As the song says, everything is awesome, from the joke visuals to the machine-gun-fire spew of one-liners and textual gags. Transforming Legos from a line of personality-less building blocks into an iconic and lovably hilarious culture staple is just the first of many surprises of The Lego Movie; getting Liam Neeson‘s career performance out of him might be the last. With Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, and Elizabeth Banks.
Wes Anderson‘s stop-motion terrarium-movie, loosely based on an old Roald Dahl story, is a fast-talking, zesty riot, in which the eponymouse George Clooney-voiced egomaniac hero jeopardizes his tabletop country’s animal denizens by stepping outside of his tamed middle-class life and succumbing to his essential fox-ness. Kids will be dazzled in an analogue kind of way – it’s made of handheld toys more convincingly than the sheeny Toy Story films – and parents will be struck be its grown-up comic timing and the fact that, unlike other films of its kind, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a film that remembers but does not mourn childhood, in all of its cobbled-together, dirt-digging, plan-hatching dizziness. With Meryl Streep.
Adapted from the fantasy tale that poet Ted Hughes wrote for his children after their mother, Sylvia Plath, killed herself, this splendid Brad Bird feature is as visually arresting as it is a potent skewer through 1950s Cold War anxieties and arms-race paranoia. The climax, involving an errant nuclear missile, the naive alien robot of the title, and a single inspiring memory of Superman comic books, is a throat-catching marvel. The Iron Giant has voices by Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, Jr.