Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

dir. Malcolm D. Lee The tragedy of Space Jam: A New Legacy (and many sequels of its ilk) isn’t just that it’s an awful movie. It’s that it so entirely misses the point of what made the original a beloved classic. Gone are the wry self-referential jokes, the world-building, the clever fusion of animation andContinue reading “Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)”

Āya and the Witch / Earwig and the Witch (2020)

dir. Gorō Miyazaki Studio Ghibli has undeniably had its ups and downs. For every heart-rending masterpiece like Grave of the Fireflies, there’s also a mediocre foray into sheer silliness like The Cat Returns. There are amazing spectacles like Laputa: Castle in the Sky or The Tale of Princess Kaguya; there are also more underwhelming talesContinue reading “Āya and the Witch / Earwig and the Witch (2020)”

Shark Tale (2004)

dir. Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, Rob Letterman As an animated underwater adventure with talking fish, Shark Tale was very obviously DreamWorks’ attempt at Finding Nemo. Yet to draw any further comparison between the two would be insulting to Pixar’s masterful craft. Where Finding Nemo is magnificently animated with immersive seascapes and compellingly lively characters, SharkContinue reading “Shark Tale (2004)”

Anastasia: Once Upon a Time (2020)

dir. Blake Harris Fox Animation Studios’ 1997 Anastasia is justifiably derided for taking a serious and significant historical event, and turning it into a dumb kids’ film complete with basic “good versus bad” dichotomy, magic spells, and animal sidekicks. But Anastasia: Once Upon a Time provides some real perspective on Fox’s efforts. The 1997 AnastasiaContinue reading “Anastasia: Once Upon a Time (2020)”

The Jungle Book (1994)

dir. Stephen Sommers The world is, bizarrely, saturated with live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book. This one from 1994 is technically Disney’s first live-action iteration of one of its own animated works, although it has extremely little to do with the 1967 animated adaptation. Jason Scott Lee stars as Mowgli, embarking on his very ownContinue reading “The Jungle Book (1994)”

Vampire Dog (2012)

dir. Geoff Anderson Vampire Dog is about as stupid and insane as you’d expect a film called Vampire Dog to be. Twelve-year-old Ace inherits his dead grandfather’s pet dog Fang, and swiftly discovers the canine’s supernatural abilities. He can move super fast. He can hypnotise people. He talks, in the slightly pained tones of NormContinue reading “Vampire Dog (2012)”

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

dir. Rachel Talalay A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting quite possibly has the most childish title of all time. Go figure – it’s a kids’ movie, following a young babysitter who goes on a magical quest to save the boy she was supposed to be looking after. He’s been kidnapped, which would pretty much renderContinue reading “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)”

Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (2002)

dir. Colin Slater A short 3D animated feature about the magic of Christmas, introducing a brand new gang of adorable kids, and starring voice acting legends such as Paige O’Hara, Jodi Benson, Nancy Cartwright and Mark Hamill. Released seven years after Toy Story, so the world’s already aware of the wonders 3D animation can achieve.Continue reading “Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (2002)”

The Little Panda Fighter (2008)

dir. Michelle Gabriel A Video Brinquedo classic, totally unabashed about ripping off Kung Fu Panda. It was even released at the same time to try and bamboozle audiences into confusing the two. Sadly, about four seconds into the amateur animation and stilted dialogue will inform any half-awake viewer that neither DreamWorks nor Jack Black wentContinue reading “The Little Panda Fighter (2008)”

Theodore Rex (1996)

dir. Jonathan Betuel What the absolute hell even is Theodore Rex? People in this reality actually sat down together and thought, “I know what’d make a great blockbuster – Whoopi Goldberg teaming up with an animatronic dinosaur to fight crime”? The result is exactly as bewildering and surreal as it sounds. Goldberg’s valiant attempts toContinue reading “Theodore Rex (1996)”

The Adventures of Açela (2020)

dir. Özgür Dogruöz It’s beyond generous to even refer to The Adventures of Açela as a movie. It’s more a psychological battering; a foray into the depths of a troubled consciousness; the audio-visual ravings of a lunatic. Here’s a green alien. There’s a tiger. Why? No “why”. Just is. The entire thing leads to aContinue reading “The Adventures of Açela (2020)”

What’s Up: Balloon to the Rescue! (2009)

dir. Everton Rodrigues, Michelle Gabriel Video Brinquedo’s nudge-nudge wink-wink, “Oh yes, that acclaimed animated movie about a flying house with ‘up’ in the title, yes we totally did that.” As well as being awkward and unfunny, it’s inexplicably offensive. The movie’s not even that long yet they still manage to throw in a whole routineContinue reading “What’s Up: Balloon to the Rescue! (2009)”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

dir. Andrew Adamson In the wake of the magnificent Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Narnia films managed to achieve none of the things that made the former such a successful adaptation. There is no spark in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; it simply meanders from event to event with no particular emotionContinue reading “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)”

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005)

dir. Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez is not shy about the fact that this movie is based on the dreams of one of his children. A very sweet gesture, but also a sure-fire way to ensure your film makes no sense whatsoever. The main character is a boy called Max, who retreats into a world ofContinue reading “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005)”

Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)

dir. Kevan Peterson This one is genuinely mind-blowing. In a sense it’s a typical fantasy movie for kids – an unassuming girl discovers she has magical powers. In this film, rather than a witch or a vampire slayer, it turns out she’s a mermaid. Aside from some very awkward and specific rules around how exactlyContinue reading “Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)”

Ratatoing (2007)

dir. Michelle Gabriel Video Brinquedo’s entire reason for existing is to make shameless rip-offs of successful animated movies, but this one takes it to unprecedented depths of audacity. As if the title Ratatoing was intended to do anything except trick people into thinking it’s Ratatouille. As if this one just happens, by mere coincidence, toContinue reading “Ratatoing (2007)”

Quest for Camelot (1998)

dir. Frederik Du Chau One of those movies you watch as a kid and think is basically Disney, but then you grow up, rewatch it in a fit of nostalgia, and realise it’s pure trash. The heroine Kayley sets off on a quest to retrieve the legendary sword Excalibur and restore Camelot to peace, butContinue reading “Quest for Camelot (1998)”

Little Bee / Abelhinhas (2009)

dir. Michelle Gabriel Obviously the reason Video Brinquedo even existed was to rip off bigger films and dupe unsuspecting viewers into thinking they were purchasing the real thing. It’s still difficult to fathom why they’d want to rip off Bee Movie, which is a terrible cheap flaming garbage fire all by itself. At least LittleContinue reading “Little Bee / Abelhinhas (2009)”

Goat Story – The Old Prague Legends (2008)

dir. Jan Tománek Goat Story is freaky. It’s just freaky. And not just because of the shoddy computer animation, which gives every character such bulging eyes and stilted movement that the visuals alone make Goat Story the stuff of nightmares. But that’s not enough – Goat Story has to push things further. It has toContinue reading “Goat Story – The Old Prague Legends (2008)”

Goat Story 2 / Goat Story with Cheese (2012)

dir. Jan Tománek One would be forgiven for believing it couldn’t get any worse than Goat Story, but wow, it really does. Goat Story 2 manages to somehow be even madder, scarier and stupider than the first one. The same horrific animation stays. There are idiotic songs and annoying characters again. But this time, theContinue reading “Goat Story 2 / Goat Story with Cheese (2012)”

Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)

dir. Kelly Asbury Romeo and Juliet, as told by animated comedic gnomes. Oh good. Clearly someone came up with the title and decided to build a movie around it, but even that doesn’t excuse the total absence of any humour, romance, or basic effort at all from this film. The jokes are all of theContinue reading “Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)”

Gladiformers: Robos Gladiadores (2007)

dir. Marco Alemar Video Brinquedo’s rip-off of Transformers. The entire film takes place in a single setting – a very awkward fighting ring where gladiator robots are fighting for no discernible reason at all. Said gladiator robots have names such as Julius Drive, Magnum Tutor, and Korjo Displo. Said names are yelled out with suchContinue reading “Gladiformers: Robos Gladiadores (2007)”

G-Force (2009)

dir. Hoyt Yeatman G-Force is a family film about a bunch of talking guinea pigs and other animals. For something so inherently basic, it’s weirdly hard to follow. There’s intelligence operations and spy gadgets and microchips and FBI stings and computer viruses. There’s also a cackling British villain played with maximum Britishness by Bill Nighy.Continue reading “G-Force (2009)”

The Emoji Movie (2017)

dir. Tony Leondis There may well have never been a more cynical, less creative conceit for a film. Phones and social media are popular, so why don’t we make emojis have their own world? The result is obviously about as shallow and one-note as, well, an emoji. Practically every line is a nudge and winkContinue reading “The Emoji Movie (2017)”

The Christmas Tree (1991)

dir. Flamarion Ferreira The Christmas Tree is, frankly, bewildering. There is just no reason for this film to exist. The story wasn’t worth telling – it’s all about some sad orphans trying to stop a tree from getting cut down, in possibly the lowest stakes of any kids’ film ever. Ostensibly none of the castContinue reading “The Christmas Tree (1991)”

Brat: Holiday Spectacular (2018)

dir. Shannon Flynn An original Brat TV movie. Oh, okay. Brat TV is a community of teenage content creators and social media influencers, sharing videos and shows through YouTube. Their Holiday Spectacular features all their generic, vapid faces, running around a mall at Christmas time and engaging in the most insipid “inspirational” storylines imaginable. ThinkContinue reading “Brat: Holiday Spectacular (2018)”

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2018)

dir. Raja Gosnell It’s called Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Does it even sound like it’s going to attempt to be a good movie? Most of the movie isn’t even set in Beverly Hills – the titular chihuahua gets dognapped in Mexico, and spends the movie trying to get back home. She contends with an evil Doberman,Continue reading “Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2018)”

Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket (2016)

dir. Paul Serafini Terrible title, terrible movie. Annabelle Hooper follows the eponymous heroine, who embodies a weird synthesis of Harriet the Spy with the Scooby Doo gang. She and her friends – all of whom quite honestly look exactly the same: white and generically good-looking – must unravel schemes of theft and ghostly conspiracies toContinue reading “Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket (2016)”

Albion: The Enchanted Stallion (2016)

dir. Castille Landon The first thing to realise about Albion: The Enchanted Stallion is that the enchanted stallion’s name isn’t Albion. Albion is actually the name of the magical fantasy realm our young heroine is transported to, via said enchanted stallion. Beyond this the enchanted stallion actually doesn’t do very much at all, despite whatContinue reading “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion (2016)”

3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998)

dir. Sean McNamara The fourth, and mercifully final, of the 3 Ninjas series, preceded by 3 Ninjas, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, and 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. God only knows what terrible sins we committed as a society to be punished with living in a world where four of these exist. Credit where credit’s due, though,Continue reading “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998)”

3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)

dir. Shin Sang-ok The third of the 3 Ninjas films, preceded by 3 Ninjas and 3 Ninjas Kick Back, and followed by 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Rather disarmingly, this film was filmed alongside the first one in 1992, but released three years later – meaning the cast consists of the three originalContinue reading “3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)”

3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)

dir. Charles T. Kanganis The second 3 Ninjas film, preceded by 3 Ninjas, and followed by 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. This one sees our annoying three little boys return, although two of the actors are replaced. Their ninja grandpa also returns, although his name has been changedContinue reading “3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)”