TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Animated Movie

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. After having taken a break during October in favor of a Halloween theme, we are back with Best Animated Movies. I can’t really recall watching an animated movie BUT I can proudly say that I have watched every single movie that has won an Oscar for best animated feature. The category “only” exists since around 2000, so I didn’t have that much to comb through, but how exciting? I think I genuinely liked 90% of the movies, so narrowing it down will be hard.

Spirited Away

I highly doubt I understood what this movie really entailed when I watched it as a little kid, but I definitely knew right away that it was something special. I fell in love with the style of animation, the quirkiness and oddness of the story, the (to me) unexpected depth. To this day, it’s my favorite Miyazaki movie.

Big Hero 6

Baymax being absolutely adorable aside, I loved the family aspect of this, especially the relationship between Hiro and Tadashi. I don’t know what else to say. It was really good.

Inside Out

This movie wrecked me when I watched it. There are so many layers to it and still, it works for children just as well as for adults. I’ve seen it several times now and found something new to appreciate upon each rewatch.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The animation for this movie is impeccable. The characters amazing. Miles Morales being front and center is pure satisfaction. You know me to be a Marvel simp, but I never expected to be that much into the animation. I usually prefer live-action, but this might just be the best Spider-Man movie we have.

Soul

Not gonna lie, Soul put me into a bit of an existential crisis, but in a good way. Totally in a good way! Pixar … they get me every single time.

Some of my Favorite Nominees

As I’ve stated in the beginning, I really enjoyed almost all the winners. They are fantastic movies, but I also wanted to give a quick shout out to some of my favorite nominees:

  • Brother Bear
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Coraline
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Klaus

I’m pretty sure all of those movies also made me cry at one point or another. So, I kind of even had a theme within the theme? Still, movies like Finding Nemo, Shrek, Wall-E, Up and so many more would have just as equally deserved to be mentioned this week. What are some of your favorite Best Animated Feature winners?

Ranking all the “What If…?” Episodes!

I said Wednesdays are Marvel days, but I doubt I can keep this up until the release of Eternals/Hawkeye in November. Still, I did say I was going to do a ranking of all the “What If…?” episodes, so, here we are! You can get my full review/recap of each episode, by clicking on the titles. This ranking is completely subjective, but I hope you still enjoy it!

9 – … Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

I always liked Killmonger as a character. He has purpose, an interesting history, is just generally charismatic, but … this episode didn’t add anything new for me? His path was still very similar to the one in “our” reality, just a tinge more ruthless. Also, it probably didn’t help a lot that I was quite tired of seeing Tony Stark perish at that point in the series …

8 – … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

I’m going to raise a similar point as the one above, but I just really don’t need to see the Avengers die in various ways over and over. I don’t find it particularly interesting nor creative and I even guessed the big reveal. I can’t say I found much that stayed with me after this one.

7 – … Thor Were An Only Child?

The purpose of this episode was to be fun and it did that. We got Darcy marrying Howard the Duck, Jane and Thor getting matching magic/science tattoos, the Ice Bros … all entertaining for sure. The story felt silly and had some logical faults (especially when it came to traveling via the Bifrost), but it wasn’t terrible.

6 – … Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

When I watched the episode, I wasn’t very impressed. In a lot of ways, it was a shot for shot recreation of Captain America: The First Avenger, but with Peggy getting the serum. While that was a nice callback visually, there were few surprises, since we all know the story. However, the longer I watched the series, the more I liked it. It was a really good introduction to what the show would be like and included unexpected moments, like Steve wearing the first Iron Man suit or Bucky and Howard being besties.

5 – … Ultron Won?

What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios

I was always a huge Age of Ultron fan, so this was an interesting take. I liked the recreation of Nat sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone, but with the role reversal of Clint being the one to let go. Most of all, though, I liked that the Watcher was really involved in the episode and started an epic fight through the multiverse with an unhinged Ultron. It was a really good action sequence.

4 – … The Watcher Broke His Oath?

As far as season finales go, this wasn’t bad. It felt cohesive, put most of the puzzle pieces together and made the season a whole instead of an anthology. There could have been more interaction with the Watcher, but the team constellation was fun. If I had to criticize something, it’s the wasted chance of bringing Black Widow back into the live-action MCU, which would have been an easy choice. And, secondly, I think it’s a shame that they robbed Shuri and Pepper of the chance to dethrone Killmonger in their world.

3 – … Zombies!?

It’s Zombies – need I say more? I’m not even that huge of a zombie fan, but I think they worked that particular sub-genre well into the world of Marvel. It was one of the more gruesome episodes, but I enjoyed myself, except for the last scene. It kind of ruined the vibe.

2 – … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Even though I never watch all episodes of Black Mirror, I like the concept and quite a handful of stories from it. This episode felt like it was made with Black Mirror in mind and I loved that. It was twisted, had a dark ending, but also taught you a lesson of sorts. It was *so* close to being my favorite, and I’m not just saying that because I have a soft spot for Doctor Strange, the egomaniac.

1 – … T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?

This episode just made me happy! It works well on its own, without leaving you bumbed or too questioning about what comes next. It gave me an entirely unexpected pairing, which has now become one of my favorite ships – Nebula and Cha Cha – like, I’m seriously so grateful they were introduced to us. But most of all, it was a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who I’m sure, many of us consider to have been just as much of a bright light and force of good as T’Challa was in this universe.


What would your ranking of the “What If…?” episodes look like? What did you think of mine? Let’s talk!

What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? Episode Review

It’s Wednesday and we all know this means it’s time for another Marvel review! Today we’re talking about What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?, so continue at your own peril. Spoilers ahead!

What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Doctor Strange’s entire life changes when he loses Doctor Christine Palmer in an accident rather than his motor skills.

My thoughts?

So, that was quite something! Maybe I will really like every other What If …? reality more than the previous one. This episode truly felt like the Marvel version of a Black Mirror story and I didn’t mind it. That obviously means that the ending was quite depressing, which probably won’t be to everyone’s liking, but if you think about it, it is also not very likely that every reality in the multiverse is a happy one. Let’s break down the events of What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

  • Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer were on a date. They were goofing off, clearly having a great relationship, when the dreadful car accident happens. Instead of Stephen losing the precise motor skills in his surgeon hands, he loses Christine, the love of his life, instead.
  • I thought it was interesting that his grief for her sent him on the same journey as the despair about his hands did. He traveled the world, eventually trained in the mystic arts and became the Sorcerer Supreme. However, it’s after that, where the story really changes.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Unable to let go of the past, Stephen uses the Eye of Agamotto to travel back in time and redo his date with Christine. No matter what he tries, even if he stays away completely, she always dies though. Her death turning out to be an absolute point in time, unchangeable and irreversible.
  • The Ancient One tries to warn and explain to Stephen that he is endangering the entire universe with his obsession, but they fight and he escapes to the lost library of Cagliostro. There, in the midst of all the hidden mystic knowledge, he learns that he can reverse an absolute point in time, but will need more power. This power can be absorbed from other beings. While a regular person would probably stop at the thought of consuming creatures, Doctor Strange goes on to absorb every powerful being, small or big, he can find (yes, the tentacle monster from What If … Captain Carter Were the First Avenger? makes a reappearance) for centuries.
  • What this version of Doctor Strange wasn’t prepared for was the fact that his last interaction with the Ancient One led to a split timeline. All the while he got stronger, there was another half of him, who hadn’t chosen to change time, running around and still being good. This means we got a Doctor Strange vs. Doctor Strange face off.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Where a usual Disney or happy storyline would have the good Stephen, the hero, win, this story is not that. The evil and now monstrous looking Doctor Strange cannot convince his counterpart to help him save Christine. So, instead, he even consumes himself, ultimately resurrecting Christine into a crumbling universe.
  • Christine doesn’t recognize Stephen when she comes to. He looks like an amalgamation of all the monsters and creatures he consumed, having no resemblance of his former self anymore. But worst of all, his entire effort was for nothing as Christine starts to disintegrate with the rest of the universe. He had broken the fabric of his reality to the point of no return. Even begging the Watcher himself to help resulted in nothing. So, Stephen created a bubble to shield him and Christine from the destruction, but in the end, he was all alone in vast nothingness.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios

Something I enjoyed a lot during What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? is the fact that The Watcher was involved, albeit he did not intervene. In one of the earlier scenes, The Watcher talked to us and told us that Stephen was on the wrong path. He could intervene, but the safety of one universe was not more important than the others, while he also didn’t think that Strange would actually listen. However, Stephen did hear him and later directly talked to him. As I said last week, he seems to get more present in the storylines each week. Be it in the imagery or by actually talking with the characters now. I wonder if this will amp up even more in the future.

While I still think that the episodes deserve to be longer to make full use of the storylines and the potential emotional impact, it worked better here than with some previous ones. Once again, there were some fun visual and dialogue references to movies we know. There was a whole montage of how Stephen learned his craft and jokes about his name and hilarious moments with the cloak. At the end of all of this, I might do a personal ranking of all the What If …? episodes. Would anyone be interested in that?


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did it shake you in any way? Did you agree with my opinion? Let’s talk!