Perhaps I'm just getting fed up with these type of animated movies but I just could never really enjoy this one.

It's very typical for some of DreamWorks animated work; lots of characters jumping and running around and crashing into stuff and too little creativity. No offense but it of course is something that is very easy to do. It expects its crowed to laugh at it and go along with all of it but to me it just comes across as some very lazy writing and film-making.

So OK fine, the humor isn't anything all too creative or funny but is there a good story or are there some good and fun character to enjoy in this, at the very least? well, I have to say no to both unfortunately. The characters aren't awful ones but not all of them are written equally great or interesting. The dynamics between all of them are besides pretty formulaic and predictable and in my opinion the movie was also lacking one good, perhaps even heroic, main character.

The movie is not really following a typical plot line, that's usual and standard for an animated movie of this sort. Some people praise and appreciate the movie for it but I am not among those people. Different is fine, as long as you're doing something creative and original enough in return. This movie is hardly doing anything with its story at all and I actually did wish it was a more classically structured one. The story as it is features no real, big enough, conflict in it. No item that needs to be found or a family member that needs to get rescued, or anything along those lines. No villain even and it mostly relies on just its visuals and the dynamic between all of its characters, which I wasn't all that fond of to begin with, as I mentioned earlier already.

Still not strong enough reasons for me to hate this movie as well but it just never becomes a very interesting or original enough one, in my opinion. It constantly felt like something was missing from it and I kept waiting for the movie to truly start doing something surprising or creative with its premise and characters.

I am not complaining about the animation though. It's clearly a beautiful looking film, done by people who know their business. The environments and animals in this are perhaps the only true creative and effective thing about this movie.

I also will admit that I liked some of the voice work in this. I was kind of worried once I found out that Nicolas Cage would be doing one of the voices but to me he actually was the highlight of the movie. It surprised me how well his voice suited the character and overall tone of the movie.

It's really not a terrible film but still not one that I'm never likely to see again, seeing how lacking it was with its characters, story, humor and just overall creativity and originality.

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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