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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Magic Camp Promo Image

Magic Camp (2020) – Abraca-NO!

Released: 14th August
Seen: 16th August

Magic Camp Info

Disney+ original movies are what we will kindly call a mixed bag… unkindly we can say I’d like to put a mix of them into a bag and then throw that bag in a river. They aren’t good, and today I will be talking about another not good one because apparently somehow we started with a movie called Magic Camp that was meant to be written and star the iconic Steve Martin and ended up with a discount TV movie starring Jeffrey Tambor… fun.

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Howard (2020) – Lyrically Beautiful

Released: 7th August
Seen: 8th August

Howard Info

Were it not for Howard Ashman, there’s a chance that Disney studios wouldn’t be the behemoth that it is today. The legendary lyricist is partially responsible (in conjunction with his friend Alan Menkin) for the songs from  The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin which would be the three films that began the Disney Renaissance and, effectively, saved the  company. He also wrote one of the greatest musicals of all time with Little Shop of Horrors, a masterpiece no one expected to work. His career was the stuff that icons are made of but judge as Howard was reaching his peak, he was taken from us. Now, in this hell year, we are given a documentary to honour a legend who should never be forgotten.

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