Read the rest of the review here.
Would you believe I reviewed this movie and forgot to mention the whole reason I wanted to review it in the first place?
The major reason to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets is not the movie. Oh, no. The major reason to see it is the Goofy cartoon at the beginning.
This cartoon is brilliant. It is exactly the sort of cartoon that more movies should open with. I was crying from laughter, but also from joy.
The presence of this cartoon at the beginning of Book of Secrets, coupled with the release of Enchanted, coupled in turn with the upcoming release of The Princess and the Frog, is a good indication that Disney is definitely going ahead with its plans to restore its 2D animation department. What's more, Enchanted is by all accounts a self-parody, a send-up of Disney's best-known animated films. This indicates to me that not only will Disney be making full-length animated features in the future, but that the company may be ready to move beyond its traditional formulas and do some serious storytelling.
The Goofy short is a fluff piece, of course, as it should be. Nonetheless, it's beautifully animated and incredibly funny. If that kind of visual artistry and smart writing go into Disney's future projects, we may in the near future see a restoration of the American cartoon. I, at least, hope this will bring about the death of those lousy 3D non-cartoons that keep coming out. With the exception of Pixar's projects, most of those stink except for Monster House, though even that turned cowardly after a strong beginning.
Anyway, I still think Book of Secrets is genuinely entertaining stupidity, but you really ought to see it for the Goofy short. That is worth the entry fee. After it's over, it's your choice if you want to walk out or sit through the movie.
And in case you're wondering what we've got planned here for the near future, we've developed a backlog of book reviews, which naturally take longer to write than our other posts. Stay tuned.