3. Home

635630557299055737-home4DreamWorks never manages to disappoint with its beautiful animated films, and Home is another it can add to the trophy case alongside Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and Madagascar.

The all-star cast bring such life to the characters, and the animations hold up so much emotion even without the voices that it’s easy to get lost in the story. I even found myself tearing up at the end.


Jim Parsons makes a perfect Oh; the lovable and intellectual, but confused Boov. His voice is unfortunately very recognizable; and this is certainly a type-cast for him.
On the other side of the screen; Rihanna brings such a wide range of emotion to Gratuity Tip Tucci; it’s impossible to not fall in love with the young protagonist, and feel true empathy for her as the plot unfolds.

The story itself offers several moral lessons, and while they’re reinforced; they’re also not blunt. Other methods of communicating the story – such as the Boov changing colors to match their own moods and emotions; are both incredibly creative and clever, but also allow even small children to follow the story easily, without bland dialogue telling the audience what they should be able to see.

In the end; this is definitely a movie I would recommend, and I would gladly have my kids watch it over and over, because I know I would enjoy it just as much as them.

2. Lion King

The-lion-king-1When marketing The Lion King for the first time way back in 1994, Disney made the brave decision to have its first cinematic trailer consisting entirely of the opening sequence of the film. It’s a decision that highlighted the enormous strength and beauty of that opening scene where the animals of the Pridelands gather for the coronation of young Simba while the iconic Circle of Life accompanies his introduction. It’s a gorgeous spectacle of animation and music which immediately grips the audience’s attention and establishes the setting.

Making the Lion King

The cell-shaded 2D animation of the wide range of animals combines easily with the matte painted backgrounds which add visual depth and beautiful scenery in likes of waterholes, mountain ranges, lush forests and waterfalls. The foreground and background blend seamlessly and the world of The Lion King is endlessly alive and breathing even with its limited selection of camera movements. It’s at once more inviting than the relatively sterile 3D environments of some more modern Disney works (Big Hero 6 comes to mind).

The film’s soundtrack is similarly impressive. Elton John and Tim Rice combine to bring five original songs that still draw applause, recognition and sing-a-longs even two decades later. The opening Zulu choral vocals of The Circle of Life are powerful and evocative, while the animated choreography that combines with I Just Can’t Wait to Be King makes for a jaunty upbeat tune. Hans Zimmer’s score goes from strength to strength, drawing upon traditional African choral themes and percussion which resonates during the film’s emotional moments.

Voice Acting

The voice acting is unique and enduring. The booming bass tones of James Earl Jones makes for an imposing father figure in Mufasa, in contrast to Jeremy Irons’ Scar, rich with haughty disdain for his pride-mates. A fun filled exile in the middle of the film is characterized by that of the jovial Timon and Pumbaa, while young Simba’s voice grows into the deeper tones of Matthew Broderick, during an excellent and color filled montage over Hakuna Matata.

The three hyena cronies of Scar are also distinct despite their ugly cloned appearances, boasting the voice work of Whoopi Goldberg, Marin and Cummings as the overly enthusiastic, sassy and hot-headed henchmen. The story is a simple if not effective one, drawing upon similar themes from Hamlet. It’s a tale of Simba’s quest for redemption and revenge after being falsely exiled for his father’s death.

The traditional coming of age plot is well paced and is earmarked by several deeply emotional moments, the most significant of those being Simba’s grief at the realization of his father’s death (Jonathan Taylor Thomas’s voice acting in this scene is heartbreaking). There’s plenty of emotional depth in the portrayal of Simba through the themes of ostracization, loss, guilt and growing up which makes this film appropriate for both adult and children alike. The Lion King has a rightful place in Disney’s elite as a vibrant, poignant and visually immersive film.

1. Inside Out

Pixar Post - Inside Out characters closeupInside Out is a relatively short story about a young girl from Minnesota named Riley and it takes place inside her brain, where we can encounter different kinds of emotions and how the emotions interact with each other and control Riley’s actions. This is definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life.

The main plot is excellent and takes you to different parts of Riley’s brain. Its visualization is stunning and imaginative. It’s the world seen through Riley’s young eyes and how growing up affects it. It is definitely mind-blowing and you always get this feeling: “Oh yes, this makes a lot of sense now.”

Voice Acting

The voice acting is phenomenal. Amy Poehler as Joy is great, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Bill Hader as Fear, and Lewis Black as Anger are all perfectly cast as well. The characters are great too. Joy is the head of the group, keeping Riley happy throughout the day. The other emotions get good amount of screen time, but the film mostly focuses on Joy and Sadness. Riley is a great character too. She’s also the main focus in the story. I find her interesting because the emotions are in charge of her. Every thought she thinks, everything she says is all the emotions.

Riley becomes uncontrollable when Joy and Sadness get sucked out of headquarters and into long term memory. No joy equals no happy Riley. The writers make her pretty likable as well. The film becomes a tearjerker probably when we meet Bing Bong (voiced by Richard Kind), Riley’s imaginary friend from childhood. He is introduced in long term memory, and his fate might have you in tears.

Is it a movie for children? Absolutely yes. It’s for children, for adults, for dogs and cats also, for extraterrestrials too! Anyone, who dealt with something difficult in his/her life, will definitely enjoy this movie and probably love it too.

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