Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) (1st 1950’s Sci-Fi review of 3)

                                                
         What can I say, I’m a huge Sci-Fi nut, in other words, I’m a big fan of Science Fiction Cinema! The new modern age Sci-fi films like “Independence Day” and “District 9” are always great fun but I also love the classic, old school Sci-Fi’s, and the 1950’s was the great golden age of Science Fiction Cinema. Throughout the 30’s and 40’s horror movies were huge, all the classic horror movie characters were introduced and people were more excited to see those. As for the Sci-Fi genre, it was ignored more than any other category of film. If it was a B movie someone wanted to watch, they would just look at one of the classic horror movies. But then the atomic bomb came up in the 1950’s, and just like that, people were no longer interested in supernatural story’s. They were far more concerned about the dangers of nuclear war, and just like that the Sci-Fi boom of the 50’s was born. There were a lot of films that focused on monsters that were born from nuclear radiation and all kinds of films with anti nuclear messages. This is when Sci-Fi made a big impact on cinema and all the classic sub genre’s like exploring the unknown, science experiments gone wrong and best of all, alien invasion movies made their eternal mark on film. So I thought it would be fun to do three individual reviews of three different 50’s Sci-Fi movies based around these 3 different sub genre’s. I will have a review for a film involving alien invasion, one involving exploration and another involving an experiment gone wrong. Now, let’s begin with the best sub genre of all, ALIEN INVASION!
                                  
     Now picking just one alien invasion movie from the 50’s is no easy task because there are so many good ones to choose from including  The War of the Worlds”, “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers”, Invaders from Mars”, the Bloband my personal favorite Invasion of the Body Snatchers. These are all great movies, but of all the films that came from this period, the one that is often regarded as one of the all time greatest and smartest is the 1951 classic “The Day The Earth Stood Stilland that’s what I’m going to review. The film is based on the screenplay of the 1940 Harry Bates' short story "Farewell to the Master". It’s completely different from the other cliched Sci-Fi’s at the time, and still one of my favorites to this day. If you watch any of the other alien invasion movies I mentioned, you’ll see that they were all about aliens killing us for the sake of killing us. This film however does something completely original. A flying saucer lands in Washington D.C. and we meet a humanoid alien named “Klaatu”. He’s come to earth in peace to deliver a warning that an alien invasion force is just a few small light-years away and are ready to go to war with earth. This alien race is frightened about the atom bomb and sees it as a threat to their planet. They will decline from invading only if they invoke in an era of peace and put an end to all major wars. The military doesn’t like the sound of this and treat him with hostility, so he goes into hiding. He makes friends with a small boy, his mother and a scientist. Together they formulate a plan for Klaatu to meet with globally intelligent minds and to give his full message of peace.    
                                                                                                      
      To prove his power, he will turn off all electricity all over the planet (with the exception of hospitals and plains in flight) for 30 minutes and that’s how we tie in with the title. By this point in the film, you really get attached to Klaato and you want him to succeed in delivering his message of peace. But things aren’t going to be easy, the military are out hunting him, they won’t let anyone near his ship and are ready to kill him. There’s also a selfish jerk who thinks he’ll get a lot of money for turning Klaato into custody, the alien invasion force is up in space, ready to strike and finally when Klaato gets shot down by the authorities, it activates a giant, indestructible robot named Gort, who’s bent on destroying Washington, it’ll make your head explode! Gort is simply the classic gem to put on top of everything, he’s an awesome, giant robot with such a memorable design. He doesn’t have any electronic circuits revealed but he does have a laser shooting eyepiece, that’s awesome! The only thing that can stop him is the command "Klaatu Barada Nikto”.  I’m not entirely sure why, but this has become one of the most famous commands in cinema and has been parodied and celebrated countless times. The biggest tribute to this command was in a 90’s horror movie called “Army of Darkness (a.k.a “Evil Dead 3”), the lead character had to say this command in order to safely remove a book from its resting place.
     This is a very well written story with a strong anti war massage and it’s morals of peace and understanding are still just as strong today. It’s easily more of a “First Contact” story rather than a full invasion flick but there is a good chunk of entertainment and it is essentially about an alien who put the world in a state of panic, just through methods of science, not destruction. The music by Bernard Herrmann is just fantastic, putting you in the right mood just as the film starts. The opening is actually one of the coolest openings to any black and white movie I can think of. There are only two things in this film that people have issues with. First of all is how Klaato is so easily comparable to Christ. I never even thought about that but now that I look back on it, I can see some comparisons. Klaato comes from high above with a message of peace and is killed by authorities, then latter he’s brought back to life through his technology, gives his message of peace and then ascends back to the stars. Fortunately, the MPAA didn’t like this and gave Klaato lines where he mention’s an all mighty spirit and that only he can harness the powers of life and death because the effects off his technology are only temporary. For me, this is just enough to save this character from turning into a Christ impersonator. I really like the character Klaato, he makes for a great educator as well as a character who learns beyond what he was expected. My favorite scene is when he visits the Lincoln Memorial and he begins to read Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. He says his words are beautiful and that he wishes he could have met him. That was such a serial moment for me, I know we often get lines like that from movies like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ( that’s also a great movie) but never before from an alien who was fascinated by a man from earth’s history and wishes he could have had the honor of meeting him.
      The second thing people have issues with is how cheesy it looks. Come on, its 1951, of cores it looks cheesy and out of date. Admittedly, they’re some silly moments like when weapons are destroyed by Gorts eye beam and when the mother is carried off by Gort you can clearly see the strings holding her up. Never the less I think the visuals where ground breaking for their time. There were a few adaptions over the years, it was dramatized as a radio play on January 4, 1954. Most notably, in 2008 there was a remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still with the same title. That to me is really sad because a land mark movie like this shooed never be remade. The only reason it was remade was to enhance the special effects. I honestly can’t stand when great classics like this are remade just for the sake of eye candy, that’s not what made the original so great. It was a fascinating new premise with great characters and was one of the very first Sci-Fi’s to give us a smart story and to examine the human issues of violence and the dangers of the nuclear age, all through the eyes of an outsider, while also giving us a new look at the possibilities of alien life. It’s been praised as a classic for over 60 years and I hope younger generations don’t shy away from this film because it’s so old and cheesy looking, it’s still a wonder of cinema and one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies of all time. 
  
                   I give the 1951 original of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” 4 stars.                      
        Stay tuned for review number 2, one of the most famous science fiction experiments will go wrong in the 1958 classic, “The Fly”!                    
                       

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Fly (1958) (2nd 1950’s Sci-Fi review of 3)

                                                                                
     It’s time to dig up another 1950’s classic. I’m doing individual reviews of three classic 1950’s Sci-Fi’s, each themed around one of the main Sci-Fi sub-categories, which are exploring the unknown, science experiments gone wrong and alien invasions. Last time I reviewed the 1951 alien invasion classic “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, now it’s time to cover a film from the next big 1950’s Sci-Fi category, SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS GONE WRONG! Aside from classic Sci-Fi, I also love Horror movies that are ahead of their time, films that are low budget and become legendary. The 1958 original classic “The Fly” blends these two outstanding categories of Sci-Fi and Horror perfectly in one movie. It was based off a short story by George Langelaan and the film follows it beautifully. It had a low budget, small screenings and it was not rated, but that didn’t stop this movie from becoming a classic.

 
                                                                         
   It stars horror movie legend “Vincent Price” as Francois, who gets a call that his brother named Dr. André Delambre has been murdered by his own wife Helene. Francois has a hard time believing that she’s a psychotic murderer, so to prove her sanity, the wife tells everyone a dark and sad story about what drove her to kill her own husband. We learn Andre was a scientist that had created a teleportation device. It draws the audience in right away because it’s such a fascinating idea, you won’t need to us cars or plains again just step in a transporter and be beamed anywhere you need to be. It really makes you consider all the possibilities that can come from something as monumental as this. Although it does sound a little unsettling to have your molecules broken apart, sent through cyber-space and then reassembled some place else. There’s one part where he tests it on a cat but unfortunately it never reassembles, too bad. The doctor claims that her molecules were scattered across cyber space but we still hear the cat purring, so is it still alive and just trapped in some void or is it just invisible, it’s never fully explained. Despite that failed attempt, the transporter begins to work and he feels that it’s time to test it on himself, which only leads to bigger problems.    

                                                                     
    One day, his wife goes to his lab discovering that he’s wearing a hood. Turns out that when he tested the machine on himself, some of his DNA was mixed with a fly that had flown into the machine during transport. Now his wife has to capture the fly so they can send both of them back through the machine to reclaim their original DNA. It may not sound that scary or exciting but it is actually a pretty engaging film that dose get a little unsettling at times. This movie is completely devoid of clichés and it warns you about the dangers of science similar to “Jurassic Park” or “Frankenstein”. It’s not about a giant fly dominating the world or a half man half monster terrorizing people uncontrollably, it’s a very emotional, sophisticated and sad flick. The doctor is still himself and he speaks to his wife by typing letters and carving words on a chalk board. It’s the most emotional performance I’ve seen with no dialog and the actor named “David Hedison” just gives an amazing and powerful performance just by using his hand motions or body postures. The saddest part is when he tries to right “I love you” on the board but he can’t get himself to do it because the fly part of his brain is taking over. The fly makeup is also really cool, with a lot of moving parts and the actor dose a great job giving it an insect like movement. Then there’s that awesome effect where the fly see’s her screaming and it’s like several shots of the same image all in one frame. There’s also a lot of conflict regarding the transformation, he has only a few days before he loses his mind and the fly has a short life span. This really makes things exciting for the audience.

                                                                            
   For such an old film it does a great job holding your attention, from the fascinating topic of teleportation, to the mother and son trying to catch the fly, and not forgetting the awesome screen presence of Vincent Price. He really is a power house actor, he's so genuine and emotional that you can’t take your eyes of him. The laboratory is also really cool with a bunch of blinking equipment and flashy colors. The most famous and disturbing part of the film comes at the very end when they find the fly in a spiders web and he starts crying out “Help me! Help me!” It’s such a creepy and unsettling image and that scream just rings in your ears afterwards. Of cores this became the most memorable part of the film and has been spoofed several times, the first time I ever heard this was a short parody in Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove”. 


     After the success of this movie there was a sequel called “The Return of the Fly”, again staring Vincent Price. Then there was another one called “The Curse of the Fly”, but it was very distant from the first two. In 1986 there was a spectacular remake (again called “The Fly”) starring Jeff Goldblum. I highly recommend this one because it’s one of the best remakes I’ve ever seen, I’ll leave it at that. This remake actually had a sequel called “The Fly 2” and as far as sequels to remakes go, this wasn't that bad, worth giving a rent. There were all kinds of spoofs and tributes to follow, one example is one of R. L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” story’s, “Why I’m afraid of Bee’s”, in this story a boy accidently gets his mind switched with a bees mind, there body’s are untouched but the bees mind is now in the boy’s body. Now while the boys mind is trapped in the bees body, he needs to find a way to reverse the problem, it’s an ingenious way to put a twist on the story. Then there was a popular episode of “The Simpsons” that parodied every event in the film and it did an excellent job of it.     

           
    People now a days tend to find old films like this boring and unexciting but it’s still a wonderful piece of science fiction/horror cinema and very recommendable to people who love classics. To sum things up, if you would like to see a classic Sci-Fi/Horror film that (in my opinion) rises above a typical, cliché B monster movie, then check it out.   


                                                         I give “The Fly” 3 ½ stars.  

    Stay tuned for my third review, we’ll be exploring the unknown in the 1959 classic “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) (3rd 1950’s Sci-Fi review of 3)

                                                           

        Welcome to the conclusion to my trilogy of classic 1950’s Sci-Fi’s based around the most famous Sci-Fi sub categories. We survived an alien invasion in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and witnessed a science experiment gone wrong in “The Fly” and now it’s time to explore the unknown in the 1959 classic “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Of cores it was based off the novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by the legendary author/writer “Jules Verne”, and it does a great job making its own creation out of it while still keeping the story the same. Bernard Herrmann, who gave us that chillingly good score in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” gives us another terrific score for this film, the opening is equally strong, showing footage of volcanoes and caves. There are a few other songs throne in the film that are a little out of place, especially the song “My love is like a Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns which comes completely out of no ware and doesn’t feel like it belongs in the film at all but I am satisfied with the overall selection of music. This film is probably my least favorite of the three Sci-Fi’s I’ve reviewed this month but, I'm just splitting hairs, because this film is far from terrible, just not as re-watchable.

     The plot goes like this, a professor named Sir Oliver who's played very well by James Mason, receives a rock fragment from one of his best students named Alec. But this rock fragment seems to have mysteriously traveled from one end of the world to another and further tests on it causes them to discover a man made object inside. According to the professor, this object belonged to a famous explorer and according to the inscriptions, he traveled to the center of the earth but died and never saw his journey through to the end. One thing we immediately learn about Professor Oliver is that he’s obsessed with discovering things that are unknown to man and what could be more fascinating than an underground cavern that leads to the other side of the world. Immediately he decides to go on this expedition himself to prove this theory and his student Alec is willing to join him. There’s also a woman named Carla who goes on the expedition to honor the name of her husband who also died trying to prove this exploration to be true. Finally, there’s this big Icelandic man named Hans who goes along to help and for some reason he brings his pet duck along (don’t ask). So the four brave travelers set off on their journey to discover the unknown world beneath us.

    The characters themselves aren’t amazing but there still classic leading hero’s and they do keep the film going. Alec makes for a good supporting character, Carla is a terrific token female to come along for the trip and the professor is excellent in the role of a man who loves science and has a wonder for unearthing what is yet to be discovered. He also has a beautiful niece named Jenny but unfortunately she doesn’t join the expedition. Now I’m not going to lie, the film feels very slow at first, because the first half is spent developing the characters and showing how they plan on surviving in the underground caves, but it’s all necessary build up because it makes the journey all the more exciting when you get a good idea of who these characters are and what kind of devises they plan to use. Too many movies today just start with the adventure and don’t take the time to build things up. 

    When they begin their expedition to the center of the earth, the movie officially begins and things get exciting. The special effects and all the big sets are extraordinary, you really lose yourself in all these amazing props, visuals, set’s, colors and fascinating locations. It brings to mind films like “The Wizard of Oz” or “Forbidden Planet”, where the sets are so impressive and huge that they almost become characters themselves. The team comes across many interesting locations including, a room full of diamonds, an underground ocean, the lost city of “Atlantes” and the “Mushroom Kingdome”, well ... obviously not the one from the video game, but an entire field of Mushrooms.

    Things aren’t going to be easy for the travelers because there’s all kinds of exciting obstacles that they have to face. A bolder goes chasing after them, they get trapped in a cave that slowly fills up with water, a volcano is about to erupt, a team member gets lost and there’s all kinds of giant monsters that are hungry for humans. The monsters are supposed to be dinosaurs but there really just big lizards and to be honest there pretty cool. There’s nothing like seeing a cheap monster from the 1950’s to heighten the enjoyment of a film. This movie uses real lizards, supposedly, there Komodo Dragons, and puts additional make up on them to look more prehistoric. It’s very obvious and outdated but I still think they’re fun to watch. Finally, there’s a classic villain named Count Saknussem who wants all the credit for this discovery and is determined to make sure that the professor receives none. He may seem like a cliché, card board cut out villain at first but he’s actually pretty cool, delivering some awesome lines of dialog with this passionate and menacing tone of voice. He definitely made for a really fun wild card to throw in the mix.  

     This film does have a lame abundance of dry hummer, especially this one really stupid joke at the end, and while it doesn’t flat out kill the film, it does give it an awkward feel that clashes with the tone of the film. But there are lots of elements were this movie really shines. For example, I’d highly recommend it to a class on earth science because there’s several moments when the characters get into discussion about all kinds of interesting, scientific topics, like how some things can generate their own light or how things can grow in areas that would seem impossible to live in. It’s all a perfect blend of Science Fiction and Science Fact. Just like the other two Sci-Fi’s I reviewed, this film had a remake and not just one but 4, the most popular one being the 2008 “Journey to the Center of the Earth” staring Brendan Fraser. To be fare, it was a very entertaining and fast paced remake but it didn’t have the same charm or scientifically sophisticated feel of the original. It was definitely better than the remake to “The Day the Earth Stood Still” but it wasn’t nearly as great as the 1980’s remake to “The Fly”. The original Journey to the Center of the Earth” is undeniably very silly but it’s everything you’d want from a classic Sci-Fi blockbuster and its more than worthy of watching more than once. 

                        I give the original 1959 “Journey to the Center of the Earth” 3 stars.
     So concludes my trilogy of reviews based around classic 1950’s Sci-Fi’s and there most popular sub categories, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, found them interesting and stay tuned for more reviews coming up.      

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One of the most important movies ever made that not enough people acknowledge

Before I reveal what this film is, I want to explain what I mean I by important. If I ever post the list of my top 20 favorite movies, you’ll probably notice that they're all entertainment films, movies that you can watch on repeated viewings and there only purpose is to entertain. Now while they' re all B movies that I  definitely enjoy more than others I can still admit that they're not that  important. Now films like “Seabiscuit”, “Pay it Forward”, “Joan of Arc”, “Men of Honor” and “Iron Jawed Angels” aren’t all that fun to watch but they’re true masterpieces of film with great morals and very inspirational stories that are far greater than any of my favorite films. This is how you separate an important film from a favorite film. So while I say this film is very important and must be seen by all, it’s still not one of my favorite movies. So what is this film, well here it is, one of the most important movies ever made that not enough people acknowledge is “The Passion of the Christ”.
                                                                      
     This is one of the most tragic, emotional and powerful movies ever made. But unfortunately a lot of people want to avoid it. Both audiences and critics alike have complained that this film has no message and that it’s nothing but seeing Christ get cruelly tortured for no real reason. Well it’s not an easy film to watch and I do think some of the torture went on longer than it needed to. But the movie isn’t about the torture, it’s about the sacrifice. This isn’t like those stupid torture films like “Hostel” or “Captivity”, those are just sick films for sick people with sick interests. The primary purpose of this film is to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and how he willingly put himself through all of this to save us from our sins. It’s all stated in the title “Passion of the Christ”, “through his sorrowful passion he gave his life for us”. It’s the perfect movie (actually the only movie) to watch on “Good Friday”, the time to reflect on this event. One of the biggest strengths of the Christian faith is to “honor thy sacrifice”, and it’s so much easier to respect it if we get a glimpse of what he went through. Director “Mel Gipson” dose an amazing job telling us the tragic story and combining it with the shear epic scope of its biblical size, there are a lot of massive elements in this film and the most powerful moment of all is when Gods tear drop falls from the sky, hits the ground and starts an earthquake.
      
       The cast is perfect, properly portraying Jesus is no simple task but “James Caviezel” dose an excellent job and “Maia Morgenstern” is outstanding as Marry, she represents her so well that you actually forget it’s an actress. I also liked “Hristo Shopov” as “Pontius Pilate”, a small part of you almost feels sorry for him because he’s really being forced to do something that’s against his better judgment and you can see how much it’s hurting him both mentally and physically to sentence Christ to death. As for this film not featuring a legitimate moral or message, the movie actually contains several. The film forces you to pay attention to each scene, because there are all kinds of powerful metaphors and morals given to you throughout the cores of the film. Here’s one example, when Christ is carrying the cross up the mountain he has a flash back to when he was teaching a group of people to pray for loved ones but to also pray for your enemies just as much and latter when he’s being crucified, he prays for God to forgive the people who are doing this to him, that’s the greatest act of kindness to come from a person.
    
        Like I said, this is a powerful film that dose a great job getting you to reflect on the event and is one that definitely deserves more attention then what it’s gotten. Now I’ve heard that people have actually died of heart attacks while watching this movie, and if you’re someone who can’t stomach what this film contains then you probably shouldn’t see it. However, if you think you can handle it, then absolutely try to watch this at least once on “Good Friday”. It’ll help you fully appreciate his sacrifice and to reflect on this time of the year and for that, I give “The Passion of the Christ” nothing less than 5 stars.      
  
  So have a reflective “Good Friday” and a “Happy Easter” everyone! 

      

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Opinionated look at Don Bluth’s animated film’s (Updated)


    I just posted a list of my top 12 favorite Disney movies, now it’s time to look at another big part of my child hood, the Don Bluth animated movies. Just the name Don Bluth is like being injected with a needle of nostalgia. He made some of the greatest (and worst) animated children’s films of all time. So I decided to look over all 13 of his films and voice my own opinion on them. I won’t include any of the Disney movies he directed (with the exception of of "The Small One") or the video games he worked with.


                                             The Small One (1978)    

 My personal score is 8/10
When you have a combination of Don Bluth, Disney and Christmas, you know you’re in for a real treat. It’s a heartwarming tail a boy finding a new home for his best friend, a pet donkey. That premise may sound a little too simplistic but from beginning to end, the films can hold a viewers attention quiet well, thanks to it's drama, characters and an especially touching ending. It’s just one of the strongest feel good Christmas specials I ever seen and despite being a twenty minuet picture, it packs some great quality material. 


                                Banjo the Woodpile Cat (1979)

 My personal score is 5/10
This is another one of Don Bluth's Half-hour long movies, but unlike "The Small One", this doesn't offer as much. The characters are decent enough and there’s plenty of quality drama mixed with some cheerful moments, but it’s also a story that Don Bluth dose over and over again, involving a small boy separated from his family and hoping to be reunited with them. Basically, this is the pore kids version of "An American Tail".  



                                      The Secret of NIMH (1982)

 My personal score is 10/10
Despite being a film about talking mice, "The Secret of NIMH" really treats audiences like adults. The hero isn't the stereo type you'd expect, instead she’s a frightened mother who has to brave her way through dangerous obstacles in an effort to save the life of her dying son, and personally, she's one of my favorite leading characters ever featured in an animated movie. The settings are dark and uninviting, which puts the kids in her place, making you feel the emotion and fear she is, but her bravery is also felt and helps the audience to stick with her and face the danger. It’s also a sophisticated, three way battle between the evolution of science, nature and the unknown. The result is a beautiful and complex story filled with magic, wonder, a stunning score composed by Jerry Gold Smith and some truly wonderful hand drawn.



                                         An American Tail (1986)

 My personal score is 7/10
Stories involving a character separated from his family are common with Don Bluth's movies, and this is the film that perfected this premise. While many concepts in the film are depressing and tragic, there's still plenty of joy that can be found in the characters, animation and musical scenes. For all the dark and frightening encounters our little hero faces, the film ultimately builds to an especially upbeat endingIt's a warmly nostalgic film that brings me back to my youth, and it even has a good squeal to boot.    


                                     The Land Before Time (1988)

 My personal score is 8/10
When a group of young dinosaurs are separated from their herd, they have to work together to trek across dangerous grounds and battle monstrous predators to find the land that time forgot. This is a relatively intense film with some legitimate drama, but the characters are great, the music is sensational, there’s a lot of exciting battles with the T-Rex, the animation is splendid and the ending is one of the strongest, feel good moments from any kid’s film. Overall, it's a great film that lunched a great series.


                                      All Dogs go to Heaven (1989)

 My personal score is 7/10
Don Bluth has always made his animated films darker and more tragic than Disney, but this was like a sick joke. The subject material in this family film are pretty intense, with subjects like depictions of death, violence, drinking, smoking, gambling, demons and Hell. Our lead hero is a pore role model for kids, but it's for the sake of a good story. To be fare there are a lot of really good things in this film. The animation is great as always, there's some quality morals, deep human drama, a good character story of how this terrible character became a better person in the end and the ending once again is sure to leave you terry eyed, hey real men cry during movies, even animated ones. If you can get past all the cruel moments, harsh tones, cynical subjects and demonic scenes, you may find that "All Dogs go to Heaven" is actually a pretty good film.


                                            Rock-A-Doodle (1991)

 My personal score is 6/10
In this film, a group of animal's go on an adventure to rescue an Elvis Presley like rooster from a big city before an evil owl silences his singing for good. What can be said about this movie, it’s loud, silly, over the top, and in all honestly, I have a very big nostalgic spot for it. Oh, it really isn't a good movie at all, but I just can't bring myself to say I don't like it. The voice acting can get annoying but the characters are still likable, Phil Harris is great as always and the grand duke of owls is one of the coolest animated villains I've ever seen. For all it's annoyances and lack of real quality, the film is still beautifully animated, with some especially colorful and detailed backgrounds, it's fast-paced, the music is catchy and it still makes me feel young, in a good way. This may not be a great movie, but I'm not going to bash it either. 


                                                 Thumbelina (1994)

 My personal score is 1/10
When a little lady is kidnapped by generic bad guys, a young fairy prince has to go and save her, they fall in love, sing songs and if you've seen all that before, you should probably just skip this movie all together. Everything about this film is just so darn generic, no surprises, no ambition, no magic, the characters are average, the music is dull, the animation isn't all that captivating and it all comes off as boring and forgettable.     


                                    A Troll in Central Park (1994)

 My personal score is 0/10
Take this comment as a public service announcement, never show this movie to your kids, they deserve better. The film has nothing that even resembles a story, basically, two kids find a troll and they play around for an hour and a half. There’s nothing entertaining or magical about it, the characters are annoying and it may even make you stupider as you watch it. It’s just painful to site through and what’s worse is that a great director like Don Bluth led this project.


                               The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)

 My personal score is 4/10
When a penguin finds a shinny pebble, he goes on a long journey to give it to the love of his life before an evil Tim Curry penguin before he claims her for himself. I suppose it’s not a completely terrible kids film, the music is okay and the animation is charming enough, but the story is standard, the characters are average and it’s overshadowed by far superior kids films.


                                                 Anastasia (1997)

 My personal score is 9/10
When a Russian Princess loses her identity, it's up to a sneaky con man to set her on the right path. That may sound like a very simplistic premise but in truth, this film offers everything I love to see in animated movies. The characters are a lot of fun, the lead couple have great chemistry, the voice cast is very talented, the villain is especially entertaining, the songs are great and the animation is just beautiful. While the films take on Russian history is questionable, the film still succeeds with it's classic music and memorable cast. 



                                Bartok The Magnificent (1999) 

 My personal score is 2/10
So, the least interesting character from "Anastasia" gets his own animated adventure, in other words, it's a safe film to skip. The animation is standard, the story is boring, the music is forgettable and it makes me wonder, of all the sequels and spin-offs from Don Bluth's films, why was this the only one he was involved in? 


                                              Titan A.E. (2000)

 My personal score is 10/10
This is personally my favorite Don Bluth movie and one of my all time favorite animated films. The stakes are huger than anything I’ve ever seen in a children's film, to put it bluntly, earth is destroyed, the human race is becoming extinct and a small group of people are on a mission to find a ship that will give the humans a new home. The characters are great and feel more mature than what most kid films offer. Plus, it’s just a thrilling journey through outer-space. I'm just a sucker for Sci-Fi adventures and this films got it all, it's fast paced, action packed has some good plot twists, a rock'in good soundtrack and some of the most mind blowing animation I’ve ever seen in a traditionally animated movie.

                                                                   The End