The Christmas Collection

29/11/19 The Muppet Christmas Carol

06/12/19 Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

14/12/19 Home Alone

25/12/19 Die Hard

05/12/20 Disney’s A Christmas Carol

12/12/20 Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

19/12/20 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

25/12/20 Die Hard 2: Die Harder

05/12/21 Mickey’s Christmas Carol

12/12/21 The Grinch (2018)

18/12/21 Home Alone 3

04/12/22 Dr Who Christmas Specials (RTD Era)

11/12/22 Dr Who Christmas Specials (Moffat Era Part 1)

18/12/22 Dr Who Christmas Specials (Moffat Era Part 2)

25/12/22 Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House

LFF 2021

The London Film Festival is a yearly event with previews of the best upcoming films, both professional and independent. This year, due to the current global situation, the event took place partially online which meant that I was able to attend. However many of the films were still only available in-person and so, to bring you the best of both worlds, I have partnered with my friend, and fellow film critic, Nate who was physically in London. Enjoy this slice of movie life, from worst to best.


The documentary-style think piece about the technological advancements around us is mostly silent in voiceover and in tone. It ultimately never gets its feet off the ground and seems to have no stance on the pros and cons of tech. Upsettingly dull.

Wild Indian

Handles its premise acceptably. The tale of two reunited childhood friends hiding a dark childhood secret is engaging enough and beautifully shot but doesn’t feel totally fulfilling. Excellent performances all around but it feels a little slow and simple

All Is Vanity

Beginning as a seemingly mundane comedy about a photoshoot, this low-budget film repeatedly rearranges itself to become a completely new film. It’s self-aware to acknowledge its own flaws, but that’s not enough to negate them. Instead, it just means All Is Vanity comes off as annoyingly smug.

La Mif

An acceptable glimpse into the care sector. This fictional French story which follows a group of girls in a care home has lovable characters but suffers from jumping back and forth throughout the story. The story is excellent…if you can follow it.

The Secrets of Jeremy Thomas

Mark Cousins’ dive into the mind of legendary producer Jeremy Thomas with a road trip to Cannes as the backdrop provides a documentary that is occasionally erratic. It oozes high art without being so itself and, like all stories, is worth listening to. Sure to be insightful for those who are aware of his work and oddly fascinating for those who aren’t.

7 Days

A couple of Indian-Americans on a date are forced to live together when COVID hits in this well-put-together production. There isn’t a bad word to be said but films set during The Pandemic still hit too close to home to be properly entertaining.Very sweet but too early

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Contains more interesting concepts than execution. This collection of 3 Japanese shorts focused on love is more intriguing than tantalising with characters who vary in likability. Feels like it could be brilliant but lacks a certain oomph.

Wolf Suit

Director Sam Firth explores her unresolved childhood trauma through an interesting hodgepodge of methods concluding in something I hope is cathartic for her. Interviews with her parents and rehearsed performances of childhood moments with actors provide art with a purpose. Viewing this film felt less like entertainment and more like a privilege.


Slow but centers on an important conversation. As a group of Spanish trans women take a trip to France, they discuss their lives and transitions whilst enjoying each other’s company. It showcases different experiences in a way that society so rarely does.

Clara Sola

A simple tale told well. The story of a Puerto Rican woman connected to nature experiencing a sexual and mystical awakening is shot with wide-eyed wonder and filled with love. Often heartwarming and occasionally funny with a haunting score.

The Taking

An interesting and necessary documentary. It discusses cinemas famous Monument Valley in relation to director John Ford and the Navaho people whilst also looking at the nature of monuments and the way society is shaped by the land. Frustratingly leisurely pace which remains respectful of the Navaho plight throughout.

Neptune Frost

Where most films have a plot, Neptune Frost can best be described by a series of contemporary buzzwords; it’s an Afrofuturist, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist science fiction musical. The result is as bonkers and baffling as it sounds. It may be messy and incomprehensible, but its unique aesthetic and sensibilities mean that it will likely become a cult classic soon enough.

Last Night In Soho (

Edgar Wright’s retro horror movie starts off promisingly, interrogating our obsession with the Swinging Sixties and the exploitation that lay beneath it. Unfortunately, an unnecessary third act twist completely derails the film, resulting in a comically unscary finale that contradicts everything that has come before.

Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege

This documentary about the besiegement of Yarmouk, Syria uses footage shot by the filmmaker at the time to demonstrate real human struggle. It’s fundamentally about perseverance but is full of melancholy. The fact that Palestine remains under subjugation only makes this more impactful. Heartbreaking to watch.

The Real Charlie Chaplin

The fascinating life of Charlie Chaplin in relation to his work is whimsically dissected using film footage, reconstructions, and interviews. Narrated by Pearl Mackie, of Doctor Who fame, it lacks a proper exploration of his relationships but contains enough of his story.

Between Two Worlds

This French drama based on a writer living as a cleaning person to expose their struggles is inherently tense but incredibly sympathetic. A portrayal of class and social inequality that is no less relevant than when the book was released. Blunt and brilliant.


The true story of a gay Afghan refugee is told via a mixture of interview audio, 2D animation, and real news footage in an essential look at the seemingly eternal refugee crisis. An emotional rollercoaster which makes it difficult to remain impartial.

The Harder They Fall (

Debut director Samuel Jeymes’ film places black characters at the forefront of the traditionally white western genre. Though The Harder They Fall often feels like it could do more to challenge rather than imitate its predecessors, everyone on screen is having a blast, resulting in a bombastic crowd pleaser.

Mothers of the Revolution

Powerful and timely. Using reconstructions, archived footage, and interviews it details the women’s protest camp at Greenham in the 1980s. The passion and importance of the piece clearly show we’d be worse off without them and how much is still to be done. Serves as a wonderful companion piece to documentary Rebel Dykes.

Ear For Eye

One of the hardest watches of LFF, Ear For Eye is an uncompromising look at the frustration of being black in the United States and United Kingdom. Adapted from a stage show, it’s undeniably theatrical but always engaging. The second part, which features Lashana Lynch arguing with a white professor who refuses to acknowledge white terrorism, is particularly claustrophobic.

Bull (

A throwback to the classic cockney revenge thriller, Bull is a queasily enjoyable, ultraviolent guilty pleasure. Though a third act twist cheapens the heart of the story, this remains a thrillingly brutal watch.

The Power of the Dog

A period drama ripe with repressed tension, Jane Campion’s latest film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a controlling cowboy in the early 20th century. Cumberbatch hands in an impressive performance, whilst Campion skillfully ratchets up the stress levels.

Money Has Four Legs

This morally righteous satire tells the story of a Burmese filmmaker down on his luck who will do whatever it takes to get his film made. It is often funny, continuously entertaining and features a bittersweet ending. Also contains excellent music choices throughout.

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest (

This Swedish Doc about one man’s quest to play 100 hours of videogame Gyruss and the friends that help him is whimsical, funny, tense, and personal. It’s a testament to them and to all those like them, although liking video games probably helps with the entertainment.

Ride The Wave

A feature length documentary that follows a young Scottish surfer, Ben, as he attempts to ride some of the biggest waves in the UK. Director Martyn Robertson’s film looks gorgeous, but is at its most powerful during the intimate moments with Ben and his family as they face the realities – and the dangers – of a career in surfing. The waters around Scotland may be freezing, but Ride The Waves radiates warmth.

Memory Box

The story of a French teen learning about her mother’s past through a recently delivered box of memories is set against a Christmas backdrop and contains all the love of the season. It’s emphasised by a subtle yet powerful score and is visually interesting. Also contains a lesbian subtext without being overbearing.

Phantom of the Open

There aren’t many things that Britain can realistically claim to be a world leader in, but cosy low-budget underdog comedies is one of them. Telling the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a crane operator who was able to bluff his way into the prestigious British golf open, writer and national treasure Simon Farnaby has crafted a silly, soppy and effortlessly charming delight.

Petite Maman

Céline Sciamma’s latest film is a gentle investigation of childhood, innocence and inter-generational bonding. When Nelly is taken to her mother’s childhood home in the wake of her grandmother’s death, she begins to learn more about her parents. Not much happens, but Petite Maman feels like revisiting home after a long time away; comforting on an almost atomic level.

A Hero

This Iranian film explores the extent to which public opinion can shape a narrative. Rahim is in debtor’s prison, but when he returns a purse to an old women, he finds himself at the centre of an intense debate about whether he’s a hero or a schemer. Smart and sad, it’s ending is appropriately ambiguous.

The Neutral Ground

Comedian CJ Hunt’s self-exploration of his race through the Chicago statue removals of 2017 starts lighthearted but shows that reality is often horrifying. There’s a sense of cautious optimism throughout, even to the end, despite often overbearing racism.


This utterly compelling Austrian war thriller about a group of POWs being murdered one by one in their homeland has a gripping story and wonderfully interesting backgrounds. It also serves as a harrowing insight into how badly soldiers were treated upon their return from war.

The Good Boss

This scathing workplace satire follows the amoral boss of a factory, played by Javier Bardem. Though he may talk about justice and family, Bardem perfectly encapsulates the narcissism and greed of a man who’s convinced himself that what is good him must be good for the company. There are few laugh out loud moments, but this is a deliberately paced, finely tuned comedy that pays off in satisfying and unexpected ways.


An alien invasion film for the QAnon era. Riz Ahmed plays a military veteran, Khan, who effectively kidnaps his kids in an attempt to keep them safe from their extra-terrestrial attackers – the only problem is that it’s not clear whether the aliens are real or just a delusion. Unfortunately, Encounter gives away the truth too fast, but the touching relationship between Malik and his kids ensures this twisty thriller remains emotionally engaging at all times.

Drive My Car

A moving tale worthy of the 3-hour runtime. As a Japanese stage actor/director rehearses his show after losing his wife, he strikes an unlikely bond with his new driver in a powerhouse of performances. Intricate storytelling with several brilliant twists.

Queen of Glory (

The story of a Ghanian-American woman whose mother dies suddenly and leaves her with a Christian bookshop in Brooklyn is constantly entertaining and occasionally hilarious. It also manages to be an honest look at the aftermath of loss and never uses race or religion as a punchline.

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Tragedies are, by definition, not meant to be fun, but The Tragedy of Macbeth is an absolute blast. Boasting an all-star cast including Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand chewing up the minimalist scenery, gorgeous cinematography and lighting that makes it look like an arthouse Hammer horror film and all the gore that can never be shown on stage, this is Shakespeare at his most entertaining.


A powerful piece about the aftermath of death. Two couples discuss a violent demise that has impacted them differently in a story that feels like it becomes more necessary every year. Excellent buildup and emotional delivery, this is a must-watch.

Boiling Point

This gripping tale of a particularly busy night in a restaurant, with too many variables that could go wrong, is truly edge-of-the-seat stuff. Spectacular camera work and acting from all involved with an ending befitting its brilliance. And all shot in a single take. A must-watch.

Once again, a huge thank you to Nate, without whom this list would have been shorter and less sophisticated. Please give a follow on all the socials!




The Star Wars Collection

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Film)

Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Rouge One: A Star Wars Story

Episode IV: A New Hope

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

The Clone Wars/ Rebels

Ranking the Star Wars Saga

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

ED: The Phantom Debate

ED: The TROS Defence

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

Clone Wars/ Rebels

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels both aired during my childhood. However I never got the chance to watch them at the time due to them being shown on Cartoon Network, and Disney XD respectively. Whilst I could have found them online, I never made the effort to… but with their release on the streaming service Disney+ it became easier than ever, so I took the plunge. Instead of doing a small review episode by episode, I chose to review them season by season. The following is a collection of those reviews, with a newer summary of my overall feelings on both shows.

 Series 1 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars does a wonderful job of easing us back into the prequel era and setting up the series’ to follow. Marvellous voice work and solid animation (for the time).

Series 2 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is where the show really settles into its own. Great character development and huge ramifications towards the series’ end.

The first several episodes of Series 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are an odd dive back into the first couple of series. When it finally decides to progress the story is when the show becomes most impressive and intense.

 Series 4 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars leans heavily on the actual “war” aspect. It’s gritty and doesn’t hold back on how people can be swayed. The finale is also one of the best things to happen to Star Wars.

Series 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is your reminder that you can make a show for children AND address morality. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun and an emotional roller coaster.

Series 6 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars provides a definitive shift in tone. The energetic entertainment of Attack Of The Clones is gone and the dark powerhouse that is Revenge Of The Sith has arrived. I don’t think I’m ready for this to end.

Series 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars may be one of the finest pieces of television ever devised. Solid plot, CGI and score throughout. As a Star Wars fan watching the finale I am both delighted and emotional.

Series 1 of Star Wars: Rebels is interesting. More a show for children than a children’s show, which makes sense given the Disney buyout. The animation also comes off a little bit flat though I’d imagine I’ll get used to it. I see A LOT of potential.

Series 2 of Star Wars: Rebels feels, at times, like a sequel to Clone Wars and whilst I can appreciate that, I like when it is its own thing. By the end of the finale I was sold on Rebels as a whole and am really looking forward to Series 3.

Series 3 of Star Wars: Rebels is unapologetically and sometimes forcefully Star Wars. The show has finally let itself become a show centred on its cast and Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fantastic addition. There were laughs, cries and closure.

Series 4 of Star Wars: Rebels is a beautiful ending to a show I found myself adoring. The entire second half is essentially one long episode and it holds ZERO punches. This franchise wont end and I won’t stop loving it.

Overall, I definitely prefer The Clone Wars to Rebels, but both shows have their own pros and cons. The Clone Wars gives us a closer look at one of the biggest wars in the entire franchise with a decent balance of action and politics. The animation is a little rough to start with but progresses quickly, and by the end of the show’s run, it is simply stunning to look at. Having experienced the prequels fairly young, I was really interested in spending more time in that era with the characters I knew, and the development of those characters was filled with a lot of emotion. I also loved the new additions like Ashoka, Captain Rex, and Hondo Ohnaka, and explorations of the Clone psyche. However, those first few seasons are a little slower than the latter seasons with episodes that weren’t released in chronological order, which made following the story a little difficult at times.

Meanwhile, Rebels introduces us to a brand new cast of main characters that become compelling despite their lack of importance to the main “Skywalker Saga”. The animation can be jarring at first, but it looks like a 3-D rendering of Ralph McQuarrie’s original artwork which is a nice touch. The first half of the show can feel like a continuation of The Clone Wars, but when allowed to tell its own stories, they’re full of heart. Sabine Wren very quickly became one of my favourite characters in the whole franchise, and Chopper continues the trend of sassy astromech droids.

Something that both shows handle exceptionally well is the villains. Clone Wars introduces us to Asajj Ventress while continuing the story of Darth Maul and the rise of Emperor Palpatine. Rebels gives us more time with Admiral Tarkin whilst introducing Imperial Agent Kallus and Grand Admiral Thrawn, who quickly became one of my favourite characters. Both shows give more than satisfactory endings with Clone Wars especially feeling like it should have had a theatrical release.

If you haven’t seen either of these shows, I highly recommend them. It’s clear that Lucasfilm is planning to incorporate both of these shows in their ever-expanding universe, and with many shows on the way, it may be easier to catch up sooner rather than later.

May The Force Be With You…


Unlike the PIXAR Theatrical Shorts which were made to accompany the feature length films when they were released to cinemas, the DVD Shorts were made to be bonus features on the DVD releases of those film. These were not about pushing the boundaries of animation but were instead about pushing the boundaries of their worldbuilding. Each one occurs within the world of a PIXAR motion picture and, occasionally, within the plot itself. With the release of the streaming service Disney+ it is unknown if they will continue to make these Feature-Related Shorts for DVD releases or for Disney+ directly, though I sense it may be the latter. That’s a real shame because they were always a highlight of DVD releases.

Mike’s New Car (2002)

I love this short because you get exactly what the title tells you you’re going to get. Having got rid of his old red sports car that Sully wouldn’t let him drive to work in Monster’s Inc, Mike has bought himself a new 6-wheeled automobile equipped with all the gizmos. Attempting to demonstrate the capabilities, Mike is beaten, battered and bruised by the vehicle in a slapstick-fest. Violence does the talking and it’s wonderful.

Jack-Jack Attack (2005)

My absolute favourite DVD Short that PIXAR has ever made and another vehicle for slapstick. It tells the tale of Kari’s eventful night babysitting young Jack-Jack Parr who has decided to suddenly explore his many superpowers. This was the first time pre-Incredibles 2 that we saw anywhere close to the full range of his capabilities like teleportation and laser eyes. I’ve always felt bad for poor Kari because babysitting can be hard as it is but she got a super baby but it is nice to get some closure on her part of the story. Also possible that the Mozart-Piano Sonata no. 11 in A Major sparked my interest in classical music.

Mr Incredible and Pals (2005)

This is the most absurd of these Shorts that you will ever lay your eyes upon. It’s an early 1960’s serial of the show Mr Incredible and Pals featuring Mr Incredible, Frozone and their bunny sidekick Mr Skipadoo as they fight the villainous Lady Lightbug. All the bad serial effects are here from still images of the landscape to the actors real mouths inserted over the characters’ to the blatant message of democracy. It is probably the dumbest thing that PIXAR has ever created and I love it with every ounce of my big, nerdy heart. I’d take a whole show.

Mater and the Ghostlight (2006)

I’ve made no secret about how I’m not the biggest fan of Mater so seeing him be the butt of the joke is kind of cathartic. After playing numerous pranks on the cars of Radiator Springs, they decide to get their own back by telling him the story of The Ghostlight and leaving him to traverse home in the dead of night by himself. When the Ghostlight finally appears, you know that this is also a prank but there’s a good message in here about receiving a taste of your own medicine.

Your Friend the Rat (2007)

Not content with Ratatouille being one of the finest PIXAR films there is, they decided that a fun history lesson was also necessary. Hosted by Remy and his brother Emille, we are taught the history of the rat from the Roman Empire, through the Black Death to today. This short is particularly interesting because of it’s combining of animation styles like 3D, 2D and even a musical number to close. At 11 minutes, it’s longer than usual byut not a second of that time is wasted.

BURN-E (2008)

Taking place during the events of Wall-E, a Basic Utility Repair Nano Engineer (BURN-E) attempts to repair a running light on The Axiom after it is hit by a meteorite (accidentally caused by Wall-E). Much like the movie it takes place during, there is no dialogue but it still manages to be compelling. You’ll really believe that this little robot is losing his mind and it’s really funny to re-watch Wall-E with this short in mind. I’m sure there’s a lesson about the Butterfly Effect in here somewhere.

Dug’s Special Mission (2009)

Taking place during the events near the beginning of Up, it shows how Dug came to be sat on the exact spot that would lead to him meeting Carl and Russell. Dug is probably the most likable character from Up and seeing him try his best at the behest of the other dogs just warms my heart, There is so much innocence to this character and this short adds even more sympathy to his backstory.

George and A.J. (2009)

The only one of these shorts to be animated in 2D and it prospers for it, giving it the look of a storybook. Shady Acres employees attempt to collect more people for the retirement home but must survive a pensioner uprising cause by Carl. It’s a really neat look at the ramifications of a story like Up, even if those ramifications are utterly bombastic and fantastical.

The Legend of Mor’du (2012)

Another one that does what is says on the tin. In case you wanted to hear the tragic tale of Mor’du the Bear from Brave it is told here through 2D animation and a glorious narration by Julie Walters. Is Julie Walters telling a fairytale enough motivation to watch this? I think so.

Party Central (2013)

A rare Short from PIXAR as it wasn’t attached to a PIXAR film and was only released on DVD as part of The PIXAR Shorts Collection: Volume 3. Instead, this short was attached to the Disney film Muppets: Most Wanted and features the frat of Oozma Kampa, after the events of Monsters Uni, as they attempt to throw the biggest party on campus. Just utterly ridiculous fun to be had here but is also notable as a posthumous role for the late, great Joe Ranft.

Riley’s First Date? (2015)

Following the events of Inside Out, this almost acts as a small sequel of sorts. Having closed out the film by speaking to a boy, we see how Riley’s parents react to him visiting the house to pick her up and it makes her parents look every bit as embarrassing as she already thinks they are. This is less about the emotions and more about the characters themselves, which is appreciated.

Marine Life Interviews (2016)

I grew up watching the Aaardman show Creature Comforts and it was all I could think about when watching this short, which is possibly the shortest of the shorts. It contains interviews with the animals who interacted with Dory during Finding Dory and paints her character in the most positive of lights. I particularly like that they made the footage look sepia-toned like an old-style documentary. I love attention to detail.

Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool (2017)

If you weren’t aware of how badly acted/choreographed local television advertisements can be then there is a whole level of subtext here you are missing out on. This short is literally an advertisement for Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool, clearly organised by Miss Fritter herself and includes a few of her demolition derby friends. Seeing the homemade angle to this really brings back warm memories of my own time in front of a camera for school projects.

Auntie Edna (2018)

This is just Jack-Jack Attacks but with set during the course of Incredibles 2 with Edna Mode as the babysitter and I am more than okay with that. It is clear from this short that Jack-Jacks powers have multiplied and become more terrifying over time and it’s a little amusing to watch Edna – a superhero aficionado – struggle just as much as Kari did. I already loved Edna as a character but her relationship with Jack-Jack is really the icing on the cake. Shout out to the continued use of the Third Movement of the Mozart-Piano Sonata no. 11 in A Major.

Lamp Life (2020)

The first of these Shorts not to be released on DVD but instead to be uploaded to the streaming service Disney+. I’ve mentioned here because I think it’s worth noting as the service becomes bigger and contains more original content with each passing day. The story is that of Bo Peep, as she recounts her life between leaving Toy Story and Toy Story 4, which is a tale I think most of us were curios about and this short delivers. Special mention to Jim Hanks who continues to be the best Tom Hanks impersonator.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

PIXAR Theatrical Shorts

I have been a fan of PIXAR Animation Studios for as long as I can remember, and one of my favourite elements continues to be the theatrical short films released before their full length motion pictures. The tradition started before PIXAR Studios even existed, while the founding fathers were still working for Lucasfilm, and was a way for them to test the limits of 3D computer animation. The first 5 of these tests would be screened at the Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) in Minnesota and would push the boundaries of their field, while the rest would accompany their theatrical features. While these full length films were important, they were primarily a way for PIXAR Studios to make money while they focused on innovation and advancing the art of 3D animation. Instead of ranking them in quality, I have opted to go through them in release order, because as far as I’m concerned, they are all as important as each other.

The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. (1984)

Created by the animators, led by John Lasseter, who would later found PIXAR Studios while still working for Lucasfilm, this short film is a mere 2 minutes and length but tells a complete story. The titular Andre has awoken from his nap to find the bumblebee Wally B inches from his face, and flees the scene before he is caught off screen as Wally floats back through the frame with a crooked stinger. At the time, it was revolutionary with its use of 3D tear drops, dotted tree leaves, motion blur and manipulatable shapes. The charm is completed by a classical music composition.

Luxo Jr. (1986)

Perhaps the most famous of all the PIXAR Shorts, and the first to be made at the studio, this short is also two minutes long. It features a large desk lamp watching a small desk lamp as they play with and eventually puncture a ball, which is then replaced by a larger ball. Without dialogue or faces, the short manages to provide both lamps with personality and emotion, which was groundbreaking at the time. John Lassester would later tell how he expected questions about the shadowing algorithm (which is superb) but was asked about the gender of the lamps. They have none. The film was rendered on the Pixar Image Computer which gave the company its name.

Red’s Dream (1987)

Clocking in at 4 minutes, this was the biggest project PIXAR Studios had developed so far. It tells the story of a discounted unicycle in a bike shop as he dreams of being in a circus act with a juggling clown. It was a character driven piece with a gloomy undertone and John Lasseter would later refer to it as PIXAR’s Blue Period. The impressive technical aspects are in the juggling, the rain and the price tag that hangs from Red. Of all the shorts, this one seems to be mostly forgotten but it is just as good, and as much of a testament to the company, as the rest of them.

Tin Toy (1988)

Created at a time when the Pixar Imaging Computer wasn’t selling so well, this needed to be monumental- and it was. It was this very short that would gain the attention of the Walt Disney Company, who would provide the funding for PIXAR Studios to create Toy Story. Clocking in at a staggering 5 minutes, this tells the story of a Tin Toy Soldier as he attempts to avoid being picked up by a baby named Billy. This one has possibly aged the most as it features the first 3D animated person, and the living room is noticeably scarce, but that gives it a certain charm. Of particular note are the PIXAR logo on the gift bag and the photo in the photo frame, which is clearly just a genuine photo that has been imported. Despite how it has aged, this is still a marvel of animation and one of my favourites.

Knick Knack (1989)

You most likely haven’t seen the original render of this short, because it was only ever sold to the public via the VHS and Laserdisc copies of Tiny Toy Stories. What you are familiar with is the 2003 re-render that was released to theatres. Either way, it’s a lot of fun. It follows a snowman in a snowglobe as he attempts to break out to be with an attractive woman who is part of the “Sunny Miami” ornament. The slapstick in this short and the simplistic designs really help this one to stand the test of time, and the score is one of the catchiest things I’ve ever heard. The original is available online, should you choose to go looking for it, but be aware it involves larger female appendages than the 2003 re-render.

Geri’s Game (1997)

I know this is the one I’ve seen the most, but it holds a very special place in my heart because of that. It tells of a pensioner in the park playing a dramatic game of chess with himself. It’s particularly noteworthy as the first short to be released in a theatre and the first with the current PIXAR Studios logo. It also marks the second short with a human character, although this one holds up considerably better than Billy. Lastly is the personality of Geri himself who might be one of the most likable characters ever created, despite never saying a word. If you’re a theatre student, or just a fan of acting in general, I feel like you could learn a lot from Geri’s performance.

For the Birds (2000)

We have reached the point where none of these shorts age because of the choice in animation style. Here we find a group of small birds sitting on a phone line before they are joined by a large bird that they dislike. What stands out the most are the details on the birds, like their individual feathers and the scratches on their beaks, and the annoyance in their eyes. Also, the sound effects in this one are just fantastic and the squeaks of the birds themselves may sound familiar to fans of Toy Story.

Boundin’ (2003)

Another major achievement for PIXAR Animation Studios and another one of my favourites. A sheep who adores his coat enough to dance about in it, is is shorn leaving him to be mocked by all the other sheep. Through a great American Jackalope, he is taught the benefits that come with being lighter like being able to bound high. This is the first short with dialogue and it was chosen to be a musical number that teaches a great message about self acceptance.

One Man Band (2005)

The first short to feature multiple human characters, with two men competing musically for an old woman’s coin. The background in this one is especially beautiful and is only topped by the musical score. There’s joy, determination, rage and fear, which are all demonstrated in the sublime facial expressions and the beautiful music. It’s perhaps at its best in the quiet moment near the end, and in the comedy contained therein.

Lifted (2006)

This is the only time that PIXAR Studios have done aliens, and that only amplifies the uniqueness of this short. A young alien in training attempts to abduct a human from their house using a control board with hundreds of switches and chaos ensues. I love how simple it is, using only what it needs to in order to tell its story. It also has some stellar use of motion blur, demonstrating just how far animation has come

Presto (2008)

As somebody who grew up with Tom & Jerry, The Looney Tunes, and Knick Knack, the tone of this short is super familiar to me. The often energetic animation, the comedic timing and the slapstick would be right at home with those classic cartoons. It tells of a magicians rabbit who makes the magician’s show difficult because he won’t give him a carrot. Unlike other shorts, there is no score throughout as many of the audio is sound effects. I love this one.

Partly Cloudy (2009)

Now that PIXAR Studios is well established and has an excellent grasp of animation, they’re really starting to experiment through their shorts. Here we focus on a cloud who creates ferocious baby animals for a living and the exhausted stork who has to deliver them. There is so much going on, like the fluffiness of the clouds, the feathers on the storks, the lightning effects and the fading sunlight. It also happens to accompany a wonderfully simple story.

Day & Night (2010)

This is another one of my favourites. It features the characters of Night and Day who each have a centre that acts as a window into their namesakes. It progresses as they demonstrate the advantages of each timezone from fireflies to sunbathing women. All the sounds are ones that you would organically find in nature like ducks, wolves, and frogs while the score is a mixture of classical music and an original jazz composition. Particularly interesting is how the short uses 2D for the characters of Night and Day while their centres are 3D.

La Luna (2011)

This is, by far, the most adorable of the PIXAR Theatrical Shorts. A small boy, his father, and his grandfather sweep shooting stars across the surface of the moon to change the shape of its glow. The father and grandfather are both different from each other, and the boy isn’t sure who he wants to be like, before deciding just to be himself. The entire story is told through facial expressions and vocal noises and the haunting score but its the stylistic animation that sets it apart.

The Blue Umbrella (2013)

A blue umbrella falls in love with a red umbrella and the foundations and buildings of the city work to bring them back together. It is the very first story centred on romance in this collection and that makes it special, which is helped by the lovely score. The biggest achievement is the animation, which is darn close to realistic and really set the course for PIXAR Studio’s animation going forward.

Lava (2014)

Another tale of romance but, this time, between two volcanoes modelled on Hawaiin singers Kuana Torres Kahele and Nāpua Greig who provided their voices. This is the second use of dialogue in one of these shorts, and once again it is used to provide a stellar song that tugs at the heart strings. This is also the most story based, choosing not to focus primarily on the animation, but it is still worth every second of its 7 minute runtime

Sanjay’s Super Team (2015)

The mostly true story of Sanjay is an important one the history of PIXAR’s diversity and follows the titular child as he daydreams about the Hindu Gods while bored during his father’s prayer. During his daydream, he perceives them as the superheroes in his favourite show and uses this as a way to bond with his father. The daydream itself also has a really nice, comic book style look to it but it’s how much this story means to the real life Sanjay, and the millions of other Hindus, that really make it important.

Piper (2016)

A reluctant baby bird traverses the dangers of the beach for the first time in search of food in a story that is just as adorable as it sounds. All of this would have been impossible for a computer to do 20 years prior but now the particles of sand and texture of the water seem like an absolute breeze. The score and sound design match perfectly while Piper herself is filled with infectious enthusiasm.

Lou (2017)

An amalgamation of Lost and Found items in a school playground known as Lou encounters and befriends a young bully who eventually helps return all the items in the box. The way that all these items interact with one and other is fascinating to watch and the story is as delightful as you would expect.

Bao (2018)

This would sadly be the last of the theatrical shorts, but it would also be one of their best. A Chinese-Canadian mother makes a steamed bun that comes to life and she decides to raise as her child. The eventual plot twist is an emotional gut punch that was worthy of the Academy Award it won, as is the animation and score. If it wasn’t already clear, diversity and representation is something that matters to the folks over at PIXAR Studios and we can only hope they are all as beautifully told as Bao

PIXAR Animation Studios would cease the creation of Theatrical Shorts with the release of Bao in 2018 but this does not mean that the PIXAR Shorts are no more. It was felt that instead of giving limiting the Studio to working on one short at a time, they would be better having multiple shorts on the go at once. These PIXAR Shorts have always been led by a sole creator who was relatively new to the company and that continues to be the case today with the Sparkshots Programme. These shorts would be released on the PIXAR Studios YouTube channel before migrating to the streaming service Disney+. They are continuing a long standing tradition and are definitely worth a look.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

Ranked: The PIXAR Collection

*DISCLAIMER: This list is based purely off my own opinion*

When it comes time to write these rankings, I usually already know roughly where a film will sit. Having grown up with both the Star Wars and Middle Earth sagas, I was already fully aware how each one of those films made me feel. The PIXAR Collection is another beast entirely. Not only is the list comprised of 23 individual films (a far cry from the 9 and 6 I had already done) but each film is a different type of film. Star Wars is all space opera and the Middle Earth instalments are all heroic fantasy but PIXAR films range from comedy to action to romance to fantasy. This was no easy task, and let me assure you before reading that you will almost definitely disagree, but this is my list. As far as I’m concerned, even the “worst” film on this list is only mediocre and numbers 9 through 4 are practically interchangeable to me. The top 3 however, will most likely continue to hold their positions.

23. Cars

If you were wondering what the early 2000s country music scene was like then look no further. Cars has proved to be the most dated of PIXAR’s films, but the only real flaw it has is how childish it is. Yes, it’s a children’s film but so is every other film here and they seem to have more decorum. To be fair, I was oversaturated with this one because it was my sister’s favourite so I’m probably a little biased.

22. The Good Dinosaur

This is what many consider to be PIXAR’s lowest moment, and I think that’s a little harsh. The animation is stunningly realistic in places and, although the plot meanders, that’s not a bad thing. I think that pacing is probably the worst aspect of The Good Dinosaur but considering the hell it went through to get made, it’s perfectly a reasonable result.

21. Cars 2

With a more Mater focussed plot, you’d think this would be my least favourite Cars instalment, but no. It gets credit from me for being a spy film in the same campy vain as Pierce Brosnan’s Bond with a stellar performance by Sir Michael Caine. Any film that is willing to go so ham with its plot is always a positive for me.

20. Toy Story 4

The original Toy Story trilogy is near perfect, as far as I’m concerned, however all the friendships and character development of those 3 films feel relatively absent here. I’m fine with having a solo Woody adventure but I kind of wish the film had allowed itself to do that instead of clinging to characters it practically ignores. I still get swept up in this one, just not as much as I would like.

19. Soul

The most recent addition to the PIXAR portfolio is good, but I feel like the ending lets it down. I’m also not convinced that there was enough jazz or time spent with Joe before he falls into The Great Before. Soul isn’t bad, it just doesn’t really hit me like that.

18. Onward

I’m a sucker for fantasy, world-building and stories centring on siblings so Onward was starting at an advantage. It’s a lot of fun, and has a lot of heart, but it feels the need to stick to the “buddy comedy” plot which I feel holds it back a little bit. Also, I really like the running gag about the Gelatinous Cube.

17. Finding Dory

Like Toy Story 4, Finding Dory chooses to focus on one character, but unlike Toy Story 4, it dedicates enough time to other characters too. Marlin and Nemo are never forgotten about or watered down as characters, but it allows so much more depth to Dory. Hank the octopus is also really well developed, with an understandably cynical edge, and they got Sigourney Weaver.

16. Brave

Braveheart is a fine film but when it and all the historical inaccuracies seem to be the primary representation for your home country, it starts to get a little boring. Luckily, Brave is an excellent depiction of Scotland with a suitably lore-heavy plot to boot. It doesn’t do for the country what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand but I think it should have.

15. Cars 3

I think I’m starting to get sentimental, because the latest Cars film focuses on older versions of the classic characters and it’s my favourite of the trilogy. It’s also a fairly simple plot, unlike Cars 2, and doesn’t have to burden itself with the introduction of a whole tow, like the first. It could also have something to do with the Demolition Derby.

14. Inside Out

As far as handling the depiction of depression for a child audience, I think Inside Out does a superb job. It also fills the story with likable characters, an abundance of imagination and plenty of colour. Despite being relatively new in the grand scheme of PIXAR, Bing Bong has become a favourite character of mine.

13. Monsters University

To date, this is PIXAR’s only prequel and that’s fascinating to me. In all honestly, that’s probably the only route they could have gone down with a follow up to Monsters Inc because a true sequel would have risked cheapening the ending of the original. As prequels go, this one is rather inventive and demonstrates how the “here’s how we all met” plot can be done well.

12. Coco

I don’t think there’s anything in Coco that isn’t beautiful. Between the animation, the plot, and the soundtrack there is so much to fall in love with.

11. Incredibles 2

I love The Incredibles, and I liked the video game sequel, but this really knocks it out of the park in terms of action. It is an excellent demonstration of the evolution of the superhero genre, but it never loses that familial element that made the original so good.

10. Finding Nemo

There is such scale in Finding Nemo, making the ocean look incredibly vast and seemingly empty at times, but when there is ocean life, it is beautiful. It also has what remains to this day the darkest opening to any of PIXAR’s films, and the impact of that opening is never lost, regardless of how funny Finding Nemo can be.

9. Ratatouille

Many people are of the opinion that this is PIXAR’s best film and some have even referred to it as their Magnum Opus, which may be true. Personally, I enjoy the following 8 films more, but we have now hit a point in the list where the numbers are kind of irrelevant. Objectively, Ratatouille is as well made as the rest and it has the added complication of our protagonists being unable to speak to each other, which is handled sublimely.

8. Up

The first of PIXAR’s films to be helmed by Pete Doctor and he absolutely nails it on his first try. A lot of emphasis is placed on those opening 8 minutes, as it should be, but the rest of the film is just as good. An old man, a young boy and a talking dog is an odd dynamic, but it works well here. The late Christopher Plummer is also oodles of fun as the villain.

7. Wall-E

“Actions speak louder than words” has never been as true as it is in the case of Wall-E. With our protagonist having a limited vocabulary and often nobody to speak to, the film relies on telling its story with his surroundings, and aces it. There is straight up no dialogue for around 15 minutes, which would turn people off if done poorly, but it was used to the films benefit by allowing us to soak in Wall-E’s surroundings . Truly spectacular.

6. Toy Story 3

This works as a standalone film, and as the conclusion to perhaps PIXAR’s most popular story; it is such a perfect bookend, down to the very last frame, and you can tell how much love went into making it. Toy Story now exists as a quadrilogy but there is no denying that 1-3 told a complete story, and having grown up with that story, I love the ending.

5. Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 is so good that it started development as a direct-to-video sequel which was upgraded to a proper theatrical release, and well deservedly. From the action to the character to the endless Star Wars references, I can only find enjoyment here. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that sequels are never as good as the original.

4. Monsters Inc

This film could be this high on the list for nothing more than how impressive the animation is. They had to write brand new codes to make some of the textures work, and it’s as good now as it was then. It just so happens to also have a fantastic plot, perfectly camp villain and excellent chemistry between the two leads.

3. A Bug’s Life

This film really sticks out to me because PIXAR have never really made anything similar. Everything else has a sequel or human characters but A Bug’s Life doesn’t, and that makes it really special to me. I also just love a good adventure story, and of all the films in this list, I think this one might be the funniest. The grasshoppers alone make this worth watching, as does the darkest ending I think PIXAR have ever done.

2. The Incredibles

I love superheroes, and the classic superhero aesthetic, and the grand sweeping theme songs. The Incredibles embodies all of that. It feels like a classic “comic book movie” in the very best sense of the term and that familial message really strengthens the story. It is pure unbridled superhero fun and I adore it as much now as I ever did.

1. Toy Story

Let’s be honest, it was only ever going to be Toy Story for the top spot. This isn’t an Objectively Best Movies list, it’s a list of my personal favourites and I’ve lost track of how often I’ve seen Toy Story. This film had an entire group of animators staking their career and, I think, as a result Toy Story feels like it was made from love. It’s witty and dark in all the right places and is a true testament to just how far the plucky little PIXAR Studios has come. I love it.

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

The Small Things 2020

A collection of initial thoughts from the films of today

JAN 2nd: Having done Star Wars and Middle Earth in 2019 let’s step it up a bit in 2020.
The next series has 21 films and counting. With one every 2 weeks that should take us almost right up to 2021. Hope you join me for this fantastic adventure…

JAN 2nd: I like Rise of Skywalker. It’s a good film. But knowing it could have been the greatest film of a generation. Knowing how much it could have meant to the LGBT community. Knowing that Disney stopped that is just… horrendous.

JAN 6th: The New Mutants trailer is here and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. Not only does it finally have an official release date (April 3rd) but it looks super interesting. Leaning into the horror elements of having powers is something I’m genuinely excited to see.

JAN 7th: Won’t You Be My Neighbour? has finally arrived on Netflix and it’s essential watching. Fred Rogers was one of the purest souls to ever grace planet Earth and we could really use someone like him, especially now. Bless your lives and give it a watch.

JAN 12th: Knives Out is masterfully written, wonderfully acted and beautifully scored. It also comes across as strongly anti-capitalist. It’s the kind of film we need right now.

JAN 13th: The Morbius trailer is good. Looks to be a unique origin story, though I’m still hesitant about Jared Leto existing. Also looks to be setting up a Sinister Six (and Venom 2) in the MCU, which I’d rather see in the Raimi universe. Also that’s the Raimi suit on that poster, so maybe Spider-verse?

JAN 16th: If Motherless Brooklyn had been in black and white, it would have been indistinguishable from the best 50s crime films. Never pretends to be smarter than it is and Edward Norton delivers a superb performance.

JAN 18th: Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon is a reminder of why Aardman has survived so long despite their lengthy creation process. An hour and a half of heart and humour with absolutely no dialogue. The consistent science fiction references are fun too.

JAN 24th: Jumanji: The Next Level is hilarious. Worth watching just for The Rock portraying Danny Devito but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Glad this is a franchise that lives on.

JAN 25th: The Addams Family (2019) is wonderfully bizarre. A love letter to not just the family, but the horror genre in general. Perfectly suited to animation.

JAN 25th: I regret to inform you that Cats (2019) is indeed a film that exists.

JAN 29th: I would LOVE to review Cats (2019) because I have so much to say. On the other hand, my whole brand is being positive. I’m trying to find a way to give constructive criticism in a positive light. I’ll bring it to you as soon as I figure that out.

FEB 10th: #DBZA @teamfourstar thank you so much for the laughs and the cries. For the highs and the lows. You have done such a beautiful job with this series over the past 12 years and I cant wait to see where you go next

FEB 13th: The Birdcage (1996) continues to be one of the funniest and most uplifting gay story’s ever put to screen. Nathan Lane is absolutely delightful and rocks the drag look, as well as providing plenty of heart. It also provides one of Robin Williams’ finest performances, reminding us why he is missed so much.

FEB 13th: Birds of Prey is not a Box Office Flop and even if it was, you can’t really pin that on the film itself. Lets just take a minute to look at the facts. It has been almost a week since it opened and in that time it has almost made back its budget. It will continue to play in cinemas for about a month. It is currently #1 at the box office and shows no signs of moving. It was released in February which is a Deadzone for movies, in that you release a movie here if you expect/want it to do poorly. It is also rated 15 instead of 12, which restricts the amount of people who could go and see it.Finally, China is a HUGE market in cinema and they are currently going through an actual epidemic. That is between 1/4 and 1/2 of your total revenue gone.
Birds of Prey is not the catastrophe that many are making it out to be and the worst case scenario is that its a victim of circumstance.

FEB 16th: Jojo Rabbit is a magnificent comedy featuring Nazis AND gays. It also has moments of raw emotion that will hit harder on second viewing.
“Hard to make a comedy these days” my foot.

FEB 21st: Spies in Disguise has Will Smith as a pigeon. If that doesn’t sell you, then you’re missing out on a fun time with possibly the most comedic battle of all time.

FEB 22nd: Jens Nygaard Knudsen, creator of the Lego minifigure, has passed away aged 78. As someone who has grown up on Lego and has a particular interest in the design of sets, I owe him a lot. I had literally just dug my countless minifigures out of storage to catalouge them.
Thank you for the years of imagination, Jens.

FEB 23rd: (Anim)éducation [#1/many]
Deadman Wonderland is superb. Amazing action pieces and excellent lore.

FEB 25th: (Anim)éducation [#2/many]
High School DxD is probably what most non-animé fans think animé is. Pure fan service with a Very Thin plot. Not really my thing.

FEB 26th: The Lighthouse is wonderfully bizarre. Pattinson and Defoe give powerhouse performances.

FEB 29th: Dolittle is utterly absurd, but in a fun way. Perfectly acceptable way to entertain yourself for a couple of hours.

MAR 4th: A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is exactly the kind if film we need right now. Utterly delightful and filled with optimism.
God bless Mr Rogers

MAR 5th: The Greyhound trailer looks really good and I have no doubt that Tom Hanks will provide a brilliant performance. I also have no doubt that Hanks has written a good script. But don’t we have enough war movies?

MAR 7th: (Anim)éducation [#3/many] Promare is possibly the most visually stunning film I’ve ever seen. The story is pretty good too. Hope to see more films from Studio Trigger in the future.

MAR 7th: Birds of Prey is a female led Comic Book Movie with 3 LGBT characters. It also happens to be ridiculously entertaining. DC continues to improve.

MAR 9th: I have barely interest in Black Widow as it is. If the Tony Stark cameo rumours are true, it WILL completely kill my interest. You don’t need Downey’s star power to sell MCU movies and I’m sick of you thinking you do.

MAR 9th: Many knew him for his work on Game of Thrones or Flash Gordon but to me he will always be the voice of Vigo the Scurge of Carpathia. He truly was one of the greats and I’m sad to see him go.

MAR 13th: Listen. No film is going to be a huge financial success right now, half of the planet is basically quarantined with coronavirus. That’s partly why companies are delaying so many films right now. We wont know the proper toll this has taken on the Cinema Industry until this is all over, but really that’s not whats important.
If you ARE still able to go to movies, PLEASE be careful.

MAR 13th: Parasite is well deserving of that Oscar for Best Picture. A stunning film that is at times funny and tense and gets more so by the minute.

MAR 18th: Finally watched The Cabin In The Woods (2011) which I’d been putting off because of the horror element. What a fool I was as it’s one of the most entertaining and subverted films I’ve seen. More a gory comedy than a funny horror.

MAR 19th: Finally watched A Quiet Place (2018) and I find myself agreeing with the general consensus. It’s pretty damn good. Not a masterpiece but the way Krasinski uses sound to his advantage is astounding.

MAR 21st: Caught up on Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) and it’s a blast.Excellent set pieces and a badass score. John Boyega and Charlie Day are particularly wonderful.

APR 8th: PIXAR’s Onward is a fantasy film about brotherhood and father figures. If you can relate to those themes, this is really going to hit you hard.

APR 8th: Sonic the Hedgehog is ridiculous and cliche and has references that will age poorly. And I kind of love it.

APR 10th: Red Dwarf: The Promised Land proves that the lads still have it. The humour is funny as ever but there are still some emotional moments. One for longtime fans and newbies alike.

APR 11th: Tiger King on Netflix is genuinely upsetting and everyone involved in the trade should be in prison. Saff is the only decent human on this show. If you’re going to take 1 thing away from this docu-series it should be this:
5,000 to 10,000 Big Cats exist in captivity.
There are 4,000 in the wild.
That’s horrifying.

APR 17th: Trolls: World Tour is as enjoyable as the original. Timberlake really carries the film and the music is wonderfully varied. Doesn’t need to exist but I’m alright with it doing so.

APR 29th: Series 1 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars does a wonderful job of easing us back into the prequel era and setting up the series’ to follow. Marvellous voice work and solid animation (for the time).

MAY 7th: Series 2 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is where the show really settles into its own. Great character development and huge ramifications towards the series’ end.

MAY 8th: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Star Wars having 1 canon timeline across several different forms of media is an astounding feat. It continues to amaze me.

MAY 12th: Please bare in mind that Disney+ is probably only getting Hamilton a year early as an advertising tactic. I would LOVE to have seen this in cinemas as proof that filmed Broadway musicals are for the greater good.

May 14th: The first several episodes of Series 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are an odd dive back into the first couple of series. When it finally decides to progress the story is when the show becomes most impressive and intense.

May 15th: Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) is proof that good comedy can transcend time. A perfect madcap comedy built on a dark premise that almost feels like it was made today.
Worth tracking down.

May 16th: Scoob! is fine if you can get through the cringe-worthy elements. Its biggest downfall is attempting to establish a whole shared universe in one film. Excellent turn from all the voice cast though ESPECIALLY Jason Issacs.

May 20th: Zack Snyder really deserves to have his creative voice heard and i am beyond overjoyed that we will actually get to see this.
2021? 2031? Doesn’t matter. Take all the time you need man.

Jun 1st: Series 4 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars leans heavily on the actual “war” aspect. It’s gritty and doesn’t hold back on how people can be swayed. The finale is also one of the best things to happen to Star Wars.

Jun 3rd: Series 1 of Space Force was enjoyable enough that I kept watching. Both Steve Carell and John Malkovich give wonderful performances that I hope they can expand upon in a second series.

Jun 4th: Series 4 of Rick and Morty is as good as the show has ever been. In fact it may just be the best season yet.

Jun 7th: Go watch Queer Eye Series 5 on Netflix.
Please. Its so full of love.

Jun 10th: Finally seeing the trailer for Bill and Ted 3 after all this time honestly gave me chills. I really have missed these boys and can’t wait to catch up with them.

Jun 10th: Finally watched The Invisible Man (2020) and it’s an excellent subversion of the classic tale. Elizabeth Moss provides a STUNNING performance and the score is pretty good too.

Jun 12th: Artemis Fowl tries to be Lord Of The Rings, Spy Kids and Harry Potter at once, while managing to be none of them. Josh Gad gives a decent enough performance to keep you entertained and the cinematography can be decent but that’s about it.

Jun 15th: Please remember that reading a review by me, or anyone else, is no substitute for watching the film yourself. The best opinion is one you form yourself.

Jun 17th: Imagine complaining about Kristen Stewart playing Princess Diana in a biopic instead of complaining about the existence of a Princess Diana biopic.
Both these women are icons and neither of them deserve this.

Jun 19th: The passing of Sir Ian Holm is a huge loss to those of us who adore film, and science fiction in particular. I can’t find the words. My love goes out to his family and friends.

Jun 26th: I know we like to riff on Batman & Robin, but director Joel Schumacher was one of Hollywood’s most unique voices.
His passing is a hell of a loss and 80 still feels too early to lose him.

Jul 8th: Series 2 of Harley Quinn is some of the best television I’ve seen in a long time. It has the added bonus if being some of DC Studios best work too. Not picking this up for a third season would be a massive mistake

Jul 14th: Grant Imahara was one of the most charismatic, uplifting and kind-hearted souls. There are no words to describe his loss.

Jul 16th: So The New Mutants is finally coming and that’s great…BUT with a PG13 rating. I cannot emphasise how much I’m not a fan of that decision. What did you cut to bring it down from a 15 rating? Did you only cut it so it could go straight to Disney+?
I’ll still wait before judging.

Jul 21st: Series 1 of Phineas and Ferb demonstrates that the show always knew what it wanted to be. That being a well-written, hilarious show with likeable characters and amazing songs.

Jul 24th: My writing process is…a work in progress. There are times that I have been ready well in advance and there are other days where I’m tryping 2 days before a post goes live. My personal life hasn’t made doing this easy but I am genuinely so proud that I have done this every single week for over a year.
If you’ve been here for a year or even just a day….Than You.

Jul 28th: Series 2 of Phineas and Ferb is a little more of an emotional rollercoaster and a little grander in scale, which I like. Although there are less songs from the cast themselves which is a shame. The ones they do give us are iconic.

Jul 29th: So DC’s new animated film Death in the Family is going to be interactive and that’s really cool. Look forward to attempting a pacifist route and accidentally committing a crime.

Aug 2nd: Shin Godzilla is possibly the most unique take on the famous Kaiju you’ll ever see. A brilliant tale of the people and their response to unmitigated disaster with superb effects.

Aug 4th: Spider-Man 3: Editors Cut isn’t overly different from the Theatrical Cut. If you haven’t re-watched it recently or aren’t some kind of Spider Man 3 aficionado you might not even notice the alterations. However I do think the Editors Cut flows more smoothly.

Aug 5th: Series 3 of Phineas and Ferb is probably the closest its come to a Mainstream Show. Film parodies and Big Budget songs as well as better animation. But it never loses that charm and wit. (Note: I forgot to post anything when I finished Series 4 but it is a superb ending, letting the show go out on a high note.)

Aug 15th: The Henry Stickman games have always been a hilarious way to pass the time and seeing InnerSloth finally release a remastered version along with a final chapter makes me squeal with glee. Thank you so much for taking us on this epic adventure.

Aug 19th: The cast of Del Toro’s Pinocchio is *chefs kiss* and I can’t WAIT to see what he brings to the world of stop-motion animation. Del Toro is one of our greatest living directors working with some of the best actors around on a tale that is right up his alley. Gold.

Aug 21st: If YouTube’s @Defunctland isn’t on your radar, he should be. His new feature-length documentary about the short lived Disney Rock group Halyx is stunning. More like this please

Aug 23rd: The concept that you have to be a DC Fan or a Marvel Fan perpetuates a toxic rivalry that doesn’t need to exist. Yes, the DC Fandome event was outstanding but the MCU also has big plans to be excited about and you can be hyped for both.

Aug 28th: Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe is a beautiful return to a world that I so adore. Heartwarming, funny and stunningly animated. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Sep 6th: I’m Thinking of Ending Things manages to simultaneously be about nothing AND everything. A masterclass of acting and visually stunning, I couldn’t draw my eyes away. The most confusing experience of my life so far…but in a good way.

Sep 6th: Mulan (2020) is at its best when it’s not referencing the original Disney film. Great action and a lovely score but the CGI is questionable. Unless the price is acceptable for you, I’d wait until its free to watch. Do give it a shot.

Sep 15th: Series 2 of The Mandalorian looks like it will be as good as, if not a little better than the first. However I am avidly against finding out anything about Yoda’s species. The mystery is a large part of his character and I’m much more interested in Mando lore.

Sep 15th: Series 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is your reminder that you can make a show for children AND address morality. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun and an emotional roller coaster.

Sep 16th: Cuties on Netflix is just fine. Frankly, the religious and familial aspects are far more interesting than any of the controversy surrounding it. I don’t think that it sexualises 11 year old girls any more than they sexualise themselves and THAT is a topic worth discussing.

Sep 18th: Series 6 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars provides a definitive shift in tone. The energetic entertainment of Attack Of The Clones is gone and the dark powerhouse that is Revenge Of The Sith has arrived. I don’t think I’m ready for this to end.

Sep 19th: Series 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars may be one of the finest pieces of television ever devised. Solid plot, CGI and score throughout. As a Star Wars fan watching the finale I am both delighted and emotional.

Sep 24th: Jodorowsky’s DUNE is an astounding and fascinating documentary. I feel like the story surrounding this version of Dune is actually more interesting than the film itself would have been. I’m not convinced it would have been a masterpiece but I’d still take an animated version

Sep 29th: Early reports are that live-action The Lion King 2 is a prequel/ Mufasa origin story. Please just re-do the Original Lion King 2 if you have to. Nobody wants this.

Sep 30th: Series 1 of Star Wars: Rebels is interesting. More a show for children than a children’s show which makes sense given the Disney buyout. The animation also comes off a little bit flat though I’d imagine I’ll get used to it. I see A LOT of potential.

Oct 1st: I wish I could be excited for the concept of a live-action Spider-verse, and I CAN be, but ONLY if Sony is calling all the shots. Their content, despite varying opinions, has always felt like Spiderman but MCU Spidey is just a child. No disrespect to Holland but in my opinion, his company would never rip away everything that Spidey loves. They have to have a happy ending which is the one thing Spidey can never have. I also can’t abide the thought of MCU SpideyPool. Please. Just. Sony-Man forever.

Oct 5th: Hey. You all remember when Trolls 2 was released to VOD and everyone responded with THE CINEMA INDUSTRY IS DEAD AND ALL FILMS SHOULD GO VOD. Anyway, they delayed Dune ’20 today and the fickle nature of humanity exhausts me.

Oct 5th: The Boys in the Band on Netflix is an occasionally heartwarming and often poignant look at 1960’s queer life. A must watch for queers and a should watch for straights and essential if (like me) you miss the theatre.

Oct 6th: I may not be a Van Halen person but I recognise the impact he has had on the world. To his friends, family and fans I send my deepest sympathies.

Oct 8th: Series 2 of Star Wars: Rebels feels, at times, like a sequel to Clone Wars and whilst I can appreciate that, I like when it is its own thing. By the end of the finale I was sold on Rebels as a whole and am really looking forward to Series 3.

Oct 15th: Series 3 of Star Wars: Rebels is unapologetically and sometimes forcefully Star Wars. The show has finally let itself become a show centered on its cast and Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fantastic addition. There were laughs, cries and closure.

Oct 21st: If a celebrity (JK Rowling, Chris Pratt etc) has disappointed you and you want to throw out any merchandise related to them, that is a valid response. But PLEASE consider donating them to a charity shop instead of destroying them. People can hate a person and still like their work.

Oct 23rd: Borat: Subsequent MovieFilm is brilliant. Sasha Baron Cohen is probably the best character actor around and I hope to see Maria Bakalova in other things. This is EXACTLY the kind of thought provoking film we need right now.

Oct 25th: Series 4 of Star Wars:Rebels is a beautiful ending to a show I found myself adoring. The entire second half is essentially one long episode and it holds ZERO punches. This franchise wont end and I won’t stop loving it.

Nov 1st: The Witches (2020) is an odd film. There are choices made with the story that I cannot wrap my head around and the CGI is mid-tier quality. Octavia Spencer and Anne Hathaway are the most enjoyable aspect, for me. I miss Jim Henson.

Nov 5th: Spongebob: Sponge on the Run is an adorable movie which encapsulates the heart of the franchise. The animation is also extremely quirky with the 3-D rendering of 2-D objects. It’s a little too 2020 to be perfect but it’s Spongebob. Thank You Hillenburg ❤

Nov 6th: So Warner Bros politely fired Johnny Depp from Fantastic Beasts 3. The film written by a disgusting transphobe. Despite Depp being innocent. While producing Snyder’s Justice League. Which involves his abuser. Warner Bros should be ashamed.

Nov 17th: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is an adorable retrospective of the franchise. Funny enough to entertain for half an hour with plenty of nods for fans. Now all we need id for Disney to release the Original Special for context.

Nov 25th: So the Animaniacs revival (Series 6 of the show overall) is just as funny as the original. Some really neat new ideas sprinkled in and some jabs at modern culture (which it deserves). Never talks down to the audience and crisp animation. 👌

Nov 28th: Tenet is an excellent premise with a solid enough delivery. I feel like Nolan could have gone with a bigger scope of movie but it was worth waiting for. The main cast are brilliant, ESPECIALLY Robert Pattinson

Nov 29th: Happiest Season is a gay Christmas movie. I feel so blessed to be able to type those words. It is both heartwarming and incredibly funny whilst never shying away from how difficult Being Gay can be. To Kristen Stewart and the rest of the crew…thank you.

Dec 6th: Bill and Ted Face the Music manages to be both funny and, occasionally, heartwarming. Billie and Thea are excellent additions to the cast and the music is brilliant. The green screen can take some getting used to and the ending feels a little abrupt but Wyld Stallyns are back!

Dec 6th: Wyld Stallyns’ Face the Music is probably one of their best tracks. A triumphant sound that truly transcends time and space. The chorial singing really gives it an ethereal feel and from the 2:50 mark it properly starts to rock 🤘

Dec 25th: PIXAR’s Soul is incredibly cute and incredibly heartwarming. The animation style can also be rather inventive but I feel this truly would have been An Experience on the big screen.

Dec 27th: The Sharkboy and Lavagirl sequel We Can Be Heroes feels like it’s trying to be both Sky High and Spy Kids but it fails at both. At least I got to look at Pedro Pascal for a bit.

Dec 28th: The New Mutants is a really fresh, innovative take on the X-Men franchise. There’s good LGBT rep and good Christian rep and great CGI. Gutted that Disney waited to release this and devastated I couldn’t see it on a big screen.

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer