Cynical sequel — you know, for kids! — doubles down on the nihilistic money-grubbing of the original. Thinks that being clever and meta about its own disenchantment will win us over. It does not.
I don’t see how the astonishing “Opera,” by Erick Oh, doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Animated Short. This is a stupendous achievement, a cartoon clockwork depicting life, the universe, and everything.
The Disney paradigm is hard at play again here, its familiarity offset by its inspiration in Southeast Asian culture and mythology. Sweepingly told, gorgeously animated, and audaciously optimistic.
Offbeat portrait of an unconventional girl is all over the place, sometimes detouring into the cringeworthy, as it tries to depict the emotional familial confusion its tween protagonist is navigating.
Acceptably inoffensive, if less than wholly engaging. At least Liu’s strong, stately Mulan is a wonderful role model for girls who aren’t much interested in conformity and adhering to expectations.
Pointless adaptation of the beloved children’s novel soaked in a gothic spookiness that seems to deliberately misunderstand the story. Neither literal enough nor magical enough. My heart was unmoved.
A “family” comedy about nuclear terrorism, the incompetent CIA agent on the case, and his 9-year-old sidekick. Desperately unfunny, thoroughly misjudged. We are in the worst and the dumbest timeline.
A disaster of a kids’ fantasy caper; feels like it’s making up the plot as it goes. A mishmash of manufactured wonder: characters barely sketched, action seemingly setting up future DisneyWorld rides.
A spectacularly scattershot, pandering mess of pulp junk, cheap-looking animation, and poisonous gender dynamics. A charmless cash-grab that can’t be bothered with the slightest stab at originality.
As pastel and glittery as its predecessor, with a silliness more glorious and less forced. Sweet, smart, sincere… but it doesn’t deserve to be carrying the future of movies on its little shoulders.