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    Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 9th, 2014

    By John Delia

    Most every child knows the story of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty from early video, books and DVD.  Unless you went to see the movie at a theater back in the 1959, however, you probably saw a version that was not crisp and colorful. Finally, after what seems forever, the family animated fantasy has been Blu-ray remastered and digitally restored in super widescreen. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD have new bonus features and include the DVD release’s special extras as well.
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    South Park: Season 17 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 18th, 2014

    “Oh boy, zombie apocalypse!”

    No, it’s just South Park. But it has invaded pop culture as much as zombies have over its amazing 18-year run. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been walking a tightrope for over 18 years now, and it just doesn’t get old. One of the reasons the show doesn’t grow stale is their ability to make such a quick turnaround on current events.
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    Heavenly Sword (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 4th, 2014

    The list of bad videogame movie adaptations is as ridiculously long as the titular weapon in this animated offering. In fact, the film that has best captured the spirit of gaming wasn’t even based on an actual videogame. The bottom line is it’s hard to translate the highly-interactive thrills of videogames into a satisfying, relatively passive moviegoing experience. So maybe the answer lies in targeting inherently cinematic games like Heavenly Sword.
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    Rio 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 17th, 2014

    “Who cares about a bunch of birds?”

    Well, judging by the fact that the original Rio grossed $484 million worldwide, it seems more than a few people were invested. The avian adventure from Blue Sky Studios may not have soared as high as Disney/Pixar or DreamWorks Animation’s best efforts — or even Blue Sky’s own Ice Age juggernaut — but it proved to be a dazzling, lucrative diversion in the spring of 2011. This charming sequel, which arrived almost three years to the day later and grossed a near-identical $487 million worldwide, retains the disposable, toe-tapping charm of its predecessor.
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    Ernest & Celestine (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 22nd, 2014

    “A mouse can only be friends with a bear in a fairy tale.”

    And that’s exactly what we have here. Ernest And Celestine is a charming little tale told through a wonderful watercolor world of animation. It certainly looks very much like the storybooks I remember reading from as a small child. Indeed, the film is based on a series of book from Belgian artist Gabrielle Vincent. The first book appeared in 1981 and continued for 20 years, delighting children the world over. As an artist it makes some sense that the books had a very unique visual style
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    The Lego Movie: Everything is Awesome Edition (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 17th, 2014

    “You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things.”

    There’s a worthwhile message in The LEGO Movie about the importance of deviating from life’s instruction book and indulging your imagination. But for me, the biggest thrill came from the way it became the first film without Toy Story in its title to tap into the anarchic (and anachronistic) spirit of playing with toys.
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    Son of Batman (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 5th, 2014

    When it comes to the feud between Marvel and DC film adaptions, I think we can all agree Marvel at this point may be winning the battles on the big screen, but when it comes to the animated films DC has been delivering hit after hit. Perhaps it’s because the landscape in animation is virtually unlimited and comes with a significantly smaller price tag to deliver.
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    War of the Worlds-Goliath (Blu-Ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 4th, 2014

    The H.G. Wells invasion story has been told numerous times from a radio show when it allegedly caused a panic when Orson Wells made his infamous broadcast to the more recent imaging brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg.  It’s the alien invasion story that has captured our imagination and will continue doing so for decades to come.  In the new 3D animated release of War of the Worlds: Goliath, the tale of science fiction is simply the jumping-off point to a new and bigger story about the war that was waged between man and those from outer space.
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    Frozen (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 19th, 2014

    “Beautiful. Powerful. Dangerous. Cold. Ice has a magic that can’t be controlled.”

    Like the very best that Disney has offered over the decades, Frozen has its roots in a very old classic fairy tale. Walt himself was interested in doing the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ice Queen immediately following Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. The film was given a production number along with some brief notes. Nothing else remains of the idea
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    Jeff Dunham’s Achmed Saves America: The Animated Movie (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on March 16th, 2014

    Jeff Dunham has always had a talent for making people laugh. His style of ventriloquism has found its way into millions of homes and probably a billion YouTube views. Of course these standup specials have translated into tons of merchandising potential such as lunchboxes, t-shirts, and even the puppets turned into cute and sometimes furry stuffed dolls. Well, with one of the most beloved characters, Achmed, they decided to do an animated special. Let us see how well it turned out.
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    The Jungle Book (Diamond Edition) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 11th, 2014

    There are two very distinctive schools of thought about Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book. There are the Kipling fanatics who have never forgiven Disney for taking a story considered sacred in literary circles and creating something that honestly bears (pardon the pun) little resemblance to the original work. These folks rightfully point out that the story contains almost nothing recognizable about the story and characters from Kipling’s beloved classic. I have often condemned projects that take names like The Night Stalker and Battlestar Galactica and create a vision incompatible with the traditions I associate with them.
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    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 29th, 2014

    “My name is Flint Lockwood. My whole life I always wanted to be a great inventor just like my hero. It was like Chester V. was speaking directly to me using the language of science.”

    In 2009 Sony Pictures had finally learned to use the language of science when it comes to the world of animation. I’m talking the computer-animated feature film.  Of course, they’ve been in the game for a while, but it was with the release of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs that this reviewer believes they delivered on the kinds of things that Pixar and Dreamworks have been delivering
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    Futurama Vol. 8 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 25th, 2013

    Futurama was the brainchild of Simpson veterans Matt Groening and David X Cohen. With the growing popularity of their iconic cartoon, it was no surprise that Fox would tap the team to bring another show to the network. When Futurama premiered in 1999, it was a combination of The Jetsons and The Simpsons. That would be ironic for those of us who think the Simpsons theme is a direct knockoff of The Jetsons. It was 1000 years in the future, and the joke was that no matter how much things changed, they hadn’t really changed at all. The space-age series would use many of the writing and art team from The Simpsons.
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    The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 10th, 2013

    “Homer Simpson, it’s time you got what’s coming to you.”

    What’s been a long time coming is bringing television’s longest ongoing scripted series to high definition and Blu-ray. There’s so many seasons that it’s going to take some time to get there. While the recent years are now coming out on Blu-ray, Fox has been working hard to get some of the older seasons up to speed. It’s time for season 16.
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    Bubble Guppies/Team Umizoomi: Into the Snow We Go!

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on November 21st, 2013

    Nickelodeon has released a Holiday compilation DVD before(http://upcomingdiscs.com/2011/11/15/nickelodeon-favorites-merry-christmas/) which makes this particular release a sort of sequel to that. This time around only two shows are featured, and there is half the episodes featured than in the previous release.
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    It’s a Spongebob Christmas!

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on November 21st, 2013

    It was inevitable. Spongebob Squarepants gets its own Christmas Special. Usually television shows take the lazy route and inject their own characters into a familiar Christmas story and make a parody or adaptation (how many times have we seen Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol redone?). Thankfully this special offers a unique tale of the malevolent Plankton creating a special fruitcake that turns any eater into a totally jerk. Will Spongebob’s demeanour make him immune? Of course…but what of the rest of Bikini Bottom?
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    Monsters University (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 29th, 2013

    The boys are back, and I only have one question. What the heck took so long? I have a lot of respect for Pixar and the groundbreaking films they’ve created over the last couple of decades, but I have to question someone’s marketing good sense when they get a sequel to Cars out before anyone bothered to look towards what is arguably the studio’s best creation to date. For me it’s all about Monsters, Inc. I hadn’t fallen so hard for an animated film since The Lion King, and so I was thrilled when I got the invitation to graduate early from Monsters University.
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    Alpha and Omega 2 – A Howl-iday Adventure (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 16th, 2013

    Direct-to-video sequels of successful animated films are tricky at best. The video release is usually a sign that either the studio is trying to cash in quickly on the franchise or they are just not confident enough in the sequel to put it up on the big screen, usually with good reason. Smaller budgets mean less impressive animation and a lack of A-list voice actors. Every studio has been guilty of one or the other and more often both.
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    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Ultimate Showdown

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on October 9th, 2013

    This is the third stab at making an animated series about these radical reptiles. This particular DVD set is the latter half of this show’s first season. We are privy to a wide array of toys…er, I mean, characters whose stories are firmly established at this point (roughly 13 episodes into a 26 episode season).
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    The Croods (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 9th, 2013

    For years it seems DreamWorks Animation has been living in the shadow of Pixar.  Sure, DreamWorks has had their success with Shrek and Ice Age, but when you stack the films next to Pixar’s library, you see Pixar just seems to be the best at what they do.  That is until The Croods came along; with the new DreamWorks release it would appear the animation studio has stepped up their game and released their best-looking 3D film to date.  My expectations were not too high with this release, but I was at least reliEepd I wouldn’t be watching Ice Age Ten: The Ice is Still Melting.  With a theater screening filled with what appeared to be thousands of little screaming children
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    The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 3rd, 2013

    All good things must come to an end, and so it was at Walt Disney Studios. The Golden Age of feature film animation had started with Snow White And The Seven Dwarves in 1937. By the end of the 1970’s it was all but gone. As the studio entered the 1980’s the things had gone from bad to worse. Walt was gone, and so it seemed was the magic. Most of The 9 Old Men had either retired or passed away. The studio leadership was considering closing the animated studio and moving on to live-action films only.
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    South Park: The Sixteenth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 1st, 2013

    “Toilet time is the last bastion of American freedom.”

    In this case it’s toilet humor. I often have trouble believing that South Park has been around for as long as it has. It’s not just the passing of 16 years, but the sheer brilliance in the face of an increasingly politically correct society. It’s like watching old episodes of All In The Family. Who believes that Archie Bunker would have any chance of survival in the 21st century? It’s no wonder that Norman Lear has become involved in the series. It’s the last remaining vestige of a once great freedom to be ridiculous and offend
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    Winx Club: Magical Adventure

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on September 16th, 2013

    Half of this story deals with a group of teenage faeries, who are smitten with some cute boys from a neighbouring magical kingdom, trying to connect with said boys. The other half deals with this same group of faeries and boys fighting against a trio of evil witches trying to steal all of the world’s “positive magic.” In both halves there is a lot of girlish giggling, butterfly fluttering and sparkly colours….the enemy of any diabetic epileptic.
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    Epic (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 26th, 2013

    Any story about a hidden world that exists just outside the view of human eyes is bound to fire up your imagination. It helps explain why the Toy Story movies and Monsters Inc. are some of the most beloved family films of the last 20 years. Epic — the latest offering from Blue Sky Studios — seeks to capture some of the inventive magic of those Pixar films, but too much of the movie winds up playing out like a generic hero’s journey. Thankfully, there are still plenty of things to like in this animated hit, which suggests there’s a big world of little people out there.
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    Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 16th, 2013

    “You know, there’s been a heap of legends and tall tales about Robin Hood. All different, too. Well, we folks of the animal kingdom have our own version. It’s the story of what really happened in Sherwood Forest.”

    It didn’t even start as a Robin Hood story at all. Walt Disney had many ideas and plans for fables and fairy tales that he hoped to bring to life with a feature animation film
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