The Grinch

He’s green, he’s hairy and he’s in a bad mood; he’s The Grinch.

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This revamped version of a classic Christmas tale, let’s the animation do the talking, as CGI takes the responsibility of creating the magically splendid winter wonderland that is the Whoville The Grinch knows and hates.

Benedict Cumberbatch swipes the infamous green bodysuit from under Jim Carey’s (2000) feet as he takes on The Grinch’s persona, voicing the character with an intense concoction of sarcastic skepticism with a dash of Grooge-ish hate.

The Grinch, as always, is accompanied by his loyal dog, Max, who provides many a comedic scene throughout the film, as well as creating multiple heart-melting moments using those all-powerful puppy eyes, which somehow look even more menacing through the art of animation.

Christmas cheer may be The Grinch’s worst fear, but this reimagination of a Dr. Seuss’ classic is bound to make even the grumpiest of hearts grow three times in size.

Trolls

Those little tyrants with wacky hair have made a comeback and branched out onto the big screen to fuel a clumsily colourful adventure. 

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Trolls, as you can imagine, is a sickeningly happy film, jam packed full of singing and dancing, a feature that is not even compromised in the face of death. 

Luckily though Justin Timberlake’s character, Branch, is there to inject a much needed dose of scepticism and doom.

Despite the films overall rainbows and unicorns vibe, the film isn’t overly unbearable in its conception. Mainly due to the fact that the undertones of sarcasm and non-stop use of inappropriate puns is enough to diffuse any possibility of seriousness. This of course only adds to the films endearing quality, which I’m sure was the intention of Director, Garth Jennings, who wanted to appeal not only to a younger audience, but their parents as well.

With the witty writing of the script, the lovable warmth of the characters and the instantly catchy soundtrack it would be an insult not to mention the quality of the animation itself, which by the way is phenomenal. 

Aside from the impressive array of colours used throughout the film, it is the textures used to create the animation that truly impresses. The very fact that I, as an audience, am able to ascertain that an animated character is wearing clothes made from a felt-like material is beyond satisfying, because such a level of detail is hard pressed to find even among the most successful of animation studios. 

Kubo and the Two Strings

It’s not exactly the most conventional of family animations, but at least it wins on originality. 

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Dreamworks have always been lagging behind in the animation game, not that you can blame them with rivals as big as Disney. But recently they’ve really upped their game with features such as The Secret Life of Pets. And this film is no exception. 

Though the film itself gives the impression of static animation, the script that forms this epic story is undeniably unique; taking a culture often left to its own and turning it into a wild and emotional story is not only genius but unprecedented in current cinema culture.

Kubo is a young Japanese boy who apart from having one less eye than his peers, has an incredible talent for telling the most engrossing stories, a trait that is hereditary in his family. 

Though young Kubo soon finds out, to his dismay, that what he believed were stories from his over-zealous imagination are actually real life tales, that are endangering both himself and his family. So what better way to fight these unrelenting stories than to team up with a talking monkey and a beetle-human and battle them.

The story of Kubo and the Two Strings is based upon Japanese folklore, and is a true picture of the stories that have been passed down through Japanese families for generations.

Whilst this film can be praised for its originality, its ability to capture a young audience is debatable in parts because its adult tones that probably scare rather than engross most children due to the dark atmospheric basis it is formed from; which to be fair is probably the intention that was derived from the folklore.