Moana and Trolls Trailer Reviews

So today and yesterday we had 2 new trailers drop for Fall animated films, and I thought I would give you my quick thoughts. Let’s start with the trailer I’m most excited about for Disney’s Moana:

I personally don’t know how you walk away from this trailer and not be excited. Moana seems like a great well-rounded character. I love her character design and that she looks like a normal young lady. However, she is not the cliched warrior woman although clearly with that spear she can be fierce. I also love the way she stands up to Maui in the boat! The film looks like such an epic adventure with battles, sea travels, diving into the realm of monsters that all looked awesome.

It also looks very funny without being too modern and cheeky. The music sounds great. The visuals look breathtaking. I can’t wait!!!

On a less enthusiastic note. Let’s talk about the new Trolls trailer:

I’m not going to parse words I hate this trailer. I hate the way it is hiding behind the voice talent. I really don’t care who is voicing your characters. Don’t sell me on them. Sell me on the characters they are voicing. It shows a lack of confidence on your film if you are leaning so hard on the vocal talent.

I hate how much of the story it gives away. I hate how saccharine the story looks and it all feels so boring and bland. It’s not good when the main quote from your film is “this is a story about happiness”. How profound…

On the plus side, Trolls looks like it will entertain small children and the color palate is very appealing. The original song is catchy but the jukebox songs I’m not sold on.

I hate to say it but I’m getting Strange Magic vibes from this trailer…
I’m really bummed to because I really liked the 2nd trailer. Hopefully the movie will surprise me and be great like Kung fu Panda 3 or Lego Movie that also had trailers I hated.

What do you think of these trailers? Do they sell you on the films? Do you agree with my takes?

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Moana Teaser Trailer Review

Aloha! Let’s all be honest- today has been pretty sad. I think we all needed the Moana teaser to cheer us up just a little it. For some strange reason Disney took it down but here it is if you haven’t seen it yet:

You will probably recall a few days ago I wasn’t that bowled over by the Beauty and the Beast teaser everyone went nuts over.  To me it was shots of the sets with music. I still don’t get the big hubbub on that one.

Moana, on the other hand, is a trailer I can get behind! It starts out with our introduction to Maui who is a demigod with a magic hook that can take down the moon and raise islands from the sea!

moana trailer1Then we meet Maui voiced by Dwayne, The Rock, Johnson, and boy does he seem like a cheerful dude! And what I loved is his tattoos move and he talks to them!

maona trailer2Then he does a traditional Polynesian yell and some of the pounding type dancing they do there.

maona trailer3We then get Maui looking straight into the camera. It made me wonder if we will get some 4th wall breaking because going into it I was thinking Maui would be like Gusteau in Ratatouille but it looks like he will be narrating to us, the audience, as well.

moana trailer4Then we get the hilarious deadpan reaction from Moana and her pig. I think this says a lot about her personality. I bet she will be kind of sarcastic and funny. Plus, she is beautiful and that pig is so cute!

moana trailer5Next we get a little bit of the music and it feels like a neat riff on Polynesian melodies. I really like the song! And then we see Moana with the ocean behind her- gorgeous! I love that she looks a little bit more natural in size and appearance than some other Disney princesses.

moana trailer6And then we see Moana throwing a spear at something, so clearly she won’t be a shrinking violet. Love that!

moana trailer7Next we see Moana’s power over the ocean and how it moves away from her. I find this power intriguing but also the ocean beautiful and green.

moana trailer8Then there are large waves and a houseboat full of people crashes over them. According to one of my friends on twitter this is a traditional boat used in that part of the world.

moana trailer10And then we see dolphins! So pretty!

moana trailer11And finally we are back to Maui and we see him turn into a bird.

moana trailer12Now that’s how you do a teaser! We saw a lot of Moana and Maui. We got to see real visuals to give an idea of the story and style. We got to hear the great music and see a tease at both the sweetness and action of the film.

I’m thrilled with this teaser and my anticipation for Moana is now through the roof but it was already my most anticipated of the year!

What about you? What did you think of the teaser and are you excited for Moana?

Beauty and the Beast Teaser Trailer Response

So today the teaser trailer for Beauty and the Beast came out. My response- it’s fine. I have no problem with it and it looks intriguing. Even with Cinderella and Jungle Book being strong films I am still suspect of these live action remakes but everything I’m hearing about Beauty and the Beast is encouraging.  I’m looking forward to it and this trailer did nothing to damper that enthusiasm.

That said, I hate to be a cold blanket over everyone but the response to this teaser I do not get. Let’s look at it objectively.  We get an image of a castle,  some shots of the inside, we see beasts claws on a painting,  hear Lumiere and Cogsworth briefly talk, see a door being opened and a rose. Aside from the vocals it’s basically just a bunch of set shots.  We love the music but this movie could totally suck and it have all the elements of this teaser trailer. Lots of horrible movies have decent sets and music. I mean Maleficent had decent sets to look at and look what we got with that film…

I guess I don’t really get why people are so excited about this trailer? It’s fine. It basically announces the film and that’s what it is supposed to do. But on twitter and at rotoscopers.com they are really going nuts about it.  Some quotes:

“Oh my goodness, when they showed the ballroom with the beautiful prologue music playing I was welling up!”

“CRYING! Singing and crying…”

“This looks absolutely gorgeous. The music made me so nostalgic”

“Oh come on… I can’t be the only one who got chills and audibly squealed.”

Now I remind you Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney film. So why am I not so excited by the teaser (again I don’t hate the teaser. I’m just not crying with excitement)? Well, I’m not really sure.

When I think back to the Star Wars teaser when we first saw the Millennium Falcon and Harrison Ford said “Chewie, we’re home” and how thrilled I was. Why was I super excited?  Because Star Wars had been in my opinion nearly ruined by the prequels. I know many like those films, but I hated them and so I was anxious for Star Wars to be redeemed. I wanted some hint they were going to be doing it right.

I have no such need for Beauty and the Beast. It was done about as perfectly as you can do a film (there are no perfect movies). I want the movie to be good but I am not nearly as anxious for it save the franchise I love. How do you improve upon what was already perfect?  I had been waiting for a good Star Wars movie for 17 years. Disney, on the other hand, if they never made another live action remake I would have no problem with that.

Anyway, people will probably walk away from this wondering why Rachel can’t just have fun with the teaser. I did. It’s fine. I like it but again it’s a bunch of shots of the set with music. I don’t get all the jubilant response but if you loved it let me know why.

Lots of Trailer Reviews

This week has been the week of trailers! I’m glad I stopped reviewing trailers on my youtube channel because I wouldn’t have been able to keep up.  They are hard to do videos on because they are unpredictable and cut into work time. Also I don’t know how insightful I really am when it comes to trailers.  I feel like I either love them or hate them and that’s about it.

I did write up my review of the Rogue One trailer last week and will be reviewing Angry Birds and Secret Life of Pets on my animated news video later today.

However, there were a bunch of other big trailers and let’s talk about them.

1.Suicide Squad.

I thought it was a good trailer. I particularly like Will Smith seeming like the old Will Smith we knew and loved. I want him to come back to us after disasters like After Earth (and no more of his son!). The Joker looks really intense and I’m curious to see how Batman is going to be involved.  Overall I’m intrigued and don’t pay attention to the reshoots story. It turns out it is a whole lot of nothing.

2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I’m really excited for this trailer! At first when I heard about the film I didn’t know if it would be nothing but a guy playing hide and seek looking for magical creatures.  This looks like an actual story. I liked the humor in the trailer and was surprised to hear mention of Dumbledore as I didn’t think that he was so old. It’s going to be interesting to have a story more set in the muggle world and I liked little touches like the Muggle Approved luggage switch. It should be a fun little movie.

3. TMNT 2

After a very promising Super Bowl trailer this did nothing for me. The humor and the action looks right out of Michael Bay’s playbook and the plot with the purple ooze looks lame. And sort of weird to show us Krang in the Super Bowl trailer and nothing here?

4. Sing Street

I wasn’t aware of this film and now am very excited about it. It is by the director of Once, John Carney, and looks like a combination of School of Rock and About a Boy. I wasn’t super into his Begin Again because it was too much of a copycat of Once but this looks different and sweet.

5. Dr Strange

This trailer was great! I’m so intrigued about this superhero Dr Strange. It looks like something really different for Marvel and of course I love Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange! Tilda Swinton looks awesome and I love the Inception-like visuals with cities folding up and that one shot that looked like a kaleidoscope. This is a perfect trailer because it intrigues me without giving away anything.

So that’s my thoughts on all the trailers. I will have my thoughts on the animated trailers later today and will have my review of The Jungle Book up tomorrow!

Rogue One Trailer Review

Man it’s a good time to be a nerd. Particularly a Star Wars nerd! In just a week and change we’ve gotten the amazing Star Wars Rebels finale (oh my gosh it was awesome!), Force Awakens on bluray (still waiting for mine stupid Target!!!) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer this morning!!!  I’m giddy!

I will definitely be posting a review of Star Wars Rebels Season 2 down the road a bit but the finale had me pumped to get more information on Rogue One because the two properties aren’t that far apart in the Star Wars timeline and it looks like they share some similarities.

They both have strong female presences although Rebels has 2 lead men. Ahsoka and Sabine are complex, rich characters.  Nobody can claim they are Mary Sues (I hate that phrase more than I can say!).  In Rogue One we get Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones.  She’s an Oscar nominated actresses so I’m sure she will be great if looking a little wooden in the trailer.  Her character sounds awesome.

Jyn is a true rebel which excites me.  We get a list of her crimes to start out the trailer. She has committed “forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault, resisting arrest”.  She’s been on her own since 15 and asks “this is a rebellion isn’t it?”.  We also learn she is “reckless, aggressive, undisciplined”.  I almost feel like Jyn is a grittier Star Wars version of Aladdin!

I also love seeing Mon Mothma back and Forrest Whitaker looks awesome in his role.  Donnie Yen is going to be great and the whole look and feel of the film looks like something we haven’t seen from Star Wars.  It looks like an actual WAR movie!  I mean the AT-AT’s and the battles look so cool. The action looks kind of like Rebels in some ways as well as the characters.

We also get a look at Ben Mendelson’s white Imperial leader and I think Vader bowing before the Emperor.  I am going to not get too excited about the cool Stormtrooper because I don’t want a Phasma disappointment.

Another thing I am pleased with is as great as it looks it has a bit of a 70s feel about it so I don’t think it feels discordant with the original Star Wars: New Hope, which this is a precursor of (I won’t use prequel word!).  It feels like it is at least semi-believable that the next step is New Hope in the story.

Long and short of it is I’m thrilled with what I see Gareth Edwards is doing with Rogue One.  I think it is a grittier version of Star Wars but it will have compelling characters and fun action as well.  It was a longer trailer than I expected but I’m pumped!

What about you?  What did you think of the Rogue One trailer?  Did you see Star Wars Rebels finale?  Without spoilers let me know what you thought!

Zootopia Sloth Trailer Review

Hey guys!  Just thought I would share with you my thoughts on the new Zootopia trailer.

Here’s the actual trailer

Long and short of it is I didn’t really like this trailer.  It’s more of a clip than a trailer and I didn’t think it was that funny.  It was like a joke on the Simpsons that gets stretched out way beyond where the gag needed to be.  It doesn’t make me very hopeful for the comedy of the film.  I’ve always felt it looked a little Chicken Littleish, which makes me very nervous and this trailer didn’t calm my nerves in that regard.  I hope it will be good but so far nothing I’ve seen from Disney has won me over on this film yet.

What did you guys think of this trailer?  Are you excited for Zootopia?

Finding Dory Teaser Trailer Thoughts

So I wasn’t going to do a review to the Finding Dory teaser trailer released today but after some rest felt well enough to put out a few thoughts.  If you haven’t subscribed to my channel I’d really appreciate it and if you like the video please give it a thumbs up.  Thanks!

Basically the trailer is more of a clip than a regular trailer.  It gives us a scene with Nemo finding Dory sleep-swimming because she is remembering her parents.  One of the interesting things is that clearly Finding Dory is going to take place very soon after Finding Nemo because Nemo is still little in this film.  That surprises me a bit but it makes sense when you think of all the stimulation Dory received while looking for Nemo.  She was able to remember details like PT Sherman and so perhaps her brain is remembering lots of things it had forgotten.

There is a little side of me that is nervous about this film.  It’s just a worry that side characters like the recent Minions can’t uphold their as the lead to their own movie.  Now I think the team behind Finding Dory is a milion times stronger than Minions but there’s still that worry.

However, I am mostly excited to see Marlin, Nemo and Dory back in the ocean on an adventure.  I love the oceanscapes of Finding Nemo and can’t wait to see how beautiful the ocean looks again.  The cast they have on board looks great including returning favorites like Ellen Degeneres, Albert Brooks and William Defoe.  And we have new characters voiced by Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neil.  Andrew Stanton is back directing and writing (a lot of people forget that Nemo was nominated for Best Screenplay not just Animated Feature Film).  So, hard to not get excited about such talent involved on every aspect of this film.

Really I think the trailer was more for people outside Disney and Pixar fandom who aren’t aware of the project and to just introduce to them that the Finding Dory is coming next June.

What did you think of the trailer?

If you haven’t had a chance to watch it here it is

Star Wars Force Awakens Trailer Review

So I might have cried a bit at a movie trailer today.  Yep full on nerd tears.  Tonight the new Star Wars: Force Awakens trailer dropped during halftime at Monday Night Football and this trailer was epic in the truest sense of the word.  It did everything you want a trailer to do.  We got to see and hear from new characters.  We got little nibbles of stories but no major plot points.  We got to see the old and new school players (except for Luke!).  It had great music.  Showed the great cinematography and all the practical effects.  The battle sequences look awesome.

We know there are scenes with real heart where both Finn and Rey are learning from Han Solo (initially a doubter) about the force and the Jedi and we can assume the Jedi is stuff of legend and basically gone.  We see Leia and Han that seem to be embracing about something sad.  We see Kylo Ren take off his mask and wield his light saber at Finn in some kind of fight.  He is a disciple of Vader and has Vader’s mask- wants to be like Vader.

I was also thrilled to see Rey looking like a strong and lead character in the story.  As we discussed in my recent Phantom Menace review/discussion none of the Star Wars films have passed the Bechdel test but I feel this time with Rey, Lupita Nyongo’s character and Leia we might actually do it. I think Rey might be the Luke Skywalker of the this trilogy which would be amazing.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to see this movie!  I already have my tickets purchased for Dec 17th and I will probably see it again Dec 18th in IMAX.   Even at the worst with the prequels Star Wars is a battle of good verses evil and an entire world to become absorbed in. It’s about harnessing a spiritual force greater than yourself and not allowing doubt or fear to enter your heart.  How many movies can say that? You have your Harry Potter or your Lord of the Rings but to me at least Star Wars trumps them all.

Here is my trailer reaction. It’s not that great but I was so excited my brain left me.  There’s a lot of squealing but some of you may find it fun.  Follow me on periscope by the way @smilingldsgirl (and on all other social media like snapchat, instagram etc).

My favorite of all the trailer reviews I saw was this one. It captured how I felt at least.

I was a little surprised we didn’t get the rating yet because I had heard we might but maybe the MPAA isn’t done with their review yet.  I figure it will be PG-13 but it would be fine at PG because then more kids could see it but I think with those battles it will be PG-13.

So what did you think of the trailer?  Are you excited and did you buy your tickets like so many of us did?  Is there a spot in the trailer that stood out to you more than others Let’s share and nerd out together! 🙂

The poster looks pretty awesome too! Counting down the days…

force awakens poster

Good Dinosaur Trailer Review

Quick post this afternoon to share with you my thoughts on the new Good Dinosaur trailer.  LOVED IT!!!!  It looks stunning especially scenes like the fireflies and the lushness of the grapes and leaves.  I thought the terodactyl looked awesome and the scene with the snake should be great!

It was such a well designed trailer not giving away the story while still giving us tons of images to excite us.  I’m really looking forward to the relationship between Arlo and Spot and hope it is something like Dumbo and Timothy Q Mouse which I know director Peter Sohn is a huge fan of.

What a treat we are in for this year with Inside Out and Good Dinosaur.  Great time to be an animation fan!

Here’s my reaction video on my youtube channel.  Would love you to take a look and give a thumbs up/subscribe to my channel.  Thanks so much!

Here is the trailer if you haven’t seen it.

What do you guys think?