The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild

This is an Ice Age adventure in the usual Disney vein.  Typically, in the franchise’s tradition, some current universal issue is addressed (e.g., climate change, its threats and others’ to animals and to earth), along with changes in relationships within small groups, like a family or a herd, facing a major threat.  This one focuses on children ready to […]

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Encanto starts out being charming and a bit too much like a typical Disney movie.  It’s rather sugary and hypomanic.  Many of the words in the rap singing will go over many people’s heads, but the viewer easily gets the impression that the household is a most happy place, and that the Madrigal family’s powers to do good

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Raya and the Last Dragon

This is straight Disney from the Americanized dialog to the characters dressed like Asians but bearing little resemblance to them.  If you don’t mind that—and many don’t—it’s an engaging story about a fractured people getting separated into factions and coming back together on the basis of trust.  Although the creators didn’t have it in mind, they realize

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What a thrilling movie for girls!  Mulan (Liu) is growing up in a small village in China, where she is showing great skill in martial arts.  This goes against tradition, however, and she is instructed to hide her talents and become more traditionally submissive.  She tries it, but when her aged father volunteers to go to

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Frozen II

Frozen II is enchanting in the way fairytales are supposed to be, with thrilling visual effects, inspiring story, and imaginative characters—some endearing, some fearful, and some odious.  The film jumps back to when Elsa and Anna are children, and their father tells them the story of Arendelle and his role in it. Arendelle was friendly to another group

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

The strides Disney made with the original “Maleficent” (2014) are lost and forgotten in the sequel that reunites Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie with those squared cheekbones and devilish horns. The opening sequence is a conglomeration of over-saturated and mediocre CGI, reacquainting audiences with the fairytale land of The Moors and creatures therein. The narration informs us that

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Director Guy Ritchie is a peculiar choice to helm Disney’s live-action remake of the 1992 animated film “Aladdin.” Will Smith is an even more curious choice for the role of Genie, made iconic by the late Robin Williams. After dodging some initial controversy over Smith appearing in “blue-face,” Ritchie’s version, which runs about 40 minutes longer

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