‘Just keep swimming…’
‘Arthur! Christmas is not a time for emotion…’
‘Marley was dead to begin with…’
Doesn’t do justice to the original…
Title: Day & Night
Director: Teddy Newton
Length: 6 minutes
Title: Duck Amuck
Director: Chuck Jones
Length: 8 mins
Reboot Chicken? Nope business as usual…
It may have been tempting for Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich to make something a bit more linear for the new audience these Star Wars specials were likely to attract. Instead of being more focused however, the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials continue the animated sketch show format and the zany humour. Unfortunately the hit and miss nature of Robot Chicken remains as well.
That being said the Star Wars specials are probably Robot Chicken‘s finest hour. It has always been a niche show so it is no surprise that they chose to shine a light on some of Star Wars more minor but still beloved cast members.
The main recurring characters here are Admiral Ackbar, Boba Fett and Emperor Palpatine and nearly every sketch involving that trio lands. A lot of the other stuff is forgettable but the musical numbers surprisingly work really well in a show that has had mixed levels of success in that area.
Robot Chicken has always been a bit of an acquired taste but there is no doubt they are passionate and knowledgeable about all areas of pop culture and it is this warmth for the subject matter that makes the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials a success.
Dreamworks jewel in the crown.
Despite enjoying huge commercial success with the Shrek and Madagascar franchises plus box office hits like Monsters vs. Aliens, Dreamworks animation still has to hide their envious glances towards Pixar as they have have tied massive profits with universal critical acclaim and adoration.
While Shrek is a decent film and there have been a couple of others on the Dreamworks roster that I have enjoyed, How To Train Your Dragon is the first film that I have loved as much as some of Pixar’s output. In Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig and Christopher ‘McLovin’ Mintz-Plasse director Dean DeBlois has assembled some of the finest comic actors currently working today with Gerard Butler adding his gruff, more dramatic voice to sweeten the pot.
The beauty of Pixar is the emotional attachment they make you feel about futuristic robots or lost clownfish and I can safely say I was with Toothless the dragon all the way through this movie and it’s hard not to root for any character played by Baruchel.
Dreamworks output before and after How To Train Your Dragon has been patchy and inconsistent but this is a film to rival anything that either Disney or Pixar have released. Don’t wait five years to see it like I did.
IMDB TOP 250 #150
Madness… in every direction.
Rejected was nominated for best animated short film at the Oscars back in 2000 and it really is a minor work of genius. Equal parts surreal, harrowing and hilarious, Rejected is a series of short cartoons by Don Hertzfeldt that were rejected by various organizations (for obvious reasons). The first five minutes give you a taster of Hertzfeldt’s style but it is the closing five minutes that are really imaginative and set this apart from all the other surreal animated shorts out there. Well worth ten minutes of your time.