few more annoying moments, mostly with Sid and some of the slap slap kiss stuff with Ellie.
It’s not too bad but it can be annoying and sometimes it can feel a bit longer than it is Also, that scene with the tribe is…random. Oh and Crash and Eddie can be annoying,
But as a whole, I think this is a solid follow up. The humor is pretty decent, especially with the Scrat stuff. (The ending is the highlight). The characters are still likable enough, even if we can already see Diego being downgraded.
The animation is nicely upgraded, mostly when it comes to the fur and the lighting. And watching it again, the score adds a certain epic-ness that is pretty neat.
The main reason it works though is that it keeps the heart from the first movie.
They explore how Manny feels to be the last of his kind and why it’s important he and Ellie get together. Speaking of, her deal of thinking she’s a possum is amusing and the flashback where she finds Crash and Eddie works pretty well.
It’s a tad sillier to be sure but it keeps most of what made the first film work. Even after the other sequels, this still holds up with what it does right. Even if seeing the signs does make me wince a little now.
Still, I think The Meltdown is a solid sequel with how expands things a bit and has it’s pretty nice moments. It has some annoying moments and some characters take a back seat but as a whole it works more than it should.
While it does put Blue Sky on a dark path, Ice Age The Meltdown is pretty enjoyable with decent humor and sweet moments. Far from the best animated sequel ever but still solid.
Also, I still think Scrat died for real.
I’ve reviewed the sequel so now it’s finally time to dive into the first one, to actually explain why I like it which I failed to really get across last time.
This is one of those movies that is slightly lesser compared to how I remember it but still holds up surprisingly well, Even it’s flaws are somewhat understandable and it could have been way worse.
Let’s get the obvious problem out of the way: The animation is pretty poor. It was made on a very low budget and was stylized to look like Stop Motion so I can let some of it slide and at times it can have a charm to it.
But most of the time it looks like pretty poor, with creepy faces and rendering that makes everything look really plastic-y. A good animated movie shouldn’t have visuals on par with Vanguard.
Still, it can be forgiven somewhat. There are also choices clearly forced in by The Company that Shall not be Named like the pop songs and some of the celebrities, who replaced actual voice actors.
Thankfully, they only came in at the last minute so they couldn’t change things too much.
The emotional element feels a tad tacked on at times, since it’s given less time compared to everything else, although it’s done okay. Also, the ending is pretty rushed.
Oh and it’s obvious it was meant to be a bigger musical then it ended it being, with how cut down the few songs are.
But the main thing that makes the movie work is the unique spin it has compared to every other attempt to copy Shrek. Instead of just doing exactly what it did, it’s basically a Rashomon/Mystery version of a classic fairy tale.
It doesn’t even have as many pop culture references as you may expect. I feel like people were hard on this simply because it’s kinda like Shrek and didn’t quite judge it fairly.
The story does a good job of showing different sides to the story and that on it’s own can lead to some funny stuff, like the entire reason the Woodsman is here.
The humor is generally pretty good, with some good quips and plenty of times where I laughed. The characters are also a solid bunch, with Wolf and Boingo being the standouts, mostly due to the performances from Patrick Warburton and Andy Dick.
It manages to be fairly unique and fun with how it presents it’s story, even if the twist with the villain is pretty obvious. When you compare it to so many other movies that do this kind of thing, it’s pretty impressive.
It’s fairly clear they did this because they thought it was a fun idea, rather than just to copy Shrek, even if that element is there. (They even said they tried to distance itself by making it less of a full satire)
It has some problems but given that this kind of movie usually turns out really poor, the fact that it’s any good at all is amazing.
Overall, Hoodwinked has it’s rough elements, especially on a visual level, but it rises above it with a unique spin on it’s concepts and actually pretty decent humor and characters.
And for something that came out in January and was distributed by you know who, that’s something to be admired.
This is another one where I feel like I’m one of few the people who remembered it exists, purely because I saw some ads for it when it came out. I’m slightly surprised it isn’t brought up more often as it’s a rare Non Disney 2D Animated Movie released in the mid 2000’s.
It’s also a movie you can add to the pile of actually good movies based on a classic kids source material. It’s not quite good as Paddington but it’s still pretty cute.
The issues are fairly small and aren’t too bad all things considered. There’s only so much you can do with this concept so it can be a bit repetitive with the scenes of George messing things up.
The CGI is as distracting as you’d expect and there are some elements that are done reasonably well but are somewhat pointless, like the romance. It’s done better than most but it doesn’t add too much.
But the problems are to be expected given what they had to work with,and looking back it’s the good things that stick out.
First off, the animation is beautiful. The character animation is solid but it’s the backgrounds and lighting that really stand out. It really does look quite good.
The voice cast does pretty well, mostly David Cross having fun as the “villain”, and surprising Will Ferrell is toned down from usual. Speaking of, the villain is ineffectual but that’s kind of the joke, and it works.
The main strength is how sweet it is. Seriously, right from the start this movie tries to pull at your heartstrings and for me it really worked. George is instantly likable and there’s plenty of nice moments all over the place.
Just when it starts to get a bit slow, it has a really nice moment to win you over. George messing things up can get slightly annoying but they are able to reign him out at the right moments.
Even the 3rd act sad stuff works decently due to some tweaks to make sure no one is unlikable.. It’s not perfect but it works. It’s just a really cute movie all the way through, there’s not a cynical bone in it’s body.
That’s really refreshing whenever you see it. There’s also some decent humor like when tis one keeps brushing off these random crazy things as things he’s seen before.
Overall, this movie is like George himself. It messes up slightly in some areas, but is just so cute and innocent that it’s hard to resist. I put it above Hoodwinked as it’s flaws are more understandable, although it only just barely got put a slot higher.
If you’ve never seen it, I’d give it a shot,, especially if you’ve seen and enjoyed Paddington. It’s not great but it’s worth checking out…if you’re curious.
I regret everything.
And by default, my favorite animated movie of 2006 is…
This is a tad… awkward. We come back to Pixar after a break for one that has mixed reactions, especially after it became a big franchise. I already re-watched it before Cars 3 came out and it really is interesting looking back.
I explained why both work in the bad early post (which I have to link now due to being on WordPress) and the intro of the Cars 3 review and it all still stands.
This is still one of the better Good Pixar movies due to having a lot to really like on a deeper level, despite the cliches and slow pace. It does manage to hit hard in some places like a lot of their best works.
So on that level,it wasn’t hard to put this as the top as the highs make up for the lows.
But recently a monkey wrench has been thrown into this movie. See, one of the reasons I liked this movie to the extent I do is that it was clearly a passion project for John Lassetter.
…You can see how that’s less praise worthy now.
I’m somewhat willingly to look past that but it was recently revealed that he kinda stole the general concept from someone else and eventually booted him off and did not credit him.
There’s more to it ( https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/he-who-not-be-named-can-john-lasseter-ever-return-disney-1105297 ) but that’s more or less what happened It’s a bit hard to appreciate certain aspects of this movie after knowing that.
Plus, the problem of the film feeling a tad indulgent on John’s part is now more an issue, but it’s more of a problem with 2 which we’ll discuss when we get there.,
With all that said, that doesn’t change my view of the film on an objective level. It still rises above some flaws with some strong story elements, the usual great animation and some emotional moments, especially the Our Town scene.
As a “Critic” I try to keep objective, so that’s why I put it at this post because I do feel it deserves it on that level despite it’s flaws. But just know that I am aware of the baggage this one has.
It is the movie is most hurt by the John thing, which is saying something given he did a movie with Kevin Spacey.
But I think ranking it lower due to that would be unfair to an otherwise solid movie. And besides, it’s in that Good but not great category that’s so popular this year.
So…yeah, awkward-ness aside, Cars makes it to the finish line. Only I can end this with a bad pun.
And those were the animated films of 2006. Overall, they were…not that much better than 2005. Sure, we had more variety but that was due to how many more there were.
As a whole, the percentage of ones that stood out were about the same but we had more weak ones and one really bad film. We again had none that were better than Good and even the best movie had some flaws and baggage, more so than the top film of last year.
But while we’re still trudging it,we at least had a few pleasant surprises like Hoodwinked and we showed even lesser/problematic Pixar can be quite good. See, even in lesser years I can at least try to look on the bright side.
This year was another weak one, which is sad given how many chances it had. People seem to agree with me as some before me have said 2006 was a weak year for animation.
I would say I was fascinated by this year than last year so they are about the same. But enough complaining, let’s hope 2007 is better. Spoilers, like 2004 it is but is it better by a little or a lot?
You’ll have to wait to find out, ha ha. Hope you enjoyed this super long edition, next one will be thankfully shorter. And it will have Bee Movie, so it’s already the best year ever
Anyway, See ya.