Animated

[3] Vying with Nazi Germany to create ties in South American countries during World War II, the U.S. government guaranteed Walt Disney federal loans to produce animated films celebrating South American culture. Saludos Amigos is the first resulting film from this strategic effort (the second would be The Three Caballeros). It would also be the first of Disney’s “package” features — combinations of short subjects …

[8.0] The Brave Little Toaster bares the title of an innocuous children’s cartoon, but there’s more to this gem than may initially meet the eye. First, know that Pixar Animation founder John Lasseter originally pitched this movie as his first computer-animated feature, an honor that later went to the similarly-themed Toy Story. Many of the top talent from The Brave Little Toaster went on to …

[5] Brad Pitt voices one of cinema’s most famous adventure heroes for Dreamworks Animation’s Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Sinbad begins the tale as a man with loose morals who strikes a deal with Eris, the goddess of chaos (Michelle Pfeiffer), to steal a sacred book for her. Turns out that Sinbad has scruples, though, forcing Eris to steal the book herself and frame …

[5.0] In the last feature film from animator Ralph Bakshi (Fritz the Cat, Wizards), Gabriel Byrne plays the creator of a comic book called Cool World. And he’s rather infatuated with one of his characters, a voluptuous femme fatale named Holli Would, played by Kim Basinger. Byrne is able to visit Holli in the animated Cool World, but sex between ‘noids and doodles (humans and …

[7] Five young dinosaurs are separated from their tribes during an earthquake in this animated adventure from Don Bluth (The Secret of NIMH, Anastasia). The unlikely band must square off against a ferocious ‘sharp tooth’ (Tyrannosaurus rex) while searching for a lush new feeding ground where they hope to be reunited with their families — overcoming prejudice and learning the value of cooperation along the …

[7] In perhaps the grimmest animated movie ever made, two dogs escape certain death at a laboratory research facility only to find themselves forever on the run from the scientists and the local sheep farmers. Director Martin Rosen (Watership Down) spectacularly defies any and all expectations you might have about an animated movie with The Plague Dogs, his second Richard Adams adaptation. The two dogs, …

[3.0] In an abstract void of color gradation, it’s Donald Duck’s birthday. He magically receives three strange presents that transform into song-and-dance lessons about Mexico and South America, featuring two other cartoon birds named José Carioca (a parrot) and Panchito (a rooster). A five-year old might be entranced by the bright Technicolor imagery and lively music featured in The Three Caballeros, but the frenetic pace …

[7.0] Pixar’s Onward takes place in a world of elves, trolls, dragons, and unicorns, but it’s also a world where all these creatures have forgotten how to use their magic. So their world is a lot like ours — centaurs are cops, fairies ride motorbikes, and unicorns eat trash out of dumpsters. The heroes of our story are two elf brothers — one who believes …

[7.0] Ralph Bakshi’s first animated feature is an X-rated adaptation of Robert Crumb’s Fritz the Cat. Fritz is a college student who likes to have a good time by way of weed and women, but manages to cram a lot of philosophical and existential musings between vices. After an orgy is busted by the pigs (the police are all actual pigs in this world), Fritz …

[3.0] Scoob! marks the first time Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang have been brought to life via computer animation, which is a great way to reboot a classic franchise. The film starts with a 10-minute origin story of how Shaggy met Scooby, and then how the duo teamed up with Fred, Daphne, and Velma while trick-or-treating (Velma’s costume is awesome). We see them solve …

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