The children own the movie to DVD environment this week, with one live action and two animation offerings. The live action is the least interesting to me, but Nanny McPhee Returns does have a place in both literature and in the film world, even if Mary Poppins might have objected. My personal movie choice for this week goes to Despicable Me, and believe me when I say I am going to pick up one of the disk options that includes the never before seen three new Minion shorts. This is one of my two favorite western animations so far this year (the other being Megamind, with Eden of the East and Occult Academy topping my Anime choices this time around), and much as the human children are portrayed as cute, it is the Minions who own this show.
The third movie is the one with the most realistic animation and the most inspiring story, and based on the first book of a world class fantasy series: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. The folks that put it together understand animating birds, since their last project was Happy Feet, and they have obviously continued to learn since then. The whole texture of this one puts it in the realm of something like the Harry Potter series, and for much the same reasons of lineage and execution: it is just that good. So why did my primary recommendation go to Despicable Me rather than this one? Blame it on the Minions; they just feel like family to me.
In live action TV, the only real winner this week is The IT Crowd: The Complete Fourth Season. While not exactly science fiction, it is a geek fest that blows wimpy competitors like Big Bang right out of the water with the kind of twisted humor that American television rarely has the nerve to show. If you haven’t seen this one before, they often play episodes on IFC you can watch online or on the channel to give you a taste of the attitude. I believe the first 3 seasons are streaming on Netflix as well.
In anime this week Nyan Koi! is the story of a high school boy with a cat allergy who ticks off the local guardian deity of cats. As a result, he can now understand what cats are saying, and has a limited time to grant the wishes of one hundred cats or be turned into a cat himself. With the protagonist being a high school boy, many of the cats are owned by high school girls, while other cats are high school girls themselves; don’t expect anything profound here, this one is just fluffy fun of the supernatural romantic comedy variety.
Somewhat more substantial, The Tower of Druaga – The Complete Series brings both seasons together in a single collection for the first time. If you have played the original arcade game from Namco-Bandi, then the 60 levels our heroes have to fight through should look at least a little familiar to you. This is more or less a combat quest story with multiple competitors going after the prize.
The other Anime coming out this week are various series re-released in more cost effective packages, including Sands of Destruction, Gun X Sword, Naruto – Season 4 Box Set 2, and Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor. The good news is you can pick any of them up for less than thirty bucks, and except for Naruto they are the entire series (the draw for Naruto is this version is uncut and unedited).