Animation

Tue
19
Nov

When the Subplot is More Engaging than the Main: Angry Birds 2

The world is all divided into three parts. On the first, there is the island of the flightless birds, who get around in the air through the use of giant slingshots. On the other island live the green pigs, with whom the birds are at constant prank war. Chief among the warrior birds is Red (JASON SUDEIKIS), who is revered because he protected the island from the pigs and their leader, Leonard (BILL HADER) with the help of his friends Chuck (JOSH GAD) and Bomb (DANNY McBRIDE).

But there is a third island, an island of ice, newly discovered and declaring war upon the lands of both pig and bird, launching giant iceballs through the air and reigning down not pranks but destruction. Having a common enemy, birds and pigs forge a truce to work together and stop the mad plans of Zeta (LESLIE JONES) who seeks revenge against the one who jilted her years ago -- Mighty Eagle (PETER DINKLAGE).

Wed
13
Nov

The Swan Princess Gets 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Release

Swan Princess 25th Anniversary

With the market on fairy tale princesses seemingly cornered by the House of Mouse, it is nothing short of a miracle that Sony managed to be the first to snag the story of "Swan Lake" for an animated musical adaptation. Now, twenty-five years later, THE SWAN PRINCESS makes a dazzling appearance on Blu-ray, just in time for the holidays.

Sun
13
Oct

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines Resets Origin Told in Previous Animated WW Flick

Wonder Woman Bloodlines

WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES is a callback to the DC Universe crossover event of several years back. It has nothing to do with that event however, so don't get excited if you were a fan. Rather, this new release from the DCAU represents the origin of Wonder Woman (ROSARIO DAWSON), with Steve Trevor (JEFFREY DONOVAN) crashing near Themyscira after attempting to shoot down an incursion of Apokoliptian parademons. This serves to tie the story in better to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR, to cement Diana into the mythos.

Diana sacrifices her life on Themyscira, defying her mother, Hippolyta (CREE SUMMER), and losing her life on Themyscira for good in choosing to help Trevor and defend Man's World.

Wed
09
Oct

Death and Return of Superman Releases as Single Movie Experience

Death and Return of Superman Bluray

Previously released in two parts, THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN and REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN have now been edited together into a seamless, single movie experience.

Superman (JERRY O'CONNELL) is struggling. As Clark Kent, his relationship with Lois Lane (REBECCA ROMIJN) is difficult to commit to as he has been keeping a huge secret from her. He becomes particularly nervous about this when his parents come to town and meet Lois for the first time. The advice of his fellow Justice League members is that he should open up to her if he wants her to be a larger part of his life.

Thu
26
Sep

Abominable Transports Audiences to Magical Adventure

Abominable from DreamWorks Animation

Take the family on an exquisite, imaginative tour of Asia courtesy of Dreamworks' newest animated feature, ABOMINABLE.

Yi (CHLOE BENNET, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.) is a young girl with a driving ambition. Her day is spent sprinting from job to job, scrounging up cash and grunging up her appearance. Her mother (MICHELLE WONG) and grandmother (TSAI CHIN) are unaware of how she spends her time, or why she's gone all day long. We quickly learn that Yi is saving up to travel the world, so see all the places her recently departed father wanted to take her. 

While spending some quiet time in the hideout she has built on her rooftop, Yi has an unexpected encounter -- with a Yeti! She names the big fuzzy creature Everest, after the mountain she believes to be his home. But Everest didn't just wander onto Yi's roof by accident. He's an escapee from what was to be a major zoological exhibit, and the man behind his capture, Mr. Burnish (EDDIE IZZARD), wants him back at all costs.

Mon
26
Aug

LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters Combines Two Adventures into One LEGO Movie

Batman Family Matters, LEGO DC

There's a new villain haunting the dark streets of Gotham City -- and he knows the secrets of the entire Bat-family!

Who is this mysterious Red Hood (JASON SPISAk), and how is he so familiar with Batman (TROY BAKER), Nightwing (LOREN LESTER), Robin (SCOTT MENVILLE), Batgirl (ALYSON STONER) and even the latest member, Batwoman (TARA STRONG)? That's the mystery they have to solve before Gotham is blown to smithereens, as the Red Hood has set five bombs to go off in town, each guarded by an Arkham Asylum super-villain. 

Mon
05
Aug

Gotham's Worst All Involved in Batman: Hush, on Blu-ray and DVD

Batman Hush

The iconic Batman tour-de-force that served as a vehicle for Jim Lee's introduction to the DC Comics stable, HUSH, is the latest storyline to be adapted into the DCAU straight-to-DVD library, and scene omissions and straight-up plot changes, it's a largely enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes.

Fri
05
Jul

RWBY Returns November 2nd to Rooster Teeth With Volume 7

RWBY Vol 7

Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang have fought hard alongside their friends to bring the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas, the northernmost Kingdom in Remnant. However, the futuristic urban-sprawl may hide just as much danger as the Grimm-infested tundra that surrounds it. Enemies and allies will collide as our heroes fight to stop Salem's forces, but banding together is dangerous when you don't know who you can trust.

In a world filled with horrific monsters bent on death and destruction, humanity's hope lies with powerful Huntsmen and Huntresses. Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long are four such Huntresses in training whose journeys will take them far past the grounds of their school, Beacon Academy. Though each may be powerful on their own, these four girls must overcome dark forces and work as a team if they truly hope to become the next generation of Remnant's protectors.

Sat
22
Jun

Sheriff Woody: Complex Messiah

Woody and Forky

He seeks out to save those who are lost. He loves without expecting or receiving anything in return.  He gives of himself to fix those who are broken. He instills an inner voice in the one closest to him to carry on in his absence. And, in the end, he ascends.

He's Sheriff Woody, stuffed savior and prophet of Pixar. And nowhere is that made more evident in this (final?) chapter of the Pixar pioneer franchise, TOY STORY 4.

We begin where it all began -- at Andy's house, and the donation of an outgrown toy. Bo Peep (ANNIE POTTS) is being given to another child, and Woody (TOM HANKS), as always, is prepared to rescue her. But it's Bo's time to move on -- although she does make a tempting offer for Woody to follow along, reminding him that toys "get lost" all the time. But realizing that Andy still needs him, he has no choice but to remain and let Bo move on.

Sun
09
Jun

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Come to Blu-ray -- Almost Complete, Almost Perfect

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Almost Complete

Let's face it. Even the youngest of television viewers can figure out the plot of a Scooby-Doo cartoon after seeing three or four of them. The Mystery Inc gang was a group of meddling kids who knew how to ride mine cars, run back and forth across the screen, and drop a net on a ghost who would end up being a guy in a rubber mask.

Something had to be done to keep the kids coming back.

One of the ways the folks at Hanna-Barbera stroke to keep Scooby-Doo fresh and relateable was to bring in guest stars, people or characters whom the viewers already knew. Thus was born the New Scooby-Doo Movies, a series where the gang would meet up with famous celebrities or other Hanna-Barbera cartoon properties. This added a new layer to the mysteries -- which, nonetheless, involved the being taken for accidental rides, running back and forth across the screen, and dropping nets on ghosts who ended up being someone in a rubber mask. Only now they had help.

Tue
04
Jun

Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fun Action Flick with Anime Sensibilities

Batman vs TMNT Blu-ray

When high tech thefts occur in Gotham City, pulled off by stealthy ninjas, eyewitness accounts place a team of metahumans at the scene of the crime; "lizard men" Batgirl (RACHEL BLOOM) calls them. But these are not lizards. They are a quartet of terrapins, previously exposed just over a decade ago, to a DNA-altering substance that changed them into anthropomorphic creatures who were trained from an early age in the ancient Japanese martial arts. Yes, they are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they've come to Gotham City from New York hot on the trail of the evil Shredder and his minions, the Foot Clan.

Sat
01
Jun

How To Train Your Dragon Wraps with The Hidden World

How To Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

The village of Berk has become overrun with dragons. For most fictional medieval villages, this would be the apocalypse. But Berk is a dragon sanctuary, and their leader, Hiccup (JAY BARUCHEL), leads a rag-tag band of raiders on rescue missions to save dragons from trappers and poachers, bringing them back to the ever-more-crowded town.

Things take a turn, however, when dragon hunter Grimmel (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM) enters the scene. More than being ruthless and relentless, Grimmel is a strategist who plans three steps ahead, and he has a single minded goal: destroy all dragons. For that, he needs to get his hands on the alpha dragon -- Hiccup's partner, Toothless.

Tue
16
Apr

Future Shock as Legion Villains Battle the Justice League

Justice League vs Fatal Five

Just when I was getting used to the idea that every DC Animated Universe release was going to be a continuation of the New 52 paradigm, they throw us a curveball and give us another chapter in JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED -- and a most welcome one at that!

The voice acting trinity of Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, and George Newbern return as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, with Kevin Michael Richardson joining the team as Mr. Terrific and Daniela Bobadilla as potential League recruit, Miss Martian.

Sun
03
Mar

Make The Little Mermaid Part of Your World

Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary

With the ubiquity of the Disney Princesses these days, one can almost forget what a turning point in Disney animation it was when THE LITTLE MERMAID made her debut. After having gone through a long, dry spell of failures and near-successes, the House of Mouse had fallen upon hard times.

Enter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, and suddenly Ariel was part of our world -- a persisting part of it, opening the door to a revolution in Disney animation that went on to give us BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, and many more. Suddenly, the world was aware of Disney as a movie-making entity again, and began hotly anticipating each new release.

Sun
24
Feb

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Selected as Critical Blast Best Movie of 2018

Spiderverse Best of 2018

Every year, Critical Blast asks its readers to tell us what they believe are the best of the best in entertainment -- movies, television, books, and comics. Readers are presented with a list of potential nominees, with the ability to write-in their own favorites. The idea is, it's all fan-driven.

And this year, when we asked our readers to tell us what they felt the best movie of 2018 was, we had a number of responses. AQUAMAN, BLACK PANTHER, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR all put in strong showings.

But it was another superhero who beat them all out -- even if he needed an army of himself from across multiple parallel dimensions.

With a sizeable 28% of all votes, the Best Film of 2018, as decided by the readers of Critical Blast, goes to the Marvel Entertainment animated feature, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Sun
17
Feb

Ralph Breaks the Internet Astutely Skewers Online Culture

Ralph Breaks the Internet

When we met Wreck-It Ralph (JOHN C. REILLY), we entered a world of boomer nostalgia. The videogame culture of the 80s came back to all of us who had lived through it, and introduced it to a new generation who now enjoy playing the retro, 16-bit arcade classics as much as the modern high-definition games. Our personal game collection here has added a classic wood-grain Atari 2600 console as well as a Nintendo 64, and are getting regular play.

Fri
15
Feb

New Transformers: War for Cybertron Series Coming to Netflix

Teaming up with Polygon Pictures for animation and Rooster Teeth producing, Netflix will take the robots in disguise back to their roots.

Labeled a "trilogy" the series looks to explore the early days of Cybertron, as there has been much talk about how the world was in turmoil during the Cybertronian Wars. While there are not many details available as to which transformers will appear in the show, it's said to be very "fan friendly". One should expect to see a lot of familiar Autobots and Decepticons.

Or at least references to them.

Sun
10
Feb

Keys to the Kingdom Poor Sequel to Norm of the North

Norm (ANDREW TOTH) is a polar bear who, out of all the bears at the North Pole, has the ability to speak human. This is convenient, as he finds himself having to interact with them a lot in this film, and is apparently a novelty. A point is made that none of the other bears (or other animals, for that matter) speak human -- except for Norm's son, Quinn. It's nothing that's taught, it just happens.

Fri
01
Feb

Scooby-Doo Resolves Old Series with Curse of the 13th Ghost

Scooby Doo Curse of the 13th Ghost

Among the many series that have been a setting for Scooby-Doo and the gang, there was the 1985 show, THE 13 GHOSTS OF SCOOBY-DOO, an adventure series starring Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne, accompanied by Scrappy and a young con-artist named Flim-Flam. In this series, Shaggy had opened a chest of demons, releasing the 13 ghosts inside. Due to the wording of the curse, only the person who released the ghosts could put them back in -- so a globe-spanning series began, with their mystic mentor, Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by VINCENT PRICE), leading them from one caper to the next.

This series was unlike previous incarnations of the show, because the ghosts were not people in rubber masks using hidden rope-and-pulley systems, but actual spirits. However, during the course of the show's run, they only captured twelve of the ghosts.

Mon
28
Jan

Reign of the Supermen Weaker Follow-Up to Death of Superman

Reign of the Supermen Blu Ray DVD

With THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, the DC Animated Universe gave us a story that was emotionally impacting, as it developed the budding romance between Superman (JERRY O'CONNELL) and Lois Lane (REBECCA ROMIJN), with the Man of Steel having recently revealed to her his secret identity of Clark Kent. And then, Doomsday came, the battle was joined, and Superman was dead.

Or was he? Because the cliffhanger ending left us with a stolen body and an empty tomb.

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