Donna's Cool Movies
Current Animation DVDS

Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet (2002)
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker

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A pet project of Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules codirectors Ron Clements and John Musker, Treasure Planet is an ambitious animation hybrid (traditional animation combined with elaborate CGI backgrounds). It was the subject of numerous in-studio battles, but Disney office politics and a poor public reception distracted from its many admirable qualities, not the least being its overall fidelity to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel Treasure Island. Curiously revamped as a sci-fi adventure with spacefaring galleons, flintlock ray guns, and extreme-sports attitude, it caters to an young audience for whom Stevenson's adventure is an unknown quantity, revving up the material with arcade-game excitements. It's entertaining, for what it is, and kids will surely enjoy it. Maybe next time, however, Disney will follow its own legacy and properly adapt Stevenson (as they did with their 1950 live-action classic) for a new, and hopefully receptive, generation.
-from website

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Wild Thornberrys Movie

Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002)
Director: Cathy Malkasian, Jeff McGrath (II)

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This charming movie version of the Nickelodeon cartoon centers on Eliza, youngest daughter of the Thornberry family, whose parents Nigel and Marianne travel the world to create a nature program for television. But Eliza, thanks to a mystical encounter, has the power to talk to animals--a power that leads her on the hunt for poachers in Africa who have captured a baby cheetah. Eliza's best friend, a chimpanzee named Darwin, is along for the ride, while her resentful teenage sister Debbie is trying to bring her back to their parents. The characters in The Wild Thornberrys Movie are well-defined and delightful, the well-written script zips along, and the animation is visually dynamic; all in all, an excellent animated feature. Featuring the voices of Tim Curry, Lacey Chabert, Rupert Everett, Marisa Tomei, Alfre Woodard, and Lynn Redgrave.
-from website

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Vista Series) (1988)
Director: Robert Zemeckis

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This zany, eye-popping, knee-slapping landmark in combining animation with live-action ingeniously makes that uneasy combination itself (and the history of Hollywood) its subject. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is based on classic L.A. private-eye movies (and, specifically, Chinatown), with detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) investigating a case involving adultery, blackmail, murder, and a fiendish plot to replace Los Angeles's once-famous Red Car public transportation system with the automobiles and freeways that would later make it the nation's smog capital. Of course, his sleuthing takes him back to the place he dreads: Toontown, the ghetto for cartoons that abuts Hollywood and that was the site of a tragic incident in Eddie's past. In addition to intermingling cartoon characters with live actors and locations, Roger Rabbit also brings together the greatest array of cartoon stars in the history of motion pictures, from a variety of studios (Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Fleischer, Universal, and elsewhere): Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Woody Woodpecker, Droopy Dog, and more! And, of course, there's Maroon Cartoon's greatest star, Roger Rabbit (voice by Charles Fleischer), who suspects his ultracurvaceous wife, Jessica Rabbit (voice by Kathleen Turner: "I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way"), of infidelity. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Contact), not since the early Looney Tunes' "You Oughtta Be in Pictures" has there been anything like Roger Rabbit
-from website

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The Animatrix

The Animatrix (2003)
Director: Takeshi Koike, Shinichirô Watanabe

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Matrix writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski commissioned seven artists from Japan, America and Korea to make nine short films set in the world of their feature trilogy. Some of the top anime directors contributed to this anthology, including Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll), Koji Morimoto (Robot Carnival), and Shinchiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop). Some of the films tie directly into the narrative of the live-action movies. Drawn in a style reminiscent of Jean "Moebius" Giraud, Mahiro Maeda's The Second Renaissance (Part I & Part II) depicts the human-machine wars that caused the enslavement of humanity and the creation of the Matrix. The duel between two flamboyantly costumed Kabuki warriors in Kawajiri's Program is an expanded version of the cybernetic training Neo (Keanu Reeves) undergoes in the first Matrix film. Watanabe evokes the look of old newspaper photographs in A Detective Story, which falls outside the storyline of the features. Fast-paced, violent and grim, The Animatrix is an uneven but intriguing compilation that represents a new level in the ongoing cross-pollination between Japanese animation and American live action.
-from website

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Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius

Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius (2001)
Director: John A. Davis

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Jimmy Neutron, the feature that launches Nickelodeon's attempt to create a new children's franchise, plays like a cross between Rugrats and Dexter's Laboratory in outer space. Accompanied by his cyberdog Goddard, "boy genius" James Isaac Neutron (voiced by Debi Derryberry) invents fantastic devices that work only sporadically and with decidedly mixed results. The communications satellite he makes out of his mother's toaster allows for a race of gooey, egg-shaped aliens to kidnap the adults in Jimmy's town with the intent of sacrificing the parents to their chicken-god. Converting amusement park rides into spaceships, Jimmy saves the day, despite a few false starts and misadventures. Several of the characters feel like slightly older versions of Rugrats: smart-alecky Cindy (Carolyn Lawrence) resembles Angelica; sniffling nerd Carl (Rob Paulsen), Chuckie. The most original member of the cast is Sheen (Jeff Garcia), the maladroit devotee of superhero Ultralord--a very funny spoof of cartoon fandom. The characters look more like plastic toys than human beings. Instead of the thousands of individual hairs on the heads of the realistic figures in Final Fantasy, Jimmy sports a one-piece hairdo that recalls a soft-serve ice cream cone. The animation is weightless and the acting minimal, but the often quirky story carries the limited visuals and will appeal to elementary school kids. Rated G; suitable for ages 6 and older; cartoon violence, minor gross humor.
-from website

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Jonah Veggie Tales

Jonah - A VeggieTales Movie (2002)
Director: Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer

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Parents seeking kid-friendly, Christian entertainment can be comfortable letting their kids watch Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, which turns the characters from the biblical story of Jonah into a bunch of talking cucumbers, asparagus, peas, and other vegetables. When God instructs the prophet Jonah to go to the wicked city of Ninevah to spread His word, Jonah balks and tries to flee by ship--only to end up in the belly of a whale. When he finally consents to go to Ninevah, things don't turn out quite the way he expects. The VeggieTales team uses computer animation and upbeat musical numbers to express Christian themes, but they do so without being painfully didactic. The animation (and the humor) isn't as sophisticated as that in Toy Story or Shrek, and kids may find some elements of the story confusing, but this may provide an opportunity for parents and kids to discuss values.
-from website

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