McG’s “Family Switch” is a movie we’ve seen a thousand times before. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel and doesn’t really seek to, at that. It makes it abundantly clear in the big turn of events involving the body switch as the four central characters make blatant references to “Freaky Friday,” “13 Going on 30,” “17 Again,” and “Big.” It’s tough to really judge a movie like this because it’s an easy slam dunk. It’s an easy paycheck for Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms, and current teen star Emma Meyers (off her debut on Netflix’s “Wednesday”) is allowed her own vehicle.
I say this with the utmost honesty, that despite the initial criticism of “Wish” looking like generic AI produced junk, I was very optimistic about it. I defended it often. I loved Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story,” I’m a big fan of Chris Pine, I love Alan Tudyk, so its just so sad that Chris Buck, and Fawn Veerasunthorn’s “Wish” really does end up feeling like Disney is going for the bare minimum with audiences. In a year filled with humongous milestones like the 100 year anniversary and the SAG and WGA strike (which hurt their image with a lot of audiences), you’d assume Disney would pull out all of the stops for their newest animated movie.
A spider inspector, on his way to a vacation, ends up on a plane where a murder takes place, and he must investigate.
After being introduced to ruin the 100 Acre Wood in 2005’s “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie,” Disney brings Heffalump back to ruin my favorite holiday, Halloween. Normally Winnie the Pooh is very good about ringing in Halloween, but “Heffalump Halloween Movie” is a pretty dull adventure, sadly. The whole attempt to curb the entire narrative toward the bland goofy elephant, and away from Winnie the Pooh is uninteresting.
It’s surprising that “The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t” has managed to become something of a mini-cult classic over the years. It was a TV movie that was almost lost to time, and once reclaimed, has survived thanks to nostalgia. The TV movie was much before my time, so I don’t have any real sentimentality directed toward it. In either case, ”The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t” isn’t the best Halloween special, but it has its heart in the right place, even through the cheesy final scene.
I always get a kick out of Washington Irving’s story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. And I always get a kick out of movies that put a little twist on the formula. “The Haunted Pumpkin” is a short but sweet Halloween tale that takes the whole Headless Horseman story and brings it in to the modern age; the animators and writers insert a little bit of hijinks, and some comedy in what is basically embracing the tale of the Headless Horseman to an effective degree.
“A Tale of Two Witches” is a weird special in that it involves Mickey telling the story that becomes the center of the entire short. There’s no reason why we have to keep jumping back and forth from Mickey telling Pluto the story, and getting to the story. I don’t know why this couldn’t have been just a stand alone Halloween tale. In either case, “A Tale of Two Witches” is a fun and simple Halloween special that has a good time celebrating the holiday.
I’m quite surprised that the Muppets have never really been about Halloween in all their time on screen. They’ve mostly been about Christmas and Thanksgiving which is a shame, because they’re fitted well for the holiday. I’d love it if the Henson company allowed for yearly Halloween specials, but at this point it’s probably wishful thinking. Nonetheless, “Muppets Haunted Mansion” does a good job mixing the Disney attraction with the Muppets.