Were you to give us reviewers at Plugged In a technical title, I suppose you might call us entertainment critics. However, you may slap an asterisk next to that title, since we’re not critics in the conventional way. We often critique what we watch from an aesthetic, creative point, but that’s secondary to our role as content watchdogs. When we weigh a movie, it’s largely based on whether its positive messages outweigh its negative content concerns. It’s just the nature of Plugged In.
Well, Schaffrillas Productions, run by James Phyrillas, has its own focus: reviewing predominantly Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks movies.
Of course, that’s not all Phyrillas has done, since he’s got plenty of other videos, too, such as his talks about Nintendo products or his much older “YouTube Poop” videos (a name describing videos that remix popular content in chaotic mashups through heavy editing). But its his reviews of the animation companies that typically draw the most viewers.
Part of Schaffrillas Productions appeal stems from how deeply he dives into some of the films he covers. Phyrillas doesn’t give superficial reasons for liking or disliking a movie: he’ll explain how a flick’s plot devices, movie scores and voice acting have influenced his opinion.
He’ll also use these movies to talk about some deeper topics, too. For instance, Schaffrillas Productions systematically goes through various Disney and Pixar films to explain which surprise “twist” villains work and which don’t—and what makes a twist villain effective. Also, in a video on Shrek 2, he uses the film to explain what makes an effective movie sequel, and he reminds viewers how effectively Megamind analyzes the nature vs. nurture debate.
Critics can, by nature, gravitate toward negativity, but this channel isn’t always critical of films. Some videos also hope to convince viewers about why some movies are “cinematic masterpieces.”
Swearing occurs in most videos. Some f-words are censored, while others are not. We’ll also hear words like the s-word, “d-ck” and misuses of God’s name.
Some quips or references are sensual. He points out an animation that makes it look like a child is “humping his couch,” for instance, and he jokes that a Frozen sequel could have had Elsa “making out” with a man. And when he discusses anime that he’s watched, he references the unfortunate reality that many anime sexualize women.
Additionally, some jokes are crude, such as when he calls a film an “abortion.”
Amidst plenty of jokes, Schaffrillas Productions creates videos that dive surprisingly deep into what makes a movie compelling–crafting well-thought-out arguments that bolster the points he makes. However, because of the crude language and occasional dirty joke, those arguments are best left for older audiences.
Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”