(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: Klaus
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch: When Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) distinguishes himself as the postal academy’s worst student, he is stationed on a frozen island above the Arctic Circle, where the feuding locals hardly exchange words, let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva (Rashida Jones), and discovers Klaus (J.K. Simmons), a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys. These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbors, magical lore and stockings hung by the chimney with care.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Truly great Christmas movies are hard to come by. Even some of the beloved holiday favorites that get played on TV over and over again around the holidays aren’t exactly of the highest order. We’re just a little more accepting of mediocrity with holiday movies because they bring warm feelings to our heart when it’s cold outside. But what if you could get those same warm feelings and have an enchanting story with beautiful animation and a fantastic voice cast? That’s where Netflix’s lovely Klaus comes into play, and it should be added to your annual holiday movie rotation. Read More »
Just when you thought you were safe from The Boss Baby, his pudgy little arms reach out and pull you back in. A sequel to the hit, Oscar-nominated Dreamworks Animation movie is coming to theaters next spring (fingers crossed!), and the first trailer has just arrived, letting us know that whatever drugs the franchise’s writers are on must be out of this world.
The Boss Baby: Family Business finds the Templeton brothers Tim and Ted (James Marsden and Alec Baldwin) all grown up and estranged from each other. Tim has a family of his own, including a super smart 7-year old named Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and a new infant named Tina. But what Tim and Ted don’t know is that Tina is a top secret agent for BabyCorp on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Edwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum). Don’t you want some of these drugs?! Watch The Boss Baby 2 trailer below to see how wild this gets. Read More »
2020 has been a year of incalculable oddities, and somewhere fairly high up on the list has to be the very existence of The Croods: A New Age. It’s been nearly eight years since the arrival of the first Croods film, which made a decent enough splash at the box office (primarily internationally) to spawn this long-gestating follow-up. But unlike the other DreamWorks Animation release from 2020, Trolls World Tour, you won’t be able to rent A New Age on VOD instantly. No, if you and the family are just jonesing for some new entertainment this holiday weekend, you’ll have to brave the theaters amidst skyrocketing cases in a still very real pandemic situation. Wonder Woman 1984? It’s going to be available on HBO Max this Christmas, the same day it’s in theaters. Soul? Just straight to streaming on Disney+.
But no, The Croods: A New Age is the one you can rush out to see in theaters. There’s not much reason why you should, though.
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It’s Thanksgiving week, which means if you aren’t getting your Christmas tree out, then you’re already behind. If you’re looking to beef up your collection of ornaments inspired by the magical films of Walt Disney Animation Studios, then Hallmark has you covered with several new additions to their Keepsake Ornaments line for 2020.
This year, the 2020 Disney Hallmark ornaments include Beauty and the Beast, Bambi, Dumbo, The Aristocats, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Pocahontas, and more. There are even a couple more additions from Disney’s modern favorite like Frozen 2 and Moana. Check them all out below. Read More »
This week marks the return of yet another 90s-era show, another piece of nostalgia revived for the hopeful adoration of fans around the world. This one’s a revival for audiences of all ages: it’s Animaniacs, the ultra-zany weekday cartoon that introduced viewers to the Warner Brothers (and the Warner sister), an exceptionally brilliant mouse with plans for world domination, a trio of wise-talking pigeons, and more. The new show is something of a mixed bag (to this writer), with a longer lead time of production making some of its jokes less than timely.
That said, the new show almost immediately jumps into one of the hallmarks of the original Animaniacs: songs. The original show boasted songs about everything from world landmarks to the human senses, and as we celebrate its return, let’s count down the 15 best songs from the original Animaniacs universe.
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(Welcome to The Greatest Shots in Disney Animation History, a limited series where Disney expert Josh Spiegel selects and ranks the defining moments in one of the greatest, most important, and most influential collection of films ever made.)
This final part of the ongoing list covers entries 10 through 1.
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When it was announced that there would be a new Star Wars Holiday Special, everyone scratched their heads and said, “Well, this is sort of cool, I guess.” The original Star Wars Holiday Special, released in 1978 and aired only once because of how utterly awful it was, has lived on in bootlegs and become something of an ironic favorite. If you can sit through the two hours of it, you’ll be treated to some really cool animated Star Wars segments and some of the most bizarre skits ever put to film.
However, The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (currently streaming on Disney+) takes a more modern and straightforward approach, crossing space adventure with silly comedy and a Dickensian tale of ghosts showing someone filled with doubt the possibility of their future.
The new Holiday Special revolves around the Wookiee holiday of Life Day, just as the original did. But instead of just random asides to show us Itchybacca watching VR porn and an Imperial Officer jamming out to the holographic tunes of Jefferson Starship (yes, that is what happens in the original, if you’ve never seen it), we’re given two parallel stories, both of which aren’t exactly canon but do suggest a future beyond the polarizing The Rise of Skywalker.
The first is Poe Dameron’s desire to create the best Life Day celebration he can for his friends, with all the tip yip they can eat. The other story is Rey’s quest to train Finn, and how inadequate she feels as a teacher. She embarks on a journey through time to learn what it will take for her to be a good teacher, a mentor, and a friend. Naturally, she gets a little help from the ghost of master Yoda on the way.
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Not too long ago, we called your attention to a new collection of Rick and Morty merchandise from Loot Crate, including a replica of the Butter Robot from “Something Ricked This Way Comes,” a throwback to the ninth episode of the very first season. But Adult Swim is giving the piece of tech with an existential crisis an even cooler collectible by teaming up with Digital Dream Labs to produce a limited-edition, real-working Butter Robot that is more technologically advanced than it has any right to be. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Another Mando Monday has come and gone, and while The Mandalorian merchandise reveals haven’t always been thrilling every single week, there tends to be a handful of new items that are worth looking at. In addition to new Star Wars Black Series figures from The Mandalorian being revealed this week, including Moff Gideon with the Darksaber, a few characters from The Clone Wars are coming to shelves next year too, such as villain Asajj Ventress. Read More »
Nothing screams Christmas like a group of yellow clone things whose vocabulary amounts to several variations on “Banana!” But Illumination is giving us what we want (or rather, what your kids want) this holiday season with a Minions Holiday Special, set to debut on NBC and Peacock late this November. See the Minions Holiday Special first look images below.
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