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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.
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 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 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.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s focus on family is a nice change from the classic series, but the lack of humor and a good story make it improbable you’ll enjoy the film.
The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie is an unexpectedly good film. And just like Legos themselves, it’s something that boys and girls, no matter their age, can all enjoy.
The Nut Job
Despite the clever title and concept, The Nut Job fails to deliver the goods on just about every level — with a stale story, unremarkable animation, and lackluster acting.
Saving Mr Banks
Disney’s own retelling of a moment in the Studio’s history doesn’t dig deep enough to be a real “making of Mary Poppins“, but a unique story angle and fun 1960s recreations add up to a jolly confection that should please fans and casual viewers alike.
Some of the plot holes may be frightful, but the story, music, visuals, and cast are delightful. Frozen is easily one of the Disney’s best in recent years, and it’s a film that will definitely not leave you cold.
Free Birds may not be the main course on our animated menu this year. But with a fun story and some hilarious performances it’s no canned cranberry sauce either.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign because there’s more turbulence than high flying in this should-have-gone-straight-to-home-video release.
If you can buy into the concept, or are under ten years old, Turbo might be a fun ride. For the rest of us, the film is less fast and furious and more of a race to the bottom.
Despicable Me 2
Laughs — and minions — aplenty. But other than that Despicable Me 2 is an ultimately bland and forgettable hour and a half at the theatre.
Monsters University is that rare follow-up that perfectly expands and enhances the world created in the original film. And best of all, it’s so funny it’s scary!
Though you might not naturally select it based on the ads, The Croods might surprise you. Full of fun, stunning to look at, and filled with heart, DreamWorks’ latest is a step up the evolutionary ladder.
Escape From Planet Earth
Escape From Planet Earth, the first theatrically released film from Rainmaker Entertainment, isn’t out of this world. But it’s no black hole either.
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Neither good nor that bad, the latest Ice Age film will leave you… not caring… and wondering if the franchise is drifting now and maybe needs to be allowed to melt away.
Brave may not be as epic as audiences have come to expect from big budget animated features, but in all the ways that count it hits the target.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
The latest Madagascar will leave you wanting better especially if this is the end of the series, but it does deliver the expected laughs.
My name is the critic, I speak for the people. We’re tired of the morals in films writ so feeble. Unless Hollywood can better the plot, we’re not going to buy tickets. We’re not.
Disney is finally able to untangle itself from the story problems of its recent past with this beautiful and very enjoyable retelling of the Rapunzel classic.
Megamind may be uneven, but the humor saves the day. DreamWorks makes what could have been a bad film look so good!
Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 is that rare second sequel that tops its predecessors. At times a laugh out loud comedy and an edge of your seat thriller, all tied together with a moving storyline that will touch both young and old.
Shrek Forever After
Despite a few bumps along the way, Shrek Forever After is a fine and fitting final outing. Things have wrapped up fairly happily ever after for fans of the franchise.
How To Train Your Dragon
DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon is a high-flying adventure with humor, a solid story, amazing visuals, and an unexpected amount of heart — it easily ranks as one of the studio’s best.