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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Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

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A Whole New World is the first of Disney’s Twisted Tales book series, It was written by Author Liz Braswell and was released on September 1st 2015. The book follows the story of Aladdin if he had never kept the lamp after the cave of wonders.

magic-lamp-from-the-story-of-aladdin-with-genie-appearing-in-blue-smoke-concept-for-wishing-luck-a_u-l-q103irw0Readers will be taken deep into Aladdin’s past which is something that wasnt really touched upon in the Disney animated movie. The book teaches the reader about Aladdin’s mother and his younger days. Author Liz Braswell describes Agrabah in a way that older readers can connect with, its a tough city that is rough and at times dangerous, the poor people are dying every day because of a lack of food and un-sanitary living conditions. The city has been neglected due to the Sultan being selfish and caring more for his toys than the people he vowed to protect.

The book at first follows the story of the movie but after the scene in the Cave of Wonders Aladdin is left without the lamp and the story of Aladdin takes a very different and much darker turn. This version of the story has scenes of Death, Pain, Suffering and Violence, beloved characters from the film are met with a lot of misfortune and some of them are left to an even worse fate, so for younger readers I would suggest reading the book with them and making it clear that only the Disney movie is canon and the events in the book are not to be taken to seriously.

But with all this in mind I really enjoyed this book, I felt it dragged on at times but all in all it was a good read for fans of the movie and it can still be enjoyed if you are yet to see the film.

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Cuphead (2017) Review

Two cups lose a bet against the Devil and in order to save their souls they must capture the souls of every other resident on their home island.

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I think we will kick start 2018 with a review of one of the mos popular video games of last year a small indie title known as Cuphead don’t deal with the Devil.

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Cuphead is a run and gun sidescroller inspired by the cartoons of the 1930’s, Cuphead and his pal Mugman both take inspiration from Mickey Mouse and Oscar the Lucky Rabbit.

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Cuphead offers three main level types, the first is a classic run and gun scenario similar to old arcade games, you will need to get from point A to point B without dying, this is extremely difficult due to the barrage of enemy types that constantly attack you, enemies do not often die without respawning and the army of creatures that target Cuphead and Mugman is relentless, some of these stages do have a mini boss which will need to be defeated however these bosses are nowhere near as difficult to beat as the games main challenges.

d41ac18a-aa8c-42d3-ab90-aaf9a10d0ad5_Cuphead_Baroness_Von_Bon_BonBoss Battles are another game type available for players to tackle, these boss battles are extremely tough and only the most patient and level headed players will be able to triumph in these scenarios, these boss battles are the best part of the game in my opinion, the animations make it seem as if you are watching an old cartoon and its just as wonderful to watch the game as it is to play it.

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The final level variant in the game are on scroll shooters, these level types take obvious inspiration from the old space scooters of the day, Cuphead and Mugman enter aeroplanes and take on bosses who will constantly morph into different forms, many smaller enemies will spawn  for our two heroes to take on while also taking aim at the levels boss, I had the most difficulty with these level types.

 

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Cuphead and Mugman pack some pretty wild finger guns, the standard gun is powerful enough to get you through most of the game however if you feel like you wanna spice things up a bit then why not spend some of your well earned coins on some new ammunition or perhaps some new abilities

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I don’t think I really need to emphasise just how outstanding the visuals are in Cuphead, as previously stated the game takes inspiration from 1930’s cartoons and the games artists have done an excellent job of making the game emulate this extremely well, not only does the entire game look like an old cartoon but its the smaller touches such as static on the screen which really help to make this game even more beautiful than its needs to be.

The soundtrack is just as wonderful as the visuals, a few tracks use vocals sang by a barbershop quartet but personally I prefer the frantic instrumental tracks during the run and gun sections, although its all very well done and well worth a listen.

Cuphead is one of the most creative games I have ever played and if you enjoy old cartoons and high reaction intense game play then this is the perfect game to add to your library, but if you don’t enjoy difficult games or if you are only just starting out as a gamer then this is one to skip as the game is very challenging, I really enjoyed Cuphead however it is a bit too short for the price the developers are asking for it costs 16 pounds for what is no more than a six hour experience so knock it down to a tenner and you’ve got yourself a bargain 9/10.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Cuphead for the Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

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Tale as old as time? We’ll see about that

NE33gHKN7fMA68_2_bSo Emma Watson takes the lead in this new adaptation of the much beloved animated classic and while I was afraid that she would do a miserable job playing such an important role, I will say that I was wrong and she was a perfect cast for the character, she gave a good performance which helped to represent Belle’s can do attitude and sense of adventure and for the most part you could tell she enjoyed playing the role, but the one and only issue I had was what everyone else has been saying, Emma Watson’s singing should have been dubbed, the poor girl couldn’t hold a tune to save the queen and this really took a lot of people out of the movies fantastic atmosphere.

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The rest of the live action cast were also fine, they all gave energetic performances which matched their characters, this was especially good during the musical segments, however I hate the design of the furniture in the castle, in the original film the designs were bright and colourful, even the voice actors in the older animated movie put more effort into their voice acting but here these characters just look so ugly and unerringly creepy, this design works well on the beast because he is supposed to frighten you and he is supposed to be hideous, I don’t know if this was a design choice to help the castle match the beasts disturbing character design but it is honestly just awful.

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Those are my only real complaints with the movie as the rest of it was absolutely fantastic, it has all of the songs you love plus a few new and very well written original songs, the story here is slightly different to the original, this takes more from the book while adding it’s own few additions to the story, the reasoning for the prince being transformed into a beast is explained more clearly in this movie, we get an explanation to what happened to Belle’s mother and to top it all off even the ending isn’t quite as abrupt as the 1991 animated classic, its got all the charm of the original with a couple of mishaps but it makes up for it with the new additions to the story and amazing character performances, I am not even ashamed to say that this may be the better film of the two but only slightly, if you haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast in the cinema yet book your tickets as soon as you can and you wont be disappointed.

What did you think of Beauty and the Beast?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

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you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Walt Disney’s Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas (1999) Review

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Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas was a massive deal when it came out in 1999 and I fondly remember my mother fighting her way through our local Tesco’s (Our version of Target for you Americans) to get it for me so we could watch it together on Christmas Eve that very year.

By the way this is not the Christmas Carol with Disney Characters, that movie came out in 1983, this is an anthology of three Disney cartoons which all share a similar Christmas theme and have slightly altered morals for the kids to learn from

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The first cartoon titled Donald Duck stuck on Christmas is a holiday classic. Huey, Dewey and Louie wake up on Christmas morning and act like little dirt bags throughout the day, they open their presents before the family arrive, they go outside on their new sleds without reading the card from Uncle Donald and Aunt Daisy and when the family sings Christmas carols they play with their toys instead, later on that night the boys wish upon a star that it could be Christmas every day, their wish is granted and a massive time loop begins where they are repeating the same Christmas over and over again until they eventually learn to stop being so selfish.

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A Very Goofy Christmas is the next cartoon to be shown and whats particularly cool about this one is that its actually a cartoon which takes place in the Goof Troop universe but the catch is that Goofy’s son Max is still a young child here so its actually a prequel to Goof Troops first episode, in the cartoon Goofy and Max are having relationship problems after their neighbor Pete tells Max that Santa doesn’t exist and its up to Goofy to prove to his Son that Santa is real, but Max is so torn up about what Pete told him that he manages to convince Goofy that Santa being real is an impossibility which leads Goofy down a path of pretty major depression and its up to Max to cheer his Dad up, about mid way through the cartoon Goofy makes Christmas dinner for a poor family who could never afford to do it themselves so this segment actually has two messages the first is to always respect and be charitable to those less fortunate than yourself and the other is to quite simply not be a complete arse by telling an eight year old that Santa doesn’t exist, honestly I don’t why Goofy didn’t just pelt Pete in the nose.

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The final segment Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi is based on the classic short story by William Sydney Porter where a couple go to extreme lengths to get Christmas gifts for each other and both of them even go as far as selling their prized possessions just so they can afford the perfect gift, this cartoon follows that same idea and also has a very similar ending, this may sound like the most boring cartoon out of the three of them but to be honest its probably the best one, its short, simple and it has the most Christmas themed message of them all which is that the greatest gift you can give on Christmas is yourself and you can give that by simply spending time with your family and loved ones.

So is Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas the greatest Christmas movie to be based on classic Disney characters? no its not even close but its still pretty good,  I can’t consider any of the cartoons to be bad but at the same time apart from the last one the first two are not great but they are still entertaining and with voice talents such as Jim Cummings and Bill Farmer involved its definitely worth a watch, even Kelsey Grammer is in this movie voicing the narrator and that in itself makes it worth your time to sit by the fireplace and watch these silly but wonderful Disney cartoons.

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Pete’s Dragon 2016 Review

petes_dragon_2016_posterOut of every Disney movie that could possibly be remade Pete’s Dragon was one that I never expected Disney to touch again, the original movie was a 1977 musical about a young boy and his pet dragon who are on the run from his abusive adoptive family, the movie is a lot of fun and the songs will be stuck in your head for years after you see it, unfortunately the movie didn’t make a lot of money at the box office and Pete’s Dragon was eventually kicked under the rug by Disney and it was never mentioned again until this year when it got remade.

petes-dragonFor the remake they didn’t take the musical route, they instead tried to make Pete’s Dragon into a Drama which is fine if its still entertaining but the problem is that it isn’t, the film is so boring that I honestly just wanted to walk out of the cinema, the CGI is amazing and Elliot the Dragon looks awesome but the tone of movie really makes the film too slow for you too really care that much about how good the CGI is, I believe that if the film wasn’t about a dragon then it would have been a half decent Drama about a family trying to adopt a little boy who they find in the woods but because its a Disney movie and it really tries to reach that younger audience it just ended up being a film that wanted to be taken seriously but ultimately ended up being trapped inside of a kids film.

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I have to admit that I really liked Elliot in this movie, he wasn’t quite as charming as the quirky cartoon dragon I’m used too but this new version of Elliot more closely resembled an actual animal which was really cool to see, I notice a lot of people complaining that they didn’t like the directors choice to make Elliot act like a big green dog at times but I personally found it gave him a more playful and cuddly personality, I just wanna give him a big old hug.

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The casting is great, I love the cast from the original film but I never really liked the actor who played Pete (Sean Marshall) and in the remake the actor who played Pete (Oakes Fegleywas surprisingly really good at acting,I felt his emotions throughout this movie and I hope that this role pays off for him and he gets to be in a lot more films in the future, the rest of the cast was also very good but honestly the 1977 version had Mickey Rooney and you just cant top that.

Am I saying that the movie is terrible? no but I would be surprised if you don’t end up falling asleep or giving up half way through.

What did you think of Pete’s Dragon?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com