Sonic the Hedgehog Review

Who is Sonic the Hedgehog for? What is the target audience for a film that wants to take its cues from Deadpool but also family films about the Easter Bunny? Ostensibly, children should want very badly to see this movie adaptation of the long-running Sega video game about an extremely fast blue animal. But Sonic the Hedgehog can’t figure out if its audience is the parents of those children — those of us who grew up with the first iteration of Sonic — or kids themselves. The result is what may be one of the last acts of a desperate movie studio, so intent on mining intellectual property for all it’s worth and unable to realize they’ve hit the bottom of the barrel.

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Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway opening date

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is getting FastPass+.
  • A Disney ride got an unexpected…amputation of sorts.
  • And more!

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The old-fashioned concept of movie stardom, depending on how you look at it, has been on life support for a long time or just flat-out dead. The premise is simple: actors open a movie, not intellectual property. But even if you had a slightly more positive outlook on the state of movie stardom, the recent film Dolittle should have served as the final nail in the coffin of any hopes you had for a 21st-century movie star. That film’s stumbles at the box office are only further evidence that we no longer have movie stars, just franchises.

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In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Two Disneyland attractions are getting FastPass.
  • Tokyo Disney Resort is getting a brand-new monorail.
  • And more!

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In an era where feature animation often feels as if it’s driven solely by computers, it remains heartening for any fans of the medium that Netflix is supporting artists who are willing to tell animated stories with other methods. Last year, two of the streaming service’s standout films—Klaus and I Lost My Body—utilized hand-drawn styles as much as computer animation, using the art form to craft unique stories. Now, just a few weeks into the new year, we have Netflix’s latest domestic feature acquisition, the stop-motion animated A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. Mouthy title aside, this follow-up to the 2016 Shaun the Sheep Movie is a charming, if somewhat slighter return to the rural countryside where the eponymous sheep gets into mischief.

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new walking dead spin-off

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • An attraction themed to The Walking Dead is closing in March.
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has a marquee.
  • And more!

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The Rocketeer Revisited

(Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.)

In 1991, Walt Disney Pictures released two of the very best films to ever fall under their banner. That fall, they would release Beauty and the Beast to widespread acclaim from audiences, critics, and the film industry as a whole. The animated adaptation of the tale as old as time became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards – it’s a feat that’s never truly been repeated, because the other two animated Best Picture nominees (Up and Toy Story 3) did so in a field of ten nominees, where Beauty and the Beast did so as just one of five nominees. No matter: everyone knows that Beauty and the Beast is one of the studio’s biggest successes, a wonderful, enchanting romance that deserves its iconic status.

I haven’t convened you all here today to talk about Beauty and the Beast. Let’s talk about the other wonderful film Disney released in 1991, smack dab in the middle in the summer. That’s when Walt Disney Pictures tried its hand at making a live-action story that would become a summertime hit at a period when they badly needed one. It was a period piece, an action-adventure, based on a comic book. In the 2010s, The Rocketeer would’ve been a big hit out of the gate. In 1991, it was sadly relegated to cult status.

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Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Video

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • The Super Bowl LIV champ goes to Disney.
  • Look at 3-D versions of the Disney Parks via Apple Maps.
  • And more!

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In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Get ready to soar over California again.
  • The ride vehicles for a Big Hero 6 attraction have been revealed.
  • And more!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

There is a doorway. At some point, we all have to step through that doorway, and explore beyond what our lives have to offer us. It’s impossible to know what’s beyond the doorway until we step through it — it could lead to a new, ethereal plane of existence, or it could lead to a grim blackness, a vast and infinite nothingness that puts a cruel period on the sentence of life. That, at least, is how the truest version of the afterlife was envisioned in the final episodes of two very distinctive, very bold, and now concluded comedies, Netflix’s BoJack Horseman and NBC’s The Good Place. Though each of these shows envisioned the end as something tangible, they did so in striking and divergent ways, with the animated show winding up as a top-to-bottom success.

This post contains spoilers for the final seasons, and final episodes, of both shows.

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