Movie theaters may be slowly losing prominence in the American landscape, but they’re just starting to re-emerge in Saudi Arabia. The Middle Eastern country banned movie theaters in the early ’80s as a result of a conservative Islamist pressure to clamp down on public entertainment and the intermingling of men and women, but now the 35-year ban is finally ending.
Reforms led by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been slowly easing old conservative restrictions, while still maintaining the country’s “moral values.” The first movies available at the makeshift movie theaters that stick by those values? The Emoji Movie and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.
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When I sat down to compile a list of the best animated movies of 2017, I realized that the selection was shockingly meager. Outside of Pixar and Disney, animation has never been the pride of Hollywood, often appealing to the lowest common denominator rather than stretching the limits of what animated storytelling can do. That’s a job for the foreign animated flicks or for the arthouse indie films. Mainstream animated films only have to keep kids occupied while their parents run errands.
But there was something exceptionally horrible about 2017’s mainstream animated offerings. Aside from Coco, Cars 3, and The Lego Batman Movie, Hollywood has had a pretty bad year for animated movies. Don’t remember what came out this year? The Emoji Movie, The Boss Baby, and Smurfs: The Lost Village, just to name a few. Now you see what I mean.
Compared to last year, which boasted fantastic widely released films from high-profile studios like Disney’s Moana and Zootopia and smaller studios like Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings, this year’s wide-release animated movies have little in the way of critical acclaim. How can there be such a difference in quality in one year? Let’s dive into it.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 by Jacob Hall
In today’s edition of “Hey, do you want to feel old?”, we bring you the first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, the big screen adaptation of author and illustrator Dav Pilkey‘s long-running children’s book series about a mean school principal hypnotized into thinking that he’s a superhero by two mischievous students. While the series began in the late ’90s, it’s a real staple for those who came of age in the ’00s…most of whom are now old enough to drive themselves to the theater for this movie.
You can check out the Captain Underpants trailer below.
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