Animation DF-DZ
Dinosaur (Movie)
(Disney) Story is good enough, it is about working together and the dangers of following an obsessive leader. The real strength of Dinosaur is the astounding animation. If you have seen the Walking with Dinosaurs series on Discovery you will recognize the technique; top notch CGI creatures shot against real/CGI enhanced backgrounds. It really looks like a live action film. The story is about an orphaned Hadrosaur who is raised by Lemurs. The meteor that ends the Cretaceous hits and then the whole “family” joins with other dinosaurs searching for the nesting grounds, where the green plants and fresh water hopefully were sheltered from the impact. Takes a bit of suspension of disbelief to accept the adoption and that the characters talk, but once you get over that, it is a fun film to watch, even just for the CGI work.

Matt Groening went one too far. A rebellious princess in a strange medieval land. Full of cliche things, vikings, plague, monsters, and creepy royalty. Okay as far as it goes, but I kept feeling like I had seen this before. Oh, the setting is different, but it feels like more of the same. More Groening style, and humour, and little inside references. When they say it’s by the people who made Futurama and The Simpson’s, it’s obvious. It really feels like those shows, it doesn’t really break any new ground, it's just a retread with different charactor names and situations. The characters and storylines are easily predictable if you have seen Groening's other work. The references are uninspired and obvious. A big disappointment. But then how many people can get three home runs in a row? If you want to see something MUCH better along these lines, watch
Dave the Barbarian.


A kid survives the crash of a spacecraft only to find himself caught between two shadowy organizations. Central casting Anime characters. sub-typical animation. Extended cut scenes to fill gaps in the plot. Mechs, (OK they call them dragons, they’re alive, and they can morf between dragon and human form but they look mechanical and the pilots get in and control them. They’re Mechs). Uninspired writing, (it’s bad when I can predict events a minute or more before they happen). Many of the female characters have absurdly oversized breasts. When the male dragons are in human form they fight with large phallic swards, spears, and such. Freud would have a field day with this one. I’m sure I’ve seen everything in this show before, only under other names and done infinitely better. I’ve never seen a series where the translator starts putting in snide comments about the series. As he said at the end of the last episode “This series was a real train wreck. If you’ve made it this far give yourselves a pat on the back.” That about sums it up.

I have heard that DragonBall was the first big Anime hit in the US. I have no idea why it was popular. DragonBall (Z, GT, and however many other shows they have made as part of this franchise) are all about a group of semi supernatural beings. All they seem to do is fight. Worse yet they talk too much. I was trying to catch it regularly for a while and the final straw was during one fight (that lasted for several shows) two characters, panting and bloodied, talked and insulted each other for the whole show. They did not move one step. I have no idea what the appeal of DragonBall is. It suffers from Naruto Disease but even Naruto has a more interesting plot line.

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan

A silly show with a silly premise. A percentage of Japan’s Air Force are actually dragons disguised as modern aircraft. This has apparently been true forever, which raises even more questions. The dragons are flown by young girls the OTF Pilots, who are swallowed and control the dragons from within their gullet. Overall the series is very erratic. They have fantastic aerial scenes, which they waste. The personal interactions and political interference threads are dropped without going anywhere. There is a good deal of sexism both overtly by the other, male, pilots and more subtly with stereotypes in the scripts. At the end the story suddenly becomes much more serious. Hitsone is a total ditz who says things without thinking, not to be mean, she’s just clueless. The other characters are mostly thin and two demential. Overall the series wasn’t BAD, just not great, which is a pity. It had such promise.

DRAMAtical Murder
A dystopian cyberpunk world of youth gangs, online fighting games, and real fights. Aoba wants to stay away from all that but keeps getting dragged in. It starts out fairly normal, but gets increasingly violent and surreal. Well done but not really my thing.

Drawn Together

The idea of Drawn Together is to satirize reality shows, other forms of animation, and many aspects of modern life. While it does do this, it does so with no subtlety. The jokes are obvious, the satire is shallow and the comedy is boorish. Example, calling superman gay over and over and over. I will give them credit for knowing about all the various styles of animation, from Disney, to Marvel, to Manga, to 1970s Hanna Barbara to Betty Boop in black and white. I just wish the writing was better. But then, it would be better than any of the actual reality shows.

© 2020 Douglas Aalseth Productions