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Review: Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Last October 7th, Shout! Factory released Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart for home video, via a Blu-Ray Combo pack that includes a DVD and a Digital copy as well. The French animated film might not be come with as much prestige as one would expect from CG animated features that came from the major studios, but its roots are by no means less impressive – Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is based on the concept album from French rock band Dionysos and the illustrated novel La Mecanique du Coeur, which is written by the band’s lead singer Mathias Malzieu. Produced by Luc Besson’s company, the film also features stunning voicework from Les Miserables’ Samantha Barks and The Game of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley.

Review: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty – Diamond Edition Blu-Ray, Digital HD

Last October 7, Disney once again opened its vaults in order to release their iconic take on the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, as a Diamond Edition superset, which includes Blu-Ray, Digital HD, and VOD via Disney Movies Anywhere. The release is notable enough on its own, but made even more so by the fact that it marks the first time the film will be released on Digital HD, with polished sound and picture quality that will make it fit in with modern releases.

REVIEW: Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-Ray/DVD

A month ago, the hilarious and completely mathematical fourth season of Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time has been released on Blu-Ray and DVD formats. Aptly titled Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season, the set packs in all 26 episodes that make up the fourth season of the multi-award winning animated series, along with a few bonus content by way of exclusive featurettes and commentaries.

Any Adventure Time fan already knows what they’re going to get with the fourth season; Finn and his best friend Jake are still exploring the Land of Ooo! And having as much fun possible, coming across various regular characters like Princess Bubblegum. The Ice King, or Marceline the Vampire Queen, while facing deadly challenges at every turn. It’s typical (by typical, we meant Awesome!) ADVENTURE TIME. What’s in question is whether the Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-Ray/DVD is worth it.

Disney’s Hercules Comes Out on Blu-Ray for The First Time

This coming August 12th, Walt Disney will be releasing five classic films that have never been released on Blu-Ray before, including the animated take on the Greek divine hero Heracles, or more commonly known as Hercules.

Disney is known for taking creative liberties when adapting stories and fairytales, mostly to make them more palatable to their target audience. Hercules is a great example of this, as the character is depicted as clean shaven, red (orange, actually)-haired and a gentleman. Disney’s Hercules is more Superman than brusque, brutish, and bearded demigod.

That’s not to say that they’ve made a completely new mythos and just slapped the Hercules name on top – Disney preserved some of the more important aspects of the Hercules story: he’s Zeus’ son, raised on Earth, extremely strong, and awkwardly doing heroic stuff just to impress his father and earn his place in Mount Olympus. Along the way, he finds out about Hades’ evil plan to take over Mount Olympus and usurp Zeus so he and his pals muscle up and try to throw a wrench in the evil god’s plans.

On the whole, Disney’s Hercules is more of a superhero film than a real adaptation of the mythology. As mentioned above, some of the more important aspects of Hercules and the Greek gods were preserved, but characteristics, motivations, and even alignments were changed (for instance, Hades isn’t really an out-and-out mastermind villain in Greek mythology, if at all) in order to simplify things and make sure it’s clear who you’re supposed to root for and why.

Disney’s Tarzan on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital Copy

Fans of the Tarzan story will finally be able to watch Disney’s take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ iconic yarn about an orphan who was raised by animals and ended up becoming the de facto king of the jungle.

Disney is known for changing aspects (even major ones) of stories and fairy tales in order to make it more family-friendly or at least commercially viable but they do have a knack for preserving the basic framework of the source material. This is the case with Tarzan. Disney’s version of Tarzan also starts with the baby Tarzan being adopted by a family of Gorillas, and follows him into adulthood until the arrival of humans and the problem it causes Tarzan – namely the need to choose between the conflicting worlds of a civilized life with the beautiful Jane or the safe and comfortable existence with his adoptive family.

Go Watch Anime

 

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I’m a huge anime fan. Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you the same thing. So it’d be kind of surprising to learn that I wasn’t always into anime. In fact, I used to dislike it. It wasn’t until my curiosity got the better of me, that I finally decided to explore what anime really was. And ever since then, I’ve been hooked. But, I’m not here to preach to you about my love of anime. No, I’m here to get you to start watching anime, right now. I honestly believe that anyone who is into good story telling, and hasn’t seen some anime, should correct that immediately. Even if you don’t care about “good story telling,” you should still look at some anime because a lot of it is simply awesome. If you’re interested in getting started but have no clue how, fear not! I will provide a step by step guide to assist you. So please, continue reading.

Superman Retrospective ’86 – ’99 pt. 7

You can check out the previous installments of this rather lengthy series here.

Adventures of Superman #430

Adventures of Superman #430

Clark Kent goes through a bunch of personal problems in this issue, the first one as a result of missing a bunch of Daily Planet assignments because he was too busy flying around in his underwear and punching stuff. On top of that, he was also busy organizing his parents’ anniversary in Smallville but missed out on the party itself because he was too busy losing a fight against the C-list supervillain group the Fearsome Five.

The Fearsome Five is worth noting – they are enemies of the Teen Titans, but they ended up losing so much to the teenagers that they decided to pack up and go – all three of them. Did I mention that there are only three of them left but they kept the “Five” in their name? Maybe thinking of a new name is hard. Or maybe they’ve already created a website and paid for a domain name in advance and they don’t want that to go to waste.

So, anyway, The Fearsome Five, the geniuses that they are – decide that they have had enough of getting their asses kicked by the Teen Titans so they moved to Metropolis, which is home to a superhero who’s ten times more powerful than all the members of Teen Titans combined and it surprisingly worked well enough in their favor: because Superman is powered by rainbows, and when he’s sad there is nothing in the sky but rain.

Superman Retrospective ’86 – ’99 pt. 4

You can check out the previous installments of this rather lengthy series here: http://www.toonbarn.com/tag/mxysuperman/

Superman #3

Superman 3

This issue has Darkseid, who is the ruler of the butt-end of the universe a.k.a. Apokolips, enacting a nefarious plan in which he transports Superman to his planet using some sort of teleport beam or something. However, the mighty Darkseid is completely baffled by the fact that his teleporting rays didn’t bring Superman over. Instead, it brought some random jerk named Clark Kent. So he chooses to toss Clark into the place called Armaghetto, which is basically like a ghetto, but crappier and infested by a race of aggressive space bums and beggars.

Despicable Me 2 Blu Ray and DVD Review

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I doubt that there are many people who missed out on Despicable Me 2’s Blu Ray and DVD Release last December 10, owing to the fact that it has recently broken Blu-Ray and Digital Sales records with an $80M home video debut (source: Deadline.com), but in case you’re one of those few people on the fence on whether the return of Gru, his cute adopted daughters and his even cuter yellow minions are worth owning on home video, read on.

Planes Released Today on DVD and Blu-Ray; ToonBarn Review

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Disney’s heartwarming family comedy, Planes, revved up with high-flying action and adventure, lands in homes and mass retailers nationwide on November 19th. This endearing underdog story about a crop dusting plane named Dusty with sky-high dreams touches down on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand featuring a cargo hold full of exciting bonus features. Guaranteeing hours of fun, Planes is the perfect gift for “ladies and gentle-planes” of all ages this holiday season.

To view a full 8-minute sneak peek of the film, please watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBi4FWOgNPc

The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation – Great Reading for Any Fan

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When I was a little girl, I dreamed of working on a Peanuts special. I didn’t know how to get a job with the magical studio that made these specials – I assumed you had to look in the newspaper for a secret, hidden ad or ask your mom to call somebody in Hollywood and tell them you’d be the perfect Sally. I’m well beyond the appropriate age now, but I still think about it now and then. It sure would’ve been nice.

For those Peanuts fans who lived their pipe dreams through holiday reruns and stuffed Snoopy dolls, The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation: Celebrating Fifty Years of Television Specials is a great way to learn about the people behind the movies and specials. Don’t know the name behind the first voice of Charlie Brown? You will now. Want to know how difficult it is to draw Linus or Lucy? This book may give you the answer you seek.

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