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Spooky Buddies (2011)
The worst of the bunch!
Being a huge fan of the Buddies movies, I was really excited about this movie when I heard it was coming out. The gap between this one and "Santa Buddies" was nearly two years. ("The Search for Santa Paws" doesn't count.) For a while, this movie has been rumored, but I've found no info of it either on IMDb, Wikipedia, or even the official Buddies website. But now it's here. But enough about that, let's move on to the review...
Sadly, I'd have to say that this movie was not worth the wait. Compared to it's predecessors, "Spooky Buddies" was a huge letdown. Nobody I recognized worked on the movie (with the exception of Michael Bolton, who was the production manager for some reason), the story is unoriginal, the characters are uninspiring, the Buddies are not shown very much despite the fact that they are the titular characters, the CG effects badly rip off "Casper", and there's a lot of logic in the movie that makes so little sense that I'm sure the Nostalgia Critic will have a fit about!
I never thought I'd say this, but this was easily the worst of the Buddies movies. At first I thought Disney would never disappoint me with this franchise. (I'm still not sure why so many people hate these movies.) "Space Buddies" did come pretty close, but "Spooky Buddies takes the cake. On a positive note, "Treasure Buddies" was a considerable improvement. I'll just hope that Disney will continue to make these Buddies movies and make them the way they should be made.
Dot and the Kangaroo (1977)
Where do I begin?
Okay, for me, this movie has a lot of back-story. One of my personal childhood movies was "Dot and the Whale", an incredible animated movie that I fondly remember watching on the Disney Channel and a couple times in school. I knew that movie was part of a series of movies, and so I was tempted to see the movie that started it all, which was this one.
"Dot and the Kangaroo" is an animated feature film from the 1970's based on an 1899 novel written by Ethel Pedley. I do find it kind of strange that this movie spawned off a line of sequels that really had nothing to do with Pedley's novel, but that's far from a criticism.
Here are the good points: Overall, I should say that it's a pretty good movie. It has likable characters, and the animators seemed to do a nice job mixing in animation with live action. I'm sure that children will enjoy it.
Here are the bad points: These are all just minor flaws, but the movie is full of a lot of pointless musical numbers that seem to pop up out of nowhere and serve no purpose to the film, but that's not to say they are bad songs. Also, the ending seems kind of anti-climatic. That's a bad thing because the movie doesn't really end; it just stops. It's also a good thing, because it sets the stage for a sequel and gives you the impression that this is the beginning of a saga.
There were a ton of movies in the Dot series that followed this, but today, they're really hard to find. Sadly, "Dot and the Kangaroo" is, to the best of my knowledge, the only Dot movie to have a DVD release. The others were released on VHS but never DVD; I don't know why.
Despite the minor flaws I mentioned, "Dot and the Kangaroo" is a real heart-warming film, and I recommend checking it out. Netflix it today.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Well, well, well. To start things off, I've been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I first heard about it in 2007. I mean, seeing a Tim Burton adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland" sounded like a really cool idea, and having Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and Christopher Lee in the cast? How can you go wrong? Well, after seeing it for the first time, it was quite a let down. First of all, this is a Disney movie, and it's kind of weird knowing that this is a remake of a movie that was made by the same company. Well, it's actually not a remake. This is actually a sequel that just so happens to have the same title. However, unlike Disney's line of direct-to-DVD sequels, for this one, they attempted to do something very different. A couple positives I can point out is that we get to know more about the characters such as Alice's last name as well as her sister's name, plus I did catch a lot of references to the original classic. The beginning was interesting, but once Alice came into Wonderland, things went downhill. It's like everything was just shoved into my face. I didn't care much for the story; it was a little untraditional. The characters were OK. The Mad Hatter was good, so was the caterpillar, the Red Queen was consistent, the Cheshire Cat was amusing, but the rest of the characters were just all over the place. It's like, What happened? What's going on? What's this? What's that? What's everything? The whole movie was so confusing. It seemed like the creators were putting special effects before story. The 1951 classic has a lot of charm and warmth, and it makes you look forward to watching it again, but this new one doesn't have the same warmth. Overall, this was not a terrible movie, nor was it a cinematic masterpiece; it's a good movie that has a lot of flaws. If you're wanting to see a good movie that'll live in your heart, then don't watch this movie; it's not worth your time, unless you're a huge fan of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. If you are a fan of them, then I'm sure you'll rank this as an A+ film, 10 out of 10, 5 stars out of 5, whatever. I'd really hate to see Disney do this to other classics they've done. (Oh, wait, I think they already did.) So, yeah, in conclusion, I highly recommend this film to Tim Burton fans and Johnny Depp fans, but not to fans of the original Disney classic.
A Very Different Experience for Any Film-goer
This is a movie that was recommended to me by a friend of mine, who happens to be a huge Jim Carrey fan. Now, I am familiar with Jim Carrey, and I know the kinds of characters he plays in his movies. There are times when he is funny ("Bruce Almighty" and "Liar Liar"), and there are times when he is annoying ("Batman Forever" and "Cable Guy"), but this movie shows a completely different side of Jim that I've never known him to be. In this movie, he is not being Jim Carrey; he is playing an actual character, and his lines are all totally scripted, but still, his nature can still be spotted pretty easily. I was a little surprised to know that he actually played the villain in this movie. This isn't the first time Jim Carrey played a villain in a movie, but this was a pretty intense character for an actor like him. Now, I have nothing against Jim Carrey, but the character he plays just really disturbs me. There are a lot of movies where I can understand the motivations of both the protagonist and the antagonist, and in these films, I like to route for both sides. There are some villains like Cruella De Vil that I love to hate. I don't love to hate Count Olaf; I just hate him. This was a film where I seriously felt the antagonist deserved to die. He was that horrible. I had the same feelings towards the Green Goblin in the first Spider-Man movie. For all you Jim Carrey fans out there, before you start sending me any hate mail, let me just clarify this for you. I don't hate Jim Carrey, I hate Count Olaf. I gotta say, this movie was really, in my opinion, quite dark for a children's movie, let alone a Nickelodeon movie! I was practically freaked out by this movie the moment I popped the DVD into my DVD player and witnessed the creepiest looking DVD menu I've ever seen: a Tim Burton type of animated menu playing some very unfitting music. Please don't ask why I have these opinions; I just do, and it's really too difficult for me to analyze. So, anyway, if you're a hardcore fan of Jim Carrey, then I probably don't recommend this film for a viewing, but if you want to see a different side of him, then by all means, check it out.
Santa Buddies (2009)
An Awesome Christmas Movie!
I absolutely love the "Buddies" movies. When I heard of this one coming out, I just desperately wanted to see it! I gotta be honest, this is one of the best Christmas movies I have ever seen in my entire life! While the previous three had some ups and downs, I didn't really see anything bad with this one. Unlike the previous three, "Santa Buddies" helped me learn more about the Buddies than I've ever known before. I always imagined B-Dawg as the possible leader of the Buddies, but I wasn't sure if there really was a leader amongst the five, and while Rosebud did seem to show some good leadership skills compared to her brothers, I believe this movie truly revealed to me that B-Dawg really is the leader. If you watch the film, you'll probably see what I mean. While this is the fourth installment in the "Buddies" series, this was actually the first one to have a song in it, which wasn't necessary but good to have in the film. Also, I might add that compared to other Christmas movies and specials I have seen, the plot to this one is actually very original. Most Christmas specials have one of five plots: 1. A kid has one wish for Christmas that he really wants, 2. Santa Claus has a problem of some kind and wants it resolved, 3. Somebody tries to take over Christmas from Santa, 4. A parody on "A Christmas Carol", or 5. A parody on "It's a Wonderful Life". This movie is not one of those plots. The plot to this movie involves Santa and his helpers trying to get everyone to believe in the Spirit of Christmas. This is a completely original plot that has never been used in any other Holiday movie or special. At least none that I can think of. Overall, this was by far the best of the "Buddies" movies, and it left me looking forward to seeing the next one. Although, I do have kind of a bad feeling that this is probably going to be the last movie of the series. I hope it isn't, but if it is, then I really hope they make a TV series. The Buddies are all great characters that I always look forward to seeing, because each one has a great personality, and I simply adore their chemistry. On a whole, "Santa Buddies" is a wonderful movie that should be in everybody's collection of Christmas movies for years to come.
Nobody messes around with this!
It can be hard to do a sequel. Sequels are supposed to be continuations to popular movies to please fans of the movie. Some sequels can be just as good or even better than the original (like "Shrek 2" and "101 Dalmatians 2"), or be good but feel unnecessary (like "Pokemon 2000" or "Airplane 2"), but mostly, it could be bad altogether (I'm sure nobody liked "The Land Before Time 2" or "Scary Movie 2").
With that said, I'm sure that making a sequel to what is undeniably one of the best animated movies ever would be hard to do. I was aware that success would be a problem here, and I was right.
First of all, Don Bluth had no involvement with this movie, and this movie was made without his permission. Many fans, such as myself, were dismayed by the musical numbers that were put into this movie (Nobody likes songs in movies anyway.). Also, I don't like the movie's subtitle. Timmy was supposed to be the character who was sick and had to stay in bed. But now, all of a sudden, he's the hero?
Of course, since this movie came out in 1998 while the original came out in 1982, there was no excuse. It would have been hard to get the original cast back together, especially since five of the original actors died shortly after the original was released (two of which voiced characters who died in the original). Arthur Malet is back as Mr. Ages, and Dom DeLuise is back as Jeremy, and hey, they got Eric Idle into this movie too.
I don't have anything more to say about this awful movie. Stay away from this movie. You'd rather watch the original movie twice or three times a day then watch this movie.
The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)
"The Chipmunk Adventure" is one of the greatest animated movies of the 1980's. Alvin and the Chipmunks have always been of some interest to me, since they were what really got me into rock and roll. Neither one of the Chipmunks has any bad traits. Alvin's really the star and has all the cool looks. Theodore is the lovable sensitive one. Then there's Simon (my personal favorite), the smart one who is often a party pooper. I also like the Chipettes a lot. There's Brittany, who, like Alvin, is one who is always trying to be so popular. Then there's Eleanor, who, like Theodore, is sweet, sensitive, and loves food. Janette is the only Chipette who is not much like her counterpart; she's very naive and really clumsy.
In the Chipmunks' very first full-length movie, David Seville is going on a business trip to Europe, and he's leaving the boys with Miss Miller while he's gone. While playing an arcade game, Alvin loses against Brittany and then says that if he had the money, he'd race Brittany around the world for real. Unbeknownest to the kids, a man named Klaus Furschtien and his sister, Claudia, who have been trying to come up with a sneaky way to deliver diamonds around the world in exchange for cash, overheard this conversation and said that they'd let them race around the world for $100,000. Alvin and Brittany accept it and go on the race.
This adventurous movie has a lot of great songs. "Off to See the World" made for an appropriate theme song for the movie. Then there is "Getting Lucky", one of my favorite songs in the movie. "My Mother" is most likely the sappiest song in the movie, but it always makes me cry. "Wooly Bully" is the only cover song used in the movie (the rest were completely original). Then, of course, there's "The Boys and Girls of Rock and Roll", which, in my opinion, has to be one of the greatest musical numbers in movie history.
I used to watch this movie very often, until my recorded tape of it died. I still watch the movie, though. This is actually a fun movie for people who are about to go on a vacation to a foreign country for the first time. It'll give you an idea of what kind of stuff you'd expect out of world travel. Definitely one of my childhood movies, and one that I'd recommend to 80's fans and Alvin & the Chipmunks fans.
The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
If I could choose just one word to describe this entire movie, it would have to be "weird". "The Brave Little Toaster" is probably not the best recommendation for viewers of any age. Once you've watched it for the first time and you are at a very mature stage, you will be ready for years of therapy! It's not all bad, though. The only weird part about it is just seeing appliances come to life and have personalities of their own. The story mainly focuses on six specific appliances left behind at a country house (who all happen to be guys; not one female). They decide to go on a journey to find their owners. One of them, an air conditioner, didn't go with them since he was attached to a wall. The team consisted of a bright (yet easily annoyed) lamp, a comical and annoying radio, a short-tempered vacuum cleaner who's oblivious to reality, a cuddly blanket (probably the best representation of a youngster), and their leader, a courageous toaster. The strong points and weak points of these characters are both equal in a lot of ways. Now for the things I liked about this movie. Now that I look back at it, a lot of great actors worked on this movie. Many could probably easily recognize the voices of Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman, and of course, Thurl Ravenscoft. I also enjoyed the songs on this movie. You gotta admit, the songs on this movie are really cool songs; well, this movie came out in the 80's, so one would very likely expect it to have songs with very high-tech styles. It kinda sucks that I'm not able to find those songs anywhere. Despite the cast and the songs, the movie is still overall weird; then again, the movie did come out in the 80's, and I guess a lot of people were drunk around that time. Yeah, that may have something to do with it. My suggestion, if you ever get an urge to watch this movie, watch it for the songs; those are really the best part of the movie. That's pretty much all I gotta say about it.
The Care Bears Movie (1985)
I love the 80's!
The 80's were really the decade to live in! I have to admit, for someone my age, I honestly believe that the Care Bears movie is a very well-made movie. It came out the year I was born, and I'm reasonably sure that it is also the very first movie I ever saw in my entire life.
Now, where should I begin? Ah, yes. It makes me enjoy the movie a lot more now that I know that some famous people were involved in it. The story is narrated by Mickey Rooney, someone with a very kid-friendly voice. There was also Cree Summer, who did voices in various different cartoon series', and of course, Billie Mae Richards (Rudolph).
This is a great children's movie, and some adults can enjoy it too. I don't recommend this movie to the 7 to 18 range. It's pretty enjoyable, but it also has a lot of frightening parts. I was always scared to death of the dark spirit. To help lighten the mood, there are also some catchy songs in this movie as well, which are all done by famous pop artists such as Carol King and John Sebastian. Today, the only thing I really love about this movie is the finale song, "It's Great to Be in the Care Bear Family". For some odd reason, I'm such a sucker for all those "Kids of the Kingdom"-types of songs.
This movie was followed by two sequels. The first of the three was really good and really dark and dramatic, the second one was just as good but seemed more like a comedy than a drama, and the third one was just plain weird. Right now, I just wish I could watch this movie again and see how much stuff I can remember from it. I'm sure it will bring back to me some very fond memories.
Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997)
This movie is just plain horrible! It may have been a good idea to make a new live-action Casper movie in the mid 1990's being based on a famous animated character, which wasn't too bad, but to make more of them? That's just an overkill there! Why do I think this movie is horrible? Well, to start things off, the opening credits are extremely nauseating. When I start up a movie and see something like that, I automatically want to shut it off! This isn't really considered a sequel to "Casper", but more of a prequel. It basically tells the story of how Casper's afterlife began. Overall, the movie has terrible acting and poorly done CG effects. Avoid this movie at all costs!