animation en 'Dragon' Is Enjoyable, Despite Lack Of Surprises <p></p><p></p><p><em>How To Train Your Dragon 2</em> is a typically enjoyable, superior animation with most of the usual pluses of the form and only a few typical minuses. It's conventional in story and thin on characterization, pictorially beautiful, generally comic, and modest as to any ambition beyond entertainment.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Jim Erickson 36132 at 'Dragon' Is Enjoyable, Despite Lack Of Surprises 'Wind' Not A Worthy Finale For Miyazaki <p></p><p></p><p>The current word is that Hayao Miyazaki, the greatest and perhaps the last of the movies' hand-drawn-feature animators, is going to retire after his latest releast, <em>The Wind Rises</em>. And while I am always skeptical about show business retirements, I would <em>like</em> to report that the maker of <em>Princess Mononoke</em>, <em>Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, </em>and so many other animated masterworks, was going out in a blaze of glory.</p><p>But <em>The Wind Rises</em> isn't nearly up to his top standard.</p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Jim Erickson 31374 at 'Wind' Not A Worthy Finale For Miyazaki Movie Review: Epic <p></p><p></p><p>There are animators who could give Pixar a run for its money, and among them are the makers of<em> Epic</em>. Thu, 30 May 2013 11:26:00 +0000 Jim Erickson 17984 at Movie Review: Epic Movie Review: The Croods <p></p><p></p><p><em>The Croods</em> is a quite enjoyable animation that might have been a little better if it had made up its mind what it wanted to do and worked a little harder to avoid repetition. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Jim Erickson 15488 at Movie Review: The Croods Movie Review: Frankenweenie <p><em>Frankenweenie</em> had several strikes against it before it even came on, so I consulted with no less than eight people about it after it ended, and must report that nobody, including me, rated it at less than three stars out of a possible four, with half giving it a maximum four.&nbsp; I don’t like Tim Burton’s stop-motion puppets because they are either spherical heads with tiny pyramidal noses or grotesque but too traditional caricatures.&nbsp; But you have to credit <em>Frankenweenie</em> with effective emotional expression whenever emotional expression is attempted.&nbsp; But only Thu, 25 Oct 2012 10:00:54 +0000 Jim Erickson 7537 at Movie Review: Frankenweenie