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You’ll Want To Take Better Care of Your Body After Watching This Anime

Did you know? 

  • Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout our body, working relentlessly throughout their life cycle (about 120 days), after which they are replaced with new cells. 
  • White blood cells protect our body against diseases and foreign invaders. There are several subtypes, including macrophages, which destroy bacteria, as well as T-cells that destroy infected cells. 
  • I learned all this from an anime. 

Okay, so that’s not 100% true. I learned it in biology class. But that was 15 years ago, and I’ve long since forgotten everything but the most basic facts about the human body. So watching Cells at Work: Code Black was a fun (albeit dark) refresher. 

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Seriously, if we had shows like this back in the day instead of boring ol’ textbooks, everyone would have aced their biology exams. It has everything that a good anime should have: beautiful art, interesting characters, a great plot, awesome action. But most of all, it’s educational, and it carries an important message beyond just entertainment: Take. Better. Care. Of. Our. Bodies. 

Based on a popular manga series, the first anime season of Cells at Work! details how a body functions through the eyes of anthropomorphised cells, ie a red blood cell and a white blood cell. I haven’t watched the original, but I’ve heard it’s light and fun, with a focus on comedy. Code Black, however, is much darker – and shines the spotlight on what happens to an unhealthy body caused by bad lifestyle habits and stress. 

Synopsis 

The series opens with our ‘hero’ AA2153, a rookie red blood cell. Somewhat naive in character, he starts off enthusiastic and pumped (ha!) for work, but soon discovers that there are plenty of problems with his work environment, from angry, overworked cells to pathways clogged with cholesterol and plaque, hindering oxygen deliveries — a reflection of the body’s unhealthy state. The environment is also hostile: AA2153 often gets verbally abused by other cells, as they are all stretched to their limit and often have to prioritise certain functions over others.

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During a delivery run, our protagonist is saved by white blood cell U1196 from an invading Pneumonia Coccus, and a friendship blossoms despite their different roles. The two characters will continue running into each other throughout the course of the series, as they both try to fulfil their duties to keep the body running. 

AA2153 does his best under terrible working conditions and tries to keep his optimism up. In the first episode, he witnesses a terrible scene: his co-workers turning into zombies (carboxyhemoglobin) after coming into contact with carbon monoxide (from smoking). Although initially terrified, he hardens his resolve to deliver oxygen after his senpai sacrifices himself by running through the gas, so that AA2153 could deliver oxygen through a safer route. However, this is just the beginning of the body’s troubles. 

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Throughout the course of the anime, our characters will have to overcome various situations, some of which are self-inflicted by the body, from heavy drinking and a bad diet to consumption of caffeine and energy drinks, which in turn cause the body to weaken further, making it prone to disease. After battling conditions such as hair loss, kidney stones, gout, erectile dysfunction, gonococci and pulmonary embolism, AA2153 starts to lose hope that the hellish environment will change… 

Verdict 

I absolutely love this anime. Pretty art style aside, I think it’s brilliant how the writers have managed to turn somewhat complicated concepts into easy-to-digest (pun intended) stories— and they’ve also done an excellent job depicting the anthropomorphised cells and the various organs creatively. 

The kidney, for example, is shown as a traditional bathhouse, and the glomeruli (the filtering unit) as bath girls who help clean up the red blood cells. When bacteria invades one kidney, threatening to destroy it, AA2153 urges the girls to evacuate – but they are prevented from doing so by the matriarch Glomeruli, who tells them that the kidney is a ‘silent organ’ — always working, never complaining. This hit me hard because I know that kidney failure is often called a silent killer, and it isn’t until they are failing that we realise something is very wrong. The kidney is eventually saved after the body ingests antibiotics, which help the white blood cells defeat the invading bacteria. 

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Another good example of the anime’s creativity is the liver, represented as a red light district with hostess clubs, where the red blood cells go to ‘unwind’ and detoxify, especially after alcohol consumption. But as the body continues drinking excessively, the once bright and colourful district becomes a dark and gloomy place, with exhausted and sickly hostesses (hepatocytes). I think it’s just great how they used real-life scenarios and applied them to the anime in such a way that is easy to understand. 

But more than just spitting facts, the anime manages to depict the emotions of the anthropomorphised cells and the seemingly hopeless state they are living in. The characters aren’t just there to tell you about how the body works: they have their own hopes and dreams and feelings. The main character is your typical anime hero: bright, cheerful and enthusiastic, always trying to inspire others — and while it’s nothing original as far as animes go (think Naruto, or Luffy), AA2153 is endearing in his own way.

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AA2153 and AC1677

The side characters are equally well developed. In episode 7, our hero’s best friend, a fellow red blood cell designated as AC1677, becomes jealous of AA2153’s achievements, having always been overshadowed by the former’s achievements.  He also feels somewhat guilty at AA2153’s persistence and dedication, as he doesn’t have the same zeal. AC1677 turns to the high that caffeine produces in order to try and outshine his friend. The body suffers a nosebleed, and AA2153 almost loses his best friend as red blood cells are sucked out and AC1677 loses his strength after crashing from a caffeine high — but he manages to save him, and eventually returns to his former self and works harder. (AC1677 is my favourite character by the way!) 

It’s episodes like these that make me feel a twinge of guilt — of course, I too have made my own body suffer from bad decisions (lack of sleep, for example, eating unhealthy food, and stressing myself out lol) and watching Code Black somehow drives the point home that I’m letting it down. I’m killing these cells in my body even though they’re working so hard for me — always working, never resting — so that I can enjoy a good quality life for as long as possible without suffering and pain. 

Since the pandemic began, I’ve made some changes to my lifestyle, including more exercise and a better diet (because I haven’t been able to eat out lol). I’ve lost about 12 kg, and I’m feeling much better compared to the days I used to gorge on fried foods coz of work stress. I couldn’t even climb stairs without feeling winded. My body must have been screaming. 

I’d like to think I’m providing a better ‘working’ environment for the cells living in me these days. So that’s a good thing. 

Rating: 8.5/10 

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Why You Should Watch Netflix’s New Filipino-Themed Anime, Trese

Based on the critically-acclaimed comics by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, Trese is an original Netflix animated series that follows the story of Alexandra Trese, an occult investigator with magical powers. She is also the resident lakan/babaylan, aka warrior/healer; one who upholds the balance between the mortal and the spiritual world.

While the concept may not be 100% original (think Hellboy, John Constantine), what makes Trese unique is its Filipino setting: the story happens in the bustling city of Manila, and features many characters and creatures from Filipino mythology. 

When it comes to the fantasy genre, we’ve had plenty of stories revolving around Western, Egyptian, Roman and even Greek mythology, but very little on Southeast Asian culture – which is why the hype was massive (especially in the Philippines) leading up to Trese’s release. 

And I’m happy to say that it does not disappoint. 

Synopsis: 

Mysterious crimes are happening all across Manila, and they seem to be from supernatural causes. At their wits end, local police enlist the help of Alexandra Trese. Alexandra’s family has long acted as a bridge between worlds –  her father Anton was once the laban, while her mother was a babaylan (shaman) – so ever since she was born, Alexandra has had a strong connection to the spirit world. In the course of the series our heroine, together with her twin bodyguards Crispin and Basilio, investigate a string of murders and disturbances – culminating in encounters with beings such as aswangs (man-eating vampiric ghouls), duwendes (goblins), tikbalang (horse-like creatures), zombies and tiyanaks (baby vampires). The events are not isolated, and indicate that something catastrophic is coming – which would involve the destruction of both the human and the spirit world. 

Why You Should Watch It 

Trese’s Filipino touch makes for a unique and refreshing take on the fantasy genre. I mean, it’s not everyday that you get an animated series based on Southeast Asian mythology – which is a shame, because the culture is so rich with amazing stories, symbols and characters. The fact that it’s on Netflix is a great step in the right direction (especially in today’s climate where companies are looking to champion diversity), because it appeals to a modern audience of young Filipinos to reconnect with their roots, and at the same time, introduce the culture to an international audience. 

While the creatures are fascinating, you also get Filipino references in things such as Alexandra’s weapon (a kalis, which looks very similar to a Malay/Indonesian dagger called the keris). Another example would be Alexandra’s bodyguards Crispin and Basilio, who were named after characters in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. In the first episode, Alexandra investigates the apparent murder of the ghost of the White Lady of Balete Drive – a Filipino urban legend that is as popular as Bloody Mary might be to the British. 

And then you have a plethora of pop-culture references to spot: in one episode, a movie studio where Alexandra and her team investigates has a sign saying ‘ABC-ZNN’, a cheeky play on ABS-CBN, the now-defunct major TV news network that was embroiled in a licensing controversy last year. You also get glimpses of everyday Filipino life: commutes in jeepneys and packed trains, a neon-lit skyline – all captured through a pretty art style that perfectly showcases Manila’s chaotic beauty.

Granted, I think sometimes these references might be lost on non-Filipino audiences (I only knew about Crispin and Basilio because the hubs and I were discussing about Philippine Independence Day – I initially thought Crispin was from St Crispin and Crispinian), but even if you’re non-Filipino, it’s not crucial to the plot, and doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the story. They’re more like hidden Easter eggs that those in the know will find satisfaction in spotting. 

But what I like the most about Trese which sets it apart from others is that it does not shy away from shining the spotlight on real Filipino issues such as police brutality, the drug war and abortion, in a country that is highly religious and predominantly Catholic. Which to me shows that care has been taken to ensure the show is as culturally accurate and as relevant as possible. It’s not just one of those ‘feel-good, show only the best side’ kind of stories. 

Alexandra’s character, despite her grim demeanour, is likeable and well-developed. You feel for her doubts and her struggles, living in her father’s shadow, constantly being told that she is ‘just like him’, but yet feeling inferior that she might not live up to people’s expectations of what she should be. But at the end of the day, I like that she finds her own strength – and the message that one can trust to someone they look up to to guide their actions, but not need to be exactly like them.

My only peeve with Trese? The pacing is good in the beginning but feels extremely rushed towards the end – as is common with many animated series. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Trese, and I think it’s worth a watch for fans of animation and fantasy stories alike. First Raya, then Trese – maybe this will be the start of the rise of Southeast Asian-themed shows. I’d love to see one with Malaysian mythological characters like Badang (not like the shit that starred Aliff Syukri, I mean a proper one), Mahsuri and Hang Tuah. 

Now, tabi-tabi po. Time to go catch up on some Trese!

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Movie Review: Disney’s Moana

 

I’m gonna get a lot of flak for this, but I think Frozen was one of the most overrated Disney films of all time. 

There, I said it. No doubt the fans will be calling for blood lol.

It wasn’t bad, but I just didn’t understand the whole hype surrounding it and how people were going on about how ‘original’ and fantastic it was. I asked a friend (who watched it five times! who watches a movie five times at the theatre?) why she liked it so much and her answer was that it was ‘different’ from the usual Disney films about being rescued by Prince Charmings – it was about ‘sisterly love’.

Er… nope. If you want to talk about ‘original’ Disney movies that have moved away from the mold, there was Atlantis, which remains, in my book, the best Disney animation ever. There was also the Emperor’s New Groove. But audiences back then weren’t prepared for something that wasn’t about Princesses and their Happily Ever Afters, since both those films didn’t do so well.

Giving credit where credit is due, Frozen did introduce a ‘new’ generation of moviegoers to more diversified story lines. Zootopia was a big success, and now we have Moana, which is set to repeat the steady pattern Disney has set for its future animations.

I wasn’t expecting much going to watch this film, but I left surprised and pleased, because this is easily one of the best animations that Disney has churned out in some time.

Synopsis: 

The story begins with a background legend – that of Te Fiti, an island goddess who created life and raised islands. Her heart powered these abilities, but it was stolen by the shape-shifting demigod Maui, who wanted to give it to humanity as a gift. When the stone was removed, darkness descended and Maui was attacked by a lava demon, Te Ka, causing the heart to be lost in the ocean along with his magical fishhook.

A thousand years later, we meet Moana, the daughter of a chieftain on the small Polynesian island of Motunui. She grows up in this beautiful, paradise-like place. Her village is a peaceful one, where everyone helps each other and all is provided for thanks to the island’s abundant resources. But Moana yearns for the sea and wants to see what lays beyond ‘the reef’, the horizontal line of ocean she often gazes wistfully at even as she readies herself to take over leadership of her community.

Moana seems resigned to her fate, until one day when the fish become scarce, vegetation starts to die and the coconuts begin to spoil. Moana suggests to go beyond the reef to get more fish, but her father angrily rejects her, saying it is the law of the elders. Moana’s mother reveals that the chief is afraid of the ocean as he lost his best friend to it when the pair attempted to sail beyond the reef.

Moana’s grandmother, Gramma Tala finds Moana dejected on the beach and reveals a hidden cave to her behind the island’s waterfall. There, she discovers a rig of canoes, which her ancestors had used when they were seafaring voyagers. Tala also gives Moana the heart of Te Fiti, which she has kept safe for her granddaughter ever since she was chosen by the ocean, and shows her that the darkness unleashed by Maui’s theft is now consuming the island.

Tala falls ill suddenly and with her dying breath, tells Moana to save her people. She departs in a sailboat to look for Maui so that he can restore the heart of Te Fiti. After braving a storm, she finally reaches an island where she finds the demigod, but he is reluctant to do what is asked of him, and constantly tries to trick her and steal the boat. Along the way, the pair encounter numerous obstacles, and eventually Maui agrees to help set the heart back in its place. What follows is an epic adventure – reclaiming Maui’s hook from a giant coconut crab in the realm of Monsters, Maui teaching Moana how to sail and navigate by stars, Moana encouraging the demigod to reacquaint himself with the powers of his magical hook. The two forge a close bond and face Te Ka, but during the fight, Maui is overpowered and damages his fish hook weapon, while the boat is thrown far out to sea. Fearing it would be broken forever, Maui abandons Moana and tells her that the ocean chose the wrong person to save her people…

Of course, this being a Disney movie, audiences should know what outcome to expect but I don’t want to spoil it further. XD

Thoughts: 

Disney has really put a lot of thought into creating the movie based on Polynesian culture, and this shows in the rich colours and textures, as well as the uplifting songs (sung in the Tokelauan language). The sweeping vistas of turquose waters and rolling green hills evokes a feeling of freedom and vivacity, which is synonymous with island life.

Moana’s character, torn between duty to her people and her yearning of her heart, is one that I feel many young people can relate to. Unlike many Disney ‘princesses’, she doesn’t have a love interest (even Anna in Frozen stuck to that, even though she did choose a commoner rather than someone of noble blood), in line with her image as a strong-willed, independent woman. Her interactions with Maui are hilarious, but it’s quite clear from the get go that this is a story about the titular character. One can’t help but marvel at the values of courage to follow your dreams that Moana embodies.

Here’s an interesting Buzzfeed article about the development of Moana: the original focused on Maui, and Moana was merely a secondary character out to rescue a love interest. But during research trips, the directors started focusing on the theme of Navigation instead. I’m glad they did, because it truly set Moana apart.

Verdict:

9/10. One of the better Disney films, and I’m including this to my favourites! 🙂

 

Movie Review – Angry Birds

It’s not the first time a movie has spawned from popular video games (think, Pokemon, Lara Croft, RE) but when I heard they were making a film based on Angry Birds? I… don’t know.

What’s next? Flappy Bird?

Despite my misgivings, I went to watch it anyway.  I was early at the theatre and my second movie, Now You See Me, was only playing 2 hours later, so I figured why not – and guess what? I was pleasantly surprised, because Angry Birds was actually entertaining. Even quite clever with some of their puns and movie references.

Synopsis: 

On Bird Island, an island inhabited by flightless birds, its citizens live a happy existence: except for Red, a grumpy recluse with thick eyebrows. Ostracised by his peers, he is sent to Anger Management Class, where he (reluctantly) becomes friends with Bomb (who explodes when he gets excited/angry) and Chuck (a mischievous road-runner type with a penchant for pranks and breaking the law).

One day, a boat docks at Bird Island, carrying pigs from Piggy Island led by Leonard. While they appear peaceful and are accepted into the Bird community, Red is suspicious of them and goes with his friends to find the legendary Mighty Eagle to seek advise. However, they are disappointed to find an old, out-of-shape Eagle who has not flown for years and who seemed not to care for their problems. While preparing to go home, Red uses a pair of binoculars and spots the pigs planting explosives around the residents homes and stealing eggs, while the Birds are lured away at a party. The group rushes back into town, but all is too late as the eggs are carted away on the ship back to Piggy Island. Enraged, Red rouses the birds and leads a charge to take the eggs back.

Verdict: 

For a game that only requires its players to shoot birds into obstacles to kill pigs, they’ve managed to flesh out some pretty interesting characters (albeit, a little cliche). Red is your typical misunderstood social misfit, who earns the community’s trust and becomes a hero, while Chuck and Bomb prove to be loyal sidekicks who provide support and humour. Being a light hearted film, you can expect to see a happy ending, but although predictable, it’s a funride nonetheless. There’s a nice mix of silly, slapstick humour that kids (and the more immature among us lol) will enjoy, whilst slipping in some clever movie references. Examples: when Red opens a door on the Pigs ship and finds twin piglets dressed in blue dresses, who chant Redrum : an obvious reference to The Shining. There’s even a tribute to Quicksilver’s time-stop scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past when the superfast Chuck does his magic on some pigs guarding the door.

All in all, a nice film to take the kids to and for families.

Score: 6.5/10 

Ps: the hatchlings are really cute! I’d watch it if they made a film just based on them lol.

10 of my Favourite Cartoons/Animated Movies of all time

The idea of watching cartoons/animated films these days no longer excites me. Which is kinda sad.

Why, you ask? It’s not coz I’m all ‘grown up’, it’s simply coz the storytelling is so weak these days. Bland, boring, blah. Sequels abound. Take Frozen, for example (I’m gonna get a lot of flak for this). I found the story okay – not bad, but not very good either – but I have friends who praised it like it was God’s animation gift to man, who watched it 5x at theaters and bawled their eyes out at all the ‘touching’ scenes.

Idk. All I have to say is, they dont make them like they used to. 

Nw I sound like an old-timer!

Maybe it’s nostalgia talking, but I miss those animations and cartoons they used to make in the early 90s and 2000s.Not just the mainstream ones, but the underrated ones that for some reason (either bad timing during the release or people just didn’t appreciate them) didn’t do well at the box office. I bet they hold a special place in many a heart of people my age.

So here’s a trip down memory lane: 

10) Chicken Run (2000) 

Painstakingly done in stop motion, this English classic has the Mr.Bean-esque, self-absorbed (yet very relatable) British humour down pat. The story chronicles a bunch of chickens on Mrs Tweedy’s farm, who plan to escape before their owner turns them into meat pies. Led by the smarter-than-your-average-chick Ginger, the bumbling crew (they are chickens, after all) try to escape with the help of an American circus stunt rooster, Rocky, whom the group believes can fly.

The story is hilarious, especially when it comes to the very ‘creative’ ways the chickens try to escape: attempting to pass off as Mrs Tweedy, catapults, etc., and when Rocky ‘teaches’ them how to fly. The characters are fun and engaging, like Babs, who loves knitting, Colonel Fowler a former cock in the air force, and Mac, who has a Scottish accent.

Watching this as an adult also got me thinking about poultry slaughtering practices. I wonder if that was what the animators intended for kids to watch and remember into adulthood. 😡

9) Dinosaur (2000)

This movie is a feast for the eyes, thanks to its beautiful animation. It was one of Disney’s first live action – CGI incorporated animations, which saw the crew travelling around the world to record nature backgrounds and blending them with CGI dinos. Even today, the graphics still stand well against newer animated films.

Storywise, the plot has been described as ‘dull’ by some critics, but I loved it. It’s one of those feel good films with the right amount of action and fun. And you just can’t help rooting for the socially awkward hero.

Aladar is an iguanadon that got separated from his herd as an egg, and was raised by lemurs. Raised on an island with no other dinos, his world is thrown into turmoil when an asteroid hits the planet and his lemur family drift to the mainland, where they meet other dinos. They cross the wasteland in order to look for a fresh source of food and water, while running from a pair of carnivorous Carnatauros.

8) Help! I’m A Fish ! (2000) 

My brother and I loved this show so much, we watched it almost every other week on tape (you know, that big black square thing? Ring a bell?). I’m not surprised people haven’t heard of it coz it’s actually a Danish-German-Irish film, and they dubbed it in English to make it more accessible to a wider audience.

Three kids visit a (somewhat mad) scientist studying ocean life, and in the process, the little girl Sasha accidentally drinks a potion which turns her into a starfish. She is sucked into the sea and in order to save her, big brother Fly and his cousin Chuck drink the potion themselves to bring her back before it’s too late. What follows is an epic adventure under the sea, and trying to outwit a mean fish who has gotten its hands on the ‘human’ potion and wants to become a man.

For such a good film (the animation style is really pretty and fluid, especially the underwater scenes – able to rival Disney films any day) it’s sad that it only brought in 5.6mil in the domestic market.

7) FernGully (1992)

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Before Avatar made blue aliens sexy and before John Smith fell in love with Pocahontas, there was FernGully. Similar in theme, the story talks about how a white (ha) man comes in contact with the natives, falls in love with their way of life/culture and attempts to protect the community from greedy, evil forces.

Zack works for a logging company, but is shrunk down and meets tiny fairies, protectors of the rainforest. He learns to love nature and its powers, as well as the fairy way of life, which he now must help to protect against Hexxus – a manifestation of human greed and evil in the form of polluted sludge that poisons everything it comes into contact with. Lots of humour (from the batty character, Batty. Lol), fairy mischief, fun adventures, a bit of romance (Zack and the heroine fairy, Crysta) and you have a great recipe for a story. Animation is pretty, and Hexxus legit scared the sht out of me as a child.

This was another film I had on VHS (parents used to buy lots of these for me to watch. Thank you parents, I had a magical childhood filled with imagination).

6) The Prince of Egypt (1998)

I watched this on a bootleg CD, coz Malaysia banned the film (boo, Malaysian censorship board) for its depiction of Moses. The film tells the story of Moses’ life – how he was adopted into the Egyptian royal family, how he eventually found God, and led the Israelites to the promised land. Even without religious connotations, the story of Moses is a good one in itself, and the people behind the film (DreamWorks) did an amazing job of bringing it to life. I feel like it would be great educational material for religious classes. And who wouldn’t be moved when Moses cries “Let my people go” ?  The animation is sombre but beautiful.

Also, amazing musical score. That opening song where Moses’ mom floats him onto the river still moves me as an adult. Now that’s a timeless classic right there.

5) The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Another Disney film that somehow flopped at the box office for reasons unknown. I thought it was a very clever story with witty narrative and good lessons on friendship, appreciation and humility.

Kuzco, the spoiled emperor of an ancient South American civilisation, is turned into a llama by his evil advisor, Yzma. He seeks help from Pacha, a peasant whom Kuzco has just rudely turned down and evicted so that he could build his summer mansion. The pair travel to the palace to look for a cure, whilst avoiding traps laid out by Yzma and her bumbling assistant, Kronk. The material is hilarious, with lots of slapstick humour done just right, snarky dialogue, and loads of fun.

Kuzco in human form is really cute, by the way.

4) Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) 

I think one of the reasons why Atlantis didn’t do as well as its counterparts is due to its radical departure from the ‘classic’ Disney storyline. It is Disney’s first science fiction animation. While funny at times, it’s humour is more subdued, more adult-like. For the most part, it was an epic adventure story, with darker themes such as death, betrayal and greed.

The story starts off with the fall of Atlantis, an advanced civilisation for its time, and its sinking into the depths of the ocean. Thousands of years later, Milo Thatch – nerdy linguist-turned explorer – is funded by an eccentric millionaire on a bet made with his grandfather, who discovered the ‘Sheperds Journal’, said to lead to Atlantis’ whereabouts. Leading a team of experts, Milo heads underground and finds that the inhabitants of Atlantis are not so dead after all; and have continued living under the earth’s surface. However, the power that holds them up is dying, the city decaying and its people wasting away. Meanwile, Milo discovers that the team expedition that came along has a personal agenda of their own.

The art style is amazing. Beautiful, rich with culture and historical research, and with an equally awesome music score to boot. And those underwater chase scenes.. it’s made for 3D. I think it’s one of the most underrated Disney films of all time. Wish people could appreciate great films like these instead of Frozen and that infernal Do You Want to Build A Snowman song.

3) Land Before Time (1988) 

I cried like a baby when Littlefoot’s mum died. Nuff’ said.

That friggin score still tugs at my heart strings *wipes eye with sleeves*

2) Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)

My top two favourites are both from Dreamworks! It’s really sad because after this film (in which they suffered a loss), they abandoned traditional cartoons and started doing CGI stuff instead. 😡 A pity, coz this was brilliant. From the art style to the storytelling and the characters, everything was amazing.

Sinbad, pirate/sailor used to be best buds with Proteus, a prince. When Sinbad tries to steal the Book of Peace which Proteus is protecting on its way back to his kingdom, they are attacked by a sea monster, summoned by the goddess of discord, Eris. As a result, Sinbad is dragged down to Eris’ lair, and tempted to steal the Book of Peace in exchange for riches. When Sinbad ultimately refuses, Eris impersonates him and steals the book on her own, causing Sinbad to be sentenced to death. Proteus takes his place, sending Sinbad to retrieve the book from Eris at the edge of the world. Along tags the feisty Marina, Proteus’ fiance. Hilarity, adventure and romance ensue. Danger at every corner! Running from giant creatures! Tidal waves! Everything an evil goddess can throw at them !

**If you’re wondering… yes, I loved this cartoon and the Eris character so much that I adopted that name.

 

and last but not least….

1) The Road to El Dorado (2000)

My favourite cartoon of all time. It’s everything that a good cartoon, heck, a good film – should be. Feel good and funny, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to pull off a meaningful story.

In 16th century Spain, con artists Miguel and Tulio are caught out while playing a game of dice, and escape by stowing away on a ship to the New World. Once there, they run away and stumble across a rich ancient civilisation, only to be mistaken for Gods. With the help of native bombshell Chel (Chel Dorado hahahaha god I saw that joke somewhere), the pair plan their escape back to Spain with all the gold they can carry. But there are obstacles – an overzealous shaman Tzekel-Kan insists they prove their powers and constantly pushes for human sacrifice; as well as the ruthless Spanish ship captain, Cortes, who is inching closer to discovering the city.

Tulio and Miguel are the best of buds, and their exchanges are both hilarious and dynamic. They also live life on the edge, trusting most things to luck and getting away with it (it’s a cartoon, duh). The jokes are punny, and Tulio’s pessimistic, snarky demeanour contrasts well with Miguel’s more upbeat, kinder nature.

But again, this was a box office bomb, losing money for Dreamworks. It also got negative reviews for a ‘thin’ plot and ‘flat characters’. But fk it, I love it so 15/10.

 

Now excuse me, I want to go re-watch El Dorado. :–D

What are some of your favourite childhood cartoons/animations? Share in the comment box below!