Igor Kovalyov Reviews

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The Rugrats Movie

Review Voices of Jason Alexander, Elizabeth Daily, Nancy Travis. Duckman isn't your average suave, sophisticated private eye. In fact, he's rude, ignorant and slovenly, and he barely manages to solve enough cases to cover his alimony payments and cable TV bills! Animated. Features the first 2 seasons of this adult-oriented sitcom with 22 episodes on 3 DVDs. 1994-95/color/8 hrs., 16 min/NR.
Rugrats In Paris: The Movie

Review Contrary to Duckman's worst fears, the "private dick/family man" is not doomed to "live an unnoticed, unappreciated life," not with the DVD release of this cult fave animated series based on Everett Peck's underground comic. For four seasons, Duckman nested comfortably in the USA Network's "Up All Night" programming block, its politically incorrect misanthropy given full voice by Jason Alexander as a character whose cluelessness, insensitivity, deviancy, and boorishness are his best qualities. Who is Duckman? No one special, he laments, "I'm just one more duck detective who works with a pig and lives with the twin sister of his dead wife, three sons on two bodies and a comatose mother-in-law who's got so much gas she's a fire hazard." As with Alexander's signature Seinfeld character, George Costanza, Duckman has few redeeming qualities. He's an incompetent detective whose few acts of heroism are inadvertent (in one episode, he is sent flying after groping two women and unwittingly lands on a Presidential attacker). He rants and raves on everything from "clean" comics to the commercialism of TV news. His catchphrases are equally obnoxious: "What the hell are you starin' at?" and "Homana, homana, how wah." This could get tiresome after awhile, but what buoys Duckman are its inventive and vividly colored animation (produced by the folks who birthed Rugrats, Klasky Csupo), sharp and clever writing, and virtuoso voice work by Alexander and company, including Nancy Travis as Duckman's braying sister-in-law Beatrice, Dweezil Zappa as Duckman's dim son, Ajax, and E. J. Daily and the late Dana Hill as his other conjoined-headed son, Charles and Mambo, and Gregg Berger as breakout character Cornfed Pig, Duckman's brilliant porcine partner whose deadpan just-the-facts delivery suggests Jack Webb, but who insists his "spiritual forerunner" is Jack Lord. Duckman can be hit and miss, and some of its satiric targets (reality shows, fact-based TV movies, clip episodes) are obvious, but for those who like their comedy most fowl, it really fills the bill. --Donald Liebenson
Rugrats Go Wild

Review The delightful twins Phil and Lil are the stars of "Baby Commercial," in which they think they are ideally suited for roles in a television commercial--but the director might think otherwise. There's more Phil and Lil in "Twin's Pique," in which the duo decide to delineate their personalities more by inventing them. These supporting players in the Rugrats phenomenon deserve this release to themselves. --Tom Keogh
Rugrats: Tales from the Crib: Three Jacks and a Bean Stalk

Review Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world's most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. Now for the first time ever, the films featured in The Animation Show of Shows are available in this special DVD collection along with some of the most memorable animated short films of all time.

CHICK by Michal Socha * Best Student Animation, Ottawa International Animation Festival

RUNAWAY by Cordell Barker * Genie Award for Best Animated Short Film, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

HEN HIS WIFE by Igor Kovalyov * Grand Prize, Ottawa International Animation Festival


Rugrats: Tales from the Crib: Snow White

Review Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world's most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. Now for the first time ever, the films featured in The Animation Show of Shows are available in this special DVD collection along with some of the most memorable animated short films of all time.

Wild Life by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby * Best Animated Short Film Nominee: 84th Academy Awards® * Best Canadian Film: Ottawa International Animation Festival

Muybridge's Strings by Koji Yamamura * Jury's Special Prize: Cinanima International Animated Film Festival * Special Prize: Hiroshima International Animation Festival

Anderi Svislotsky by Igor Kovalyov * Best Experimental Film: Oberhausen International Animation Festival * Special Jury Prize: Tough Eye, Turku International Animation Festival


Rugrats Volume 2

Review Within:

THE DANISH POET by Torill Kove * Best Animated Short Film, 79th Academy Awards®

VOLGENS DE VOGELS by Linde Faas * First Prize Student Competition, Holland Animation Film Festival

VIVE LA ROSE by Bruce Alcock * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

EL EMPLEO by Santiago "Bou" Grasso * FIPRESCI Award, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

STRINGS by Wendy Tilby * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, 64th Academy Awards®

ELETVONAL by Tomek Ducki * Grand Prix + Best Animated Film, Tabor Film Festival

CHICK by Michal Socha * Best Student Animation, Ottawa International Animation Festival

RUNAWAY by Cordell Barker * Genie Award for Best Animated Short Film, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

HEN HIS WIFE by Igor Kovalyov * Grand Prize, Ottawa International Animation Festival

JOHN AND KAREN by Matthew Walker * Best Television Animation for Adults, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival

SANDBURG'S ARITHMETIC by Lynn Smith * Special Distinction Award for Education and Humor, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

AT THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by Konstantin Bronzit * Audience Award, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

I MET THE WALRUS by Josh Raskin * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, 80th Academy Awards®

THE IRRESISTIBLE SMILE by Ami Lindholm * Best Student Film, Animafest Zagreb

TRAGIC STORY WITH HAPPY ENDING by Regina Passoa * Cartoon d'Or Nominee, Cartoon Forum

THE PEARCE SISTERS by Luis Cook * Best Animated Short Film, 2008 BAFTA Award

THE SPINE by Chris Landreth * Grand Prize, Cinanima

FIFTY PERCENT GREY by Ruairi Robinson * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, 74th Academy Awards®


All Grown Up Season 1

Review The RUGRATS came makes a smooth translation to the big screen in this, their first feature film! When Tommy's baby brother Dil is born, he suddenly faces new responsibility in both caring for the newborn and in being a role model. But when he brings the rest of the gang along in trying to return Dil from the hospital, they all get lost and encounter some very scary things on their journey. Product Details Number of Tapes: 1 Rating: G (MPAA) Film Country: USA UPC: 097363339939 Release Date: 03/30/1999 Director: Norton Virgien, Igor Kovalyov Rating: G
Rugrats Season 2

Review The first theatrical film from the popular Nickelodeon TV series became the surprise hit of the 1998 holiday box-office crunch, trouncing the highly competitive kids market. The key ingredient to the Rugrats' success is the writing. Venturing into their first theatrical movie, the pals--including the intrepid diaper-wearing Tommy Pickles, the nervous Chuckie, the twins Lil and Phil, and the wonderfully prissy Angelica--garble English into funny prose ("I want those fugitives back in custard-y!") and use movie references in their fantasy life. The opening here is a dead-on spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The big news for the movie is that Tommy gets a new baby brother, named Dylan (or Dil for short). The rest of the film has no real plot but is a series of adventures as the clan gets lost in the forest riding an inventive Reptar wagon that is the '90s equivalent of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Parents search for the kids, the kids learn new lessons, everyone goes home happy. The Rugrats Movie is not as wildly appealing as A Bug's Life but is far goofier and wackier with its animation. There's also a tremendous sense of joy that is often missing from cartoons these days, and the songs used in the film--from such diverse musicians as Busta Rhymes, Iggy Pop, Lisa Loeb, Lou Rawls, Beck, and Devo--add to the fun. It's an acquired taste, but the creators' first efforts to take the 10-minute TV sketches into an 80-minute feature pay off.

The video contains a short (Winslow Doc) from Nickelodeon's series CatDog. Although the animation is similar, one can only hope the series does not reach the popularity of Rugrats. --Doug Thomas


The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Review Three episodes from the popular animation series comprise this video: the fun "Touchdown Tommy," the spooky "Monster in the Garage," and "Let There Be Light," a Rugrats-style inquiry into the question of where light goes at night. This hopping show also includes two visits from a superhero, "Inside-Out Boy." As always, the stars are 1-year-old Tommy Pickles and his baby friends, who become mysteriously talkative when there are no adults around. --Tom Keogh
Robots

Review Voices of Jason Alexander, Elizabeth Daily, Nancy Travis. Duckman isn't your average suave, sophisticated private eye. In fact, he's rude, ignorant and slovenly, and he barely manages to solve enough cases to cover his alimony payments and cable TV bills! Animated. Features the first 2 seasons of this adult-oriented sitcom with 22 episodes on 3 DVDs. 1994-95/color/8 hrs., 16 min/NR.
Monsters, Inc.

Review Contrary to Duckman's worst fears, the "private dick/family man" is not doomed to "live an unnoticed, unappreciated life," not with the DVD release of this cult fave animated series based on Everett Peck's underground comic. For four seasons, Duckman nested comfortably in the USA Network's "Up All Night" programming block, its politically incorrect misanthropy given full voice by Jason Alexander as a character whose cluelessness, insensitivity, deviancy, and boorishness are his best qualities. Who is Duckman? No one special, he laments, "I'm just one more duck detective who works with a pig and lives with the twin sister of his dead wife, three sons on two bodies and a comatose mother-in-law who's got so much gas she's a fire hazard." As with Alexander's signature Seinfeld character, George Costanza, Duckman has few redeeming qualities. He's an incompetent detective whose few acts of heroism are inadvertent (in one episode, he is sent flying after groping two women and unwittingly lands on a Presidential attacker). He rants and raves on everything from "clean" comics to the commercialism of TV news. His catchphrases are equally obnoxious: "What the hell are you starin' at?" and "Homana, homana, how wah." This could get tiresome after awhile, but what buoys Duckman are its inventive and vividly colored animation (produced by the folks who birthed Rugrats, Klasky Csupo), sharp and clever writing, and virtuoso voice work by Alexander and company, including Nancy Travis as Duckman's braying sister-in-law Beatrice, Dweezil Zappa as Duckman's dim son, Ajax, and E. J. Daily and the late Dana Hill as his other conjoined-headed son, Charles and Mambo, and Gregg Berger as breakout character Cornfed Pig, Duckman's brilliant porcine partner whose deadpan just-the-facts delivery suggests Jack Webb, but who insists his "spiritual forerunner" is Jack Lord. Duckman can be hit and miss, and some of its satiric targets (reality shows, fact-based TV movies, clip episodes) are obvious, but for those who like their comedy most fowl, it really fills the bill. --Donald Liebenson
Duckman - Seasons One & Two

Review The delightful twins Phil and Lil are the stars of "Baby Commercial," in which they think they are ideally suited for roles in a television commercial--but the director might think otherwise. There's more Phil and Lil in "Twin's Pique," in which the duo decide to delineate their personalities more by inventing them. These supporting players in the Rugrats phenomenon deserve this release to themselves. --Tom Keogh
Duckman: Seasons Three and Four

Review Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world's most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. Now for the first time ever, the films featured in The Animation Show of Shows are available in this special DVD collection along with some of the most memorable animated short films of all time.

CHICK by Michal Socha * Best Student Animation, Ottawa International Animation Festival

RUNAWAY by Cordell Barker * Genie Award for Best Animated Short Film, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

HEN HIS WIFE by Igor Kovalyov * Grand Prize, Ottawa International Animation Festival


The Critic - The Complete Series

Review Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world's most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. Now for the first time ever, the films featured in The Animation Show of Shows are available in this special DVD collection along with some of the most memorable animated short films of all time.

Wild Life by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby * Best Animated Short Film Nominee: 84th Academy Awards® * Best Canadian Film: Ottawa International Animation Festival

Muybridge's Strings by Koji Yamamura * Jury's Special Prize: Cinanima International Animated Film Festival * Special Prize: Hiroshima International Animation Festival

Anderi Svislotsky by Igor Kovalyov * Best Experimental Film: Oberhausen International Animation Festival * Special Jury Prize: Tough Eye, Turku International Animation Festival


Rocko's Modern Life: The Complete Series

Review Within:

THE DANISH POET by Torill Kove * Best Animated Short Film, 79th Academy Awards®

VOLGENS DE VOGELS by Linde Faas * First Prize Student Competition, Holland Animation Film Festival

VIVE LA ROSE by Bruce Alcock * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

EL EMPLEO by Santiago "Bou" Grasso * FIPRESCI Award, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

STRINGS by Wendy Tilby * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, 64th Academy Awards®

ELETVONAL by Tomek Ducki * Grand Prix + Best Animated Film, Tabor Film Festival

CHICK by Michal Socha * Best Student Animation, Ottawa International Animation Festival

RUNAWAY by Cordell Barker * Genie Award for Best Animated Short Film, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

HEN HIS WIFE by Igor Kovalyov * Grand Prize, Ottawa International Animation Festival

JOHN AND KAREN by Matthew Walker * Best Television Animation for Adults, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival

SANDBURG'S ARITHMETIC by Lynn Smith * Special Distinction Award for Education and Humor, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

AT THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by Konstantin Bronzit * Audience Award, Annecy International Animation Film Festival

I MET THE WALRUS by Josh Raskin * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, 80th Academy Awards®

THE IRRESISTIBLE SMILE by Ami Lindholm * Best Student Film, Animafest Zagreb

TRAGIC STORY WITH HAPPY ENDING by Regina Passoa * Cartoon d'Or Nominee, Cartoon Forum

THE PEARCE SISTERS by Luis Cook * Best Animated Short Film, 2008 BAFTA Award

THE SPINE by Chris Landreth * Grand Prize, Cinanima

FIFTY PERCENT GREY by Ruairi Robinson * Best Animated Short Film Nominee, 74th Academy Awards®


The Maxx: The Complete Series

Review The RUGRATS came makes a smooth translation to the big screen in this, their first feature film! When Tommy's baby brother Dil is born, he suddenly faces new responsibility in both caring for the newborn and in being a role model. But when he brings the rest of the gang along in trying to return Dil from the hospital, they all get lost and encounter some very scary things on their journey. Product Details Number of Tapes: 1 Rating: G (MPAA) Film Country: USA UPC: 097363339939 Release Date: 03/30/1999 Director: Norton Virgien, Igor Kovalyov Rating: G
The Ren and Stimpy Show - Seasons Three and a Half-ish

Review The first theatrical film from the popular Nickelodeon TV series became the surprise hit of the 1998 holiday box-office crunch, trouncing the highly competitive kids market. The key ingredient to the Rugrats' success is the writing. Venturing into their first theatrical movie, the pals--including the intrepid diaper-wearing Tommy Pickles, the nervous Chuckie, the twins Lil and Phil, and the wonderfully prissy Angelica--garble English into funny prose ("I want those fugitives back in custard-y!") and use movie references in their fantasy life. The opening here is a dead-on spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The big news for the movie is that Tommy gets a new baby brother, named Dylan (or Dil for short). The rest of the film has no real plot but is a series of adventures as the clan gets lost in the forest riding an inventive Reptar wagon that is the '90s equivalent of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Parents search for the kids, the kids learn new lessons, everyone goes home happy. The Rugrats Movie is not as wildly appealing as A Bug's Life but is far goofier and wackier with its animation. There's also a tremendous sense of joy that is often missing from cartoons these days, and the songs used in the film--from such diverse musicians as Busta Rhymes, Iggy Pop, Lisa Loeb, Lou Rawls, Beck, and Devo--add to the fun. It's an acquired taste, but the creators' first efforts to take the 10-minute TV sketches into an 80-minute feature pay off.

The video contains a short (Winslow Doc) from Nickelodeon's series CatDog. Although the animation is similar, one can only hope the series does not reach the popularity of Rugrats. --Doug Thomas


The Ren & Stimpy Show - Season Five and Some More of Four

Review Three episodes from the popular animation series comprise this video: the fun "Touchdown Tommy," the spooky "Monster in the Garage," and "Let There Be Light," a Rugrats-style inquiry into the question of where light goes at night. This hopping show also includes two visits from a superhero, "Inside-Out Boy." As always, the stars are 1-year-old Tommy Pickles and his baby friends, who become mysteriously talkative when there are no adults around. --Tom Keogh

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