Month: December 2013

Check this guy out!

Hi guys, a slightly belated Merry Christmas to you all. You all know Erik Copper whose dulcet readings of the Unshaved Mouse drip like honey upon the ears of the waiting internet (audio of The Three Caballeros review has gone up here).  And now he’s started a blog of his own…

Terrific. Another piranha in the tank.

Terrific. Another piranha in the tank.

…called LyriCritic where he reviews awful pop music for your amusement. He does requests (like me) and he doesn’t have the temerity to ask for money (like…look, a bird!). Anwyay, you should check him out and watch him show Nicki Minaj what’s what.


Hi guys.

So, you may remember last summer I posted about my play, Joanna, which went up as part of the 10 Days in Dublin theatre festival. Now, something rather awesome has happened and we’ve been asked back by the New Theatre for a full week’s run in February. This is a huge deal, not just for me but for my wife Aoife (who directed the play) and our wonderful cast.

Joanna is the story of an urban vigilante who abducts, tortures and murders rapists because she has come to the conclusion that the protection and justice offered to victims of rape is so pathetically lacking that it represents a breaking of the social contract. It’s a bleak, brutal play that’s good for a chuckle.

Seriously, it’s actually quite funny he said humbly.

Now, having been offered this huge opportunity, we really want to do this production right and that means fundraising.


Oh what, like you have any big expenses in December?

Yes, this is where I’m going with this but please hear me out. Now, we’ve already set up an Indiegogo page where people can pledge contributions to the production. And if you go there you’ll see that we’re offering various rewards as a thank you for supporting the show. Now as well as the rewards already mentioned on the page, if you donate  €10* or more I will gladly review for you any animated movie you like. Seriously. Anything.

What about the rules, I hear you cry? Screw the rules. Everything’s on the table. I’ll review Pixar movies, straight to video sequels, non-canon Disney films…

Yeah...e-even this one.

Yeah…e-even this one.

And not just Disney either. Why not something by the Flesicher brothers? Or Ralph Bakshi? Or maybe you’d like me to take a look at some of the works of legendary animator Don Bluth…

Ah ha ha...really funny guys.

Ah ha ha…really funny guys.


You know what? We’re getting a little bit American-centric here. Why not look further afield? In exchange for your generous donation I will review for you one of the great classics of the European animated canon; Persepolis, The Triplets of Bellville, The Secret of Kells…

Seriously, why would you joke about that?

Seriously, why would you joke about that?


Of course! We’ve haven’t even touched on animé on this blog! Wouldn’t you like to see me review some Miyazaki? Or something by the godfather of animé himself, Osamu Tezuka? Oh, we could have such a good time DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!



Okay, all joking aside, if you can spare something, please visit our Indiegogo page, donate, and leave a message letting me know what movie you’d like me to review for you. Once the funding period closes I’ll put up a post thanking you (unless you’d rather remain anonymous) and listing your choice of movie and the date you can expect it to go up. Now, please be aware that I intend to slot these reviews in between my usual Disney reviews so you may be waiting a few months (the reviews take around a week to write usually). I’ll email you if your choice of movie has already been picked by someone else so you have the chance to choose an alternative. And please don’t feel guilty if you can’t donate anything. I get it. Christmas. Recession. It’s absolutely fine. Plus, you can still help by spreading the word, linking and tweeting and whatnot.

So yeah. €10 or more. And I will review any cartoon. Anything at all.

You know. Within reason.

I've made a huge mistake.

I’ve made a huge mistake.

*American donors should be aware that the Euro is kinda making the Dollar its bitch right now so check the exchange rates to make sure just how much you’re actually giving.

Disney Reviews #42: Lilo and Stitch

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

Sometime before production had started on Mulan, Michael Eisner took a load of the Disney animators out to his mother’s apple orchard so that they could get inspiration from the gorgeous autumnal colours and also because there were a load of apples that needed picking , chop, chop. As the pasty, pencil armed creatures hoisted bushels and sweated against the magnificent backdrop of a September sunset, Michael Eisner’s thoughts turned to Dumbo, another endeavour that would not have been possible without cheap, non-union labour. Why was it that Disney couldn’t make movies like Dumbo anymore?, Eisner mused later that night, enjoying a frothy mug of Mama Eisner’s finest apple cider as the sweet melody of the animators singing their spirituals in the nearby camp wafted through the night air. Dumbo, you’ll recall,  was pretty much the only Disney animation of the forties to turn a profit, not because it did that much better at the box-office than the other films but because it had been so cheap to make. The next day, the surviving animators were rounded up and taken back to Burbank and the basic idea for Lilo and Stitch had been planted; to create a successful animated film that did not cost the GNP of a small European nation to make.  Lilo and Stich had a budget of $80 Million, which only sounds like a lot because we are poor and clad in filthy rags. For a feature length animated film it’s peanuts. But fortunately, some cartoons work for peanuts.
Eddie Valiant, however, does not.

Eddie Valiant, however, does not.

Actually, the relatively small budget was the gift that kept on giving for this movie. The fact that directors Chris Sanders and Dean deBlois weren’t gambling with a huge chunk of Disney’s money meant that they could work without the execs breathing down their necks like a pack of asthmatic vampire bats. In fact, management was remarkably hands off on this one, which is why it looks, sounds and feels like nothing else in the canon. This movie is shaped visually by Chris Sanders own unique artistic style, and if you came to this movie cold you probably wouldn’t even know it was a Disney movie. But is that a good thing?
Let’s take a look.