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Animated Classics With Charming Dinosaur Characters for Kids

Children are often fascinated by dinosaurs in movies. A number of animated offerings feature charming renditions of these creatures to entertain kids. Classic movies that showcase these prehistoric beasts can be ideal choices for a family movie marathon. There are also those that serve as historical and educational offerings readily available online -- becoming points of comparison on how the earlier days of cinema and animation have evolved through the decades. "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914) The general interest in dinosaur characters

‘The Red Balloon’ Short Film Critique: Relationship and Poetry Through a Child’s Gaze

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1956 French short film classic “The Red Balloon” (Le ballon rouge) features a tender drama with a fine touch of flight of fancy. Its subdued setting features a lot of grays, suggesting the depressing quality of the film’s mood and tone, which is then contrasted with the blazing red balloon in mid air.  This post-war motion-picture classic written and directed by Albert Lamorisse features a seemingly cynical world that turns magical

‘Hedgehog in the Fog’ Short Film Critique: The Phantasm of Venturing Into the Unknown

A short essay for my Film Theory and Criticism Class The 1975 short animated film “Hedgehog in the Fog” (Yozhik v tumane) by Yuri Norstein offers an amalgam of terror and pleasure using the phantasm of venturing into the unknown. This evocative work of imagination features the journey of a hedgehog one evening to see his bear cub friend. As he travels in the foggy forest, he encounters many scary things that eventually become transformative moments of wonder. This 11-minute Russian

‘Inside Out’ Film Review: Happy + Sad

“Inside Out” is a powerfully moving animated piece exploring the importance of emotions in people's lives. Daring to explore the existential crises of the human mind and the feelings affecting one’s life, this formidably ingenious film works similar to a thesis or research project. With a material that strikes as a reflection on the power of emotions, it targets the family audience, particularly those with ages ranging from pre-teen to adult. Packaged as a motion picture set inside someone's head and how

‘Rio 2’ Film Review: Perfectly fine, perfectly forgettable

"Rio 2" is a delightfully bright and breezy bit of computer-generated entertainment. As an acceptable family fare, this sequel maintains that blockbuster flavor that is expected of such an animated flick. It mostly hits the sweet spot when it comes to eye-popping visuals and feisty song-and-dance sequences. However, its predictable narrative plays too safe that it simply crafts nothing more than a fine commercial blend of heart-warming and toe-tapping moments for its target demographic. For this second installment in the "Rio"

Blu-ray Review: ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

The 1971 fantasy musical "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" releases its "40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition" featuring a three-disc set with one Blu-ray disc and two DVDs. This screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" tells the story of an underprivileged boy who finds one of the five golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka's famed chocolate factory. He and four other lucky children find themselves in an unusual adventure with the world's greatest chocolate maker

Blu-ray Review: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" comes out on a single-disc Blu-ray package featuring Tim Burton's rendition of the Roald Dahl novel about the eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka and the children visiting his renowned chocolate factory. This astonishing and enduring visionary piece is filled with jaw-dropping sights and visually appealing oddities. It showcases a star-studded cast including Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter, Deep Roy, Danny Elfman, and David Kelly. This 2005 motion picture adaptation tells the story of Charlie and

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ Movie Review: Capping a Decade of Epic Magic

For this concluding chapter, there is that sense of nostalgia on how everything started and how things come to an end. Gracefully aging in terms of look, treatment, and emotional exploration for the last 10 years of its existence, the "success spell" for J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series has never been broken. Now, for the final film of the legendary franchise, the little boy in Harry officially becomes a man. With it comes a capper to a decade-long saga loved by

‘Star Trek’ (2009) Film Review: Warpspeed wow!

Something old reboots as a glorious new. Reinventing a classic sci-fi series is prone to becoming victimized by the blackhole of franchise re-openings, but what this new "Star Trek" presents is a flaring shine of a supernova from start to end. The plot may be preposterous, but the way the film is constructed provides a genuinely rollicking adventure - a fine escapist entertainment that has just validated the tagline, "Live long and prosper." From the first stunning visuals of a pre-Enterprise time

‘Deep Sea 3D’ Film Review: Underwater magic

If you have that fancy for scuba diving and underwater magic without getting wet, then the jaw-dropping experience of submerging into the coolest underground deserts and forests in "Deep Sea 3D" should be worth your while. Clocking in at around 40 minutes, this 3D offering showcases how the sights and sounds of the "real deep sea" becomes "cinematic magic." "Deep Sea 3D" is a marvel in 3D filmmaking. The IMAX experience lets you sink way down for that stereoscopic 3D acquaintance with the grandeur of the deep

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