The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) Review

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The Secret World of Arrietty was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and is based on the Borrowers book.

Arrietty and her family are creatures called borrowers, borrowers are very small people who love in the holes of regular sized peoples homes, they borrow small amounts of food and materials from humans to survive hence the name borrowers.

While exploring the outside world Arrietty gets spotted by a human named Sho, Sho is incredibly friendly towards Arrietty and considers her a friend, Sho is having serious medical issues with his heart and his life expectancy is low due to this, he values life which could be why he is so kind towards a borrower.

Not all of the humans are as kind though as the house keeper Haru finds and captures Arrietty’s mother leaving Sho and Arrietty working together to rescue her before she is killed by the exterminators Haru hired.

My favourite part of the movie was not the story or characters but the world that borrowers live in, I love their tiny home that are made out of materials from our world,it’s really very charming.

I really enjoyed the bond between Arrietty and her family as well as the relationship that forms between herself and Sho,

The Secret World of Arrietty is a really good movie that I feel may be overlooked as just a borrowers film because it really is a lot more than that, it is a borrowers movie but unlike other adaptations this is not a comedy and has a hell of a lot of heart and love that was pumped into it and is my favourite adaption of the book even if it is very loose.

If you want to watch a really good family film then the Secret World of Arrietty is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Secret World of Arrietty

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Ponyo (2008) Review

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Written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Ponyo is a fantasy-film loosely based on ideas from the Hans Christian Anderson story the Little Mermaid.

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A close encounter with a fishing trawler causes a young human-fish hybrid creature to become separated from her family and trapped in a glass-jar which washes up on shore in a small town. The fish creature is discovered by a young boy named Sosuke who names it Ponyo and takes care of it.

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Sosuke wants to keep Ponyo as a friend but her father voiced by Liam Neeson is desperate to get his daughter back in order to prevent the ocean from becoming unbalanced and colliding with the land.

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Ponyo is a quite bizzare movie, not in its premise but more in things that happen, later on in the film Ponyo grows arms and legs and begins to evolve into a human and it is this form that I enjoy the most. The bond between the two children is adorable and while Ponyo is a wild and excitable character she is never annoying  and is very likeable.

7f2 I am in love with the visual style of this film, the colours used blend perfectly with the animation.

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One of my favourite designs is of the Goddess of Mercy Granmamare who is Ponyo’s mother, she is truly stunning in her design with a glow effect added to emphasise her importance and grandeur.

Ponyo is not one of my favourite films and its far from one of the best films from Studio Ghibli but it melts my heart with how cute the story is and its hard not to enjoy its silliness at times, I don’t watch this one often but every now again I need a little bit of Ponyo to brighten my day.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Ponyo

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Thank You for all of your support.

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My Neighbours the Yamada’s (1999) Review

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My Neighbours the Yamada’s is a comedy film about the daily lives of a Japanese family, it was both written and directed by Isao Takahata.

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Its quite difficult to discuss the plot of this movie because it doesn’t really have one, the film is a viewing of the daily lives of an eccentric Japanese family, the movie shows various scenarios that they have to deal with and this is often portrayed through comedy.

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I will be honest and say that I found a lot of these scenarios very forgetful but some of them were really memorable such as when they accidentally left the daughter in the supermarket which is quite a scary scenario for any family, another example was when the young boy bought cookies for a girl in his class but they were eaten by his sister and his mum.

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So the story wasn’t too great but the animation was really cool and unique, the whole film looks like a children’s colouring book and is a treat to watch, some scenes such as when they are under water or during the motor bike chase show off the wonder of this animation style extremely well and images alone cant do it justice so I would recommend at least checking out clips of the film on YouTube.

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The voice cast was great in this film, the only characters with major dialogue was the family and all of them had a talented voice actor which suited their character very well.

I really struggled to say much about this film, It is really unique and has awesome animation but as a whole its just a little bit boring and I feel that some viewers might end up not enjoying the film as much as others, if you want to tackle the full Studio Ghibli collection or see this for just the animation then give it a watch but otherwise I would say that this is one film you could skip.

I hope you enjoyed this review of My Neighbours the Yamada’s

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My Neighbour Totoro 1988 Review

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My Neighbour Totoro has become quite an iconic film over the past few years, it has become so popular that it became the logo for Studio Ghibli

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbour Totoro’s story is that of a family who have decided to move to a new home they have moved to a fairly quiet location in the countryside, I imagine that they moved here to live a peaceful life style but little did they know that where they have moved to is also a hangout for many different spirits.

In any other film this would usually lead to a scary or spooky movie but surprisingly in this film the spirits are just there and they don’t seem to alarm or bother anyone in the family.

As you may have guessed one of the neighbouring spirits is the huge Totoro who has a surprising resemblance to the Pokemon Snorlax.

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The two girls Mei and Satsuki discover Totoro and the entire film is essentially them interacting with him and that’s what sort of makes it so good, Totoro is a very peculiar character as he seems very human he likes to take naps, he catches the bus (well a spirit bus, which also a cat) and in general he doesn’t actually do much, he doesn’t have much dialogue so making him a lovable character is mostly about the pacing of his actions and the animators really nailed this one on the head, yeah Totoro doesn’t do much but he is so well animated that every time he smiles, bounces or yawns its hard not to love him and the timing of these actions are its difficult to explain without me just telling you to watch the movie but if you do will see what I mean.

The family are great in this movie the dad is a hard working individual but he is also seen to be a lot of fun in many scenes of the film but by far the best characters are the two sisters, these girls honestly seem like real sisters in real life the older sister can at times be bossy but caring and the younger sister is excitable, very curious and genuinely quite innocent

Like I said not a lot goes on in this movie there is a climax near the end of the film but its nothing too crazy so don’t get your hopes up.

I’m not huge on the music in this film it’s not bad I just don’t think that its very memorable but the animation is really something special, at times the animation looks similar to every other Studio Ghibli film but every now and again something really cool and interesting will show up, everyone loves Totoro and his character design but personally I don’t think anything can top the cat bus its so bizarre that this movie has a bus that is also a cat but it looks so cool that you just really want to ride it.

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My Neighbour Totoro is a special film as its surprisingly brilliant, not a lot goes on in the movie but everything is so well paced and well animated that the entire film is very memorable, the animation and character designs are pretty superb and every character in this film is interesting and likeable, if you ever want to watch a movie that you can chill out too and also appreciate its brilliance then My Neighbour Totoro is the film for you.

Thank you for reading my review of My Neighbour Totoro

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Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991) Review

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In a forest on Halloween Sheldon Snail and Wiltshire Pig are testing out a new carnival ride on their friend Vince, the caring Sheldon is worried for his friends safety while Wiltshire Pig is more interested in making a large profit from those who ride it.

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After an accident with the ride causes a crater to be made in the ground, the two friends discover Frakenswines Diary which tells the story of the mad scientist and the monster he created, Wiltshire Pig is overly excited about this as directions to the doctors castle and lab are left in the diary encouraging both Sheldon and Wiltshire to seek them out in hopes of finding the monster.

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The entire movie is made using Claymation and is very impressive to look at and admire for how creative the project is, we don’t see much claymation work these days so this was very nostalgic to someone like me that grew up in an age where this style of animation was regularly used in movies and television.

The short is very funny and charming, the funniest parts are when Wiltshire Pig is trying to convince the monsters in the castle that he’s not alive so that they wont harm him or throw him out, the most hilarious encounter is with his dead grandmother, Wiltshire never attended her funeral and begins to panic trying to give an excuse as to why.

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My favourite clay model in the short was a fat green monster that Sheldon and Wiltshire meet when they first enter the castle, the Frankenswine Monster was also a really fun design and its personality was unexpected and hilarious after all of the effort the duo went through to find it.

I had never heard of this special until today and after watching it I think its going to end up being an annual occurrence to me, the whole special was really funny and the animation style was fantastically made and a joy to watch, I would highly recommend checking this short animation out, as of this review the film is available on YouTube and I assure you it is excellent. I only wish it was a little bit longer as I enjoyed it so much.

9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991)

Happy Halloween 2019

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Thank You for all of your support.

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Sam and Max Hit the Road (1993) PC Review

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Sam and Max Hit the Road is the first release of the popular point and click adventure series which follow two anthropomorphic animal detectives as they try to solve various wacky crimes, the games are based on the original comic book series Sam and Max: Freelance Police which was created by Steve Purcell in 1987.

12333 The game is based on a 1989 comic book release where Sam and Max need to travel to various tourist locations spread across America in order to find a Bigfoot that has gone missing from a local carnival.

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The game play is similar to any-other game of the genre you will need to collect random objects throughout the game and then either give those objects to those who may desire them or they can be used to solve puzzles, the game does add the ability to question suspects in order to gain clues about where the player should head next or how the player can get past some of the more difficult challenges the game has to offer.

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For me although the game was a lot of fun like most point and click adventure games, the best part was the characters and dialogue, the game is filled to the brim with dry humour which coincidentally is one of the only types of humour I genuinely find funny   and let me just say that I was laughing my ass off throughout the majority of this game, I know a lot of people really like max for his psychotic personality and genuinely random moments but I have to admit that it was actually Sams character that I enjoyed the most, I found that Sam provided the majority of that witty dry humour that I love and although Max did this occasionally as well I just found it was funnier coming from Sam,  I don’t think it really helped that for the most part Max was fairy useless in this game, some of the puzzles require you to use Max in order to solve them but honestly this hardly ever happened and for the rest of the game play you take control of Sam which is a shame because I feel that Max would have been useful for a lot more puzzles that he actually was.

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The Dialogue actually uses voice acting which really surprised me and the best part of this is that it was actually quite impressive, of course Sam and Max sound great Max has a more energetic voice which really suits his character and Sam has a more calm and serious voice which really works for him, everyone you speak too also has a unique voice and not one single character sounds the same as another.

Apart from pausing and a few other commands the game completely uses the mouse and I had no issues at all with the general game-play however I did not like the few keyboard keys that were chosen for smaller things, for some reason you need to press F5 to go to the save menu and if I didn’t look up the manual I never would have figured this out, another key that I hated was pressing full stop to skip dialogue, its a really random choice when the developers could have easily chosen a much easier key that wasn’t in use, this wouldn’t be such an issue but when you keep having to speak to characters over and over again it can really get annoying having to keep listening to them repeat the same sentences.

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The art style and visual choices in the game are absolutely outstanding, the colours are bright, the art is smooth and the many smaller details such as the use of shadows, creases in clothes and the density of different materials such as fur really help bring the game to life, not the mention the constant animations that run in the background of the game, the game has a few still image cut-scenes with some basic animation and if you weren’t actually playing the game you might think they were from a cartoon due to how much effort the game designers put into the visuals.

005fe384ddb3e3394a57771f36203588 Sam and Max Hit the Road is a very good game which I think most people would really appreciate if they put aside some time to play it, It’s not perfect but its an innocent title that provides a lot of laughs and will leave you with some fond memories, I cant say I enjoyed it as much as I do Sierra Games but Lucas Art did a great job with this before the series got taken over by Travellers Tales 7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Sam and Max Hit the Road for Microsoft Windows and MS DOS.

By the way you can get yourself a copy of this game for fairly cheap via GOG.com

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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Rudolph and Frosty Christmas in July (1979) Review

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Before I sat down and watched this movie i’m not gonna lie I was quite worried that my experience would be a complete repeat of the last review, before watching the film I decided to do a bit of research and this is when I found out that it was a Rankin/Bass production which quickly turned my worries into excitement and nostalgia.

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For those who are not familiar with Rankin/Bass they are a small production company that made their fortune in the early 1960’s until the late 1980’s making many different types of animated films and movies based on well known stories and fairy tales, they made a lot of Christmas related movies during their most successful years some of the most popular ones to my knowledge are Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer , Santa Claus is Comin to Town and Jack Frost all of these films were made using traditional Stop-Motion animation but they made many other films using standard animation and live action recordings.

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I don’t know how I managed to skip Rudolph and Frosty Christmas in July as a kid because it’s definitely a very special movie, I was very surprised when I was watching this because I started to notice that almost every character from the other Rankin/Bass Christmas movies made before this one had some sort of appearance in this movie and from doing some extensive research I found out that for the most part they even used to original voice cast for each character which was a really cool nod to the other movies and more importantly their fans.

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This is Lady Boreal who is a very important character in this Christmas Special as she is the person who gave Rudolph his red nose, the fog Rudolph’s nose was used to clear on that one foggy Christmas Eve was not a just a fog but was instead a fog of evil snow dragons sent by the Wizard Winterbolt.

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Rudolph’s Magic Nose has been protecting Santa from Winterbolt for years and now Winterbolt has finally had enough, he’s sick of Santa ruling the north pole and so he try’s to find a way to put out Rudolph’s nose for good.

The rest of the movie is just Frosty and Rudolph trying to defeat Winterbolt, they meet their friend who is an ice-cream man, Rudolph and Frosty join the circus and a lack luster battle against Winterbolt pursues.

Frosty and Rudolph Christmas in July is not that great which is real shame because a lot of the other Rankin/Bass movies are fantastic and don’t get me wrong it has the charm and the perfect animation to make a wonderful and innocent family Christmas movie, the big problem is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense and too often it feels like it only existed so that Rankin/Bass could put all of these characters in one movie, the plot wasn’t that interesting compared the other Rankin/Bass films but in the movies defense I have had to sit through a lot worse movies during the holidays.

Thanks for reading my Review of Rudolph and Frosty Christmas in July.

The next Christmas movie I will review is

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You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com