A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

A Wrinkle in Time
Director: Ava DuVernay
Writer: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell
Based on: Madeleine L’Engle’s novel
Cast: Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard, Bellamy Young, David Oyelowo
Seen on: 22.3.2021

Plot:
Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is an unusual child from an unusual family. Her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a scientist, as is her father (Chris Pine) – who has been missing for a while. He was working on tesseracts when he just disappeared. Meg’s genius little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) seems to know more about it. And he has made some strange friends who know even more than that: Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey). The three women prompt Meg, Charles Wallace and Meg’s class mate Calvin (Levi Miller) to go looking for her father – all through the universe.

I was rather disappointed when A Wrinkle in Time never got a big cinema release here in Austria, and I still think I would have appreciated seeing it on the big screen – the film is at its best, after all, when it just creates visuals. Other than those, it is very fine, but not great.

The film poster showing the main characters arranged in a circle.
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Frozen II (2019)

Frozen II
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writer: Jennifer Lee
Based on (or rather inspired by): Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale The Snow Queen
Sequel to: Frozen
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Jeremy Sisto, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds
Seen on: 18.12.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) colonialism, racism

Plot:
Anna (Kirsten Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) lifted the curse off Arendelle and Elsa has risen to the throne, making an excellent queen. But when things finally seem to be okay, a voice starts calling Elsa – a voice only she can hear. It beckons her, but it’s only after strange – and threatening – things start happening in Arendelle that Elsa resolves to go. She knows she has to find a forest that used to be the kingdom of Northuldra and the place where her own grandfather was killed by the natives. And Anna knows that she will not let her sister go on any mission alone anymore. So they start making their way north together with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad) to rediscover history.

Frozen II feels very in tune with the first Frozen film, though personally I found the music not quite up to snuff. No matter, though, because the themes the film tackles more than make up for it: surprisingly heavy for a children’s film, they still handle them mostly well.

The film poster showing the main characters and smaller Elsa doing some ice magic.

[SPOILERS]

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Frozen (2013)

Frozen
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writer: Jennifer Lee
Based on (or rather inspired by): Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale The Snow Queen
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds

Plot:
Anna (Kristen Bell) and her sister Ella (Idina Menzel) were really close until Ella accidentally hurt Anna with her magic power that controls snow and ice. As a precaution their parents, the king and queen, effectively isolate Ella completely, much to Anna’s chagrin who doesn’t remember anything about the power. After their parents die, Ella is supposed to take over but things go out of hand and Anna finds herself on a mission to save not only Ella, but their entire kingdom with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff).

Frozen is beautifully animated, funny and very sweet. The plot is nice as well and surprisingly feminist. And to round things off, the music was really nice.

Frozen

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Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph
Director: Rich Moore
Writer: Jennifer Lee, Phil Johnston
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Ed O’Neill

Plot:
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr. And while everybody loves Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), nobody likes Ralph. And he’s had it with that. Just once, he wants to be the hero and win a medal. When he isn’t even invited to the game’s anniversary party, that is just the straw to break the camel’s back – and Ralph takes off, straight to Hero’s Duty, where he thinks he can easily get a medal. But things quickly go very wrong and suddenly, the entire Fix-It Felix Jr. game is threatened with unplugging.

I’m not much of a gamer, therefore I’m afraid that I lacked a lot of frames of reference for this movie. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it a whole lot. It’s sweet and really funny.

wreck-it-ralph

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