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10 of the Best Animated Movies From Your Childhood That You Forgot About

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10 of the Best Animated Movies From Your Childhood That You Forgot About

Childhood movies become fuzzier as you get older. Sometimes all that’s left is a snippet of a long-forgotten catchy tune or a specific animated scene that lives in the depths of your brain. You’ll often wonder, “Where is that from?” just to realize that the mouse family on a train was an obscure film you saw as a youngster.



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Many remember the golden years of Disney animation in the ’90s, with world-renowned classics like The Lion King and Aladdin. They are a large part of pop culture thanks to Disneyland and Disney streaming services that bring these movies to each new generation of children. However, many don’t remember the hazy collection of animated kid’s films from the ’90s that are home to some of the most imaginative premises that helped shape a generation.

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‘Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland’ (1989)

Little Nemo gets lost in his dreams at night, transported to worlds he has seen parts of in his real life. One night, he dreams about a man he saw at a circus, Professor Genius, and is tasked with being the playmate of the princess of another realm. He agrees and is taken to Slumberland, a land of beauty and chaos, where he soon meets the wicked Nightmare King.

Based on the comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, this animated musical fantasy film is wondrous in every way. Much like how children sometimes can’t differentiate between their dreams and reality, it weaves dreams and nightmares together, creating a vivid, whimsical world of frolic and folly. The Academy Award-winning Sherman brothers also penned the soundtrack.

‘Rock-A-Doodle’ (1991)

In one of the most ambitious crossovers in ’90s animation, Rock-A-Doodle based a rooster character on Elvis Presley and created a one-of-a-kind rockabilly phantasmagoria. While many critics panned the movie, children and families enjoyed the bright animation and the humorous dialogue.

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The movie tells the story of a rooster named Chanticleer, who crows every morning to help the sun rise on his farm. He has bigger dreams and leaves to become a rock star after being tricked by the Grand Duke of Owls. Without Chanticleer crowing each morning, the land becomes plagued with non-stop rain and flooding. It is up to Chanticleer and a young human boy to bring back the sun.


‘The Pebble and the Penguin’ (1995)

The Pebble and the Penguin is a heart-warming story about penguin love. It is based on penguins’ real-life mating rituals, in which they search for the best-looking pebbles to carry to their partners as a gift and acknowledgment of their relationship. It is a fun and fantastically animated movie that puts forth lovely themes of altruism and friendship.

The film focuses on the shy, stuttering Hubie, a penguin who wants to impress the beautiful Marina. He takes on the adventure of a lifetime when he decides to give her a pebble that fell from the sky. He and his friends must keep her away from the evil Drake, who wants Marina for himself.

‘Thumbelina’ (1994)

Like many other animated movies adapted from books, Thumbelina was based on the classic fairy tale story by Hans Christian Andersen. Thumbelina tells the story of a girl born inside a flower and is only two inches tall. She fears she is doomed to a life of loneliness and will never find someone her size to love. She happens to catch the eye of Prince Cornelius of the Fairies, though, but before they can fall in love, she is kidnapped by Ms. Toad.

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The movie was a favorite among young kids of the 90s, with its beautiful animation and touching story about everything whimsical — fairies, princes, and talking animals. Thumbelina reminded many young girls of Barbie, and there were plenty of toys that accompanied its release.

‘The Swan Princess’ (1994)

The Swan Princess is based on the classic ballet Swan Lake. Unfortunately, the movie was up against a re-release of The Lion King in theaters and bombed at the box office. Despite this, The Swan Princess gained success through home video releases and spawned many sequels and spin-offs.

The beautiful princess, Odette, falls in love with the handsome prince Derek in the movie. An exiled dark magician conjures up a spell to turn her into a swan, though, and keep her all to himself. The prince and princess are helped by charming creatures during their journey of releasing Odette from the binding spell.

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‘Antz’ (1998)

Antz was the first film from Dreamworks Animation, and only the third feature-length computer-animated film in history, after Toy Story and Cassiopeia. The movie shares many similarities to one of Pixar’s best, A Bug’s Life, which resulted in a public feud between Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Pixar’s John Lasseter.

Despite production chaos, the movie was released with a triumphant box office reception. Many critics praised its humor and animation style — where many of the bug characters resemble their voice actors. The movie follows Z, a worker ant with dreams outside his communal ant colony. While striving to gain his individuality, he falls in love with the ant princess, Bala, and must save his colony from collapse.

‘The Princess and the Goblin’ (1991)

The Princess and the Goblin contains every fantasy trope a child could dream of: a beautiful and brave princess, a courageous peasant boy turned hero and wicked goblins. In the movie, a peaceful kingdom becomes devoured by menacing goblins. A princess and a fearless boy must rescue the noble king from them, using only their gift of song and a magical, shimmering thread.

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RELATED: 10 Most Rewatchable Disney Animated Classics

The movie is based on a novel of the same name and is one of the most charming animated movies of the 90s. The film is also home to one of the most memorable tunes you’ll never get out of your head. When strolling through the foreboding forest at night, Curdie sings the song, “Spark Inside Us,” which probably still haunts you to this day if you heard it as a kid.


‘A Troll in Central Park’ (1994)

While A Troll in Central Park is vaguely remembered by many, the film was a massive box-office failure and is regarded as Don Bluth‘s worst film. Bluth was the director of various childhood favorites like The Land Before Time, The Secret of NIMH, and Anastasia, so it wasn’t his talents that failed to show up.

Despite the movie being panned, it still holds a level of charm that maybe only children can understand. The troll, Stanley, has a magical talent for growing greenery. He ends up in Central Park when he is banished from his kingdom and is befriended by two children who help him adjust to his new surroundings.

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‘An American Tail: Fievel Goes West’ (1991)

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is a sequel to 1986’s An American Tail, done by Steven Spielberg‘s short-lived studio, Amblimation. It was the only Amblimation film that used cel animation and was the last of its kind ever to be released in theaters.

It found massive success in home video releases and became a phenomenon among children. It has made numerous best-of lists and is an essential film about Jewish immigrants. In the movie, the Mousekewitz family finds themselves still having trouble with cats hunting them. They decide to move to a new place out west, where they are promised a life of peace.

‘Once Upon a Forest’ (1993)

In this Hanna-Barbera production, a toxic spill from a construction site threatens the life of a badger. Three woodland creatures set out to save their friend and brave a harrowing journey to find a cure. The three animals race against time as the humans loom closer and present a larger danger to their friends and family.

The movie was a hit because of its vivid animation style, adorable anthropomorphic animals, and its important message about the environment and human destruction of the earth. The animals go by “Furlings” to appeal to children, and the movie stands as an underrated classic for many people who grew up in the 90s.

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KEEP READING: ‘Fantastic Planet’ and Nine Other Weirdest Animated Movies

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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