Igor Kovalyov Reviews

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The Rugrats Movie

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 In Paris: The 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 Go Wild

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: Tales from the Crib: Three Jacks and a Bean Stalk

Review Rugrats Movie, The (DVD)

Based on the popular Nickelodeon TV series Rugrats, this is the first fu ll-length feature animated movie to star the little tots. It 's the stor y of diaper-clad kids, told from a baby's point- of-view, and they were one of the hottest-selling toy franchises of the late '90s. The film fea tures a hilarious musical number in the hospital nursery, where newborns have the voices of major rock stars that include Jakob Dylan (Bob Dylan 's son), Iggy Pop, Lou Rawls, Lisa Loeb, and Patti Smith, to name a few. The story escalates when self-proclaimed leader Tommy Pickles is thrus t into an impossible situation with the birth of his new brother, Dil Pi ckles. This ne w kid is grabbing all the attention and won't stop crying . With the help of other toddlers Lil and Phil, Tommy decides that the b aby should be returned to the hospital for fixing. They all hop on thei r little wagon and take a high-speed ride straight into the deep woods where they realize they're lost. Chased around by animals (or so they th ink), the Rugrats clan must get home in one piece. Ot her celebrity voic es include Whoopi Goldberg and The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Tim Curry , as well as Saturday Night Live's Andrea Martin and David Spade.

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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.

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 Volume 2

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


The Wild Thornberrys Movie

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®


Hey Arnold! The Movie

Review THIS DOUBLE FEATURES CONTAINS:

The Rugrats Movie
Tommy faces responsiblity when Dil, his new baby brother is born. As with all newborns, the child becomes a bane to Tommy and the rest of his gang. Even Phil and Lil don't like them. So they decide to return Dil to where he came from, the hospital. But they get lost along the way, REALLY lost, and get into even more trouble with a circus. Can they find their way home and can Tommy and Dil just get along?

Rugrats Go Wild
The Rugrats get tangled in an exotic adventure, where they're helped by the Thornberrys, a family that travels the world making nature documentaries.
Rugrats Season 4

Review It's a multifamily getaway on the rails in "Murmur on the Ornery Express," the double-episode that finds the kids, parents, and grandparents on board a train with a shadowy thief. When both Grandma's necklace and Chuckie's teddy bear turn up missing, one wonders whether a burglar could have such eclectic taste. The diapered ones solve the smaller mystery, allowing a trench-coated detective to recover the jewelry. In "The Fun Way Day," Chas and Kira's new coffeehouse tanks, so they hire a feng shui expert to change its ambience. Of course the kids misinterpret the Chinese phrase as "fun way" and play with his trinkets once the adults have inevitably left them alone. The result is a predictably catastrophic mess, but also an energy transfer that brings in the customers. Finally, Angelica offers up one of the babies as a play toy to ingratiate herself with some older girls in "Trading Phil." (Ages 3 and older) --Kimberly Heinrichs
Monsters, Inc.

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
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.
Rugrats - Phil & Lil Double Trouble [VHS]

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 - Tommy Troubles [VHS]

Review Rugrats Movie, The (DVD)

Based on the popular Nickelodeon TV series Rugrats, this is the first fu ll-length feature animated movie to star the little tots. It 's the stor y of diaper-clad kids, told from a baby's point- of-view, and they were one of the hottest-selling toy franchises of the late '90s. The film fea tures a hilarious musical number in the hospital nursery, where newborns have the voices of major rock stars that include Jakob Dylan (Bob Dylan 's son), Iggy Pop, Lou Rawls, Lisa Loeb, and Patti Smith, to name a few. The story escalates when self-proclaimed leader Tommy Pickles is thrus t into an impossible situation with the birth of his new brother, Dil Pi ckles. This ne w kid is grabbing all the attention and won't stop crying . With the help of other toddlers Lil and Phil, Tommy decides that the b aby should be returned to the hospital for fixing. They all hop on thei r little wagon and take a high-speed ride straight into the deep woods where they realize they're lost. Chased around by animals (or so they th ink), the Rugrats clan must get home in one piece. Ot her celebrity voic es include Whoopi Goldberg and The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Tim Curry , as well as Saturday Night Live's Andrea Martin and David Spade.

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A Rugrats Chanukah [VHS]

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 - Angelica the Divine [VHS]

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 - Grandpa's Favorite Stories [VHS]

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®


Rugrats - Dr. Tommy Pickles [VHS]

Review THIS DOUBLE FEATURES CONTAINS:

The Rugrats Movie
Tommy faces responsiblity when Dil, his new baby brother is born. As with all newborns, the child becomes a bane to Tommy and the rest of his gang. Even Phil and Lil don't like them. So they decide to return Dil to where he came from, the hospital. But they get lost along the way, REALLY lost, and get into even more trouble with a circus. Can they find their way home and can Tommy and Dil just get along?

Rugrats Go Wild
The Rugrats get tangled in an exotic adventure, where they're helped by the Thornberrys, a family that travels the world making nature documentaries.
Rugrats: Return of Reptar [VHS]

Review It's a multifamily getaway on the rails in "Murmur on the Ornery Express," the double-episode that finds the kids, parents, and grandparents on board a train with a shadowy thief. When both Grandma's necklace and Chuckie's teddy bear turn up missing, one wonders whether a burglar could have such eclectic taste. The diapered ones solve the smaller mystery, allowing a trench-coated detective to recover the jewelry. In "The Fun Way Day," Chas and Kira's new coffeehouse tanks, so they hire a feng shui expert to change its ambience. Of course the kids misinterpret the Chinese phrase as "fun way" and play with his trinkets once the adults have inevitably left them alone. The result is a predictably catastrophic mess, but also an energy transfer that brings in the customers. Finally, Angelica offers up one of the babies as a play toy to ingratiate herself with some older girls in "Trading Phil." (Ages 3 and older) --Kimberly Heinrichs

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