About Jessica Wersky

I am a fast-talking, God-fearing, animation-loving girl from Colorado.

Top Ten Most Fascinating Animated Characters: Number 1

mickey 01

So, this “little thought experiment” I came up with in January was supposed to take only a few months, and ended up spanning all of 2015. Usually, a delay like that would embarrass me, but this time I think it’s sort of nice. Bookending the year with the start to and completion of a series that I am proud of feels gratifying, especially since I am teeming with unfinished, (not-even-started) projects all the time. Looking back, I am still in 90% agreement with my choices, although I now find Spot from The Good Dinosaur to be a must-have addition to the list. Anyhoo, I’m sure there’s no one following along who’s been completely simpatico with me, and this final choice will assure many readers that I am an animation rube. However, I hope you read the entire argument as to why I believe this endearing, enduring mouse deserves the top spot. Oh boy!

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Top Ten Most Fascinating Animated Characters: Number 2

Art by Matt Groening. © 20th Century Fox.

Character design by Matt Groening. © 20th Century Fox.

Maybe this is the point when I lose some of you—when my odd nineties-geared proclivities prove just a little too much. Nevertheless, I have to be honest with myself and the truth is that this character had me from episode one: “Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and the gorilla starts throwing barrels at you!” With his response to finding out he is “the most important person in the universe,” Philip J. Fry responds, “Oh, snap,” which somehow perfectly exemplifies my unrepentant fascination with him. Oozing with characteristic Matt Groening humor, Futurama is loud, endlessly thought-provoking and offers some of the most boorish, idiotic, endearing protagonists on television, with the cryogenically frozen delivery boy from New York being my all-time favorite.

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Top Ten Most Fascinating Animated Characters: Number 3

© Disney/Pixar

© Disney/Pixar

Sure, there have been lots of stories written and films made about characters dreaming the impossible dream—longing to do something with their lives beyond their “directive,” (to quote our last fascinating character’s film) but the magic of the third most fascinating animated character on my list is that he is following his directive; he is using what he has (amazing sense of smell and taste) to its full potential. Oh, and also that he is a rat who loves to cook.

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Review: ‘Minions’–The Exact Opposite of ‘Inside Out’

© Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures

© Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures

Anyone who read my review of Pixar’s Inside Out knows that it would take a supremely amazing film to compete with what I consider one of the all-time great animated films. I did not expect a film like IO going into Minions, though. I like quirky comedies; I enjoy the occasional wacky prequel. However, by its stark contrast with Pixar’s latest and greatest, Minions can’t escape a comparison. Where Inside Out is subtle, thoughtful, and fresh, Minions is loud, mindless, and generally stinky.

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Top Ten Most Fascinating Animated Characters: Number 4

© Disney/Pixar

© Disney/Pixar

How could a character who emotes so much with virtually no dialogue NOT make the top ten—especially when that character is a hopelessly romantic, whimsically eclectic robot whose only friend left on the abandoned futuristic wasteland of Earth is a cockroach that he loves like a labrador? WALL•E is not just another Johnny Five, (although he undeniably looks like J5’s very close cousin) he is an endlessly fascinating character from SCENE ONE of Andrew Stanton’s masterful film.

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‘Inside Out’ Review

inside out 01

© Disney/Pixar

Inside Out deserves—and is getting—unending praise from critics and fans, so my exuberant hurrahs will only add to the fervor of the roaring crowd. That’s fine and that’s what I intend to do, but I will also add that films like this continuing to come into the world fill me with so much vigor and hope; not just because of the overwhelmingly uplifting message of the story, but because of the memories it sparks in me of how good animation can and has changed the world.

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Redbox Pick of the Week: ‘Penguins of Madagascar’

© DreamWorks Animation

© DreamWorks Animation

I’m no huge Madagascar fan, thus the reason it took me until the DVD release to see this film, but Penguins of Madagascar (DreamWorks Animation, 2014) is a fun, hilarious, highly enjoyable movie. I was awww’ing and lol’ing almost immediately, as we get to see Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private as adorable wittle penguin babies sticking it to some leopard seals and getting kicked down a mountain by some documentary filmmakers. The premise is not too bad—little funky with the octopus/doctor super-villain, but it totally fits in with the weird world of these wannabe military special-op soldiers.

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‘Tomorrowland’: See It Again!

© Disney

© Disney

Disclaimer: Brad Bird is one of my favorite writers/directors OAT—I’m certainly not unique in that regard—so, YES, I wanted to love Tomorrowland long before I saw it. I think that when an artist I oh-so greatly admire believes as strongly in something they’ve created as Bird seems to, I am obligated to try and really grasp their vision before I dismiss it as “muddled” or “preachy,” which are some of the nicer criticisms being spewed about the film. Of course, it is also crucial in forming meaningful opinions to step back and take in the art as executed: the good, the bad and the Clooney.

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Fascinating Rant: New Parade and Fireworks at Disneyland

© Disney

© Disney

I think it’s still considered ranting if I mainly rave about a topic, which is pretty much what I’m going to do about the new parade, “Paint the Night,” and new fireworks show, “Disneyland Forever,” which both recently debuted at Disneyland. These shows were rolled out, along with a new version of “World of Color,” to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the park’s opening. I got to view these two at a cast screening last week and I was impressively surprised.

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Top Ten Most Fascinating Animated Characters: Number 5

kinopoiskru-sen-to-chihiro-no-kamikakushi-732476

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did not grow up a ravenous anime connoisseur, as so many of my fellow animation geeks. I enjoyed some shows that were anime without really noticing that they were (like Rainbow Brite and TMNT), but I didn’t watch much Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh!, or Dragon Ball Z (much to my husband’s chagrin.) I did see Spirited Away the year it won the Academy Award and I, to be perfectly honest, did not get it. So much more fantastical and bizarre than what I was used to, I wrote it off as “weird.” Yet, I always knew there was something great I was missing–whether because the whole world was raving about it or from some inherent awesome-story-detector deep inside me, I’m not sure. In any case, it is now one of my favorite animated films, and Chihiro is one of the most interesting, admirable characters ever depicted–on-screen or in print.

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