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  • Treasure Planet

    Treasure Planet

    ★★★

    One of the few films from this period of Disney Animation that I hadn’t seen before (although I was VERY into that John Rzeznik song as an emo teen). As much as I enjoyed this (and Disney’s other pure-adventure experiment, Atlantis) I can totally understand why this didn’t really connect. The design elements are cool, but a lot of the characters are flat — not funny or emotionally-grounded enough to really make an impression. It’s a little intense for younger…

  • Raya and the Last Dragon

    Raya and the Last Dragon

    ★★★★

    Living with a five year old means immediate rewatches. Flaws stand out a little more the second time around (the Druun feel underdeveloped, and there are a few plot points that are never resolved), but it’s still a good time and admirably straightforward. Raya/Namaari is canon.

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  • The White Tiger

    The White Tiger

    ★★★

    Sharp, cynical, and stylish. Gourav, Rao, and Chopra are all good in this, and the best parts deal with the layered dynamic that forms between them. Ashok (Rao) and Pinky (Chopra) don’t want to see themselves as masters, with Balram (Gourav) as their devoted serf, but easily and naturally treat him that way when it’s most convenient. When Balram describes Ashok to another driver as “a good man,” the other scoffs: “He’s a rich man.” Wealth relies on a certain innate…

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★½

    Had the potential to be much better. Beautifully animated, sure (especially in creating a living, breathing New York), but that’s a given for Pixar at this point. Increasingly I feel like their films rely on emotional signifiers more than actual emotion. This film struggles in both regards (more on that below). The result is a movie that feels overly-complicated/-explained, and simultaneously hollow and underdeveloped. It’s a film about the meaning of life and how you live your passion in the real…