top-left
top-right

Animated Views logo


top-left
top-right

Reviews Archive for James R Whitson

Cars 3

Cars 3 is a little too similar to the original model. But with fun characters, nice writing, and top of the line animation, the film easily leaves the previous entry of the franchise in the dust.


Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

With fun animation, hit-or-miss jokes, and a meandering plot, Captain Underpants is a mixed bag, somewhere between “not bad” and “not great”, and more tepid than epic.


The Boss Baby

While there is some fun for kids in The Boss Baby, adults sitting with them will be wishing they were at the grown-ups table instead.


The Lego Batman Movie

Despite a thin story The Lego Batman Movie is an extremely fun ride with great animation, music, and acting. Though maybe next time leave the more dreary plotlines to that other Dark Knight.


Moana

Disney knows their way around princess movies. But while Moana is very beautiful and very entertaining, who knows how far they could have gone if they’d taken a few more risks instead of playing it safe.


Storks

Storks is the kind of movie you’ll want to watch over and over. With great animation, top-notch voice talent, an engaging story, and incredible humor, this film delivers.


Kubo and the Two Strings

A beautiful looking film with a unique plot, some surprising turns, bold choices, and an emotional core, Kubo and the Two Strings is magical storytelling.


Sausage Party

Sausage Party is irreverent, pornographic, sacrilegious, bigoted… and pretty funny! The story is weak but if raunchy humor and seeing touchy topics get ridiculed is something you’re hungry for, then this film will hit the spot!


Ice Age: Collision Course

It may be a stale pun to make but it’s still funnier than almost everything in Ice Age: Collision Course: hopefully this franchise is now extinct.


The Secret Life of Pets

Secret Life barely checks the boxes for what it needs to do and never excels at any of them. A young studio like Illumination should aspire to more; hopefully they’ll learn some new tricks before they get too set in their ways.


Finding Dory

Finding Dory, like most Pixar films whether original or sequels, is unforgettable and should have animation fans hooked and craving more.


The Angry Birds Movie

Angry Birds does a good job of taking the video game and creating a new, fuller world, giving the lifeless characters personalities. But they don’t sustain it and by the end all we get is a bonus level of the old game.


Ratchet & Clank

Video game movies may be the next big thing in Hollywood, but Ratchet & Clank is an inauspicious start. This will be a trend that will soon run out of lives if the studios don’t figure out a winning strategy.


Zootopia

Zootopia earns a savage review as it spends too much time trying (and failing) to get its message right at the expense of making an enjoyable story.


Norm Of The North

Simply unbearable.


The Good Dinosaur

There is nothing terribly wrong with The Good Dinosaur — if you consider it a children’s movie. But for the rest of us expecting something meteor meatier from Pixar, the story here is just too ordinary and uninspired.


The Peanuts Movie

Whether you think the filmmakers successfully kicked the ball or fell flat on their backs all depends on whether you were expecting a faithful adaptation or a modern take.


Hotel Transylvania 2

While not as original or surprising as the first film, Hotel Transylvania 2 still touches the heart-strings and tickles the funny-bone. Kids will love it and adults won’t die of boredom either.


Shaun the Sheep Movie

Skillfully made and utterly charming, Shaun the Sheep Movie is filled with wooly situations, sheep thrills, and good-natured fun. You won’t have a baaaad word to say about it afterwards.


Minions

Minions has potential but is ultimately disappointing with an uneven plot and stale jokes. Instead of feature length these little guys would be better served doing short films from now on.


Home

Home is a lackluster and innocuous affair that will, at best, be forgotten about the day after you see it, or at worst, make you ask if you can has those ninety minutes back.


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

While Sponge has the humor and style kids expect, it never reaches the amazing highs the show achieved in its glory days — this is one sponge who should’ve stayed underwater.


Strange Magic

Want a head start to making a great movie? It’s no secret. You just need a good solid story. Otherwise you’ll have to resort to cheap tricks and strange magic.


Penguins of Madagascar

Penguins of Madagascar is not Pixar, but it’s not trying to be either. It compares much more favorably with the Looney Tunes cartoons of the past — zany, silly fun for fun’s sake. And, Hoover Dam, does it succeed!


Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is yet another winner from Disney — with an assist from Marvel! Despite some nit-picking criticisms of the story, audiences will be more than satisfied with their film.


The Book of Life

Story, as the saying goes, may be king. But a weak story doesn’t have to be the death of a film when, like The Book of Life, the animation, music, humor, acting, and everything else is so heavenly.


The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls isn’t necessarily bad. And it tries very hard not to be. But it takes more than crazy characters in a cardboard cutout story to make a really good movie.


Planes: Fire & Rescue

With a more interesting subject and setting, and a wider canvas, Planes: Fire & Rescue is better than its predecessor — but it isn’t quite a first-class upgrade.


How To Train Your Dragon 2

Though it doesn’t quite reach the same heights, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy followup to the original. And it makes us yearn for DreamWorks to stop coasting and train themselves to fly higher.


Rio 2

Rio 2 is the type of film that needs to become an endangered species in Hollywood — a vapid, unoriginal movie that will appeal only to young children who aren’t familiar with all the cliches and stereotypes.



bottom-left
bottom-right


bottom-left
bottom-right
back to top