In late 2017, when I decided to start a series of film retrospectives leading up to the release of Ralph Breaks the Internet, I settled on covering all of the Walt Disney Animation Studios films that hadn’t been adapted from any source material. A cursory internet search told me that the 1970 release The Aristocats was based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, which I took to mean it had been adapted from a short story in the same vein as the Ward Greene story that became Lady and the Tramp. I realized my mistake earlier this…


Allow me to begin with a disclaimer: I haven’t seen any Ryan Murphy project since Glee, nor have I seen The Prom on stage. But judging by Murphy’s film adaptation, the show was either a perfect vehicle for him to provide more of his trademark subpar queer representation, or the same issues that plagued Glee dampened a perfectly decent musical about love and acceptance. I’m not just talking about the actors who are clearly too old to pass for high schoolers, though that doesn’t help things. …


Phineas and Ferb premiered when I was nine and lasted long enough that I outgrew all other Disney Channel programming and came right back for their other animated series in the years before its finale. It overlapped with both Kim Possible and Gravity Falls, acting as a bridge between distinct eras of television animation. Its longevity was helped along not only by its episodic format but by its clever, outlandish sense of humor and sprawling cast of characters. For eight years, there was always some other concept or character dynamic to explore for a brisk eleven minutes.

The bad news…


I shouldn’t be surprised that we’re still here. I shouldn’t be surprised that the next piece being lauded in the festival circuit as an audaciously feminist narrative is another movie full of redundancies and stereotypes masquerading as some kind of exposé on systemic misogyny. And yet, when I learned after my viewing that Dollhouse won the narrative jury prize at Slamdance in 2019, my initial reaction was surprise and shame. But I come from the generation that decided Legally Blonde and Mean Girls were feminist classics despite their exclusive focus on straight, white, thin, traditionally feminine women and larger dismissal…


Some weeks ago, my best friend and I had a movie night over FaceTime, repeatedly trying to play the video at the same time and giving each other our timestamps to try and match up whenever one of us had to pause it. Normally when we do this, we only watch one movie and don’t pay much attention to it, but I had recently discovered that all three films were on Netflix, and neither of us had seen them in some time, so we decided to marathon them. It took us until 1AM to finish them, and a good percentage…


I was brought to tears when I saw Love, Simon two years ago. Sure, there was a lot about the titular character and his story that didn’t really resonate with my own experiences in high school or with coming out, but there were some huge moments that seemed to echo my own life and made me emotional to the point where the friend I saw it with took my hand to comfort me. The movie as a whole is a pretty basic, vanilla representation of a white, abled, cisgender, conventionally attractive upper middle-class gay kid, but I was overjoyed to…


Director Jordan Blady’s debut film gave me some mixed feelings. For the first half-hour or so, it was mostly irritation, but at some point it shifted to curiosity without me even noticing, and by the end I was more or less satisfied with what I’d seen, even if it wasn’t particularly polished. It was an interesting viewing experience, and I can’t say plain and simple whether or not I recommend it. …


Like last year, I fully intended to have this up at midnight on January 1, but that was a little too optimistic given everything I had to do over Christmas and New Year’s, followed almost immediately by a month-long internship in New York which, like London, caused a week’s worth of anxiety attacks and kept me busier and more tired than usual throughout the month of January. I questioned whether I should even bother posting the full list at all, but since the earliest films on the list come out in February, I figure there’s still time. Last year I…


Back in 2013, much of the marketing for Frozen mischaracterized the actual tone and content of the film, somewhat ignoring the themes of broken relationships and mental illness in favor of showcasing the obligatory comic sidekicks. But Disney clearly caught on to the fact that although Olaf was certainly a fan favorite, the then highest-grossing animated film of all time became that because audiences gravitated toward the complex character of Elsa and the sweeping visuals. So, naturally, when the sequel was greenlit, the filmmakers leaned into the darker, more mysterious aspects of the original.

Thankfully, the marketing for Frozen II…


The boy band is a phenomenon to which no one seems to be a stranger. Most living people have likely encountered it for themselves, through classmates growing up, or through their children. It’s frequently mocked and parodied, and certainly not without reason. Unfortunately, some of the biggest reasons turn out to be misogynistic and just plain mean the more you think about them. I was guilty of it in high school; though a good amount of my friends were One Direction fans, I took the low-hanging fruit of dismissing any and all mainstream boy band music as trite or immature…

Mary McKeon

Film/TV critic, essayist, and screenwriter. Hollins University class of 2020 current MFA student.

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