Tom & Jerry (2021) – Slap-Stuck

Released: 1st April
Seen: 8th July

Tom & Jerry Info

Ever since Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there have been a lot of attempts at putting animated characters into the real world. No film has ever really come close to Who Framed Roger Rabbit in terms of making that combination work, but where a lot of them falter has been the story. You notice how a lot of these films really lean on the main characters travelling cross country in a car with whatever B-list actor they could hire that month. Recently there’ve been more bad attempts at this with Sonic the Hedgehog being bad (sorry, it was) and some pretty good attempts like Detective Pikachu. So, on the spectrum between Sonic and Pikachu, where does Tom & Jerry fall? Right smack in the middle, perfect mediocrity.

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America: The Motion Picture (2021) – America, F**k Meh?

Released: 4th July
Seen: 5th July

You know, I probably should’ve watched this one on the 4th of July. Would’ve been more appropriate to watch a film supposedly celebrating America to watch on the 4th of July, even if I did release the review days later. Well, little behind the scenes trivia for you, I did try to watch it on the 4th of July but at the halfway mark I fell asleep so I figured I should probably watch it again when I was more awake.

Well, I have now done that and it turns out the problem wasn’t that I was too tired, but that America: The Motion Picture is just kind of boring.

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Arlo the Alligator Boy (2021) – Smile At This Crocodile

Released: 16th April
Seen: 18th June

Arlo the Alligator Boy Info

Back in the 90s and early 2000’s, Disney had this thing that they did where they would make a movie out of the first three episodes of an upcoming series in order to get people used to what was to come. This led to such films as The Return of Jafar, Mighty Ducks the Movie: The First Face Off and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins among a whole cornucopia of other films. 

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Luca (2021) – Looka At This, It’s Cute (and a little bit gay)

Released: 18th June
Seen: 18th June

Luca Info

With all the films that are going to Disney’s premier service lately I’ve noticed a weird pattern regarding the films that they don’t throw a surcharge on the second it pops up… namely that they’ve been, largely, kind of bad. Sure there’s exceptions like Soul or Onward, but other films like Magic Camp, Stargirl and Artemis Fowl (a film that, no joke, didn’t pop up on their site’s list of original films when I went to look before writing this). Basically if a film skips cinemas and just pops up on Disney Plus I’m going to be going in with some trepidation… and then they just throw something like Luca up there and I wonder if they even know when they have a good thing on their hands.

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Wish Dragon (2021) – A Charming Little Wish

Released: 11th June
Seen: 16th June

Wish Dragon Info

So earlier this year, Disney released the film Raya and the Last Dragon. It was a pretty great film as a lot of Disney’s animated fare tends to be but there was this weird thing going around where people wrote off its box office as a failure because it only made 130 million worldwide on a 100 million budget. For some reason this is a thing that keeps coming up this year where films are having their box offices judged based on pre-pandemic expectations, as though we’re completely through the wilderness. Spoilers, we’re not. Anyway I bring this up because I wonder if the supposed failure of Raya and the Last Dragon led to today’s film Wish Dragon not getting as much attention as it deserves which is a shame because Wish Dragon is charming.

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The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021) – The Animated Charmer Of The Year

Released: 30th April
Seen: 2nd May

The Mitchells vs the Machines Info

Sony Animation has had something of an interesting history in regards to their output over 20 films. They’ve run the gamut when it comes to quality, from the objectively awful fare like The Emoji Movie to some of the best animation in history with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Slowly they’ve gone from an animation company people would cringe about to one that actually gets a lot of excitement going with their new releases. So, where does The Mitchells vs the Machines fall in regard to the rest of Sony Animation’s output? It’s borderline perfect.

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WolfWalkers (2020) – Wolftastic!

Released: 11th December 2020
Seen: 5th April 2021

WolfWalkers Info

I’ve made it no secret that I do not like the Apple+ service that much. I find its layout to be subpar and its content to be so sparse that I can’t imagine paying for it at all. Honestly, I only have it because I got a few years for free and even with that I’ve still never been that bothered to use it even when they finally put an app on game consoles meaning I can actually watch their limited content on the TV. 

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Over The Moon (2020) – Out Of This World

Released: 23rd October 2020
Seen: 5th April 2021

Over The Moon Info

When it comes to the Oscar race this year for best animated film, it feels like Soul is the foregone conclusion. It’s kind of hard to beat a film that was so funny and poignant with such impeccable visuals and was such a cultural event. However, the race isn’t quite over yet and I would like to offer a wild card entry that might sneak in at the last minute, that being the Netflix original film Over The Moon.

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A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2020) – Baa-mazing

Released: 9th January
Seen: 28th March

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon Info

Aardman Animation has a long history of creating some of the greatest animated works around. Their unique and iconic style has been a constant ever since the early Wallace and Gromit shorts were delighting kids in the early 90s (oh god I feel old). Since then they’ve become a standard-bearer in the world of claymation and their cinematic efforts have been constantly joyful, from the iconic Chicken Run (which is getting a sequel soon, now with 33% less angry anti-semite!) to the gloriously silly Curse of the WereRabbit. This year they’ve given us the second film in the Shaun the Sheep franchise and… oh my god it’s the most precious thing!

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Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) – Not a Drag-on

Released: 19th February
Seen: 17th March

Raya and the Last Dragon Info

Once again Disney has done a weir business thing that only Disney could probably get away with, time once again to deal with the issue of the Premier Access where Disney expects an extra 30 bucks on top of their current streaming price in order to vide a movie, in this case Raya and the Last Dragon. They did this recently with Mulan (interesting how it’s only been the films with mostly Asian casts that get this treatment, not sure what that says but it’s an interesting trend) and back then I couldn’t justify it… I also couldn’t really justify this, but it was also in a local cinema and I genuinely believe that’s the best way to properly enjoy the visual spectacle of Raya and the Last Dragon

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