‘Up’ – a wondrous animated odyssey on Disney+

The fantastical adventure from Pixar is a film of whimsy and wonder, mixing Jules Verne imagination with the bubble-gum colors of a children’s picture book and Pixar’s trademark bouncy humor, all stirred with memories of childhood dreams.

What to stream: animated musical ‘Vivo’ on Netflix, ‘The Suicide Squad’ and ‘Obama’ on HBO Max, ‘Val’ on Amazon

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   The animated musical “Vivo” (2021, PG) follows the odyssey of a kinkajou, a cute, colorful monkey-like critter from Cuba, from Havana to Florida. Lin-Manuel Miranda writes the original songs and voices the […]

Brad Bird directs the animated feature based on the Ted Hughes book

‘The Iron Giant’ – A boy and his robot buddy – free on Hoopla

BThe giddiest moments of The Iron Giant (1999), a delightful throwback to the classic era of hand-drawn animated movies, deliver the most amazing little boy wish fulfillment fantasies. But there’s much more to Brad Bird’s cartoon fable in science fiction clothing and fairy tale trappings is a delightful throwback to the classic era of hand-drawn animated movies.

‘Fantastic Planet’ – the animated cult classic on HBO Max and Criterion Channel

La planète sauvage, the original French title of Rene Laloux’s legendary animated feature Fantastic Planet (France, 1973), is a better indication of the torments that await the inhabitants of this cult science fiction classic. The oppressed (and very human-like) Oms live in a world ruled by blue-skinned giants called the Draags, who treat the diminutive […]

The Belladonna of Sadness from Japan, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto

‘The Belladonna of Sadness’ on Criterion Channel

The Belladonna of Sadness (Japan, 1973), a lost classic of Japanese animation, is an erotic drama by definition, but it is quite a sophisticated one that is part subversive folk tale, part rock ballad musical, and part experimental filmmaking. Set in an unnamed kingdom in an abstracted medieval Europe, it’s a provocative film about female […]

‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ on IMDbTV

A town gets a buffet line for a weather system in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009), a colorful animated feature based on a children’s storybook tale. Director/writer team Phil Lord and Chris Miller cobble a story around the storybook’s premise but it’s the whimsical imagery of raining hamburgers, a Jell-O mold castle, an […]

Steven Spielberg directs the big screen adventure adapted from the Herge graphic novels

‘The Adventures of Tintin’ on Hulu and Paramount+

The Adventures of Tintin (2011), Steven Spielberg’s first foray into motion capture filmmaking, turns the legendary boy journalist and globe-trotting adventurer from the early graphic novels of Herge into a big screen hero, complete with trademark cowlick and best friend canine Snowy watching his back. Spielberg and his collaborators (notably co-producer Peter Jackson) chose to […]

What to stream: ‘Luca’ on Disney+, ‘Fatherhood’ on Netflix, and a timely ‘Civil War’ on Peacock

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   In the animated fantasy “Luca” (2021, PG), two best friends (voiced by Jacob Tremblay and Jack Dylan Grazer) have the summer of their lives in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian […]

What to stream: ‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ and ‘Things Heard’ on Netflix, ‘Without Remorse’ on Amazon, ‘Lucy’ on HBO Max

Here’s what’s new and now streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   A family road trip takes an unexpected detour when they face a robot invasion from outer space in “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” (2021, PG), an animated adventure comedy featuring the voices of Danny […]

‘Millennium Actress’ – Satoshi Kon’s celebration of cinema on Amazon Prime

As loving and perceptive a tribute to the power and legacy of movies as I’ve ever seen, Satoshi Kon’s animated drama Millennium Actress (Japan, 2001) deftly weaves history and film and memory into an imaginative meditation on way the movies become a part of our lives. It’s Not exactly the first thing you’d expect from […]