The Nightmare Before Christmas: Escape from Halloweentown

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

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DIRECTED BY: Henry Selick

STARRING: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory

GENRE: Stop-Motion, Animated, Dark Fantasy, Musical

YEAR: 1993

COUNTRY: United States

mummyIt is the same routine every year in Halloweentown, on Halloween the monsters come out and perform a real scare. This particular Halloween, the pumpkin king Jack Skellington, bored of the idea, saunters off into the woods with his dog Zero after Halloween night. Upon the break of dawn, he discovers a clearing of trees with different doors representing various holidays. The Christmas Tree door attracts his attention and upon entrance into the world of Christmas, Jack is fascinated with this new idea of Christmas that he must absolutely share with the citizens of Halloweentown.

From Film Takeout:

“Right from the start the viewer knows they are in for a special treat. The opening music is at once haunting and catchy, a continued theme for this musical. Visuals of Halloween abound with icons of the holiday everywhere that are just scary enough to give kids a minor fright, yet goofy enough to make them laugh about it after. Early on we are introduced to Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon [speaking], Danny Elfman [singing]), the Pumkin King, ruler of Halloween. He is the de facto leader of Halloween Town, the place where the nightmares of children reside. In what should be a joyous occasion with another successful Halloween haunting, we see Jack depressed. He wanders through the town cemetery, lamenting Halloween, wanting something more. He fetches his trusty companion Zero, a ghost dog with a glowing jack-o-lantern nose. Further wandering leads to some woods and the discovery of seven trees, each with a door that represents other holidays. Intrigued, Jack is drawn to the one shaped like a Christmas tree. He enters and is transported to Christmas Town. A spark is lit and Jack feels “alive” again.

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As great as this film is, it is not without a few problems, albeit minor. A major plot hole revolves around getting back to Halloween Town from Christmas Town. Jack goes through a door to get to Christmas Town and falls out of the air into a snow pile. But we never see how he gets back. Is it a door as well? If so how does the snow mobile he rides into Halloween town fit through it? We know he can get back to Halloween Town from the real world through a cemetery. Is that how he gets back? There also lacks any background on Ooggie Boogie, the gambling Boogie Man (Ken Page’s voice). A minor, but important character, he appears almost out of nowhere.”

PROS:

  • Beautiful score.
  • Fantastic Stop-Motion animation.
  • Excellent voice acting.

CONS:

  • Major plot holes.
  • Characters appearing out of nowhere.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

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Welcome to Great Overlord Golan the Insatiable!

Hello everybody! Today we have quite the interesting pick. I need to stop taking recommendations from friends, its Golan the Insatiable!

GOLAN THE INSATIABLE

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CREATED BY: Josh Miller

STARRING: Josh Miller, Mary Mack, Rob RiggleAubrey PlazaMaria Bamford, Rachel Butera, Matt Silverstein, Nick Rutherford

NO. OF EPISODES: 12

GENRE: Adult Animation

YEAR: 2013-

COUNTRY: United States

960Golan the Insatiable is a demigod warlord who reigned the dimension of Gkruool with an iron fist before he was banished to Earth by rebel forces. Golan ends up at the home of the Beekler Family in the town of Oak Grove, Minnesota, befriending the family’s goth-like daughter Dylan, who becomes his follower as he learns about Earth’s customs while causing havoc in Oak Grove as he plots to return to his world.

In the season two reboot of the series, Golan is summoned (by Dylan) to Earth, rather than banished there. He stays with her after finding out that his acolyte Kruung has overthrown him for control of Gkruool during his absence. Besides learning about Earth’s customs and causing havoc in Oak Grove, Golan plans to build up his power so that he can return to Gkruool and take revenge on Kruung.

GolanTheInsatiable_YNL204_1280x720_464458819579I seriously have to stop taking suggestions for series to watch from a handful of very certain people. This time though, they actually found a series I liked for the most part. The voice actors, while initially hard to not find annoying, grew on me as well as their characters. I am excluding Dylan’s sister, as she is just that annoying character written to be annoying as all hell. Golan’s character design is overly ridiculous, making him a casual ogre who really just doesn’t give a shit. Yeah, I think that works.

There are a number of drawbacks to Golan the Insatiable that are readily apparent, but I am just going to breeze through a handful of them. You can pretty much skip the entire first season of Golan, since the second season serves as a reboot. Instead of rebooting the series with new stories though, they take the longer 20 minute format (instead of the original 10 minutes from season 1) and expand on each the episodes. It initially bothered me, since three of the six episodes are just retellings from season one, but it made each episode even more ridiculous and over the top.

PROS:

  • ADHD.
  • Voice acting cast (for the most part)
  • animation.
  • Golan’s personality and character design.

CONS:

  • Season 1.
  • Season 2 reboot of 1’s stories.
  • Only three out of six episodes are new.
  • Longer format doesn’t always work, feels forced.

SCORE: 7.0 / 10

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Inside Out: Emotions…Personified.

Hello everybody! For this week’s Newish Movie Show, we have Inside Out.

INSIDE OUT

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DIRECTED: Pete Docter

STARRING: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Richard Kind, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan

GENRE: Animated, Family

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States

InsideOut556500e6a2be0-2040.0Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

I am definitely one of the few people that doesn’t like Pixar films. I would be the last person to admit they enjoyed a INSIDE OUTPixar film, but that time is definitely now. Inside Out is definitely one of the more innovative Pixar films and a diamond in the rough for me to actually enjoy. The writers were very clever, as they accurately portrayed the pains of growing up for a little girl. Well…at least for the most part. The voice acting couldn’t have been better chosen, as each other the VA nailed each one of their “feelings” perfectly.

There is no reason that Inside Out can’t possibly be one of Pixar’s latest and greatest films ever made. Unfortunately, I felt that there were many instances that the creators could have tackled important subjects that children need to know but unfortunately could have easily gone right over their heads. While I know this opinion isn’t particularly popular, I felt that it could have been made just a bit clearer.

PROS:

  • Innovative.
  • Clever writing.
  • Animation.
  • Voice acting.

CONS:

  • Clearer themes.
  • Ugh…Pixar.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

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