They Shot the Piano Player

They Shot the Piano Player is an animated docdrama that, ultimately, failed to connect with me.  But, to credit filmmakers Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba (co-directors of the Oscar-nominated animated film Chico & Rita), the movie’s efforts are certainly not wasted.



The family-savvy folks at Illumination continue to mine for cuteness by hitting easy targets with Migration, a road movie of sorts centred around a family of wide-eyed, adventure-seeking mallards on route to Jamaica.


The Peasants

With The Peasants, filmmakers DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman return to a similar animation style that previously earned them an Academy Award nomination for 2017’s Loving Vincent.  Loving Vincent was a tribute to artist Vincent van Gogh, both in spirit and in visual flare.  The Peasants adapts Wladyslaw Reymont’s novel of the same name, and channels the artistry of various painters from the 19th and 20th century.  While I can’t confidently comment on how faithful…



Leo, an animated family film from Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison, hits Netflix at an ideal time: the holiday season is approaching, family time is becoming more frequent, and the weather is becoming chillier and chillier.  What better time to cozy up with a crowd-pleaser?


The Monkey King

The universe has sent me a remedy after slugging through last week’s Toopy and Binoo The Movie.  That medicine is Netflix’s The Monkey King, an action-packed fantasy that’s inspired by Chinese literature and works as a tribute to the comic humour of Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle, Journey to the West).  Chow serves as an executive producer on The Monkey King – the production must’ve been tickled pink.


Toopy and Binoo The Movie

The Toopy and Binoo franchise, featuring a very confident motor-mouth mouse named Toopy and a kindhearted mute kitten named Binoo, is new territory for me. I’m unable to comment on whether it’s faithful to the book series created by the movie’s co-director/co-writer Dominique Jolin or the animated television show co-created by Jolin and the film’s co-director/co-writer Raymond Lebrun.