Animation Review: The First Quarter of 2022

True to form, I spent much of the first three months of the year watching animation. There was a thought that I was only going to watch that for the year, but that changed with such films as 'Cruella', 'CODA', 'Nightmare Alley' and 'The Power of the Dog' crossing my bow. But I did no a yoeman effort to watch as many as possible. So let's see where the animation trail led me from 1 January to 31 March, 2022.


Rumble (2021, Paramount+)
Paw Patrol: The Movie (2021, Paramount+)
Summit of the Gods (2021, France, Netflix)
Stand by Me, Doreamon (2014, Japan, Netflix)
The House (2022, Netflix)
Stand by Me, Doreamon 2 (2020, Japan, Netflix)
Hotel Transylvania: Transformia (2021, Amazon)
Flee (2021, Denmark, Hulu)
Child of Kamiari Month (2021, Japan, Netflix)
The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017, Japan, HBO Max)
Magic Boy (1959, Japan, Turner)
Turning Red (2022, Pixar, Disney+)
The Good Dinosaur (2015, Pixar, Disney+)
100% Wolf (2020, Australia, Hulu)


Hearts and Flowers (1930,  YouTube)
Junk Head 1 (2013, Japan, Daily Motion)
Bingo (1998, Canada, National Film Board of Canada)
Strange Invaders (2001, Canada, National Film Board of Canada)
Namoo (2021, HBOMax)
The Windshield Wiper (2021, YouTube)
Affairs of the Art (2021, YouTube)
Listen to Me Sing (2019, UK, Vimeo)


The Owl House (second season begins, Disney)
Stillwater (second season, Apple+)
Wolfboy and the Everything Factory (first season, Apple+)
Bluey (picking up episodes of season three on YouTube)

Let's start with the Oscar snub of The Summit of the Gods. It is a French animated film based on a Japanese Manga about mountain climbing. It includes some of the best backgrounds I have seen in a long time. The storytelling is excellent. The story is thrilling, sad, and heartbreaking. Surely, this was better than most nominated by the Academy.

Which brings me to Flee. Nominated for Best Documentary, Best Foreign Feature, and Best Animated Feature, one would think there was merit to the film. It contains more merit in the first few minutes than some films achieve in three hours. The story is about a refugee from Afghanistan and his travels to a home in Denmark. It is taken from the actual experiences of a real person. Personally, the film is a masterpiece.

The House is amazing. A trilogy of tales surrounding a house and three of its owners. The first are human; the next, a rat; and the last a cat and her borders. Stop motion animation at its finest. Worth every moment of viewing. I expect to see this nominated at next year's Annies.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is the tale of a girl's night on the town. Amazing, surreal, often hilarious, how did I not see this one years ago? 

Turning Red is Pixar's lastest release. Like 'Onward', 'Soul', and 'Luca', it went straight to Disney+, with no extra charge that many of Disney's releases had when premiering. Pixar has been at odds with Disney's not releasing their last three films in the theaters. Pixar's frustrations of this treatment has been well-noted in the press. I see talent from that studio headed elsewhere if the practice continues. 

Noting some of the others: Rumble is a good story about family and underdogs. The two Doreamon films are enjoyable, if you are a fan of Doreamon (which I am), 100% Wolf is a decent coming of age film, and...

I didn't think The Good Dinosaur was as bad as everyone said.

In the shorts catagory, I did manage to see three of the five Nominees for Animated Shorts:

Robin, Robin (see previous Blog)
The Windshield Wiper, a story about the meaning of love and winner of the Best Animated Short.
Affairs of the Art, a hilarious tale of obsession.

I'm still trying to find the other two. 

Junk Head 1 is a surreal scifi short, by Takahide Hori, which would later be made into a feature. It is a story about exploration, discovery, and loss. The stop motion here is well above the norm. I saw it mentioned on Twitter and had to find it. 

Lastly, in series, I'm still finding third season episodes of Bluey on YouTube, usually cut into 20 second segment. Of what I've seen, I cannot wait of them to appear on Disney. Stillwater is still a beautiful and calming series. Still very Zen. Wolfboy and the Everything Factory is about a boy who fits in better with mythical creatures than humans. A lovely series with some great storytelling. Apple+ does have some wonderful series. 

So that sums up the first three months of the year. In the second quarter, we will be saying Goodbye to Amphibia on Disney, the full second season of The Owl House, which will have a very short third and final season, and the second season of How To Train Your Dragon: The 9 Realms. Also looking toward the third quarter which will hold the 5th and final season of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. Some of the features I hope to see will include Sing 2, Belle (Hosoda's latest anime), and some of the anime's on my To Watch list on HBOMax. 

Until next time. stay animated.