So, the thing is that I don’t really love the genre of the classic Disney movie, and this suffers from a lot of the issues of that genre. As a somewhat self-indulgent anniversary celebration, though, I think it’s a good homage to the past 100 years of Disney, blending the tropes of the genre with modern sensibilities and interesting animation.
I love a movie that leans into being bizarre because it knows exactly what it is and commits to it. I love a movie that uses metaphor to make important points. I love a movie that is self-aware and even self-critical. This was as good as I expected it to be.
Je dis pas que c’est un chef d’oeuvre, mais ça faisait plusieurs années depuis la dernière fois que j’ai regardé ce film, et on s’est bien amusé, ma fille et moi. Ça donne envie de lire les livres.
Fascinating subject matter, great acting, beautiful visuals, and lots to keep you thinking after you watch it.
I don’t know (or care) much about D&D worldbuilding, and I’m not going to let Hasbro off the hook for their OGL nonsense, but this was a fun movie, and I’m glad I finally got to watch it.
Lots to love in this movie: The animation is gorgeous, the concept is interesting, the metaphors are well-meaning, and there are plenty of funny bits. There seemed to be too many subplots, though, and when any of them saw a shake-up, it didn’t always feel deserved. It also feels essentialist in the way that D&D does—yes, differences make sense in the fictional world, but since we’re meant to read them onto the real world, it doesn’t always sit right.
I’d been meaning to watch this, and kiddo was happy to walk me through it (she’d seen it in theaters). The animation is beautiful and there are lots of fun in-jokes and shout-outs. At the end of the day, though, the plot was thin and the characters flat (though they could have done much worse by Peach). It’s probably the best one could do with the source material, but that doesn’t mean it’s great
This movie knows that it’s a pale imitation of How to Train Your Dragon, but the lampshading is half-hearted, the story and dialogue are weak, and the performances feel like cash grabs. On top of that, it seems to go out of its way to include some casual racism just to make sure it doesn’t hold together. What a disappointment.
I loved the first Black Panther and am kind of bummed to be disappointed by the sequel. Obviously, Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing made this movie an uphill battle to begin with, and its wrestling with that loss within the movie is one of its strongest parts. There are also other individual parts of the movie that are really interesting on their own: international intrigue with strong Françafrique overtones! Riri Williams! turning a goofy 1940s comic book character concept into something compelling and decolonial!
I put off watching this movie for a while, despite a number of recommendations. I think it’s fitting that I finally watched it so soon after listening to the audiobook of Walkaway, a very weird Cory Doctorow novel about finding hope despite things going very badly. This movie is far, far weirder than Walkaway, and yet it also does a much, much better job of getting that same message across. I feel like it spoke to many of my current anxieties, but in a healing and helpful way.
By the time this movie came out in 2005, I was already deep into superhero media, and I love using recycled tropes to tell an interesting story. This does an excellent job, and it was a favorite for my whole family when it came out. (In fact, I hadn’t remembered until rewatching it that one of my family’s shared verbal tics comes from a running gag involving Ron Wilson, Bus Driver).
Look, I’m not a cinema connoisseur, and I’m sure this doesn’t hold up in ways that I don’t know. Conversely, I appreciate Weird Al, but I’m not the kind of megafan that would pick up on every joke. All I know is that this movie is delightful for the way it just leans into the absurdity and doesn’t apologize for it. I loved it, and even the dumbest parts made it better.
I enjoyed this movie, so I kind of want to give it four hearts. The visuals were interesting, it tackled important themes, and I appreciated its board game love and its leaning in to pulp sci-fi weirdness and just not caring. The more I think about it, though, the more I remember its clunkiness, the way it often moved too quickly, and the lazy bits. I liked it, and I’m glad we watched it as a family, but I doubt it would hold up over time.