My last Tuesday blog ended with me saying that I needed to stop watching random animated movies and start watching real films again. Of course, when I said real films what I meant was grown-up films. It’s not that I think animated films aren’t real. So, I guess it could be considered something of a failure that I’m back this week with another animated feature but I think this one’s okay. After all, the latest Pixar release is a far cry from the random stuff that keeps popping up on Netflix these days. I’ve always been a big Pixar fan, so I knew that I had to check this one out as soon as possible.
It takes quite a special film to do something exciting in a runtime of less than 90 minutes. Most likely. any film that doesn’t have enough story to pass the 1 hour 30 mark just won’t have a lot to offer. But, as I’m still off with my schedule when it comes to watching films, any film that doesn’t break 90 is always going to appeal. On Sunday, I once again found myself needing to watch something quickly to review today. Since the pandemic hit, I really have lost my desire to watch films. I need to try and get back into it soon. I’m missing out on so much. Until I do, I guess I’ll just be stuck watching short animated films on Netflix. At least I’m watching things that I wouldn’t have normally seen.
Just like my last TBT film review, this film has found a new lease of life in recent years. There’s something about the internet generation and supposedly underdog films. I never watched this when it was released because I was pretty beyond my Disney phase in 2001. I mean, yes, I still loved the classics of my childhood but would I actively go and see the new releases? Hell no! I was a super mature 13-year-old at that point. I wouldn’t be seen dead at a Disney film. Well, maybe I’d ironically go and watch Monsters Inc with my friend for someone’s birthday and pretend that I didn’t secretly love it. But The Emperor’s New Groove was released during that era of Disney when I wasn’t watching any animated films from the studio. So, why not finally watch it?
I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have watched this film if it wasn’t for its link with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. From the Netflix trailer, it just seemed like any other family animation mixed with every repetitive homicidal AI sci-fi film. Yes, it looked good and there were elements that really interested me. Mostly Olivia Colman. I didn’t think it was gong to be bad but I just wasn’t the market for something so seemingly unoriginal. Then this weekend happened and I hadn’t watched a new film for today’s post. There was only one thing to do. Find the quickest and easiest thing to watch on Netflix.
Shrek is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2021 and, apparently, not everyone is happy about it. In the Guardian this week, Scott Tobias decided to write a diatribe against the animated film that has captured the attention of millennials and beyond. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the film has achieved cult status and is still a very strong component of meme culture. Yet, according to Tobias, it’s not worth it in the slightest. He seemingly has nothing good to say about it. So, we have to ask, how did everyone get it so wrong? Why is he the only one who can see the DreamWorks animation for what is really is? Or rather, we should be asking, what exactly happened to Scott that means he is so against fun? And what exactly was he expecting from a film about an Ogre that’s based on a fairly crude picture book?
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t put much effort into my film choice for this week but things haven’t gone as I expected this weekend. Being incredibly exhausted and pretty busy was a terrible combination. So, when it came time to watch something, I was mostly looking for something quick and tat didn’t require any real effort. At one point, I’d considered watching the Snyder cut of Justice League but I wasn’t capable of concentrating on something for over 4 hours. Especially something that I didn’t enjoy enough the first time to really want to watch again. Instead of Snyder, I turned to Netflix and found the least appealing film that I could find. The fact that it ran to just under 90 minutes was just a happy bonus.
I know we’re meant to be complaining about the fact that Hollywood is obsessed with remakes, reboots, and sequels these days. However, I can’t help but be a little bit excited about the new Mighty Ducks series that’s starting on Disney+ tomorrow. For one thing, I’ve always had a soft spot for Emilio Estevez. He’s one of my favourite members of the Brat Pack. I can’t help it; I love him. For another, I bloody love The Mighty Ducks franchise. Yes, the third one is awful in comparison to the rest but there’s still some fun to be had. As a trilogy, it’s brilliant viewing. To prepare myself for the new episodes, I decided that I had to go back to where it all started.
I had quite a bit to do on Sunday and my day ended up massively going off the rails. Meaning I forgot about watching a film for today’s post until that evening I didn’t really have time to watch what I’d originally planned so I ended up finding the first quick thing I saw on Netflix. What I didn’t realise at the time was that this film was a sequel. I’m not saying that it became difficult to follow because it’s still a kid’s film. It just meant that I was a bit slow on the uptake with certain references. I just thought the writers couldn’t be bothered to include all of the necessary context, which seemed quite an interesting choice.
I don’t wish to sound old and out-of-touch but streaming services aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all. I am currently subscribed to Disney+, Netflix, Prime, and Now TV. That’ so many hours of content to pick from. However, that also means I no longer rewatch films as much. There are just so many options that it sort of seems like a waste to watch something you’ve already seen. That’s the great thing about when you only have VHS and DVDs to pick from. How many times did you ruin a video because you’d watched it so many times. My twin sister and I watched the same selection of films endlessly when we were younger. We’d quote lines and never get sick of seeing the same thing. Now, I so rarely watch a film a second time. This is a golden age of content but it also feels kind of limiting. So, now that I’m reviewing two films a week (at least for now), I figured it was a good time to start going back to old classics. And why not start with a childhood favourite?
Pixar films have been a bit dangerous in the last few years. By which I mean, they have been steadily getting more and more existential and they make me sad. Inside Out is one of the best discussions about mental health that I’ve ever seen. Coco explored the concept of death in such a moving and human way. These are the kind of films that I wish had been around when I was a kid. Maybe I’d have grown up to be a slightly more well-adjusted adult. Not much obviously. Pixar are great but they can’t perform fucking miracles! Considering the studio has something of a habit of making me cry, I was especially concerned about their latest film but I also knew that I couldn’t miss it. Even the poster was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. How could I not watch the whole thing?