Season Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the latest miniseries for the Star Wars franchise for Disney+ and was written by Joby Harold and directed by Deborah Chow. It features the return of Ewan McGregor as the titular character, Hayden Christiansen and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader, Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse as Owen and Beru Lars. Newcomers include Vivian Lyra Blair as a young Princess Leia, Grant Feely as a young Luke Skywalker. Moses Ingram as Reva the Third Sister, Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor, Sung Kang as the Fifth Brother, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessel and Michael “Flea” Balzary.

Set ten years after Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan continues his life in exile on Tatooine; living a solitary life watching over a young Luke Skywalker and avoiding the watchful eye of the Empire. But when a kidnapping plot forces him off-world, Obi-Wan is forced to battle his own demons and trauma even while being placed in the crosshairs of the Inquisitorious and his former apprentice, Darth Vader.

Warning: the following will contain SPOILERS

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New In Review: Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers

Back in the late 80’s, animation writer and director Tad Stones pitched an animated series on The Rescuers to Disney. Since a sequel to the 70’s movie was already underway, the idea was reworked until it would feature Chip and Dale from the classic Disney shorts. Together with Monterey Jack (a boisterous, Australian mouse), Zipper (his plucky but mostly unintelligible fly sidekick) and Gadget Hackwrench (a sweet though kind of out-there inventor) the team solved mysteries and fought crime in the human world and the animal society that went beneath human notice. The success of the show alongside other shows like Talespin and Darkwing Duck helped create the Disney Afternoon programming, making another staple of the Animation Renaissance that went from the late 80’s to the early 2000’s.

This movie is nothing like that.

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Review and Analysis: Gargoyles Legion

Previously on Gargoyles, Elisa’s brother found himself the victim of another Xanatos scheme as he and several homeless were forcibly mutated into half-cat, half-bat, half-electric eel hybrids. Derek, now calling himself Talon, swears revenge against Goliath and the gargoyles when he thinks they destroyed his only chance at being cured and Eliza swears revenge against Xanatos for what he’s done to Derek. And to no one’s surprise, Tim Curry turns out to be evil.

But enough focusing on a life Xanatos ruined. Instead let’s focus on a life Demona and Xanatos ruined.

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New In Review: Turning Red

Turning Red is the latest animated movie from Pixar, the story was created by Domee Shi (who also directed), Julia Cho and Sarah Streicher. It features the voices of Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Hyein Park, Orion Lee, Tristan Allerick Chen with Wai Ching Ho and James Hong.

Set in the early 2000’s, the story follows Meilin “Mei” Lee, a Chinese-Canadian dealing with her troop of friends and their shared interests, the pressure of keeping at the top of academics, the pressure of working at her family’s temple and meeting her mother’s approval and the fact that she’s now budding into her teenage years. A fact that’s complicated by the overbearing presence of her mother and that women of her family transform into giant, ferocious red pandas when stressed or excited.

An interesting idea since trying to look ferocious just makes them look even cuter.
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New In Review: Luca

Luca is the latest animated film from Pixar and the second to be released through the Disney+ streaming service. It was directed by Enrico Casarosa and features the voice talents of Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Burnam, Marco Barricelli, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan.

Off the coast of the fictional Liguria village of Portorosso, a young sea monster by the name of Luca (Tremblay) dreams of visiting the surface, when a chance encounter with another more outgoing sea monster Alberto (Grazer) forces him out of his comfort zone and onto dry land. There the two engage in wacky hijinks, befriend the spunky Giulia (Berman) and seek independence (mostly through acquiring a vespa) while Luca’s parents try to keep him away from the surface.

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Review and Analysis: Gargoyles Metamorphosis

We enter episode 2 of Season 2 with a “Previously On…” recapping the events of “Her Brother’s Keeper.” Detailing Elisa’s brother Derek and his concern over what he believes is an obsession on her part over Xanatos, him quitting the police force to work as Xanatos’ personal pilot and bodyguard, and Elisa admitting that Derek does need to live his own life but she still knows Xanatos is bad news.

The episode begins properly down in the lowly streets of New York City where we see several homeless gathering around, trying to keep warm. One young woman (Kath Soucie) is explaining to a shadowy figure that her situation is just a temporary setback and she expects to be back on her feet soon enough. The figure voiced by…Tim Curry?!

“You rang?”
“Gah! How many evil people are in this series anyway?!

“Less than you think, more than you can imagine!”

Brrr. Anyway the stranger explains that he’s in need of a temporary assistant and he’s more than willing to help her out, all while wearing an expression usually reserved for members on the Family Watchdog list.

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New In Review: Soul

Soul is the latest animated film by Pixar and directed by Pete Doctor and Kemp Powers; it features the voice talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga and Angela Bassett.

The story revolves around a New York middle school band teacher Joe Gardner (Foxx) who while has strong aspirations for playing jazz on stage and plenty of talent, finds circumstances constantly getting in the way. When a chance arrives to play the big time, life or rather the sudden end of it gets in the way once more. Not ready to pass into the Great Beyond he escapes and ends up in the Great Before, a surreal place where young souls prepare for life on Earth. There he meets up with a dispassionate soul called 22 (Fey) who has purposely skipped out on being born due to lack of interest in what life has to offer. From there he tries to come up with a plan to use 22’s help to return to his body and make it back to the biggest gig he could imagine.

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Season Review: The Mandalorian Season 2

The Mandalorian returns with another eight episode season for Disney+ and continues the journeys of the titular Mandalorian Din Djarin (Pedro Pascale) and his protectorate Baby Yoda (officially called The Child, but no one really calls him that) across the galaxy. It also stars Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito, Katee Sackhoff, Rosario Dawson and Temuera Morrison.

Spoilers are to follow.

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Review and Analysis: Gargoyles Leader of the Pack

It’s the beginning of Season 2 here at Gargoyles; the first season was full of culture shock, betrayals, swords, sorcery, robots, lasers, very special episodes that didn’t feel ham-fisted. You have to wonder where things can go from here.

Season 2 also marks a change to the opening, previously the opening was a montage of clips from the series accompanied with moody, atmospheric music. Now there’s an accompanying narration too, as provided by Goliath.

“One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness. It was a world of fear.
It was the age of gargoyles.
Stone by day, warriors by night,
We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Now, here in Manhattan, the spell is broken, AND WE LIVE AGAIN!
We are defenders of the night!

The last two lines match well with the crescendo of the opening theme and the narration helps set up what the series is about to new viewers. Anyway, previously on Gargoyles

Oh. This episode actually provides a “Previously on…” of its own. That’s also new. It covers the previous episodes covering the Pack and how Fox is the only one who actually knows that they’re working for Xanatos, ending once more with her swooning over his brilliance.

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Review and Analysis: Gargoyles Reawakening

Last time-

“You were doing these reviews in February.”
“Hey, I’ve been busy!”

Anyway, last time on-

“Really? Since the pandemic you haven’t had a moment to yourself? For Pete’s sake you took all of August off.”
“Shut. Up. Snake in the Grass!”

Anyway, last time on Gargoyles, Elisa’s younger brother started working for Xanatos, Jackal and Hyena got arrested, the Trio got a helicopter and Spoiler Warning: it never shows up again. Now let’s get on with the recap.

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