Archives for category: Animation

On a lazy Sunday, discover the child in you and put on an animated feature in your Netflix catalogue.

Even if you don’t have any children, give “Brave”, the Disney-Pixar animation a chance. It is beautiful both in storyline and in visual magic.

And who can’t relate to the complex and sometimes difficult relationship between a daughter and her mother?

Merida with her electric ginger hair and the great green grasses of Scotland

Merida with her electric ginger hair and the great green grasses of Scotland

What is this film?

“Brave” (2012) is the Oscar-winning, Pixar flick that is notable for quite a number of reasons.

Firstly, Merida is the first female protagonist in a Pixar film and is also included in the Disney princess line-up. She is the only one among them who doesn’t have a boy she is chasing (or who is chasing her). Some people thought it an outrage that she could be included as a princess for this very reason.

I tell them to shut up! A prince is not what makes a princess a princess.

This is the first Pixar film set entirely in the historic past, which meant a whole new challenge for the animators and concept designers who usually have just made stuff up.

 

Why is it any good?

The Mother/daughter theme is something that obviously stroke a chord with me (as a girl with a mother), but I am sure that even guys can relate to the misunderstandings and conflicts we have with the ones we love the most.

Actual strong female characters who lead the plot actively forward are still hard to come by. And Merida even makes mistakes and ruins her dress!!

I think it is healthy for little girls to get such a character in the Disney repertoire of passive and sometimes naive princesses, so I applaud the arrival of Merida.

Merida is overall a character who makes really bad decisions and has to deal with the consequences. She is a hotheaded teenager who knows what she wants, and when that want is in conflict with her mother’s wants for her, she does anything to make her change her mind. Like most teenagers.

Both the mother and the daughter learns something on their voyage to release the mother from a spell (one of the consequences), and that I think is important both for mothers and daughters to understand. There are two sides to every conflict.

And we should listen to each other.

 

The animated hair

I want Merida’s hair! Her big, corkscrew-curly, bright ginger, scruffy, beautiful hair. The way it moves in the wind and with every movement of Merida’s body, is nothing short of an animation miracle.

I would watch this movie for the hair alone.

Pixar actually had new software developed especially to make the 1500 hair curls on Merida’s head move with her.

 

What makes it different from other Disney features?

The girl doesn’t end up with a guy, that makes it different. The guys in the film are actually just tools to further the conflict between Merida and her mother and get them to a breaking point.

Merida is also funny and the root of a lot of physical comedy. My point is, she is not just pretty in a corner. She is a proper female protagonist who doesn’t sit around and wait while her parents marries her off. She takes action into her own hands. But at least she adapts and learns from it.

Pixar has with this film given us a proper coming of age tale that makes you realise that you will make mistakes in your strife to become yourself, and you really, really start appreciating your mother (and/or daughter).

 

What mood should you be in?

Something funny, yet at the same time moving and magical. It’s like a hero’s fable. And you need to be in the mood for Scottish accents 😉

You could definitely watch this without children present. It is actually pretty dark for a children’s film and actually has a PG-rating.

The first time I watched it in the cinema and didn’t feel cheated by the story what so ever. If you feel that the story and characters become a bit simple, there are always beautifully animated landscapes and like I already mentioned the mesmerising curly ginger hair of Merida, to wow and entertain you.

 

Word of the movie – Karfuffle

To put into disorder or disarray.

From Scottish Gaelic CAR to twist + FUFFLE to disarrange.

I just love saying that word. Karfuffle. Just say it with me. Karfuffle.

 

Further watching

You should continue to see some strong, female characters in action.

The newest Disney-movie “Frozen” (2013) has two strong female characters, and although there are guys and traditional love in the picture, the movie itself is more about the love between sisters and about being yourself.

If you don’t want more animation, try “Beaches” (1988) which is a wonderful movie about friendship between two very different women over the course of their whole lives. Bette Midler sings in it. Need I say more?

Or maybe you want some more movies that will make you want to call your mom and tell her that you love her. Like “Stepmom” (1998) or “Mamma Mia” (2008).

The Cutie Bear Triplets. Don't be fooled, they can wreck a lot of havoc!

The Cutie Bear Triplets. Don’t be fooled, they can wreck a lot of havoc!

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to watch movies. I watch Netflix a lot and sometimes there is a long way between the really good movies, whether good means entertaining or meaningful. So that you can avoid watching all the crap I have had to endure, I will give you some hidden gems or best movies of Netflix right here every month.

Want another good Netflix movie? Check out “21 Jump Street”!

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

All movies in this Netflix-series can be found in the Norwegian Netflix Catalogue, which is the one I have access to.

If you can’t find it on your local Netflix? File a complaint, they really should have it 😉

If you like what I write, please give me your favourite movie in the comments or sign-up to read my next blog post 😉

Next week, we will do another Guilty Pleasure movie. Do you have a movie that you watch over and over again, and you know it’s not the best quality, but for some inexplicable reason, you still watch it again? You do? Tell me which one! I will tell you another one of mine next week.

Advertisements

Were you also pleasantly surprised by the first “How to train your dragon” film? I was.

A scrawny, non-buff viking training a terrifyingly cute dragon ends up a one-legged hero. What’s not to love?

The question heading into any sequel is this: have they managed to make “How to train your dragon 2” into anything more than a revamp of the elements we loved and awed at the first time around? Have they even tried? Do they even want to go there?

No, they don’t want to go there.

Don't we all wish we had our own dragons to fly?

Don’t we all wish we had our own dragons to fly?

***CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS*** (although I maintain, what I mention shouldn’t come as a surprise)

What is this film?

“How to train your dragon 2” (2014) is the sequel to the very popular movie from 2010 (of the same name) where we got to know the viking Hiccup and his (eventual) pet dragon Toothless.

The movie starts where the other one left us, with dragons and vikings living and playing in harmony on the island of Berk. Hiccup is still the restless soul he was before, out and exploring with his dragon pal and mapping out the land he finds.

Hiccup’s predicament time is that he doesn’t want to be chief, but his dad really really wants him to.

 

Is it any good?

Its too much.

It’s the classic sequel trap where they think if they just give us more dragons, bigger dragons, smaller dragons, any kind of dragons, we will love it that much more. If they just add a villain who is so bad there is no talking to him, then people must side with the vikings. If you throw in a lost mother (at least that is somewhat original), then there will be tears in everybodys eyes.

Meh.

They forget that anything will fall flat without a solid story. And this movie is just that. Flat. (to me, a 28-year old woman. Children will love it!).

But I would watch it again for Toothless. The gorgeousness of that dragon never fails to surprise me, and there has been some brilliant animators at work creating movements that reminds us of domestic cats and dogs. Of course we would love to have a dragon in our home if it acted like that.

 

Is it better than the previous film?

Obviously, I prefer the first one, where the world and the dragons who inhabit it was fresh and new. Now it’s just the same as before, which is nice, but not a game changer.

“How to train your dragon” (2010) surprised me in both premise and ending, and while this second movie is good, it doesn’t bring the same freshness as seeing Toothless for the first time, or realizing that the hero actually lost a limb.

A surprising ending to this film would be if Astrid took over as chief and Hiccup continues exploring and training dragons (basically what he is good at). Children should learn that we are not all cut out to be leaders. And all of us can’t be leaders.

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

If you go with children, yes. You will enjoy yourself.

If you, like me, don’t have any children who would benefit from getting out of the house for a few hours, I would just wait for the DVD. Or streaming availability.

 

Is it worth a 3D ticket?

Don’t bother with the 3D.

I thought that flying would for sure be a great thing to see in 3D, and normally it has been. However, the imagery was decidedly flat in construction (just like the story) so you only get somewhat clearer image than in 2D.

Not worth the extra money (and the extra pair of 3D glasses we have to buy since we always forget them at home.)

 

What mood should you be in?

In the mood for something cute and cuddly and you should want to exclaim loads of oooos and awwwws.

Even though Toothless definitely wins the cuteness awards, the other dragons, and indeed the sheep, have their moments in the limelight and there is definitely enough cutefactor to gush for hours. There are even some small baby dragons.

It will also make you chuckle, especially the raucous twin female Ruffnut (voiced by Kirsten Wiig of the Bridesmaids) proper male-objectifies the new addition to the Viking-Dragon world, Eret son of Eret (voiced by Kit Harringdon, you know, John Snow in Game of Thrones). I for my part think it is healthy that females can objectify men for their muscles in children’s movies now.

To be fair to the movie, it does have some grand action/war scenes. But it is just testament to how little I cared about that that I have almost already forgotten about it.

 

 

Further watching

Watch the first one. It’s worth it.

 

Toothless acting all hurt and hard to please like a cat :D

Toothless acting all hurt and hard to please like a cat 😀

 

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies.

If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it!

And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie currently in the cinema in Norway at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve so much of your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great. But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

“How to train your dragon 2” was released in Norway on 4th of July and is still racking up a number of screenings. In addition to both 3D and 2D screenings, it actually has original release so you don’t have to pain yourself through bad Norwegian translations and voice acting.

If you like what I write, please give me a shout in the comments or sign-up to read my next blog post which I promise will be a new Netflix gem!

%d bloggers like this: