Category Archives: Cartoon

Balloon Land (1935, Ub Iwerks)

For lack of a better word, Balloon Land is disturbed. It’s a cartoon about a magical place where everyone is a living balloon. Not just people, but plants too. Objects are solid though.

The new balloon people–Iwerks opens showing the reproductive process–are made through one creature’s snot and then inflated. We later learn balloons can be made but not immediately inflated and the snot can also be used as a gooey weapon.

It’s a happy place with a happy song, except outside the gate there’s the Pincushion Man, who murders balloon people with his infinite pin supply. Since he’s been cast out, he’s had to settle for killing the balloon plant life.

Two newborns head out of the protected area and piss him off and Balloon Land‘s narrative gets underway.

The animation’s fine and all that, but it’s a freaky cartoon once one gives it any thought.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Produced and directed by Ub Iwerks; music by Carl W. Stalling; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


RELATED

Advertisements

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010, Joaquim Dos Santos)

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam is not particularly good. It has a lot of problems, which I’ll enumerate, but it also has a lot of undeniable strengths.

I’ll start with those….

I mean, it’s got James Garner voicing an old wizard. That casting alone makes it worth some kind of look.

And Dos Santos conceives some good action sequences (they’re all based on Superman and Superman II), but set to the delicate electronic score, they work.

Unfortunately, the writing’s weak. Michael Jelenic is fine on dialogue, but the plotting is dumb (why is a thirteen year-old living alone—who pays rent, buys groceries?).

Additionally, there’s some terrible CG and acting. Arnold Vosloo does a Bela Lugosi impression and George Newbern’s a weak Superman.

Plus, the end is—from Superman II again—a superhero beating up a regular person for kicks.

Still, it only runs twenty-five minutes….

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos; screenplay by Michael Jelenic, based on DC Comics characters created by Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, C.C. Beck and Bill Parker; edited by Margaret Hou; music by Benjamin Wynn and Jeremy Zuckerman; produced by Bobbie Page and Dos Santos; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring George Newbern (Superman / Clark Kent), Jerry O’Connell (Captain Marvel), Arnold Vosloo (Black Adam), Zach Callison (Billy Batson), Josh Keaton (Punk), Kevin Michael Richardson (Mister Tawky Tawny), Danica McKellar (Sally) and James Garner (Shazam).


RELATED