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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Faithful 100%

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Finally! After the Cat in the Hat and other abismal attempts, this movie is faithful to Dr Seuss 100%!

Not only is the CG excellent (all that squash and stretch- it might make a 3D fan out of me yet!) but the script is funny, well-paced and in between the regular dialogue stays true to the Seussian rhymes.

The animation was outstanding- the 3D stretched as close to 2D as it ever has. As Horton put it, ‘We’re in the middle of some amazing cosmic conversion’. And with that, I think 3D has finally made it.


Saturday, June 9th, 2007

I don’t know why it took me so long to see “Everyone’s Hero”. Probably due to the fact that the movie got clobbered in the press, and the critics told everyone that this movie was not worth seeing. It got struck out fast, but why?

The beautifully handpainted backgrounds, like dusty sunsets over sandlots, stood in contrast to the CG characters and gave the movie a charming old fashioned look and feel. Screwie, the foul ball with a bitter attitude, is the most well-rounded, entertaining animated character I have seen in a long while. It doesn’t take long to appreciate how much great animation can do with only a set of eyes, and a mouth. It is sad to see that the critics seemed to have been so desensitized by the modern fast paced CGs.

This is truly a film made for kids, and got rave reviews by both kids and parents. Because of its simplicity, and its lack of lip-service to adults, I would put it in the same category as the Iron Giant. Too bad the critics did not get into the swing of this movie.

Killing Monsters

Monday, March 26th, 2007

In order to do our job the best, we watch kid’s TV, kid’s videos, visit toy stores, play video games, read comics, buy toys and order happy meals. (tough job, we know) In addition to talking and listening to kids about what they like, we also do our homework, and this includes reading tons of publications, for kids and about kids.

This book stood out to me, and left me wondering what took me so long to find it and read it. It is called ‘Killing Monsters, Why Children Need Fantasy, Make-Believe and Super Heroes’ by Gerard Jones, a writer for DC and Marvel comics. I picked this book up in my research on super-heroes for one of our upcoming projects. Jones writes about his experiences holding interactive comic book workshops with kids. When I signed up for a super-hero project, my initial fears about violence and guns bubbled up, and I was already thinking up villain friendly contraptions, and then I read this book. It not only gave me the information I was looking for- why kids like superheroes, what they like about them and even at what age they most identify with which part of the superhero- but it also completely changed my views on violence in the media.

Jones shows the reader that children often see something entirely different than adults. He shows that children use the media for different ends, such as overcoming powerlessness and learning to deal with reality. This book will make you see Pokemon, Barbie and the Power Rangers through children’s eyes, and actually find many positive qualities about them. It is a provocative but refreshing book, and I encourage every educator to pick it up.