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Fun and funny, with a killer, wide-ranging soundtrack that overcomes its cartoon karaoke concept, and some great character animation, Sing turns out to be the best singing contest on screens right now.
This tale of famous Japanese artists – a man and his daughter – is told using Buddhist ideas of life’s simple pleasures, rather than trying to fit a Western-style genre. Its rewards are subtle and may be unexpected.
Moana: Ultimate Collectors Edition
Disney’s second animated smash of 2016 is this brilliant action adventure musical from masters of the craft John Musker and Ron Clements, and this disc presentation is as solid as they come!
Trolls: Party Edition
The delightful DreamWorks musical hit looks great on disc, even if the number of extras included isn’t exactly hair-raising.
Pinocchio: Walt Disney Signature Collection
Walt Disney’s epic masterpiece joins the Signature line, with a typically light treatment where the (lack of new) supplements can’t hold a candle to the brilliant feature.
Adventure Time: Islands
The event mini-series fulfills its promise of revealing the answers to a few of the hit series’ greatest mysteries, as Finn, Jake, and Susan Stong sail off on a journey to find more humans and the secrets to their pasts.
Lego Star Wars – The Freemaker Adventures: Complete Season One
This slick and exciting Lucasfilm show earns a surprising amount of credit for crafting a credible Star Wars story, even if it is told in a humorous fashion.
One of Disney’s biggest surprises of the year is this wonderfully good-natured gem, a mighty fine family film that stands out from all the other talking animals and fish currently out there. Just lovely.
Spielberg directs a rare misfire that draws on Roald Dahl’s book, Amblin production values and Disney magic, but disappointingly fails to deliver on all lackluster counts.
The Secret Life Of Pets
Illumination’s latest finally breaks away from those Minions, with a less distinctive movie that still delivers laughs even if it gets close to being lost in the animal comedy fray.
Kubo And The Two Strings
Laika steps up stop-motion, and largely western animation in general, with this beautiful and deeply heartfelt tale, nicely showcased on this disc.
Pixar’s Nemo sequel is a movie in search of a plot and, despite huge audience approval, one just doesn’t get the feeling the filmmakers were really invested in what amounts to being a major creative disappointment.
The Venture Bros.: The Complete Sixth Season
The Ventures relocate to NYC, The Monarch takes on a bold new identity as his wife also takes a new job, and this very funny show finds its best rhythm yet.
Adventure Time: The Complete Sixth Season
Finn finds his newly found father to be a crushing disappointment, Gunter gets an origin, and lots of crazy stuff happens in the latest run of Cartoon Network’s insane hit.
Beauty And The Beast: 25th Anniversary Walt Disney Signature Collection
As with Snow White, this second Signature disc is perfectly fine, but loses everything that made past editions must-haves.
Star Wars – Rebels: Complete Season Two
All the excitement of Star Wars is present in Rebels, with solid specs and the addition of great bonus features in this second season set.
The Jungle Book
A terrific audio-visual presentation, commentary and documentary bolster this disc debut for Disney’s triumphant re-do, though it feels more might come in a promised 3D edition.
Raiders! The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
A terrific extras package makes up for a slight lack of focus in the main feature itself, which tells of a bunch of kids remaking Indy’s first screen adventure.
April And The Extraordinary World
GKids gives us yet another slick international feature, this time an exciting steampunk adventure that utilizes the conceptual skills of cartoonist Jacques Tardi.
A young woman from Tokyo reflects back to her life at age ten, leading to a re-evaluation of who she is now. The final theatrical Studio Ghibli film to make it to disc in North America is now here.
Not for everyone, and certainly not for kids, Anomalisa reminds us that animation is a medium, not a genre, and can be used to tell all kinds of stories, from the fantastical to the mundane…in a fantastical fashion.
Open Season: Scared Silly
Despite some laughs, Open Season: Scared Silly lacks the oddball charm–and heart–that made the original so much fun.
The Good Dinosaur
Pixar’s latest makes a quick transfer to home video, where its simple pleasures will be enjoyed by a younger than usual audience for the Studio’s films, even if parents may wonder why the originality is extinct.
Batman: Bad Blood
Following Batman’s disappearance, Dick Grayson dons the cowl of the Bat, and is joined by more members of an expanding Bat-family.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: Walt Disney Signature Collection
Disney’s first feature is back on Blu-ray in a decent, maybe even solid but certainly not spectacular edition that repeats as many extras as it drops more significant ones.
Toy Story That Time Forgot
The traditions of Toy Story are put aside for what is essentially an overlong imaginary sequence (without anyone imagining). It’s fun while it lasts but may easily end up being forgotten.
Star Wars – Rebels: Complete Season One
Bridging the gap between the film trilogies, Rebels’ initial season inches its way towards being epic, setting up what promises to be an even stronger second season.
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem
The caped crusader gets yet another incarnation, this time living in a high tech Gotham threatened with computer terrorism by The Joker. Kids will enjoy the many guest stars and action aplenty.
Lego Justice League: Attack Of The Legion Of Doom
There’s nothing more fun than mixing Lego and superheroes, as in this kid-friendly movie starring DC’s biggest heroes. Add in a great extra on the sound, and you have a hit!
Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection
A recommended way to catch up on some recent oddities and curios alongside more well-known modern cartoons, even if the selection doesn’t quite feel complete enough.