Animated Joy – the App

Concept by Julianne Castillo (Animated Joy)

app login pic
App design by Julianne Castillo

Hello fellow movie lovers! So today’s post is a little different. I wanted to share my brain child with you. I came up with a concept for an app called “Animation House.”  This app is a movie service devoted to animated movies and related topics. This service would require you to have an account which would cost at the very most $5 a month.

app home page pic
App Menu design by Julianne Castillo

Once you log in, there is a menu tab to direct you to all of the amazing things that this app would have to offer. On your Profile tab you can choose to include a profile picture or even upload your Bitmoji avatar as your profile. Your profile will also show you all of the videos you’ve watched, what you rated them, and suggested movie genres. In the Movies tab, you can see all of the available movies on the app. There would be another menu on the Movies page that allows you to navigate genres. On the News page, there will be programming that allows you to see all news related to upcoming movie releases. On the Forums page, you can connect with other people,in chat rooms, who have watched the movies you have already watched. If you include your city and state, then you will have access to location specific chat rooms. There will even be direct messaging capabilities; who knows maybe you could make new friends through movies. On the Points page, you will be able to keep track of how many points you get and how you can redeem them. The idea is that if you write reviews, invite people to the app, and show your devotion to animation by watching movies, you can be rewarded with things like Fandango coupons or free download codes. In Settings, you can manage your account settings, get customer service help, if needed, and log out.

The goal of this app is to broaden the viewing audience of animation and to help people connect through film. The cinematic experience is one we can all partake in, and one we should partake in. Cinema has the power to transport us to whole other worlds and connect us with each other. I hope you will watch this YouTube video and experience how powerful cinema can be.

As always, grab some popcorn, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Hell and Back (2015)

Rated R

So, this movie is… interesting, I guess. I’m not really sure how to describe it.


When watching this movie, I wondered why the humor seemed

Design by Concept Arts 

familiar. This dry humor can be found in shows such as Saturday Night Live and Robot Chicken; this is probably because of the directors Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman were writers for those shows respectively. Hell and Back was written by Tom Gianas, Zeb Wells, and Hugh Sterbakov. With voice actors like Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis, and Jennifer Coolidge, you are sure to recognize at least one of the characters (full cast). This film was released on Oct. 2, 2015, and made $104,374 on opening weekend.


This story is quite slow for the first thirteen minutes. Three stoner friends – Remy, Augie, and Curt –  work at a run down carnival and happen to come across the book of Beelzebub. When Remy and Curt want to trade mints, Curt is required to make a blood oath that he will give Remy one of his mints. After refusing to share his mint, Curt is sucked into a portal to hell for breaking his blood oath. Remy and Augie jump into the portal to save Curt. This is where their adventure begins. Along the way the gang meets people like the Devil, Orpheus, and Deema the daughter of Orpheus. Will the gang make it out and save Curt? I guess you will have to watch and find out.


Hell and Back (2015)

This is one of those movies where it’s really stupid, but it’s also stupid enough to be funny. When I first started watching this movie, I honestly thought I would hate it, but as it continued, I disliked it less. As it went on, the humor is very much adult humor can be appreciated after a serious lack of sleep. There are little details that kill me, pun intended. In hell, the souls are not actually tortured but rather slightly annoyed for eternity. Some of the annoyances include going to a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut combo store, and only being able to order Taco Bell; being able to drink soda but it is always flat; and eating neapolitan ice cream with only strawberry left. I do think that this film is geared towards a specific audience with it’s humor. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, I encourage you to watch the trailer, pop some popcorn, watch the film on Netflix, and enjoy!


Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Tale as old as time


Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a timeless classic that continues to be loved by people

Design by: John Alvin

everywhere. Maybe it is because of Disney’s movie magic, or maybe it is because this film had the directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise to make this movie a success. Other members of this successful team included Linda Woolverton, animation and screenplay writer, and Brenda Chapman, story writer. After it’s release, Beauty and the Beast won twenty-seven of the forty-eight awards it was nominated for, including two Oscars for in the “Best Music” category. With voices such as Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara, and Robby Benson, this film successful (full cast).

Beauty and the Beast was originally released in Uruguay on June 26, 1991. The first time this film was aired in the US was on September 29, 1991, at the New York Film Festival. From there, Beauty and the Beast made it’s way to silver screens across the States and was finally released to the public on November 22, 1991. With an estimated budget of $25,000,000, Beauty and the Beast has continued to earn money, grossing up to $218,967,620 as of May 2012.

Story line

The story of the Beauty and the Beast starts out with a young prince, named Adam, refusing to help an older woman who comes to his front door. The old woman then transforms into a beautiful enchantress and curses the prince to punish him for his foolish vanity. Some years later, we see a beautiful girl named Belle walking through the

Beauty and the Beast 1991

city. The people of the city find Belle to be a very odd girl because she reads books. Now, if it wasn’t enough for her to be judged for reading, she was also judged because of her genius father who was thought of as the town loon. While her father is out searching in the woods, he comes across a castle and is taken prisoner by the beast. Belle’s father’s horse runs back to their home to get Belle and return to the castle.

Nobly, Belle offers to take her father’s place as the beast’s prisoner. Through a series of stories from the servants, now cursed to be random household objects, Belle learns of the beast’s situation and how he must learn to see people for the beauty within.

Deeper meaning

Although many people recently have started to see Beauty and the Beast as a tale of simple Stockholm Syndrome, there is a much deeper understanding of this story. The first is an encouragement to young girls everywhere: be bold, keep reading, learn, be you no matter what society thinks. The second is a critique on society: don’t judge people by how they appear on the outside, like the prince did. We, like the townspeople, cannot simply hate someone because they literally look like a beast. People are like books, there is more to them than just their covers.

But this is just my interpretation. As always, I encourage you to watch the trailer, rent the movie, grab a bag a popcorn, and enjoy!


Sausage Party (2016)

Warning: This movie is rated “R” and is not suggested for family movie nights.

Design by: BLT Communications, LLC

Hello fellow movie lovers! It’s been a while, I know, but I have a treat for y’all. This week’s review of Sausage Party is actually a video! How cool is that? As always, I have the link of the full cast for you, as well as the link to the trailer.


I hope you enjoy my very first YouTube video!

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

You gotta dig a little deeper.

If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for animated movies from 2009; there were a lot of great ones. In honor of Mardis Gras being this past Tuesday, let’s talk about The Princess and the Frog.


The Princess and the Frog was released on December 11, 2009. With directors Ron Clements and John Musker behind the wheel, Disney set out to produce another “BlockBuster.”

Design by: BLT Communcations

With a budget of approximately $105,000,000, and stars such as Anika Noni Rose, Jenifer Lewis, and even Oprah Winfrey (full cast)The Princess and the Frog was made for award season. This reinvented story went on to be nominated for three Oscars, take home twelve awards, and was nominated for another thirty-nine. Now, the really interesting thing about The Princess and the Frog is what it meant for Disney. Part of the Disney Renaissance, The Princess and the Frog marked a return to the traditional style of animation, such as that of the animation seen in movies like The Little Mermaid, Home on the Range, and Aladdin.


Disney’s The Princess and the Frog is a retelling ofthe classic fairytale The Frog Prince; this time, focussing on the life of the “princess.” The soon to be frog, Naveen, Prince of Maldonia, finds himself in the city of New Orleans to find himself a princess. However, when he makes the mistake of getting involved with a voodoo man, he finds himself turned into a frog while his “loyal” companion and handler takes on the role of Prince Naveen and locks Naveen in cage in order to take the fortune of Charlotte La Bouff, princess of Mardi Gras. Meanwhile, Tiana is a hardworking girl living in New Orleans, working round the clock to save every penny she can in order to open her own restaurant, in honor of her father who passed away when she was a young girl. Tiana is working at her friend Charlotte’s Mardi Gras ball, serving her famous beignets, when a dog comes and knocks over the beignets and has to change out of her messy clothes. When she changes into a new dress, Tiana and Naveen’s paths cross. And of course, Naveen tries to convice Tiana to kiss him and she gives the reaction most girls now a days would give, a very certain “heck no.”

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

But Tiana is persuaded when Naveen offers to buy Tiana her restaurant. Rather than Naveen turning back into a prince, Tiana turns into a frog. The pair are chased to the bayou where they must try to survive. With the help of a trumpet-playing alligator and a firefly, they make their way to Mama Odie, a good voodoo lady, who they hope will help them turn back into humans. Mama Odie seems like a goofy, old, blind woman, but in reality she is a wise woman who encourages them to “dig a little deeper” to find what they truly need. This is the pivotal moment where the moral of the story is revealed.

Deeper Meaning

Mama Odie’s wisdom reveals what matters in life. While, yes it is good for Tiana to be ambitious, the restaurant is not what is important. An initial look at Mama Odie’s advice may suggest that Tiana should stop being ambitious and follow love, however a second analysis made me realize what Mama Odie really meant. Tiana and Naveen balance each other out. Tiana has worked so hard, her entire life, to try to get a restaurant for her father; she has completely ignored any fun thing that comes up and refuses to partake in fun things with her friends because she feels like it would be betraying her father if she doesn’t get her restaurant. Naveen, on the other hand, loves to have fun, relax, and take the easy way, as he has been able to do so growing up with a silver spoon. Naveen does not know what it means to work hard for what you want. This is how the two balance each other out. This is what Mama Odie encourages them to dig deeper for: to find that special person who balances you out while still encouraging and helping you persue your dreams. The Princess and the Frog encourages you to work hard for what you want, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Whichever you feel is most important, I still highly encourage you to watch the trailer, rent the movie, pop some popcorn, and enjoy!

Ponyo 2009

Review through Storify

Design by: BLT Communications, LLC

Hello fellow movie lovers! If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ve heard. This week, I have created a “Storify” for the review of Ponyo. On there, you will find things like the IMDB page for Ponyo with plenty of facts about the movie’s production, cast and other things alike. I have also included some interesting videos from YouTube to talk about some theories from other film lovers. I hope you enjoy!

Link to the Storify:


Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2013)

Happy Valentine’s Day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well hello, fellow movie lovers. Allow me to start this post by saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or for my single friends, “Happy Pal-entine’s Day.” Today’s special post is dedicated to the French film Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. While this is not necessarily a love story in it’s entirety, it does have some elements that are celebrated on this day (this post may be brief due to the lack of information on this underexposed movie).


This movie, like Mary and Max, started as a foreign film festival production. The film, based on a novel by Mathias Malzieu, was originally released at the Arras Film Festival in France on November 17, 2013. Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart also took a swing at the Berlin International Film Festival in February of 2014, and the Brussels European Film Festival in June of 2016. Like many of the productions in the film festival industry tend to do, Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart had very spread out release dates. It was first introduced to the United States as a limited premier in September of 2014, and then released on Blu-ray and DVD in October of 2014. The film was directed by Stéphane Berla and Mathias Malzieu. Along with being one of the writers and directors, Malzieu also starred in the film, as the voice of Jack, along side Olivia Ruiz who voiced Miss Acacia (full cast). Now, personally, I believe that this movie is amazing and fantastic; there are simply not enough words to describe how much I love this film. But some European critics may not fully agree with me. The film was only nominated for three awards: “Best Film” at the Berlin International Film Festival, “Best Animated Film” at the César Awards in France, and “European Animated Feature Film” at the European Film Awards. Sadly, Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart did not bring home any awards.


Jack was born on a cold, winter day; the coldest winter day to be exact. He is taken to a witch doctor, named Madeleine, in Edinburgh. When Jack is born, his heart is frozen solid; Madeleine offers to take the child under her care as only she could take care of him and his heart that she replaced with a cuckoo-clock. As he is growing up, his new mother, Madeleine, gives him three rules to follow: never touch the hands of your heart, keep your temper under control, and never fall in love. Jack follows all three rules up until his fourteenth birthday when he goes out into the city and finds a girl who is named, as he later discovered, Miss Acacia. He falls in love with young Miss Acacia and searches for her at the private school he joins but she is no where to be found. Jack is constantly made fun of because of his abnormal heart and eventually loses his temper and pokes out the eye of a bully named Joe. Afraid of prosecution, Jack runs off and literally joins the circus, an Extraodirarium as it its called. On his way to the Extraordinarium, Jack meets and almost falls victim to Jack the Ripper but is saved by cinematographer, George Méliès. Jack and George continue on to their journeys together after George fixes Jack’s heart. While Jack is searching for himself and he belongs, he happens to find Miss Acacia to have been located at his destination. Is this fate? While a majority of the film focuses on the love between Jack and Miss Acacia, it asks the question, “would you be willing to die for love?” Jack knows that one of the three rules he must follow is “never fall in love,” yet he does anyway. While it seems like a huge romantic gesture giving the key to your heart to the one you love, Jack’s intention is not to be romantic but to let Miss Acacia decide if he is to continue to live even after he has fallen in love. What this lovely film brings about is the question I previously mentioned but also if it is enough to love to create a full life. Jack has been through many intriguing experiences with the fantastical but once he does get his love back, his life is complete. I guess that is something we all must ask ourselves, is life complete after we find love or do we need more?

Which ever way you choose to answer that question, I encourage you to watch the trailer. Rent the movie, or watch it on Netflix, and enjoy the wonders of Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart.