Hocus Pocus 2 Promo Image

Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) – Wonderful Witchcraft

Released: 30th September
Seen: 30th September

In 1993 the film Hocus Pocus was released to an audience that really didn’t want anything to do with it. At the time it was critically thrashed and the box office wasn’t exactly glowing which is a little understandable when you consider it was released on the same day as the juggernaut that was Free Willy and not too long after Jurassic Park, so audiences were somewhat distracted. Of course, as time went on, thanks to regular screenings around Halloween and the home video market, Hocus Pocus eventually found its audience and became a massive cult hit and has been subsequently reevaluated by many as a pretty damn good family movie with more than enough charm to delight most audiences, along with possibly the best cover version of I Put A Spell On You to ever be recorded. 

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Pinocchio (2022) – Wooden

Released: 8th September
Seen: 18th September

Pinocchio Info

In 1940, high off the release of the first feature-length animated motion picture, Disney released Pinocchio. While we look back on Pinocchio as an absolute classic that would eventually be a box office success upon its 1945 re-release, the original release was a complete flop thanks to being released during WW2 which cut off several major markets. Since then, Pinocchio has become an absolute staple of the Disney company, Jiminy Cricket was basically a secondary mascot for a period of time considering how many specials he turned up in and the song “When You Wish Upon A Star” not only became the first Disney song to win an Oscar but became the Disney theme song. This film has been a core moment of pop culture that still resonates in some form… and because we are living in a time where Disney must remake every one of their classic films, we have another D-make and it’s just kind of bland.

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Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) – Picking Up The Slack

Released: 20th May
Seen: 22nd May

The history of the Chip & Dale characters goes all the way back to 1943 when they were mostly known as a pair of adorable creatures who got into over the top scrapes against people who were in some way invading their space, normally Donald Duck. They appeared in about 2 dozen assorted cartoons before the end of the 60s and then were basically relegated to being background stock characters who might be brought up for a quick gag until they were rebooted into the versions most people know them as today, that being Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers which was part of the early run of the Disney Afternoon. Since about the 90s most people think of Chip & Dale as the Rescue Rangers and while they might get brought up here or there, they haven’t really had a major moment to shine since then… until now

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Turning Red (2022) – It’s Pan-tastic

Released: 11th March
Seen: 13th March

turning red info

Writing about a Pixar film feels a little bit like writing about a Marvel film at this point, the odds are good that it’s going to be somewhere around the great range and the compliments that you can throw its way all feel very similar because they’ve managed to hone in on a formula that works so well that it’s hard to pick holes in it. Turning Red is one of those films that really shows Pixar at its best in terms of how it tells these stories and while a lot of it would fit into what a regular high-quality Pixar film normally shows, there are a few elements to this that elevate it into something genuinely special… plus, it has a lot of adorable giant red pandas which means it’s the best movie to come out in a long time because how can you deny the cuteness of giant red pandas? 

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Summer of Soul (…or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) –

Released: 19th November, 2021
Seen: 11th February, 2022

Well, the time has come for one of the more interesting months of the year, that being the month where I desperately try to catch up on all the Oscar-nominated films that I somehow missed because they all seem to be released around the time the nominations come out. No idea how this is going to work for this year, hopefully, we’ll be able to get through everything but that’s why you’re going to see a whole bunch of 2021 films being reviewed fresh in 2022… fortunately, the first cab off the rank is the absolutely brilliant documentary Summer of Soul (…or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised).

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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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The One And Only Ivan (2020) – Ivan The Terrific

Released: 21st August 2020
Seen: 2nd April 2021

The One and Only Ivan Info

In 2012, author Katherine Applegate released The One And Only Ivan. The novel was based on the real story of a circus gorilla named Ivan who was kept in the middle of a shopping mall until a large petition and the threat of a massive boycott got him transferred to a zoo where he would have something resembling actual freedom. The book was a smash hit, winning several awards and appearing on several “must read’ lists so an adaptation was inevitable and Disney just happened to be the ones to do it… and their version got nominated for an Oscar, hence why we’re talking about it.

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