How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2018) – We Had Dragons!

Released: 3rd Janurary
Seen: 8th January

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How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated films of the decade. I know, starting on a subtle statement is a great way to open one of these things but it’s accurate. Even with so many years between the original How to Train Your Dragon and the sequel we’ll be talking about today it’s impossible to understate how amazing the original film is. Not only is the original film a visual marvel but it has one of the most touching stories put in a kid’s film, a story about a kid trying to get the respect of his father who believes in killing every dragon while the kid wants to be kind to the creatures. It’s a touching tale even without the part that is just the adventures of a young boy and his dragon (a night fury named Toothless). The film was an instant hit that was absolutely beloved by everyone who saw it, and then the sequel came out and was even better. The story got darker, the animation was some of the most glorious to be put on the screens and it didn’t seem like it was possible to top it. Now, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has come out and… OK it’s not better than the second movie, but its close.

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Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018) – L̶̗͕͓͈̅͋̑ó̸͙͇͌̐̏a̴̛̮̦̹̻͑̅d̵̡̼͇͐̚͘͝ͅi̴͚̞̦̅̕n̸̮͕͐g̶̛̲̼͐͋̀.̴̨̤̘̞̎̌͒͑.̶̻̜̩͙̈́͘.̸̜̌́

Released: 26 December
Seen: 16th December (Advanced Screening)

Six Years ago, Disney unleashed Wreck-It Ralph onto screens and it was a huge hit. Everyone was floored by how bold it was, a raucous combination of video game characters that we hadn’t seen together before, telling a tale of a video game villain and a video game glitch who we would come to love. It was a monster hit for the company who had only just bought Star Wars that same year. It’s weird to remember that but when the first Wreck-It Ralph came out it was days after Disney bought out Star Wars, cementing their ownership of everyone’s childhoods. In the last year Disney did something similar by buying Fox Entertainment and it raised two big questions

  1. Is anyone going to put a check on this obvious corporate monopoly that’s effectively trying to buy all entertainment as we know it?
  2. …so, when are Storm Troopers going to turn up in a Disney movie and have fights with a Disney princess?

I might not be able to answer the first one, but we now have an answer to the second one.

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The Grinch (2018) – You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch

Released: 29th November
Seen: 29th November

The month of December’s a fabulous thing
There’s joy in the air and carols to sing
The lights are hung high upon every roof thatch
And stores sell their toys in many a batch
And down in the cinema, some of the time
Sits a pretentious reviewer, thinking in rhyme
(Yes, we’re doing this. What did you expect?
To give up on this gimmick, that would be neglect)

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Paddington 2

Released 21 December 

Seen 3rd December (Charity Preview screening)

Paddington 2

Directed by Paul King
Written by Paul King & Simon Farnaby
Produced by StudioCanal, Anton Capital Entertainment S.C.A., Amazon Prime Instant Video, Canal+, Ciné+, Heyday Films, Marmalade Films Ltd.
Starring Ben Whishaw, Madeline Harris, Samuel Joslin, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville & Hugh Grant

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The Lego Batman Movie

Released 30th March (Australia)

Seen 11th November

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Directed by Chris McKay
Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern & John Whittington
Produced by DC Entertainment, Lego System A/S, Lin Pictures, Lord Miller, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment, Warner Animation Group, Warner Bros. Animation & Warner Bros
Starring Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson & Ralph Fiennes

Earlier this year I saw Lego Ninjago, a movie that was clearly spewed out to capitalize on the cinematic success that was The Lego Movie. At the start of that review, I mentioned that “Lego Batman… showed you could play around in multiple established universes and still tell your own story”. I knew this because my younger brother told me the basic storyline of the Lego Batman movie and, at that point, I hadn’t seen Lego Batman. I’ve now rectified that and somehow, it makes me think Lego Ninjago was actually worse.

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The Boss Baby

Date Released: 31st March 2017

Date Seen: 4th November 2017

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In 1999 the movie Baby Geniuses was released, a film about a bunch of babies who have superhuman intelligence who were kidnapped by a bunch of scientists who were trying to understand just how intelligent babies are. It was not a good movie. Boss Baby takes the “Hyper-intelligent baby” aspect and animated it. The results are… well, interesting would be the kind term.

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