Studio Ghibli is like the Pixar of Japanese animated movies. Almost all of them are pretty amazing, but none of them had been 3D animated until Earwig and the Witch. Since Studio Ghibli movies are exclusively on HBO Max, I decided to watch it as it’s rather recent.
The film starts with a young mother taking her baby to the doorstep of an orphanage. Turns out this woman is a witch, and to protect her daughter, she must separate from her until she’s done with the evil witches who are after her.
Earwig stays at the orphanage a little less than a decade. Her mother doesn’t pick her up, but rather she’s adopted by a rather peculiar couple who seem far more sinister than one might expect.
She isn’t adopted because the couple wanted a family. But rather that she would be used for very cheap labor around the house. She figures out the woman is a witch, and is quite happy about it. The man in the house seems more demonic than the witch, but will Earwig survive such a place?
Earwig and the Witch may be the worst film ever made by Studio Ghibli. While the 3D animation is odd for Studio Ghibli, it’s really not bad in anyway. But the story and character development is rather boring. It doesn’t really get any better the closer you get to the ending either. To be the first film for Studio Ghibli in many years, they flopped hard this time.
I had seen the original Trolls movie by Dreamworks a few years ago. Trolls World Tour is the new sequel but I didn’t get to see it in theaters when it came out. It’s currently available on Hulu, so the time eventually came for me to watch it.
The trolls that we had seen in the first movie were of the pop music trolls. There is a tribe of trolls for every major type of music and smaller sects of clans for niche music. They all had lived separately but in harmony for many many years.
Except one day, the queen of the Rock and Roll trolls, Queen Barb decides to invade a troll country that isn’t her own. She wants to take magic strings from the other clans of trolls to eliminate thier music forever. So that eventually, all the Troll Kingdoms will be under Rock and Roll music.
So it will be up to Queen Poppy to unite her people and defeat the Rock and Roll trolls. The unfortunate thing is that she doesn’t quite understand how serious Queen Barb is about her quest.
Overall, Trolls World Tour is a pretty cute film. It’s still not as great as Pixar but it’s about on par with the first movie but since it had pretty cute musical numbers, I think I preferred the sequel over the original. DreamWorks might not be the king of animated movies, but it’s not bad to be the runner up.
As the last opponent during the third round of the Dark Tournament, Risho was a big douche.
He got the tournament committee to rule Yusuke ineligible to fight. Forcing Kuwabara to make a bold and desperate last stand against him.
He had the ability to form layers of clay around his body as armor. It was kind of a cool power.
Kuwabara almost died against him, until he saw his beloved Yukina.
For which he started to lose his cool.
It was amazing that his Spirit Sword was able to go through that clay armor so easily.
One of the few characters to get badly beaten by Kuwabara.
Jin was one of my favorite minor characters on the show.
Despite being on an enemy team and a contest that allowed murder, he was very friendly and was clearly in it for the fun of fighting.
He had some impressive wind powers.
And one of the few characters that could fly.
He was the first opponent Yusuke truly used the Spirit Wave technique against.
Resulting in a loss for Jin, but despite the painful blow, he almost got back up before the ten count was over.
At the end of the series, he rises to the S-Class level of power. All in an effort to fight Yusuke again. But I don’t think they had their gentlemanly match against each other again before he lost in the Demon World Tournament.
I’ve always had a pretty strong distaste for Bakken. One of the most awful fighters during the Dark Tournament.
He starts the match by attacking an unconscious Kurama.
He wasn’t too happy with anybody who disagreed with his plan.
His team leader Risho stopped him from killing Kurama as Yusuke Urameshi was planning on killing Bakken if he landed a fatal punch.
I was glad to see Yusuke get a chance to fight him one-on-one.
His special power was being able to sweat out a mist of fog.
It becomes painfully obvious to everyone that Yusuke had almost no chance of losing against him.
I’m not sure if he actually died or not, but we don’t see him again after his defeat.