Tag Archives: dreamworks

Movie Review: Abominable


Abominable is a movie we’ve seen dozens of times before, so even though it runs on rails it isn’t altogether bad. The one thing that switches it up even a little bit is its Chinese setting. In the dozen of other iterations of this film, this would have always been set in America. Likely the most interesting thing about Abominable is what it says about the future of Sino-American relations and global culture as even American animation studios with American creative teams try to go after the Chinese market more explicitly.

But otherwise, this is just an animated E.T. with a Yeti.

Our main story revolves around Yi, a teenage girl played by Chloe Bennet (Marvel’s Agents of Shield), herself a Chinese-American, who finds this runaway creature, befriends it and decides she needs to take it back to Mount Everest where it came from. This trip ends up mirroring a planned trip that she and her recently deceased father had always meant to go on. The trip ends up healing her and her grief as they discover more and more of the yeti, who she names Everest, and his magical powers.

But also this seems like a tourist travel video promoting the beautiful and varied landscapes of China. If this movie had been set in America, they would have stopped at the iconic places we all would think of– Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, etc. They do the same with the Gobi Desert and the Yangtze River as it seems Everest’s most powerful magic is to completely distort space and time so that each of these things are within walking distance of one another. But hey, it’s a kids movie.

The animation is crisp and beautiful. It’s everything we expect DreamWorks to do. Everest’s playful design is quite reminiscent of another Dreamworks Animation main creature– Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon films. Kids will absolutely love him.

It’s also worth noting that writer and director Jill Culton is a veteran of Pixar who worked on not only the Monsters, Inc. films but also several of the Toy Storys. Everest is essentially Sully mixed with Toothless, and that’s not a bad combination. But as I said, we’ve seen this movie before. And frankly, it’s been done better. Monsters, Inc IS this movie, except the human Boo is the magical monster. But if you’re going to steal, then stealing from that and ET isn’t a bad place to start.

One of the most interesting choices of the film is that its antagonists, played by Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson read as English and American. That can’t be accidental, as it’s their greed, pride, etc that leads them to want to capture the yeti for their own nefarious purposes. It’s hard not to read something into that, although perhaps it’s completely earned.

Or perhaps we shouldn’t read anything more into it oh, the same way we don’t particularly read Maleficent or Cruella Deville as being “English” in an American context. Maybe it’s just a cute movie about a teenage girl and her friends who go on a magical adventure with a yeti.

Regardless, while you can do far better then this by-the-numbers animated film, you can also do much worse. If your kids drag you to Abominable, you won’t hate it, and you might even enjoy aspects of it. It’s not Pixar or How to Train Your Dragon, but it’s trying to be. And that’s not so terrible.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

TV Review: Voltron: Legendary Defender


On Friday September 10th the long anticipated wait was over. Netflix and Dreamworks finally debuted Voltron: Legendary Defender. And while I was highly anticipating the show I was still hesitant to fully embrace the new show. I mean do you blame me? There have been 2 renditions of Voltron to come out since the original showed aired back in the 1980’s (Voltron The 3rd Dimension and Voltron Force) and each time I gave up hope that it would be better than the original. Also Netflix’s version is a reboot and while showrunners Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery said that they were going to keep the essence of Voltron alive I was still scared. My fears lessened with each and every teaser trailer that came out, but I still had slight hesitation going into the show.

So on Friday I got up earlier than I normally do so that I could watch the 1st 70 minute long episode (episodes 2 thru 11 are only 23 minutes long) and after watching it, came away very impressed. So impressed that I didn’t want to get ready for work because I wanted to watch more episodes (which I did later that night and finally finished the series this morning), but common sense prevailed also my fiancée would have killed me if I called out of work to watch a T.V. show.

What I liked:

  • Shiro was an awesome addition to the show and even through eleven episodes he is still shrouded in mystery as to his past before Voltron, it is weird that Princess Allura was not a Pilot or palladin as they are called on this show, but she does pilot the Castle of Lions (if you haven’t seen the show yet, your in for a surprise)
  • King Zarkon and Haggar the Witch are still the Bad Guys
  • They kept King Alfor and of course the Mice.
  • The Lions are still badasses
  • The animation is on point and doesn’t come across as kiddie
  • Lastly, the brought back how the Palladins get to their Lions

What I didn’t like:

  • No Theme song
  • Coran reminds me of the Magician in the Frosty the Snowman Christmas special. Wish he was more cerebral like in the original show.
  • No awesome dialogue during the formation of Voltron
  • Episodes are too short
  • Pidge’s secret

Overall, what an amazing season 1 of Voltron: Legendary Defender. There was never a dull moment and the episodes always kept you on your toes. And the ending of episode 11 leaves you clamoring for more because you want to know what is going to happen. Also the show does a great job appealing to the die-hard Voltron fans as well as the new generation of Voltron fans. The writers and the producers did and amazing job with this show and I look forward to season 2 to see what’s up their sleeves.

Animation: 10 Story: 8.5 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Must Watch!

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Around the Tubes

Postal12_CoverAIt’s a new week and we’ve got an exciting one coming up including Captain America: Civil War hitting theaters in the US and Free Comic Book Day! We’re excited here!

And while we await that awesome, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – A tribute to Shelly Bond: the most mod editor of them all – Great to see such support.

ICv2 – Artist Joe Devito Suing Warner Bros., Legendary – Interesting considering some comic news.

The Beat – NBC/Universal To Buy Dreamworks Animation: You Won’t Believe What They Own! – If you’re wondering what’s at stake in this deal.

ABC News – Cowabunga! Ninja Turtles Are Official NYC Ambassadors – Fill in joke about only being able to afford to live in the sewers here.

Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher – Speed Force in the Batman Miniature Game – Can’t wait for this release!

Kotaku – DC Universe Online is available for Xbox One – Pretty cool!


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – All-New Wolverine #7

CBR – Amazing Spider-Man #11

CBR – Batman #51

Comic Attack – Postal #12

Voltron: Legendary Defender Comes to Comics by Lion Forge

LF_Voltron_01_COVA_ChristineBianAs fans finish watching this summer’s DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender on Netflix, they’ll have a whole new chapter waiting for them in print: comic books from Lion Forge Comics. Releasing in July, the comic series expands the adventures of the paladins of Voltron with the first of a five-part series of Voltron Legendary Defender comics. The mini-series is the first of several planned expansions of new storylines between seasons.

Written by DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender’s head writer Tim Hedrick and writer Mitch Iverson, the first comic tells the story of a training mission that goes awry when Coran, Princess Allura’s majordomo, falls prey to a villain looking to settle an old debt. Team Voltron embarks on a series of increasingly dangerous quests to save their friend’s life. Each issue focuses on one of the five pilots who together command the giant mecha known as Voltron, formed from their individual flying robotic lions.

The limited five-part series will also be collected in a graphic novel releasing in December, followed by another in-continuity mini-series to be announced.

Voltron’s original incarnation debuted in 1984 and quickly became the top-rated syndicated children’s television show for two years. A wide range of toys and other licensed merchandise cemented it as one of the foremost action properties from the golden age of 1980’s animation, with themes of teamwork and heroism at its heart that still resonate with fans today.

DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender debuts on Netflix June 10.

Bringing The Old With The New: 5 Must Have In The New Voltron Netflix Series

voltron netflixFrom days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. A mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. As Voltron’s legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On Planet Earth, a Galaxy Alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the Solar System, they maintained peace throughout the universe until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Voltron was needed once more. This is the story of the superforce of space explorers. Specially trained and sent by the alliance to bring back, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. –  Narrated By Peter Cullen

Netflix is at it again, this time they have teamed up with Dreamworks to bring back Voltron with Voltron: Legendary Defender. As excited as I am that yet another Voltron show is being made I am also being cautious because it is yet another Voltron being made. As I said in another article here that I believed the only way Voltron could be successful again is to either introduce a new cast of characters or completely reboot the franchise.

In 2011 Nickelodeon came out with Voltron Force, they tried to introduce us to a new set of Cadets/Pilots being trained by the original Pilots. The show lasted only 1 season, but it was on Nickelodeon and was geared towards kids and not to those in their early to mid 30’s as well as to children.

Voltron the Third Dimension was just doomed to fail from the very beginning. First of all the 3D animation was over the top. The story was weak as they were trying pick up their series several years down the road and the Voltron Force being put out commission by the Galaxy Alliance and are essentially forced into treason to help defend the galaxy once more.

With that said I decided that I should write a article with the 5 things the new Voltron Series has to have that was in the original series that debuted on September 10, 1984.

  1. voltron imageDefender Of The Universe: Bring back the wording Defender of the Universe. Voltron has never been called the Legendary Defender. I am ok with rebooting the franchise, but I think calling Voltron The Legendary Defender is taking it a tad too far.
  2. Sven: Look I love Princess Allura as much as the next person, but the Norwegian Sven was awesome he is the original Pilot of the blue lion and for some reason the creators had decided to move on from him and bring him back in a supporting role. I wish to see Sven back Piloting the blue lion in the new reboot.
  3. king alforKing Alfor: In the original series they talked a lot about King Alfor who is the father to Princess Allura. He would appear every once in a while when the Voltron Force and in particular Princess Allura needed his advice. After all it was King Alfor was the man responsible for digging the tunnels from the castle to the lions. It would be nice to see King Alfor more often in the new series and maybe explore that back story a little bit more.
  4. Stride The Tiger Fighter: Stride was in only 1 episode and that was in season two called Enter Merla: Queen Of Darkness. Even though he was only in 1 episode I thought his character could built upon and have a decent role in the franchise. Plus the Tiger Fighter was awesome and could have complimented Voltron and the five lions well.
  5. original voltron toyAn Awesome Toy Line: I remember clearly having a die cast Voltron where all five lions formed Voltron. There were a few cool toys like the Castle Of Lions, as well as the individual Pilots as well as King Zarkon, Haggar The Witch and Prince Lotor. Voltron the third Dimension had a decent toy line but because the show was so bad they didn’t sell well, but when Voltron Force was being made Mattel was supposed to be doing a toy line for the show, the had mock ups and everything and was even displayed at San Diego Comic Con in 2011 and not one toy came out. They did a small Voltron original series collection through club Matty Collector but that was it. This new show needs to have a awesome toy line, especially to draw win the kids because they are what’s going to help make Voltron successful again.

I have complete faith in Dreamworks that they will do a great job with this new series and, I really hope these five things I have mentioned will be in the series. I was uneasy with Nickelodeons Voltron Force because it was my beloved Voltron and I am not a big fan of what they did to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And I was thrown off immediately thrown off when the shows intro was rapped. But Netflix has had a good run so far with adaptations of Jessica Jones and Daredevil and I can’t wait to see what they are going to do with the Punisher. Okay team let’s Form Voltron!

Titan Comics Announces The Adventures of Puss in Boots

Titan Comics and Dreamworks have revealed the all-new comic adventures of everyone’s favorite swashbuckling cat, Puss in Boots.

The Adventures of Puss in Boots by writer of Dreamworks Animation Home and for Simpsons Comics, Max Davidson and Chris Cooper with art from Egle Bartolini and Dave Alvarez will be available in comic stores from April 20, 2016.

Outlaw, Hero, Purr- amour! Puss in Boots is back!

Short of money and with a long milk tab to pay, Puss answers an advert that takes him out to sea with a cranky old owl on a pea-green boat.  But if you think you know how this fairytale ends… think again! Flying fur balls and derring-do abound! See you on the poop deck!

PussInBoots_#1_Cover A_CGI Cover

Kid Avengers: A Little Age of Ultron Parody Trailer

DreamWorksTV and “Not Marvel Studios” are assembling the Avengers  – err, little Avengers – once again to take on a new threat: Ultron.  Armed with hairdryers, Nerf bow and arrows and trash can lid armor, these elementary school kids unite for the greater good: to put an end to homework.

Will these Kids Avengers capture Ultron and take him to detention?

Preview: Dreamworks’ Dragons Vol. 3: The Ice Castle


WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: Jack Lawrence
FORMAT: 64pp – SC – FC
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PRICE: $6.99 US/​$7.99 CAN​/​£4.99 UK
ISBN: 9781782760788
RELEASE DATE: January 7, 2015

When Astrid’s dragon, Stormfly, goes missing, the whole of Berk try to track it down! But what dangers will they ultimately discover at… the Ice Castle? Plus in a special short story, Snotlout babysits a bunch of baby Monstrous Nightmares!


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