Strange Magic - Disney, Lucasfilm, Shakespeare

My Little Ponies fans should be hitting the animation schools right about now.

The Ponies are basically anime styled as it is (yes, filtered through the McCracken / Tartakovsky style, but that was unquestionably anime influenced itself). If you want to see how that translates to 3D, look at Hotel Transylvania, which isn’t all that different from the standard Disney / Dreamworks stylings. Also, to see how that style renders humans for comparison, there’s those really weird ponies-as-real-girls TV movies they’ve started doing.

Aside from anime, the other popular aesthetic currently on the rise appears to be the Cartoon Network / Adventure time house style: Adventure Time, Regular Show, and the new Over the Garden Wall. But that’s a pretty aggressively 2D style though, and I don’t know how well it could be co-opted into a 3D model (although Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is pretty close). In any case, anime / manga influences aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The aesthetic influence that makes me fear for the future is Minecraft.


Strange Magic is filled with new versions of hit pop songs sung by Wood, Cumming, and other cast members like Kristin Chenoweth, Elijah Kelley, and Maya Rudolph. Rydstrom previewed the set list for us which includes Wood singing Heart’s “Straight On” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”; Cumming tackling Deep Purple’s “Mistreated”; Chenoweth singing the ’50s classic “Love is Strange”; Kelley singing “Say Hey,” a Michael Franti song chosen by George Lucas for the film; and a so-far undisclosed castmember singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

That looks so much like Epic that I thought it was some weird sequel or something.

Variety review:

They hated it.

If you’ve ever longed for a movie with all the insistent life lessons of a Disney fairy tale, the tacky visual excesses of digital-era George Lucas, and enough glorified karaoke covers to fill half a season of “Glee,” then you may want to treat yourself to the altogether perplexing animated brew that is “Strange Magic.” Everyone else can just imagine a CG cartoon mash-up of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Arthur and the Invisibles” and “American Idol” populated by extras from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and they’ll pretty much get the idea. An insipid byproduct of the Disney-Lucasfilm merger that looks to attract a fraction (if that) of the audience for this year’s “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” this noisy, unappealing children’s fantasy fails to distinguish itself among January’s many, many reasons to steer clear of the multiplex.


Wow … that’s a seriously harsh review! It’s almost something I want to watch just for the spectacle, but my time is slightly too valuable for it.

I watched Hoodwinked, Free Birds, Foodfight!, Titanic: The Legend Goes On, Tarzan (2013), Epic, Escape From Planet Earth, Delgo, Happily N’Ever After, and Shark Bait. I’m drawn to these terrible animated movies. It’s a serious weakness of mine.

Saw the preview for this when I brought the kids to see Paddington, which was itself nigh un-bear-able. However I’d rather watch it once more and again, before watching Strange Magic. It looks to have exactly the same kind of magic that created the Star wars prequels. Horriffic.

You made it through Delgo? Impressive.

This can’t be worse than Delgo. I’m hard pressed to think of anything worse than Delgo.

Foodfight! was much worse. No contest. So very, very awful.

Oh yeah, a friend of mine told me about FoodFight. That’s kind of in a whole class by itself though.

I saw what you did there!

Ugh, sounds like it’s as awful as it looks.

Unlike Paddington which had a pretty dreadful trailer but, mono excluded, is getting surprisingly excellent reviews.