In what must be one of the least promising opening sequences of recent years, the new Tom & Jerry film – their first in quasi-live action – opens with rapping pigeons, inexplicably hot footing around in thin air. A rat then makes a copyright joke. Give me strength. This one’s over a hundred minutes long.
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A couple of things become eminently clear in the first five minutes of Raya and the Last Dragon. The first is that this may well be the crowing visual achievement of Disney’s in house animation team in the post-hand drawn era. It’s gorgeous stuff. Breathtaking. Second, the whole thing is very ‘on-brand’. The twenty-first century Disney Princess owes a lot to the Frozen mould and that’s both a blessing and a curse. When Dwayne Johnson’s Maui cracked the code in Moana – ‘if you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess’ – that was irony. In Raya, it’s marketable. Take that as you will. Raya doesn’t sing but she doesn’t do much we’ve not seen before either.
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Much akin to his relationship of Wimbledon and tennis, this critic’s understanding and knowledge of the horse racing world begins and ends with the Grand National. As such, to my shame, I had never heard of trailblazing Australian jockey Michelle Payne prior to an experience Ride Like a Girl, the new biopic to tell her story. I confess to knowing less still about the sexism still at rage in contemporary equestrian circles. To this end, the film, which has this week made its home cinema debut, proves as educationally notable – if not quite analytical – as it is visually attractive.
Continue reading Ride Like a Girl | Review