Top 18 Animated Series of 2018!


Another year another round of art and entertainment to sort through.  I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of my personal favorites of the year and what better place to start then with toons!   The 2010’s has been a phenomenal decade for animation and 2018 was no exception!  So with out further ado let’s get started!!


18. Unikitty (Warner Bros. Animation/Cartoon Network)


Cute, Colorful and full of hyperactive energy Cartoon Network & Warner Animation’s Unikitty is everything one would expect from a cartoon about everyone’s favorite Cat-Unicorn Hybrid!  Along with her brother Puppycorn and her friends Doctor Fox, Hawkodile & Rick and Frienmies like Brock and Master Frown there’s no end to the classic cartoon style antics the group can get-up to!  However like it’s elder sister show Teen Titans Go!  The level of hyper-activeness mileage will vary by viewer

17. Trolls The Beat Goes on! (Dreamworks Animation/Netflix)Trolls beat goes on

Picking-up where the 2016 film left off Trolls: The Beat Goes on is an adorable and somewhat retro style continuation of the charming all-ages tale.  The series visually is somewhat reminiscent of many direct to video features from the late 90’s-mid 00’s but the series uses this aesthetic to its advantage to keep young viewers engaged with bright colors and catchy songs, and some of the morals might just be relevant to its adult viewers as well.


16. Disenchantment (Rough Draft/Netflix)


After conquering modern life with The Simpsons and the future with Futurama Matt Groening and co are finally tackling the past with a medieval fantasy series that is equal parts action, fantasy and comedy!  And while the series may be a bit rough around the edges the main story of the series in engaging enough to keep viewers interested in checking out more!   And Luci is the best pet cat er demon ever!

15. Megaman: Fully Charged (DHX/Dentsu/Cartoon Network)

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 2.13.27 PM

A Modern interpretation of the classic Blue-Bomber, Megaman: Fully Charged was a series with a lot of heart and love of the source material while still daring to move foward with origional concepts and ideas!  However like many third party shows on modern television it was mishandled by the network and seems to be another instance into which the Blue Bomber is denied his chance to capture the imaginations of a whole new generation.  However if you are able to catch the series on Cartoon Network’s app, I recommend giving it a shot as it is a truly delightful take on the character for fans of all ages!

14. The Shivering Truth [Adult Swim]


While i’m not usually a fan of pseudo-nihilistic existentialist horror I can’t deny the impressive labor and craftsmanship that went into making this stop-motion animated series!  Truly this may be [Adult Swim]’s most impressive outing yet in terms of visual quality.  Though again the actual content of the show is not for everyone and some may indeed find it too disturbing to watch.


13. Littlest Pet Shop: A World of Our Own (Boulder Media/Hasbro/Discover Family)


Hasbro’s latest attempt to bring interest to the Littlest Pet Shop franchise resulted in a genuinely well animated and well written cartoon that is leaps and bounds better then their previous attempt in 2012!  The series may have shorter episodes but the main cast was extremely enjoyable to watch.  Sadly it seems these pets may be a one hit wonder as it seems nothing was ordered past the initial 52 episodes.  Still it was a fun little slice of furry life while it lasted.

12.  Amazing World of Gumball Season 5 (Cartoon Network)

The Amazing World of Gumball (1)

The witty, irreverant and savage series Amazing World of Gumball continues to be one of the networks most entertaining series with disturbingly on point jokes about online culture, modern life and the every increasingly disturbing socio-economic and political climates around the world. Gumball continues to be the catharsis we all need, after all as they say if you don’t laugh you’ll just cry.

11. Pokemon The Series: Sun & Moon Ultra Adventures (Viz/Disney XD)


Pokemon’s Sun & Moon seasons continue to be a great and refreshing revitalization of the series with the softer animation style and more slice of life and comedic stories mixed in with epic battles and adventures, Pokemon finally feels like it’s reached its full potential on the islands of Alola!

10.  Transformers: Cyberverse (Hasbro/Cartoon Network)


A entertaining and well crafted mixture of some of the best elements of Generation 1, The IDW Publishing Comics and The Modern Fillms, Cyberverse is both familiar and new leading to an enjoyable viewing experience for fans of all ages!

9. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Season 8/ Equestria Girls (DHX/Hasbro/Discovery Family)


The long running smash/cult hit series eighth season proves that modern animations age like a fine wine as the show not only continues to grow the Mane Six and Crusaders Characters but introduced a whole slew of new ones as Twilight & Co. open a school of friendship where sure to be new fan favorites like Silverstream, Occellus, Sandbar, Yona, Gallus, Smoulder and Cozy Glow come to learn about the magic of friendship!  We also got new species like the Kirin/Nirik and an adorable StarTrix travel episode!  Though I am still salty about how the season 8 finale was mishandled, but the other 24 episodes in the season are golden and this may just be one of the series best yet!  Plus the Best Gift Ever Holiday special was pretty fun.


On the Equestria Girls Side of things we got some of the BEST specials the spin-off has ever produced with Forgotten Friendship which hit all the emotional beats just right and gave-us a pseudo-beach episode, some feels filled moments with Sunset Shimmer and new fan favorite Wallflower Blush! Then Rollarcoaster of Friendship which was filled to the brim with Rarijack goodness, oh and something about not misusing social media or what not. Not to mention all the fun online shorts!  Overall 2018 was probably the best year for this spin-off since 2014’s Rainbow Rocks!

8. Summercamp Island (Cartoon Network)

summercamp island promo

A Heartwarming and whimsical new series that could be one of many successors to Adventure Time, this odd fusion of Arthur and the Busy World of Richard Scary set on a magical island hosting a summer camp to adorkably awkward tween and teen toons is a relaxing and refreshing viewing for animation fans young and old alike!

7. Adventure Time Series Finale (Cartoon Network)


After eight years and ten seasons The Grandaddy of modern animation went out with a bang!  An epic final battle, countless heartfelt moments, a catchy song or two and we finally got that Bubbline kiss!  Overall a fantastic end to a fantastic series! *And hey if you still want more there’s always the season 11 comic from Boom Studios!


6.   Hanazuki (Hasbro/Discovery Family


Admittingly cheating with this one a bit as it premiered on Youtube last year, but given it just recently made its U.S. television debut i’m gonna count it anyway!  Hanazuki is a series about a young moon-flower who uses magical treasures fueled by her emotions to grow magic trees and fight the darkness.  It may sound simple and silly to some but the series message of learning to be in control of your emotions both positive and negative and use them in constructive ways is one people of all ages and from all walks of life would do well to take to heart!

5. Steven Universe Season 5 (Cartoon Network)


The long running Cartoon Network series about sentient alien Gem stones continues to be one of modern animations most impressive and progressive series as it gave animation fans the network’s first major lesbian wedding between Ruby and Saphire and also still has enough great music and tear inducing moments to fill-up an entire ship!   And with a sixth season and movie coming next year the Steven Universe series seems to have plenty of gas left in the tank!

4. Final Space ( Team Coco/TBS)


A Surprise hit from Olan Rogers and TBS, Final Space is an “Adult” animation that like its all-ages counterparts actually attempts to have a well-written and thought out story and interesting characters instead of just being low-brow or mean spirited jokes like many of it’s breatheren and for that it is easily my favorite series in its genre and easily the best “Adult” animation of the decade!

3. Criag of The Creek (Cartoon Network)


A Delightful All-Ages  Slice of Life series about a young boy named Craig and his best friends Kelsey & JP.  This series is basically Bridge To Tarabithia without any of the super sad stuff as it primarily consists Craig and his friends hanging out at the Creek and the interesting DIY society the kids there have built around it to hang out at on the weekend or after school.  If you grew-up as a fan of shows like Codename: Kids Next Door or Recces definitely give this show a chance!

2. Hilda (Netflix)

Hilda promo

A Whimsical and enticing tale of a young girl and her adventures befriending magical creatures, Hilda is a simplistic yet intricate animated series that is sure to delight animation fans young and old alike.  Though sadly we have to wait till 2020 for season 2. *Though that gives  you all plenty of time to check out the books the series is based on!*


1. She-Ra & The Princesses of Power! (Dreamworks/Netflix)

Taking a cliche 80’s cartoon spin-off and turning it into something beautiful, unique, complex and full of diverse characters and intricate relationships woven throughout it’s first season She-Ra & The Princesses of Power isn’t just another successful revitalization of an 80’s I.P. but also proof of how far animation has come compared to its often poorly written and error filled 80’s counter-part!  The Modern She-Ra is a true Feminist Icon worthy of sitting aside the likes of Wonder Woman herself!   And I would argue like ATLA/Korra and older series like Gargoyles it may just be one of the best animated series of the past twenty-five years!  If you haven’t checked the series out I highly recommend you do, I promise you won’t regret it!

*P.S. Entrapta is BEST Princess!!*


And there you have it, my top 18 animated series of 2018!  So what do you think?  Did you see your favorites on here?  What were your favorite animated series of 2018!?  Feel free to reply below and thanks for reading!

How Children’s Cartoons Are Better At Character Development And World Building Then Superhero Comics

10 seasons over 300 episodes developed its characters and world more in 8 years then comics do in 20 and still has a boatload of potential to expand were it not ending.


Hello again dear reader and welcome to the second installment at an through and potentially controversial look at our favorite mediums of entertainment and storytelling.   Last week we talked about how Shonen Anime did more damage to animation as a medium then it did help, this week we are going to talk about an equally touchy topic.   How Children’s cartoons are a heck of a lot better at character development and world building then superhero comics despite the latter usually being aimed at a somewhat older audience.   May sound silly to some but it’s true and i’ll explain why!

Why Have Character Development when you can have slight variations of the same thing for the next 80 years!?




Superhero Comics are a mainstay in American media, and there is a lot and I mean alot to love about them, but there are also many many problems with the genre.  One of the most notable seems to be a publisher’s refusal to truly let their characters grow and learn with their audience.  Despite any social, political or moral issues a hero may be facing, the character themselves always seem to be set back to default every 5-15 years or so.  In the current Tom King run of Batman there was a huge build up to the character’s wedding where he as Bruce Wayne was meant to Marry Selena Kyle, also known as Cat Woman.  This would have been a big step in both character’s lives and could have potentially led to a whole new world of stories and development in the same way that Superman and Lois Lane being allowed to have a sun like John Kent has expanded the scope of the Superman books somewhat.   However at the last minute it would seem DC chickened out and Catwoman rejected Bruce’s proper wedding proposal claiming it would kill the Batman despite already accepting his engagement proposal.    This of course cause much ire amoungst fans *partially because it was leaked early*  because it was a potential big move and development for a character once again being denied.   This is the inherent problem with Superhero comics, they try to maintain some ridiculous status quo while still trying to stay relevant, which these two things are not always compatible.


This fear of advancement and stagnation of characters is also what keeps superhero comics from being as easy sells as they should.  Whether it’s a hero getting married or dealing with their sexuality or sexual identity, adding a new character to a line of legacy heroes, etc, comic books never seem to go as far with their attempts to modernize as they can.  Sticking to some ridiculous sense of static quo seems to forever make the golden and silver age heroes part of a constant uphill battle for relevancy as they often face stagnation and even new younger heroes are pushed to the side even if they do connect better with a modern audience then their predecessors.


Cartoon Network Has More Juevos then DC Or Marvel Ever Will! *Better Original Series Too!*


Now look in comparison to many modern animated series and how it has developed it’s characters and worlds.  In relation to weddings, Steven Universe recently had a wedding between Ruby and Sapphire, making it another children cartoons to have  a wedding with major characters and one of the first to have an LBGTQ wedding with major characters.    In fact Steven Universe has spent its entire run building its characters and worlds through the experiences and interactions the characters partake in.  And this isn’t the only example.  Shows like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Star VS The Forces of Evil, OK KO Let’s Be Heroes and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic/Equestria Girls have all had great moments of character development and world building by exploring the relationship dynamics of the various characters as also making the characters be more introspective about their own feelings and those they have towards others.  Shows have covered things like Alzheimer, dealing with the loss of a loved one, puberty, how to use negative emotions constructively, same sex relationships, and the general paradoxically simple complexity of everyday life and interactions.  Modern animations are so layered with emotional depth and maturity that so many other forms of media are lacking it is no wonder many consider this decade a golden age of televised animation.  These series have also continually expanded their focus during the course of their run.  Further developing their mythology, lore and worlds as they progress.    It is almost a bit ironic as many modern animations do borrow some structural similarities from the comic book style yet actually take better advantage of it when constructing their story arcs.   In short children’s animation isn’t afraid of genuine character and plot developments in the same way a super hero comics are.    We are allowed to watch these characters grow, learn and evolve during the runs of their shows, with the closest comparable thing to a reset being when a series is eventually brought back years or decades later after the original ends, and even that isn’t always completely accurate as some revivals are more akin to spin-offs or merely comedic interpretations of other genres.


Again there’s a lot to love about both animation and comics, but as we are now, our favoirte caped crusaders to less to advance as characters as alien gemstones, talking dogs and magic horse girls.


Welp that’s all this time dear reader, so what do you think?  What can comics do to improve on character development.   And what’s your favorite modern cartoon!  Welp until next time and thanks for reading.


Next time we talk about the more about importance of body language and facial expressions in animation!


How Shonen Anime Ruined An Entire Generation’s Understanding of Animation.

Hello my fellow Millenials, long time no post, sorry for that but i’m sure as you all know the world is continually going to Hell in a handbasket! But we’re not here for a geo-political rant today. No, just animation! Fun right!? Well yes and no. You see today we will be discussing how a specific genre of animation and comics has negatively effected many’s understanding of the mediums. So without further ado let’s get this controversial topic underway!

Animation at its core as the name implies is visual medium. It is the culmination of sound, color, music and movement on the screen to create a scene. It is an idea given life! A medium that can lead to infinite possibilities for creativity! But what happens when someone merely looks at animation through a narrow lense? Well you get Shonen anime.

Now if you’ll put down those pitchforks and allow me to explain I shall. Obviously as I just pointed out this is not a slight against Japanese animation as a whole but merely one genre. And this is solely based on how it has presented itself for decades and how it executes its narrative. So let’s dissect the problems with this particular pop-culture phenomenon.

First off, and the largest offense by far is the overabundance of exposistion. One of the great things about animation and comics is that you can use a multitude of tools to tell a story or set a scene. For many animations things like visual ques, music ques or a characters facial expressions & body language can say a mouthful without saying anything at all in both animation and comics. This is something that has been used in animated films and series from around the world for decades! Shonen anime and manga however forgo this by excessively narrating every little thing which is the equivalent to holding the audiences hand the entire way through. Of course in any narrative there can be a place for exposition but when the majority of your series is filled to the brim with it, it does become rather problematic and down right insulting to the audiance.

Another problem with this approach is that this narriration in part seems to be some pale attempt to justify the ridiculousness of what is going on in the panels or on the screen, which in itself is a ludicrous notion as animation and comics are supposed to be ridiculous! Trying to add some form of seriousness through excessive exposition only showcases the insecurities you have in your work. Animation is supposed to be whimsical and flat out insane. That is something that should be worn as a badge of honor. Not something you awkwardly try to justify! As Grant Morrison once wrote “an adult will ask why a crab is talking but a child will simply tell them because it’s a cartoon.”

This approach is also dangerous because it can dull viewers ability to pick up important moments brought on by by music or the importance of characters facial expressions and body language as was previously mentioned.

Then of course there’s the lack of proper symbolism. Look in contrast to series like Utena or even the much beloved FLCL or Evangelion which do weave important visual symbolism into the overall narrative. This is near absent in shonen and is not a good thing.

And of course the final offense is the fact most shonen anime are based on shonen comics which follow very rigid structures in how the narratives flow and play out. Moving from one story-arc to the next. Thus when an animated adaption does any story not directly adapted from that material it is considered “filler” and unimportant. This has led to a wider misconception that any episode of any animated series that doesn’t focus on an overarching narrative is “filler” which is innacurate and untrue as filler is not something that exist in Western or European animation. This narrow view on how stories can progress is more harmful to animation and comics is more harmful then helpful overall and shows a general lack of understanding of how animation and comics work as a medium as a whole.

Then of course there is how your typical shonen anime gets much less accomplished in its run time then most cartoons do in their 3-12 minutes, but that’s another rant for another time.

To end on a positive note however actual content creators today seem to do a good job of integrating the elements from anime *cough magical girl* cough and other mediums comics, cartoons, literature, film, etc. That fit their style of animating and storytelling quite well!

I should probably go deeper into animation theory as a whole, but I’m typing this on my phone and i’m sure you could find some books on the subject at your local library, so happy hunting!

In closing remember, you have every right to like whatever you wish, but it is important to acknowledge the faults and potentially dangerous flaws in the media we consume. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Modern Animation is Basically Fan-Fiction. And That’s A Good Thing!





OK, I know what you’re thinking, you look at the title of this article and shout  “This guy is insane!”  Comparing all the awesome toons we have now to pedestrian fan-fictions!?  How dare he!?   But I promise you dear reader that this is by no means an insult, in fact it’s a compliment, just….give me a chance to explain.




If you are an older millennial or Gen-Xer you probably remember how shows were back in the day.  Not saying they weren’t good, heck there’s a lot of great older toons out there, but it was quite obvious that they were scripted shows.  Heavy on exposition with the occasional stiff dialogue or cheesy uncle joke.  Action series, like DC & Marvel comic’s at the time followed a very rigid and strict structure and comedies while fairly witty at times also followed down a very narrow line of paths.  In modern times however we have seen a change in how content creators approach animated series.  While it is true these shows are still scripted out, the way in which dialogue is formed and even the way scenes are executed seems to have vastly changed over the course of the course of the decade.



The most notable change in writing is how characters dialogue seems to be more natural and organic.  animated television series aren’t afraid to have off-beat, awkward dry, and nerdy humor.  On top of this many animated series have been made with the characters as the main focus with the narrative and gags built around them to serve and develop them as opposed to the other way around which was arguably quite a common in many older series.    There is also a tendency to mix the tedium of daily life with the most extreme of fantastical occurrences (Such as the premier of Final Space where the lead character cared more about getting a cookie from the cafeteria and impressing his a woman who quite obviously hates him, despite all the over the top sci-fi antics abounding around him) creating both a nice relatibility and humanization of the characters while still making an interesting enough story for the viewer to remain engaged in and entertained by.   Series also aren’t afraid to have a deeper level of emotional aspects to their stories, series like Adventure Time, My Little Pony/Equestria Girls, Steven Universe and yes even We Bare Bears have all had heart-tugging and emotionally complex character and story moments during their runs.    Modern animation has truly redefined the level of depth writers can go to in the terms of both individual characters as well as character/group relationships and dynamics.


But how does this relate to fan-fiction you may ask?  Well the truth is fan-fics have been doing this for quite some time.   Many of the more well written works for franchises online (that aren’t just porn that is)  feature complex and in-depth emotional moments as well as just sweet mundane scenes and dialogues of the characters just enjoying daily life.  The fact that many modern animations don’t shy away from the more emotional or more slice of life moments as often as they used to really shows not only how far the medium has come, but also how the more flexible writing style of modern animated series has given writers and content creators a wider brush to paint their narratives with and greater ability to add more depth to their characters.


Also take into account many of the modern content creators were inspired by the things they were fans of growing up, be it Fantasy, Sci-fi, anime, hanna-barbera, video games, comics, film, what have you.  Modern content creators have taken their childhood loves and made wonderful original and revitalized content from inspiration of their own childhood loves, their own passions and fandoms.


So yes, in closing, modern animation, more so then ever before is fan-fiction, and that is by no means a bad thing!

18 Things To Look Forward To in 2018!

The new year is finally upon us and with it not only do we have a fresh start do do things better then we did last year, but also a years worth of new animations, comics, film and more to look forward to!  So without further ado, here are eighteen things to look forward to in 2018!  In no particular order other then how I feel talking about them.  So let’s get started!




  1. Mary & The Witches Flower.


The first feature length film by Studio Ponoc is getting an western release through GKids and Fhantom Events on January 18th and anyone who is a fan of animation should be excited about this one!   The film which more or less apes Studio Ghibli’s artstyle seems to be full of not just quality animation but a genuinly enjoyable story with a main protagonist attending a Harry Potter-esque school while also uncovering a dark secret.  The movie based on the children’s book by the same name will no doubt be a delight for animation and film goers of all ages!


2. The Snagglepuss Chronicles


DC Comics has been making the most of their rights to publish books based on the classic Hannah-Barbara Characters as of late with their HB Beyond line which takes the classic toons and revives them with a modern twist and Snagglepuss Chronicles is no different. The book features an even more anthropomorphized version of the classic pink cat who is a gay southern gothic playwright during the “Red Scare” period of American politics.  The series despite being set in the past is extremely relevant to the increasingly disturbing state of American politics as of present and is sure to be a poingent socio-political tale as well as one of the best comics of 2018. So if you are a fan of classic Hannah-Barbara characters and quality socio-political commentary I say check it out!



3. Craig of The Creek!


One of Cartoon Network’s new original series for 2018, Craig of The Creek is an animated slice of life adventure series about the titular Craig and his friends as the have various adventures in the forest nearby his neighborhood.   The show is more or less meant to be a stand in for the currently ending series Clarence though the visual style is more akin to that of Steven Universe and the general tone of the series going off the polite is far more relaxed and innocent.  Overall Craig of the Creek is another attempt at a modern version of a series similar to Reccess or Rugrats minus the occasionally manic tone of the latter, with seemingly a tiny bit of Bridge To Tarabithia thrown in, sans the sad parts of course.   If you are a fan of fun and relaxing toons I would definitely recommend checking it out!


4. Cosmo


The latest series for Archie’s all-ages action imprint. Cosmo is a revitalization of a silver age comic series brought back to life by popular Sonic Scribes like Ian Flynn, Tracy Yardly and more!  The series follows a young alien Cosmo and his crew as they go on various intergalactic adventures.  This series is just starting and if it’s anything like Ian and co’s past work it is no doubt to be a hit!  Infact the first issue came out this week so go to your LCS and pick up a copy why don’t yea!?


5. Black Lightning


The latest CW/DC Superhero series which premiers on January 16th stars the company’s first African American hero coming out of retirement to help save his home town from an ever growing criminal element he thought he had defeated.  The series is sure to be the most relevant and socio-political charged series in the DCTV Universe to date and you would be crazy to miss out on it!


6. Teen Titans GO! To The Movies!


While the television series is infamous for being rerun on CN far too often the fact its getting a movie could be good for animated films in the long run.  If this movie does well enough there is a chance WB could be open to more 2D &/or traditionally animated films in the future and possibly more animated films based on DC properties as well. So even if you hate how much CN airs the show on TV, i’d say at least give the movie a chance. I mean, c’mon you do want that Young Justice movie someday…right!?


7. Equestria Girls: Digital Series


The Doug Meets Sailor Moon style Spin-off of My Little Pony which features the characters as candy colored magical teenage girls instead of sentient magical horses recently received a digital series that will be having a new episode every week throughout most of 2018.  With a first season spanning forty-five episodes and a second season currently in production fans of these ponies turned teens are sure to have plenty of laughs and friendship lessons for sometime to come.  *If the Discovery Family App would stop leaking them before they get their YouTube premier that is*


8. Krypton


The long awaited series about The House of El and Superman’s home world pre-explosion is finally going to premiere in March of 2018.  The series has been loosely described as “Game of Thrones in Space” and while that will most likely end up being a bit of an exaggeration the series is sure to intrigue Superman fans both young and old.


9. Bingo Love

bingo love

An original Graphic novel by Tee Franklin and Jeen St-Onge showcasing the life of a same-sex couple from 1963 to the present day, Bingo Love seems to be setting itself up to be an important and heart warming love story for the ages.


10.  BumbleBee


A Transformers Movie focusing on a fan favorite character and NOT directed by Micheal Bay!?  This could be a TF fans dream if things come true and with some of the same talent that worked on Kubo & The Two Strings behind the helm we might just get our first genuinely good live action Transformers film!  Fingers crossed!


11.  Summercamp Island


Yet another Cartoon Network Original Project Summercamp Island is a surrealist slice of life fantasy series about two friends at their first summercamp which is much more than meets the eye.  With a visual style hearkening back to old Nick Jr. series such as The Busy world of Richard Scary and Little Bear and a cute meet weird style reminiscent of Adventure Time I have no doubt that Summercamp Island will be another hit for the network!


12. Aquaman


The King of the seas is finally getting his own film and with this James Wan helmed film we are no doubt going to get an entirely new take on DC’s classic character!


13. Sailor Moon: Eternal Edition


A new deluxe edition style re-release of the classic Sailor Moon manga with a new translation, color pages and more.  This is the definitive edition of the Sailor Moon manga and a must have for fans of the pretty sailor gaurdians


14. Miles Morales: Spider-Man


Sony Animation’s first super-hero film may just end-up being their best film in years!  Though it still doesn’t make up for that gosh awful Emoji Movie!


15. Persephone


An original graphic novel taking inspiration from greco-roman mythology sure to delight readers of all ages!


16.  Unikitty


The popular Cartoon Cat-Unicorn and her friends from the LEGO Movie finally have their own cartoon and it is awesomedorable!


17. Sonic The Hedgehog

IDW Sonic

IDW is bringing back the 90’s gaming Icon in comic form and it’s sure to be a blast for readers young and old!


18. Black Panther


I may despise Disney but even I realize the success of this film is bigger then one studio.  Black Panther performing well could mean a better chance of more diverse and progressive leads in films to come.  Plus it might finally convince DC to green-light a Vixen or Static Shock flick, so there’s that as well.



And ther you have it.  Eighteen things to look forward to in 2018!  There will of course be plenty more to enjoy that’s not on this list but this should be a fun little taste none the less. Happy new year everyone!

Monopolies Are Bad! How A Disney/20th Century FOX Merger Would Ruin The Movie Industry And Weaken Anti-Trust Laws.




Hello Friends, long time no post.  Well here we all are again in the absolute most ridiculous of timelines, and that’s putting things nicely.  Today we are here to talk about a very important subject, and this is how monopolizing an industry hurts that industry and the economy in the long run.  So get your herbal tea and stress ball ready because it is going to be a bumpy ride.




Not to long ago the Department of Justice struck down a merger deal between AT&T & Warner Bros. This thankfully prevented AT&T having a monopoly over cable and other services.  After that Matel rejected a buy out bid from Hasbro preventing the company from having a monopoly on the toy industry.  Sadly however there seems to be no one against the rather unholy union of 20th Century Fox and The Walt Disney Corporation.  While it is true Disney is only interested in buying out FOX’s movie studios and related assets this still puts the entirety of the movie industry at risk as collectively in any given year Walt Disney can make up a good 20%-30% of the annual box office intake world wide with 20th Century FOX averaging at another 20%.  This would mean if the merger did go through and Disney remained in charge of all the properties that 20th Century FOX makes movies for they would have control of roughly 40%-50% of the annual box office putting them at an unfair advantage over other studios like Paramount, Sony & Warner Bros.


This merger would also effect smaller studios like Blue Sky that distribute their animated films through 20th Century FOX.  They would most likely have to find a new distributor for their films, which while hardly the most difficult thing to do could still end up leading to the shuffling around or pushing back of upcoming releases.  Comic book publishers like Dark Horse that deal with various FOX properties such as Aliens, Buffy, Firefly, Predator etc would most likely have to renegotiate deals or might end up losing the rights to the properties all together which would leave them with another heavy blow after Disney already cost them their rights to the Star Wars comics after the Lucas Films buyout years prior.


This buyout which would lead to a disruption and upset of licensing and distribution of properties could also lead to other pseudo-monopolies among Disney’s competitors as to no matter who ends up with the distribution rights to Blu-Sky’s films they would have an extra arm in animation.  For example if Universal got distribution rights to Blu Sky films they would then be releasing animated films for not only Blu-Sky but for Dreamworks and Illumination Entertainment as well, meaning you would have three different studios under one umbrella, even if they didn’t technically own all of them, it would still put the competition at a slight disadvantage.  In terms of licenses many companies work with the Alien & Predator Licenses as well as the Planet of The Apes.  Even if Disney sells off these I.P.’s like scraps to other studios in an attempt to balance things out it will cause countless companies to have to renegotiate with new owners either  way.


It is also worth noting that as corporations get bigger they take less risks which can lead to less diverse and experimental content being created which leads to flandarization of output which can lead to a saturation and decline into the quality, creativity and diversity of the products produced.  Healthy competition keeps these studios on their toes and can make them more likely to take risks, without that you risk the further degradation of the art of cinema among other things.


The allowance of this buyout also shows how hypocritical and corrupt both Disney and the current political administration continue to be as the DOJ was all to eager to strike down the AT&T/Warner merger due to it’s hatred of CNN, but will shamelessly allow the passing of a Disney/20th Century FOX merger merely because the mouse and the companies it already owns are such good friends with the 1% the same way higher-ups at FOX are.  This shows the further degradation of both our federal government and our capitalistic society as Disney crawls ever closer to a disturbing dystopian mega-corp!


So I beg you all to look past your juvenile fanboyish enthusiasm of seeing The Avengers & The X-Men in the same movie and realize this for what it is.  An attempted monopolization of the movie industry by a company that is the film world equivalent of the Republican Party.  A monster of a mouse that while not as bigoted is just as brutish & greedy doing everything it can to dominate an industry.  Despite the fond memories Disney may have given you as a child it is not your friend and it never was, like a corrupt politician you are just a number to it.  Do not support this merger and speak out against it just as you would the current corrupt administration or the stooges at the FCC trying to take away our Net Neutrality, don’t put the entirety of the movie industry and the continued existence of Anti-Trust laws at risk over something so petty!


In closing, monopolies are always bad, and you’re mouse is a rat!

Thoughts on: How To Improve Cinematic Universes



For better or worse Cinematic Universes are becoming an ever prominent part of the modern movie goers cinematic diet.  And like with any other form of art and entertainment each has their own strengths and weaknesses, though what those are will of course vary from person to person.  However as a fellow purveyor of the cinematic arts I though I would give my two cents on how studios, critic and fans alike could possibly improve on these in the future.  So without further ado, lets get things started.




  1. Accept That Different Tones are Good & Necessary.

One of the sad truths of cinematic universes is that they can all to easily become rather repetitive or monotone in nature.  This can be in the form of being far to light hearted or “fun” as some call it, or far to grim & dower.  This is rather restrictive as many times the comics or properties these universes are based on have many characters with content of various tones and themes.  Not every movie needs to be light hearted and “fun” or dark, serious and philosophical.  There is room for both extremes mind you, but like the characters themselves the movies should be able to have more then one tone to them.  For example, it is OK to make a movie about Thor more serious then a movie about the Guardians of The Galaxy, even though Marvel sadly doesn’t seem to think that is the case.  On the DC side of things if they ever made a Blue Beetle & Booster Gold movie, I would expect it to be more comedic and light hearted then a Batman or Deathstroke movie.  It is important to make the tone of the film match the tone of the character as opposed to everything having to fit into a narrow “fun & lighthearted” or “dark & serious” extreme.  Superheroes have a very diverse range of tones for stories and Hollywood would be wise to explore more of these, and critics and fans would be wise as to be more open minded to superhero stories with these characters that don’t just follow the generic MCU mold.


2. Stop The Juvenile Fan Wars.

Fans on both sides of the fence, be it the MCU or DCEU have become highly toxic towards each other as well as to themselves.  what is even worse is so called professional critics also engage in this ridiculous behavior to fan the flames of drama and controversy thus like a cruel right wing politician legitimatize and normalize such juvenile and toxic behaviors amongst both fan and critic communities which is unhealthy not just for set fan bases but for CBM’s, cinematic universes and the art of cinema as a whole.  This false sense of elitism and pointless desire to create division and rivalries where none are needed is as old as human culture itself, but like with any part of life it serves no purpose but to harm and like with those other aspects it must be fought against and stopped.


3. Do More Then Just Superheroes

As much as I love comic books and superheroes there is potential for non CBM universes as well.  Decades of animation, film and literature have also provided ample opportunity for cinematic universes based on beloved cartoon and movie properties of the past, and if utilized properly and given to diverse voices to direct and produce you could make unique and entertaining worlds for all to enjoy with them.


and finally


4. More Diversity in Directorial Positions and Film Decisions.

Despite what the bigots of the world may say, diversity is a natural part of the human experience and a natural part of life in general.  So yes we do need more movies with female directors, more movies by Men & Women of color, Asian, Hispanic, middle eastern and LBGTQ directors, writers, producers and staff.  We need diverse heroes like Static Shock, Vixen, Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl, Miles Morales, The Ray, Midnighter & Apallo, etc .



Overall I believe these small changes and acknowledgements could greatly improve the future of CBM’s and cinematic universes in general.  But hey, that’s just my 2-cents.

My Little Pony The Movie (2017) Review

My Little Pony and all related works are property of Allspark Pictures/Hasbro & Lionsgate

Warning: Spoilers. Adorable Spoilers!


A Reformed Tempest Shadow Helps Twilight & The Rest of The Mane-6 Restore The Kingdom’s Lost Magic




On October 6th 2017 The My Little Pony movie based on the popular Saturday morning cartoon of the same name opened up in theatres nationwide to the excitement of not only hardcore fans of the series but to animation fans as well as it was the first traditional/2D animated film to be seen in theatres since 2011’s “Winnie The Pooh”.  And while the movie was of course like many non-Disney animations crucified by critics, there may just be more to this fun little romp through the magical land of Equestria then so called professionals give it credit for.  Lets take a look and see if Friendship really is magic or if magic talking horses are a bit too 80’s for modern audiences.




The film starts out with a delightfully cheesy ponified version of “We Got The Beat” as a group of Peguses, pegausi(?) fly towards the capital city of Canterlot and we see a multitude of the candy colored ponies of this world doing so as well as dialogue filled with ridiculous horse puns abounds.  Once the opening music dies down we get the story started as Twilight is nervous about her meeting with Celestia, Luna and Cadence, the nations rulers (yes like with Transformers Hasbro likes to put politics and economics into their toy based worlds) to help get their approval for the final touches on her Friendship Festival. She of course gets rejected as they tell her she can make the party great on her own. This leads to her meeting with her friends and into the first big musical number.  And overall while this set-up is admitingly simple and cliché and this does lead to the first six or so minutes of the movie being far too saccharine and sweet it is all a purposeful deception to help make the juxtaposition of the introduction of the film’s villains even more poiganat.




As soon as the party begins a dark black cloud of smog is seen overhead as a steampunk style zeppelin lands in front of the crowd and this is where the story really kicks off.  A tyrant named the Storm King has sent his commander a scarred unicorn with a broken horn named Tempest to interrupt the festivities and demand the rulers magic.  This of course goes about as you would expect as they refuse to cooperate and Tempest and her army of yeti like Storm beasts begin their attack with Twilight and her friends narrowly escaping leading to the grand adventure that makes up the rest of the film as they travel beyond their utopia’s borders to the world beyond to find help.




Overall in terms of story the movie is pretty straight forward.  Heroes taken by surprise by big bad and having to go on epic adventure across dangerous fantasy world to find whatever person or mcguffin can save their kingdom.  Nothing new but the film still manages to make the concept work well enough none the less. It also doesn’t idle as it like the upbeat and fast paced songs throughout it is determined to hit beat after beat of the story on point. Which while frustrating at times as it seems it is causing some of these new locals and environments to go to waste, it does help keep viewers on the edge of their seat throughout as it gives you the sense that you too are doing your best to stay one step ahead of the villains.


Speaking of villains the antagonists of this film are very well done overall.  Tempest Shadow is actually a well defined villain, looking past her over edgelord appearance for  such a cutesy series her imputes for her actions actually makes her character work quite well.  After being abandoned by her friends and presumably family as well after an Ursa  (A giant bear made of stardust) attack left her with a scar and a broken horn as a child she left her homeland in hopes of seeking out a way to restore what she had lost.  This makes the character of Tempest rather sympathetic despite her initial cruel nature. She is an individual that was the victim of a traumatic event that effected her physiologically as well as psychologically and was abandoned by her friends when she needed them most, thus causing her rather dark outlook on life and her resentment towards her people.



The Storm King Mocks Twilight & Tempest as he prepares to create the ultimate storm.


The Storm King while much more 1 dimensional also serves a purpose as a looming threat to the land.  And when he makes his full appearance we see the reason for his character.  Just as Tempest represents loss the Storm King, a large white monkey like creature represents greed and cruelty as his only desire in life is ultimate power and he doesn’t care who he has to hurt or how many nations he has to conquer to attain that.  In terms of personality he is flamboyant yet menacing, and overall while he may not have as much depth as Tempest, what he represents does. The Storm King is arguably an analogy for the dangers of colonialization, capitalism and white supremacy as again we see from his actions in the film he cares about no one but himself and will betray even his own commander and non chelauntly put his solders in harms way just to get his way.  So yes, while he may not be as well defined as Tempest, his message still rings quite clear.


As for the other new characters introduced in the film, while they may only be plot devices to move the story forward their personalities and designs still shine through.  Capper is a suave conman cat who could just as easily fit in a classic WB or Disney animation as he does this film. Captain Celano and the rest of her pirate parrots are visually appealing characters and Princess Skystar and her Mother Queen Nuvo have a nice contrast against one another as the young princess of the Seaponies bubbly and energetic personality seems to be quite annoying to her much more serious mother. Overall while these may not be the most well developed characters you do get a good sense of their personalities and the film does give them all ample screen time alongside the mane six.


In terms of animation, while not the most beautifully animated feature the use of Toon Boom does make the movie more visually in depth then its Satam toon counterpart which is primarily animated in Flash.  Though admitingly the colors aren’t quite as bright or vibrant because of this.  It does however give a more genuinely cinematic and timeless feel to the adventure which helps immerse the viewer into the world as it unfolds.  On top of that the character’s facial expressions and movements while a bit more subdued do feel more organic and sincere which helps the emotional beats come off as more powerful then usual.  The only real problem is some of the CGI backgrounds for areas like Canterlot & the desert city of Klugetown do look a bit unrefined in comparison to the 2D characters and landscapes.  Overall though the animation is a step above the television show which does help the film in the long run.


The music is honestly the main event of the film however, as the songs while quick and upbeat are all inspiring, heartfelt and catchy.  And even the more somber ones like Tempest Shadow’s menacing and “Be Prepared” inspired number “Open Up Your Eyes” and Sia’s melancholic “Rainbow” are songs that will be stuck in your head for quite some time.  Infact, like Moana before it all the songs are well worth listening to on repeat ad nauseam, especially Pinkie & Skystar’s adorable “One Small Thing” Number.



In closing, while the My Little Pony movie may be seen as just a shameless cash grab by ever aging and outdated critics, unlike other toy or app based films you can see a genuine amount of effort and heart was put into it’s creation just like the Discovery Family cartoon it is based on.  Like Princess & The Frog before it, while it may not break any box office records, currently being at only a little over $28 million world wide, it does show there is still a need for traditional/2D animation in cinemas.  And like the Disney & DreamWorks films of the mid to late 90’s it is most definitely worth a watch for animation fans of all ages.



Final Grade

Story: 8 Out of 10

Animation: 7 Out of 10

Music: 10 out of 10

Overall: 8.5 Out of 10.


My Little Pony The Movie is now playing in Theatres Nationwide.



LEGO Ninjago Movie Review

Ninjago & all related elements are the property of LEGO/Warner Animation Group

Warning: This post contains spoilers.



Back in mid-September the LEGO Ninjago movie opened up in cinemas nationwide.  And while it opened with little competition it also sadly seemed to open-up to little fanfare as well.  But is the film really the dud mainstream critics say it is, or is it just a different kind of playset.  Let’s dive in and take a look shall we.




In terms of story the film does seem to be a bit more reserved then the previous two LEGO films trading an over the top adventure for a slightly more down to earth and self-contained tale about a teenage boy named Lloyd having to lead a double life as a regular highschool student and leader of Ninjago’s ninja heroes that protect the city from the nefarious Lord Garmadon.  The twist being that Garmadon is actually Lloyd’s father and his civilian self is constantly belittled and ridiculed by his neighbors and classmates for being the son of the villain with many stating “his dad ruins everything”  And this overall ends up being the impetus of the films story.  Lloyd trying to reconcile his feelings towards his father and wanting to understand why the villain abandoned he and his mother.  Thankfully he gets a chance to confront these feelings and his father after the dreaded Meowthra, a giant cat is unleashed on Ninjago and the group of Ninja along with Garmadon have to go on an adventure through the jungle to find some mystical McGuffins to stop the beast.


Overall the story of the film is an interesting one, like the first LEGO film it focuses on a strained relationship between a father and a son though this time completely within the confines of the LEGO world.  The real world only being set-up pieces for the start and end of the film.  And while the story may not be as energetic and extravagant as previous pieces, it still manages to do what it needs to do quite well, even if it is more subdued then past installments.


The animation for the film is of course the next area of note.  The overall visual style of the movie is indeed the same as previous LEGO films using a modified CG animation to give an authentic LEGO feel. However it is somewhat obvious the film didn’t have quite as extravagant a budget as the past two installments as some character movements do look a bit stiff, even by LEGO standereds.  That said however the mix of non-LEGO made backgrounds in world does give it a somewhat unique and organic feel that helps the movie stand out enough to make it as visually appealing as its older siblings.


The voice cast aslo does a phenomenal job as Dave Franco’s performance as Lloyd is a solid portrayal of a moody angsting teen and Justin Theroux does a great Will Ferrel meets Saturday morning cartoon villain for Garmadon.  Abbi Jacobson, Zack Woods and co also help give life to the rest of the Ninja friends that come along for the ride.  And Jackie Chan is a serviceable Master Wu.


At the end of the day while LEGO Ninjago may not be the strongest installment in Warner Bros. LEGOverse, it is still a decently enjoyable and worthwhile endeavor, that like past films preaches the importance of family and friends. As well as teaching viewers that no matter what others say you can work to better yourself as a person and a parent.


Final Grade

Story: 7

Animation: 7

Overall 7 out of 10.

Critique VS Criticism: The Ever Changing Art of The Review.



Criticism is as old as the arts themselves.  We humans love to voice our opinions on the world around us just as much as we enjoy taking in all the sights and sounds.  However over the past century with the advent of things such as film and television we have seen much of our efforts in this aspect dedicated to both the analytical dissection of these mediums as well as the unabashed praising or crucifixion of works depending on our outlook of them.  In modern times with the advent of the internet age any of us for better or worse have the ability to do this with ease. “Everyone is a critic” as we finally see the old saying come to fruition.  While this can be a positive thing as it helps give us a diverse range of voices and opinions towards a work I also personally feel there has been a negative effect to this as well in regards to the actual profession of film criticism.


In theory a proper critique of a film is an analytical dissection of the work, with the reviewer going through and sharing what they saw as strengths and weaknesses in the film and giving their piece on what possible paths could be taken to avoid any potential repeats of these mistakes in the future.  While still subjective as all opinions are a professional critique is meant to be more or less similar to a teacher grading or reviewing a students work.  It is meant to come from a good and helpful place, it is meant to be a way for those who enjoy a form of art to contribute their voice to help it grow and improve in the future.  More or less critique is meant to be a good thing, not a bad, even if the overall review of a work is more negative than positive, it still comes from a good place.  This however no longer seems to be true in modern film reviews for the most part as helpful critique is far too often set aside for more brash, cruel and mean-spirited criticism on sites for easy clicks.


Modern film Criticism often goes beyond helpful or professional analytical critique as many big sites and names put aside calm professionalism and instead bathe in the volatility and toxic miasma of modern internet culture. And while a desire to be more casual and honest with ones opinions is indeed admirable, the fact that for better or worse many of these professional critics and big sites can have an effect on the box office of a film to some degree is a dangerous thing given the fact that there is increasingly blurred line between a traditional “professional critic” and the rest of us ranting and raving on our blogs, twitter & YouTube channels.   The truth is though we need that divide stable to some degree. We need film critics to be more analytical and balanced in their criticism of film instead of spending so much time and effort to attempting to destroy a film before it even comes out or attacking it or anyone who enjoys it long after it  is released.  Again, critique should come from a good place, a desire to see the form of art you enjoy improve and succeed in the future.  I know all to well film can easily disappoint and emotions are just as much as part of what make a film good or bad for us as the characters and the narrative.  But even with that in mind it is important for mainstream critics to be better then the rest of us on the internet, for their reviews to not be born out of spite, but to come from a place of good intent the same way a good teacher would want a student to improve.


In closing I beseech thee dear reader to take all reviews in modern time be they from some nobody like me or a big wig on Variety or Rotten Tomatoes with a hefty cup of tea. At the end of the day art in any form will always be subjective and no one can truly decide weather a film is good or bad in your eyes but you.  In an age when very few critics are much better than a twelve year old or a madman like myself rambling on twitter, the best person to trust about your feeling towards a film, be it positive or negative is indeed yourself.