Animation

Sun
09
Jun

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Come to Blu-ray -- Almost Complete, Almost Perfect

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Almost Complete

Let's face it. Even the youngest of television viewers can figure out the plot of a Scooby-Doo cartoon after seeing three or four of them. The Mystery Inc gang was a group of meddling kids who knew how to ride mine cars, run back and forth across the screen, and drop a net on a ghost who would end up being a guy in a rubber mask.

Something had to be done to keep the kids coming back.

One of the ways the folks at Hanna-Barbera stroke to keep Scooby-Doo fresh and relateable was to bring in guest stars, people or characters whom the viewers already knew. Thus was born the New Scooby-Doo Movies, a series where the gang would meet up with famous celebrities or other Hanna-Barbera cartoon properties. This added a new layer to the mysteries -- which, nonetheless, involved the being taken for accidental rides, running back and forth across the screen, and dropping nets on ghosts who ended up being someone in a rubber mask. Only now they had help.

Tue
04
Jun

Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fun Action Flick with Anime Sensibilities

Batman vs TMNT Blu-ray

When high tech thefts occur in Gotham City, pulled off by stealthy ninjas, eyewitness accounts place a team of metahumans at the scene of the crime; "lizard men" Batgirl (RACHEL BLOOM) calls them. But these are not lizards. They are a quartet of terrapins, previously exposed just over a decade ago, to a DNA-altering substance that changed them into anthropomorphic creatures who were trained from an early age in the ancient Japanese martial arts. Yes, they are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they've come to Gotham City from New York hot on the trail of the evil Shredder and his minions, the Foot Clan.

Sat
01
Jun

How To Train Your Dragon Wraps with The Hidden World

How To Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

The village of Berk has become overrun with dragons. For most fictional medieval villages, this would be the apocalypse. But Berk is a dragon sanctuary, and their leader, Hiccup (JAY BARUCHEL), leads a rag-tag band of raiders on rescue missions to save dragons from trappers and poachers, bringing them back to the ever-more-crowded town.

Things take a turn, however, when dragon hunter Grimmel (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM) enters the scene. More than being ruthless and relentless, Grimmel is a strategist who plans three steps ahead, and he has a single minded goal: destroy all dragons. For that, he needs to get his hands on the alpha dragon -- Hiccup's partner, Toothless.

Tue
16
Apr

Future Shock as Legion Villains Battle the Justice League

Justice League vs Fatal Five

Just when I was getting used to the idea that every DC Animated Universe release was going to be a continuation of the New 52 paradigm, they throw us a curveball and give us another chapter in JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED -- and a most welcome one at that!

The voice acting trinity of Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, and George Newbern return as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, with Kevin Michael Richardson joining the team as Mr. Terrific and Daniela Bobadilla as potential League recruit, Miss Martian.

Sun
03
Mar

Make The Little Mermaid Part of Your World

Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary

With the ubiquity of the Disney Princesses these days, one can almost forget what a turning point in Disney animation it was when THE LITTLE MERMAID made her debut. After having gone through a long, dry spell of failures and near-successes, the House of Mouse had fallen upon hard times.

Enter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, and suddenly Ariel was part of our world -- a persisting part of it, opening the door to a revolution in Disney animation that went on to give us BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, and many more. Suddenly, the world was aware of Disney as a movie-making entity again, and began hotly anticipating each new release.

Sun
24
Feb

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Selected as Critical Blast Best Movie of 2018

Spiderverse Best of 2018

Every year, Critical Blast asks its readers to tell us what they believe are the best of the best in entertainment -- movies, television, books, and comics. Readers are presented with a list of potential nominees, with the ability to write-in their own favorites. The idea is, it's all fan-driven.

And this year, when we asked our readers to tell us what they felt the best movie of 2018 was, we had a number of responses. AQUAMAN, BLACK PANTHER, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR all put in strong showings.

But it was another superhero who beat them all out -- even if he needed an army of himself from across multiple parallel dimensions.

With a sizeable 28% of all votes, the Best Film of 2018, as decided by the readers of Critical Blast, goes to the Marvel Entertainment animated feature, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Sun
17
Feb

Ralph Breaks the Internet Astutely Skewers Online Culture

Ralph Breaks the Internet

When we met Wreck-It Ralph (JOHN C. REILLY), we entered a world of boomer nostalgia. The videogame culture of the 80s came back to all of us who had lived through it, and introduced it to a new generation who now enjoy playing the retro, 16-bit arcade classics as much as the modern high-definition games. Our personal game collection here has added a classic wood-grain Atari 2600 console as well as a Nintendo 64, and are getting regular play.

Fri
15
Feb

New Transformers: War for Cybertron Series Coming to Netflix

Teaming up with Polygon Pictures for animation and Rooster Teeth producing, Netflix will take the robots in disguise back to their roots.

Labeled a "trilogy" the series looks to explore the early days of Cybertron, as there has been much talk about how the world was in turmoil during the Cybertronian Wars. While there are not many details available as to which transformers will appear in the show, it's said to be very "fan friendly". One should expect to see a lot of familiar Autobots and Decepticons.

Or at least references to them.

Sun
10
Feb

Keys to the Kingdom Poor Sequel to Norm of the North

Norm (ANDREW TOTH) is a polar bear who, out of all the bears at the North Pole, has the ability to speak human. This is convenient, as he finds himself having to interact with them a lot in this film, and is apparently a novelty. A point is made that none of the other bears (or other animals, for that matter) speak human -- except for Norm's son, Quinn. It's nothing that's taught, it just happens.

Fri
01
Feb

Scooby-Doo Resolves Old Series with Curse of the 13th Ghost

Scooby Doo Curse of the 13th Ghost

Among the many series that have been a setting for Scooby-Doo and the gang, there was the 1985 show, THE 13 GHOSTS OF SCOOBY-DOO, an adventure series starring Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne, accompanied by Scrappy and a young con-artist named Flim-Flam. In this series, Shaggy had opened a chest of demons, releasing the 13 ghosts inside. Due to the wording of the curse, only the person who released the ghosts could put them back in -- so a globe-spanning series began, with their mystic mentor, Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by VINCENT PRICE), leading them from one caper to the next.

This series was unlike previous incarnations of the show, because the ghosts were not people in rubber masks using hidden rope-and-pulley systems, but actual spirits. However, during the course of the show's run, they only captured twelve of the ghosts.

Mon
28
Jan

Reign of the Supermen Weaker Follow-Up to Death of Superman

Reign of the Supermen Blu Ray DVD

With THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, the DC Animated Universe gave us a story that was emotionally impacting, as it developed the budding romance between Superman (JERRY O'CONNELL) and Lois Lane (REBECCA ROMIJN), with the Man of Steel having recently revealed to her his secret identity of Clark Kent. And then, Doomsday came, the battle was joined, and Superman was dead.

Or was he? Because the cliffhanger ending left us with a stolen body and an empty tomb.

Fri
11
Jan

Smallfoot Teaches Audiences to Question Everything

Smallfoot

Migo (CHANNING TATUM) is a yeti, who lives in an advanced society of yetis on the top of a mountain. And Migo knows the laws: that the mountaintop was pooped out of a giant bird, that it rests on the back of giant animals, that the gong must be rung every morning to wake up the giant burning snail so it crawls across the sky.

These laws are written in stone -- literally -- and taught to all by the Stonekeeper (COMMON). And among those stones is the law: There is no such thing as a Smallfoot.

But as Migo trains with his father, Dorgle (DANNY DEVITO), to be the next ringer of the gong, he overshoots his target (the only way to ring the gong is to be slingshotted into it, head first) and ends up outside the city. There he spies a small aircraft crashing, and inside of it -- a Smallfoot! Or, as we would say, a human.

When nobody believes Migo saw what he saw, Migo is exiled from the city to think about what he's saying, and ends up falling off the mountain.

Fri
14
Dec

Voltron: Legendary Defender's 8th and FINAL Season Trailer Debut

Every battle. Every challenge. Every character arc. Every episode has led to this, the 8th and FINAL season of VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER!

For eight seasons we have watched this re-imagination of the classic animated series exceed expectations. The character development, while demonstrating a love for the original series, has allowed the paladins to grow into themselves organically. The trailer offers no dialogue but delivers the synthesized music we've come to love, as it flashes images across the screen to offer a glimpse of what we can expect. First shown at the New York City Comic-Con, you can now watch the trailer for the upcoming epic finale to what has been one of the best re-imagined shows in recent memory.

Tue
06
Nov

Christmas Comes Early with Batman: The Complete Animated Series on Blu-ray

Batman Animated Series

The year 1992 marked a turning point for animated superhero adventure. After years of shows like SUPER FRIENDS and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN, the time was ripe for the Dark Knight to return to the screen, especially after the second coming of Batmania that followed the Tim Burton film starring Michael Keaton. Rumors began swirling on the prenatal Internet (BBSs in those days) of an animated Batman in the works, and there was even leaked a writers bible for the series written by J.M. Straczynski.  

Mon
05
Nov

Best Anime Movies Based on Games

Best Anime Based on Games

The popularity of anime cannot and should not be underestimated. Over the years it has become hugely popular and inclusive in the sense that there’s anime that will suit everyone’s taste. The genre has provided the inspiration for a number of gaming developers, including leading casino and bingo brand mFortune, who actually create their very own games. There are many anime-based games on the market, which have been a hit with players, but what about anime games which have gone on to be successful movies too? Well, we’ve devised a list of some of the best below.

Pokemon

Thu
13
Sep

Hide the Scooby-Snacks! Mystery Inc. Meets Food Network Icons Bobby Flay and Giada DiiLaurentis!

In one of the many iterations of SCOOBY-DOO, way back in the days of Saturday Morning cartoons, Scooby and the gang used to meet celebrities. Granted, they were celebrities who had enough free time to show up and do some voice acting for Hanna-Barbera, but they were still celebrities. Don Knotts, Mama Cass, a handful of others.

I was reminded of that series with this new release, SCOOBY-DOO AND THE GOURMET GHOST. The story finds the gang going to stay with Fred’s Uncle Bobby — Bobby Flay, whom Fred apparently didn’t know was a famous chef, much to Shaggy and Scooby’s disbelief. Flay is opening up a cooking resort with tons of “only in the cartoons” mechanical helpers that make cooking a breeze for anybody. He’s assisted in this by other celebrity chefs, including Giada DiiLaurentis, who is presented here as a sort of Wonder Woman in training as far as her surprising capabilities go.

Wed
29
Aug

Netflix's Disenchantment Suggests the Messy Future of Princess Stories

Disenchantment

As time passes by, things change, and recently one thing that has begun to take a new direction are princess stories.

Thu
02
Aug

Death of Superman Surprisingly Fresh, Emotionally Deep

Death of Superman

When I first heard that the next DC Universe animated movie was going to be THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, I was not thrilled. I was already feeling a downward trend in the storytelling as the animated films tried to form a more cohesive universe, and the stand-alones like BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT weren't all that super of late, either. Seeing this story retold, so soon after having it already retold on the big screen in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, was underscored by the fact that the story was also the very first DCU animated film, under the name SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY.

To say the least, my expectations were low.

Wed
01
Aug

LEGO DC Super Heroes add Jessica Cruz to Minifigure Line with Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

With an AQUAMAN movie soon to hit theaters, it makes perfect sense that Warner Brothers and LEGO would want to capitalize on the interest with an Aquaman LEGO adventure. AQUAMAN: RAGE OF ATLANTIS finds the sea king (voiced by DEE BRADLEY BAKER) giving up his crown after his half-brother Orm (TREVOR DEVALL) reveals the fine print of the Atlantean constitution declaring only a full-blooded Atlantean can hold the throne. This comes on the heels of Aquaman's humiliating defeat at the hands of Lobo (FRED TATASCIORE) at a dry lake bed known as Area 52, a military installation designed for the simplification of processing alien weaponry, now gone defunct because the simplification process proved overly complicated causing the entire operation to relocate to Rebirth, New Jersey.

Sat
23
Jun

RWBY Volume 5 Showcases Teamwork and Friendship

RWBY 5

RWBY has many lovable characters that share their experiences with each other, and demonstrates what teamwork and friendship can really accomplish.

The show is an animated series focusing on four young women whose stories intertwine, even though their intentions lead them down different pathways. After an unintentional meeting at Beacon Academy, the four become Team RWBY, and together overcome things that they thought were impossible before, providing support to each other both in battle and at school.

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