This article is the first chapter in the history behind the Disney/Square-Enix crossover video game crossover franchise, Kingdom Hearts during its beginning in the early 2000s. It covers Kingdom Hearts (2002), Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts II.
This final chapter in Sonic's history covers Sonic's redemption upon the silver screen with the "Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)" and "Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)" movies.
This article covers the following recent Sonic titles released during the eighth-generation video game console era. These games include: "Sonic Mania (Plus)", "Sonic Forces", and "Team Sonic Racing."
"Sonic Frontiers" is a 2022 open-world/action-adventure game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. While repetitive with minor technical issues, Sonic Frontiers is a solid and fun start to a new era with a captivating story, a variety of content and gameplay, and a great presentation.
This article continues Sonic's history with a series of exclusive Wii U and 3DS titles from a deal between Sega and Nintendo with mixed results. These games include: "Sonic Lost World", "Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric/Shattered Crystal", and "Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice."
This article covers the restructuring and rebranding of the value of Sonic during the early 2010s. These games include "Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I", "Sonic Free Riders", "Sonic Colors", "Sonic Generations", and "Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II."
This article continues Sonic's climb back to redemption during the remainder of the late 2000s decade for the Wii, DS, PS2/PS3, and Xbox 360. This article covers "Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity", "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood", "Sonic Unleashed", and "Sonic and the Black Knight."
This article covers part one of Sonic's climb out of the dark age throughout the year 2007 primarily on the Nintendo Wii, and two sequels for the DS and PSP. It features "Sonic and the Secret Rings", "Sonic Rush Adventure", and "Sonic Rivals 2."
This chapter highlights the mixed yet declining quality of Sonic games, especially during its fifteenth anniversary. It features "Shadow the Hedgehog (2005)", "Sonic Rush", "Sonic Riders", "Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)", and "Sonic Rivals."
This chapter highlights a few Sonic games being primarily made for Nintendo's GameBoy Advance, including the first multi-console platformer for Nintendo Gamecube, Playstation 2, and Xbox. This article features "Sonic Advance", "Sonic Advance 2", "Sonic Heroes", "Sonic Battle", & "Sonic Advance 3."
This chapter covers Sonic's prolonged jump into the 3D platforming genre on the Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, & Sega Dreamcast systems. This article features "Sonic 3D Blast", "Sonic R", "Sonic Adventure", and "Sonic Adventure 2."
Our history of the Blue Blur continues with some side-projects and spin-offs made during the mid-90s for the Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and Sega 32X with varying results. This covers "Sonic Spinball", "Sonic Chaos/Triple Triple Trouble", "Knuckles' Chaotix", and "Sonic Labyrinth/Sonic Blast."
Inspired by Mat Brunet's "Animation Lookback" videos, I am planning to do a retrospective on the history of one of my favorite video franchises, Sonic the Hedgehog. This first chapter covers his beginnings during the Sega Genesis era from the 1991 game to "Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles."
"Lightyear" is a 2022 Pixar spin-off origin film based on the Toy Story character, Buzz Lightyear. While the plot may be confusing and standard, die-hard fans will love the highly-detailed animation, adequate action and humor, and a likable cast that presents the untold beginning of Buzz Lightyear.
"Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo" is a comedy anime series based on the manga of the same name by Yoshio Sawai. For non-anime fans, it is idiotic and makes no sense to be taken seriously. For anime fans, it is a parody anime that is self-aware, has memorable characters, and has nonstop laughs.
"The Bob's Burgers Movie" is an animated musical comedy film based on an animated television series of the same name. Whether a fan or not, this movie will delight any audience with a suspenseful mystery, odd yet enchanting characters, top-tapping songs, and the return of hand-drawn animation.
"Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" is a 2022 live-action/animated hybrid film based on a television series of the same name. While it may disappoint some hardcore fans, the movie itself makes up for it with clever and satirical humor, a variety of animation styles, and chemistry between the leads.
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is the 2022 sequel to the 2016 film based on the Marvel Comic of the same name. While the pacing needs some tweaking, the sequel is jam-packed with a dark tone, creative visuals, fanservice, and spellbinding performances.
"The Bad Guys" is a 2022 animated comedy loosely based on the children's graphic novel series by Aaron Blabey. Though the story is simple and preditctable, the execution makes up for it with a consistent moral compass, unique animation, and entertaining voice acting.
"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is the sequel to the 2020 film based on the SEGA video game character. With more elements from the source material, non-stop action, and great performances, this sequel is a major improvement that overshadows its predecessor's flaws.
"Morbius" is a 2022 superhero film based on the Marvel Comic character of the same name. Though Jared Leto and Matt Smith made compelling performances, this potentially interesting film misses its mark with a cliched story, mixed visual effects, and an underwhelming payoff.
The CN retrospective continues with the underrated series "Time Squad" created by Dave Wasson. Though it ran for two seasons, the show had an interesting premise with some context, caricatured animation, and a variety of historical and non-historical characters with talented voice acting.
"Turning Red" is a 2022 Pixar animated comedy film directed by Domee Shi. Mixing Shi's childhood with a supernatural twist, Pixar presents an entertaining and emotional movie with cultural animation, solid laughs, relatable characters, and a visionary motif about growing up.
"The Batman" is a 2022 superhero film based on the DC Comic character of the same name. Among many adaptations, this incarnation of Batman stands on an ambitious and personal note with a film noir direction, great action & visuals, and refreshing performances.
Continuing the CN lineup, "Sheep in the Big City" is an animated series created by Mo Willems. Despite lasting two seasons, it is a criminally underrated show known for its meta and fourth-wall-breaking humor, UPA-art style, and bizarrely funny characters.
Continuing the retrospective is one of my favorite shows, "Courage the Cowardly Dog," created by John R. Dilworth. This show holds up tremendously with imaginative dark scenarios, spooky and energetic visuals, laugh-out-loud humor, and memorable characters.
"Hotel Transylvania: Transformania" is the fourth and final installment of the "Hotel Transylvania" film series. Although this movie is style over substance, even without Adam Sandler's involvement, it retains its innocence and creativity that families would easily eat up around Halloween time.
Continuing the Cartoon Network lineup is the short-lived and forgotten series, "Mike, Lu & Og" created by Mikhail Shindel, Mikhail Aldashin, & Charles Swenson. While the concept and animation look generic, Charles’ involvement executed and gave the show its own identity with interesting characters.
This is a compilation of some movies that were released in November 2021. Compared to October, this month was not as heavily competitive as here. Still, there are a fair amount of movies worth talking about or skipping.
This article is a list of short reviews of films being released in October 2021.
"My Little Pony: A New Generation" is a 2021 computer-animated musical film based on the "My Little Pony" toy line and a sequel to the television series, "Friendship is Magic.” Aside from a weak story, the movie remains a spiritual successor with a decent cast, adequate songs, and solid animation.
"Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog" is a 2021 direct-to-video crossover film between Scooby-Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Outside the predictability and hit-and-miss humor, this crossover is an enjoyable and faithful experience to both respective franchises.
The retrospective continues with one of my all-time favorites, "Ed, Edd n Eddy" created by Danny Antonucci. This was the longest-running original series with non-stop humor, unique animation, likable and entertaining characters, and a legacy that stands out among other shows at that time.
The retrospective continues with one of the network's most successful franchise, "The Powerpuff Girls," created by Craig McCracken. Though the series went through franchise fatigue, the original remains engaging, creative, and action-packed with a wide cast of characters both good and evil.
The retrospective continues with "Cow & Chicken" and "I Am Weasel," created by David Feiss. Though strange and surreal, both of these shows stand out for their off-the-wall humor, characters, and voice acting. Sure, "I Am Weasel" didn't last long as its own show, but "Cow & Chicken" prevailed.
"PAW Patrol: The Movie" is an animated movie based on the television series by Keith Chapman. Though basic and aimed at younger audiences, this film can be enjoyed by both young and old viewers alike, thanks to a thrilling story, impressive animation, and a few surprises along the way.
"The Loud House Movie" is an animated musical comedy based on "The Loud House," created by Chris Savino. Despite the predictable plot and television-quality animation, there's a noble amount of effort both visually and musically for families and fans to enjoy.
The 30th anniversary continues with “Johnny Bravo,” created by Van Partible. Though the show went through some changes back and forth, the characters, memorable episodes, and humor still hold up tremendously. It helped launch careers for new animators and featured overlooked historic moments.
Starting the retrospective line-up is the network's first original and my personal favorite show, “Dexter's Laboratory.” The first half of the series was highly inventive, funny, and memorable. The second half went experimental under a new direction with mixed results. Nonetheless, it holds up well.
"Space Jam: A New Legacy" is a sequel to the 1996 live-action/animated "Space Jam." Though familiar and "controversial," the movie is entertaining.
"Luca" is a 2021 Pixar coming-of-age fantasy film directed by Enrico Casarosa. At first glance, the story sounds derivative. But, in Pixar's hands, it is executed with vibrant animation, thought-provoking themes of childhood and friendship, and a cast of memorable characters with a sense of wonder.
"Spirit Untamed" is a 2021 DreamWorks animated adventure spin-off based on "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" (2002) and the Netflix series "Spirit: Riding Free." While the animation and heart are in the right place, the movie is average for kids at best, but forgetful at worst for everyone else.
"An Extremely Goofy Movie" is a 2000 direct-to-video sequel to the 1995 film "A Goofy Movie." At first, the movie has noticeable downgrades with heavy emphasis on extreme sports. After a while, it still maintains both the emotional and humorous charm of the first film and Goofy himself.
"A Goofy Movie" is a 1995 animated comedy film based on the Disney Afternoon television series "Goof Troop." Though the story is basic & cliched, the movie became a cult classic as a humble continuation of the series full of hip humor and heart that carries on the classic Disney character's legacy.
"Shrek" is a 2001 animated comedy loosely based on the children's book of the same name by William Steig. While the plot may sound predictable, the rest of the movie is a beloved classic with satires of Disney and fairy tales, innovative animation, unexpected laughs, and memorable characters.
"Raya & the Last Dragon" is a 2021 Disney action-adventure and fantasy animated feature. With heavy influence from Southeastern Asian culture, it is an instant classic that is full of heart with creative worldbuilding, detailed animation, and stand-out characters.
"Tom & Jerry" is a 2021 live-action/animated hybrid film based on the Hanna-Barbera characters of the same name. While it pays respect to the source material with inventive animation and decent laughs, it falls standard with an unoriginal story, basic characters, and questionable direction.
"Determination" is the second chapter of the "Digimon Adventure tri." six-film series, a sequel to the original "Digimon Adventure/02" anime. Despite its title and third act being the highlight, the movie acted more like an extended television episode with an average plot and dull characters.
"The Helpful Fox Senko-San" is a 2019 anime adaptation of the Japanese comedy manga by Rimukoro. While it sadly lasted only one season and lacks depth, its laid-back tone, cute animation, and pleasing characters will make anyone feel relaxed with some laughs and enjoyment.
"Our Friend Martin" is a 1999 direct-to-video animated children's educational film about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Even though it is aimed for children, it remains historically faithful, has an all-star cast, and an emotional soundtrack that would be beneficial for elementary schools.
"How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift" is a 2019 anime based on the manga series by Yabako Sandrovich. While the show lasted a season with a rushed conclusion, the rest is genuinely educational with likable characters and humor that will help anyone get positively motivated.
"Soul" is a 2020 Disney/Pixar animated drama-comedy directed by Pete Docter that is exclusively streaming on Disney+. This highly-anticipated and delayed film ends 2020 with a bang. Its thought-provoking concept, creative visuals, and unforgettable characters breathe new life into animation.
"Frosty Returns" is a 1992 CBS television special starring John Goodman as Frosty the Snowman. While it may be confusing and lacking substance, the standalone special is straightforward and charming with a comedic cast, familiar animation, and a nice environmental message for children.
"The Croods: A New Age" is a 2020 sequel to the 2013 DreamWorks prehistoric animated comedy "The Croods." Surprisingly, this film is executed in a more humorous, imaginative, and astonishing manner.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & The Island of Misfit Toys" is a 2001 direct-to-video CGI sequel to the Rankin/Bass special. Under the GoodTimes name, the sequel fails to capture the spirit of the original with a weak story, poor computer animation, bland characters and forgettable songs.
"Olive, the Other Reindeer" is a computer-animated Christmas musical special based on the book by Vivian Walsh. At first, the special may seem average with a foolish concept. However, with Matt Groening and Drew Barrymore attached, it's executed in the most charming and innovative way.
"Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" is the 2004 sequel to the 2002 live-action film. It still has its flaws, but it's not as terrible as before. The rest of the movie is a marginal improvement with an enduring mystery, sticking closer to the source material. There are some legit humorous moments.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie" is a 1998 animated musical produced by GoodTimes Entertainment and based on the titular poem by Robert L. May. In some ways, it's a mediocre version of a beloved cult classic, but it displays solid voice acting and talented singing.
"Scooby-Doo" is a 2002 live-action/CGI movie based on the long-running Scooby-Doo franchise. While satirically ambitious with a decent cast, the movie is flawed with a confusing tone, uncanny visual effects, and jokes that range from lazy to uncomfortable for family movie standards.
"Reunion" is the first chapter of the "Digimon Adventure tri." six-film series, a sequel to the original "Digimon Adventure/02" anime. As the title suggested, it is a warm-welcoming return for fans with an interesting set-up, impressive animation, and a mixed variety of characters.
"Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy" is the 2005 sequel to the 2003 film based on the children's illustration books by Jill Thompson. It improves and maintains the charm of the first film with updated animation, matured characters, inventive scenarios and fun for both kids and adults to enjoy.
"Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular" is a computer-animated direct-to-video film based on the children's books by Jill Thompson. While it has aged computer animation and simplicity, its innocent charm, innovative visuals, and memorable characters make up for it.
"Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf" is the final Scooby-Doo television film in the Hanna-Barbera Superstar 10 series. With the movie given a more comedic direction and artistic shift, it ends both on a vibrant, humorous yet slow and bland note.
"Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School" is the second Scooby-Doo movie in the Hanna-Barbera Superstar 10 series. It has been regarded by fans as a cult classic for its distinctive concept, creative animation, and unforgettable characters.
"Scooby-Doo! Meets the Boo Brothers" is a TV movie that is part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstar 10 series. Though the plot can get all over the place and has mixed humor, the rest gets serviceable with an interesting concept, thoughtful clues, nicely executed animation, and entertaining voice-work.
"Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw" is a film based on both the Tonka toyline and Hanna-Barbera cartoon of the same name. While harmless in some regards, this movie tries way too hard to be taken serious with a ridiculous plot, cheap animation, bland characters, and forgettable songs.
The Powerpuff Girls Movie is Cartoon Network's first and only theatrical movie, based on the series of the same name. While the movie initially caused concern for its violence and flopped, the rest makes up for it with a decent origin story, updated animation, thrilling action and performances.
"Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip" is the first television movie produced by Cartoon Network and originally intended as the series finale to Dexter's Laboratory. While the story sounds standard and formulaic, the movie gradually evolves with creative animation, fun action and memorable characters.
On the surface, this short-lived animated series would be considered a simple "Ren & Stimpy" knock-off. In practice, however, this show not only revitalized Hanna-Barbera's legacy but launched a new legacy for the animators involved in making the show.
"Re-Animated" is a 2006 Cartoon Network television film that attempted mixing live-action and animation. While the concept was interesting on paper, here are several reasons why it failed to launch.
After struggling to reach the top, "Animal Crackers" is an average family flick with a playful concept, colorful animation, and a talented voice cast. Though the plot could get predictable and the jokes are hit-and-miss, the effort is still present and its heart in the right place.
Freakazoid! is an Emmy-winning animated series produced by Stephen Spielberg that mixes superheroes and comedy. While it may have started with a lack of focus in its format and got canceled after two seasons, it gained a cult following for its characters, animation, and non-stop humor.
"The Critic" is an underrated animated sitcom created by Simpsons showrunners Al Jean & Mike Reiss. Despite the show lasting only two seasons, it left a cult following with a satirical passion for parodying movies, memorable episodes, and a talented voice cast.
Based on a book series, Disney's next franchise attempts to fly high with a conceptually interesting premise, gorgeous visuals, and atmospheric music. Unfortunately, the film immediately falls flat on its face with a dull execution, weak comedy, and characters ranging from generic to unlikable.
The 1993 animated feature "Tom & Jerry: The Movie" is based on the Hanna-Barbara character duo with a wasted potential story, generic characters and unnecessary musical numbers. Nonetheless, the animation is nice and the voice acting is decent. Here's my review.