This weekend, I saw two animated films, so I figured it would be a good time to review the ANIMATED MOVIES OF SUMMER 2016!!!!!!
Finding Dory, from Pixar, is the sequel to Finding Nemo. While Finding Nemo was a great movie (as are almost all Pixar movies), I never felt the need for a sequel. I was pleasently surprised by this though. Where Monsters University failed to live up the the original and emotional Monsters Inc., Finding Dory can swim right alongside its predecessor. (I am so sorry for horrible pun.) It tackles some real issues in its title character’s memory issues. You seriously feel for the ever optimistic Dory, who has forgotten so much of her history. It ends a little too neat and easy (and unbelievable), but you can forgive that because of how good the movie is… Especially because its Pixar. If you can get past a rat being a chef and the world being okay with that, you can get past the somewhat forced happy ending here. Hank, played by Ed O’Neill, is a standout new member of the cast. It’s not my favorite Pixar movie, but it is definitely a really good one. 7/10 Lugos.
Kubo and the Two Strings. This one kind of popped up out of nowhere for me a few months ago, but it hooked me from the trailer, blending wonderful Laika animation, Japanese storytelling, and a cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Laika, like Pixar, has mainly made some truly extraordinary and unique movies. Even Box Trolls, which was weak, wasn’t bad. The animation style, the use of puppets, the story… Every aspect of this movie is a wonder to behold. It feels like a really great graphic novel, and I mean that in the best way possible. It is a little weird that the entire main cast is Caucasian… George Takei has about one line, and if you know him, you can probably guess what it is… With everything else feeling so authentic, the use of Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughhey, and Ralph Fiennes seems odd. But if you can get past that, you will really enjoy this movie. “If you must blink, do it now…” Kubo instructs from the start. And you won’t want to blink from then on, just so you can absorb every bit of beauty the movie has. 8.5/10 Lugos.
Sausage Party is a funny movie. It is exactly what you’d expect from the twisted minds of Seth Rogan and his usual team. It is HYPER SEXUALIZED and filled with offensive characters and dialogue… Which is right up my alley, but I can see how some people wouldn’t love that. The only other review I read about this movie was one that was very PC and offended by the ethnic characterizations of the movie. That review read to me as very whiny. I fully appreciate how some things need to be PC, but some people take that to such an absurd degree that it makes me sick. Who cares if Ed Norton plays a VERY Jewish Bagel that has issues with an Arab pastry? As a Jew, I don’t give a fuck, but the review I read seemed to be offended enough for all of Israel. The only problems I had with the movie was I felt it was a little too long, and struggled a little too hard with the idea of atheism and how to present it. It is a tough issue, though, so I can’t fault them too much. In short, if you are a fan of Seth Rogen (Michael Cera, Danny McBride, etc.), then you will enjoy the hell out of this movie. 7/10 Lugos.