Animation movies

Five must-see movies on Disney+ in May 2022

With summer on the horizon and the kids about to need something to do for the next three months without school, Disney+ is inevitably going to prove to be a boon for parents nationwide. It’s obviously not a catch-all replacement for outdoor play, structured activities and the like, but for time-pressed parents who need to find something for their little ones to do for two hours of fun. in a row, there’s hardly a better choice out there. Filled to the brim with viewing options for every age group – not to mention an abundance of educational programs if you want them to at least maintain the pretensions of summer learning – you better crack up now if you want to get through it all by fall.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Written by revered genre filmmaker Stewart Gordon (who was also set to direct before a sudden illness forced him to give up the director’s chair to future Captain America helmsman Joe Johnston), his dark, fantastical, and often quite gruesome sensibilities are undoubtedly castigated throughout in this over-the-top family comedy about an absent-minded genius who accidentally shrinks his children and loses them in their now giant yard. The newest fans Ant-Man (2015) will recognize much of this film’s DNA that returns here, to the practical, forced-perspective effects of redwood-sized blades of grass, dinosaur-like ants and other near-nightmarish visions swollen to the monolithic scale.

Mulan (1998)

Hollywood has rarely done the films it has made right, let alone centered, on Asian characters. Actress Anna May Wong is remembered today, if ever, less for being the first Chinese-born Hollywood star than for losing the lead role in The Good Ground (1937) to a yellow-faced white woman (because placing an actual Asian actress opposite a yellow-faced Paul Muni would have violated the Hays Code’s anti-miscegenation provisions). It therefore seems all the more important to celebrate the rare occasions when the industry manages to get it right. Example : Mulane, the Renaissance classic depicting the determined, capable, and incredibly cunning warrior to stave off a hostile invasion and save China. Although still viewed through an incredibly Western lens, the story features one of the most dynamic heroines of Disney’s 1990s heyday and one of its most thrilling, action-packed stories of all. weather. And despite a few missteps along the way, the film truly remains an entertaining, non-exotic portrayal of one of the world’s most time-tested stories.

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The years have been exceptionally good for the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Though hardly the masterpieces that the franchise’s original three were, these one-of-a-kind bluescreen CGI and digital camera tech demos held up surprisingly well, with no less than The Last Jedi (2017) director Rian Johnson himself once claimed that they were instrumental in teaching an entire generation how fear of loss can turn even good people into fascists (something I think we’ve all learned first-hand over the past decade of far-right populism in world politics). And while all three films are filled with crippling issues both in front of and behind the camera, the third film was where it all finally ended: the tragic last days of the Old Republic, the final descent of Anakin Skywalker in Darth Vader and the Inevitable, a harrowing confrontation between Master and Apprentice amid the fires of a fascist insurrection.

Doctor Strange (2016)

With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) finally screened in multiplexes around the world, Marvel fans can finally see what Scott Derrickson, Sam Raimi and Wanda Vision was built after all this time. Before you experience Doctor Strange’s latest cross-dimensional adventure on the big screen, it would behoove you to return to where its story began: the original, unassuming, stumbling adventure that showed us just how much a director with vision could do to the world. inside the Marvel machinery. Director Scott Derrickson’s wildly inventive brand of cinematography resulted in kaleidoscopic chase scenes, rewind climaxes, and an insatiably clever wizarding duel for the ages.

Going Red (2022)

An obvious choice for Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pixar’s latest joint is a nostalgic throwback to the early 2000s just as much as a meditation on family, identity, and endlessly recapitulated generational trauma. Its seamless blend of animation styles is reminiscent of recent masterpieces like Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021) while still working in his own little piece of unclaimed territory. Her candid portrayal of a young woman’s coming of age is as refreshing to see on screen as it is true to the lived realities of women everywhere. The larger group of friends the film follows feel far more complete and nuanced as individual characters than American animation usually bothers to portray. It’s, in short, an utterly delightful story that stands out as the best movie of the year so far (and by a pretty wide margin to boot).