Initially, I had no desire or interest to see this movie. The earliest trailer I saw didn’t really pull me in. What did get me on board was a trailer I saw about a month or so later, which I have included in this entry.
I think what honestly made me change my mind was the sloth. Kind of like how I was drawn to Despicable Me (2010) only because of the minions.
Here’s the trailer I was talking about:
In hindsight, this does reveal a lot of what happens in the film…and at the same time, it doesn’t. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this film, though I do admit I went in with extremely low expectations. Also, based on the reactions of the kids in the same theater I was in, I think it’s safe to say it definitely speaks to the little ones. At least where I was, I didn’t seem to be alone in liking the sloth character, hahaha.
Personally, I think the movie did really well in terms of character development. Even the “minor” characters seemed to round out well by the end. There was also the right amount of serious plot and funny to go along with it. Sure there were times where I kind of wondered where it was going, but after a while the lack of direction didn’t seem to bother me as much. I was successfully distracted by all the hilarity. I warn you though, it’s very lame humor. If that’s not your thing, you’re probably not going to enjoy it as much as I did.
There was a section of the movie that really surprised me (in a good way). Kind of like when I teared up unexpectedly at the beginning of Disney-Pixar’s Up (2009). Aside from that though, the rest of it is pretty much predictable, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Normally I know who voices the characters before I walk into an animated film, but I walked into this one completely blind. I will say that when I did my research so I could apply the appropriate tags for the entry, I was somewhat surprised, but at the same time when thinking back on the character designs and how the voice acting was done I realize I probably shouldn’t be. The voice acting cast was chosen very well. And now that I know who voiced which character in this movie, I can appreciate the film in a whole different light, in retrospect.
FINAL VERDICT: B+
Not perfect, but it definitely surpassed my expectations. It also has a lot of nice little lessons for both parents and their children. This is one movie where I’m glad I didn’t spend a free ticket voucher—I’d rather use those on movies that I’m curious about even though I’m about 99.9% sure they’re going to be super awful.
I feel like with many animated movies (including, or especially, the English dubs of Ghibli movies), the voice cast is often chosen more as a result of their names being famous as opposed to their voice acting ability. Granted, the only Ghibli film I saw dubbed into English was Ponyo, and I thought the cast did a good job there. However, the industry is full of real, professional voice actors, so I’m wondering why someone like Steven Jay Blum (known for characters like Spike Spiegel in the dub of Cowboy Bebop among others) or Troy Baker (probably did a voice in every one of your favorite video games, like the main character of Brothers in Arms) are never tried.
Honestly, who knows. I think it worked okay here though.
That DOES remind me though, you ever hear of a guy named Eric Stuart? I forget how I discovered it, but that guy has been a voice actor for so many characters in the anime circuit, it’s actually kind of hilarious.
He voiced Brock from Pokemon and Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! in their respective 4Kids dubs. As those dubs are in fact 4Kids, we should pretend they don’t even exist. 😛
They basically mastered “How to destroy the original vision 101” lol.
Touché. It wasn’t ALL bad though. Escaflowne was all right. Didn’t they air CCS too? I actually preferred that dub over the Japanese version.
I got a free kids pass with legends of the guardians so it looks like I will be watching this film soon. Glad to hear it is not terrible.
Haha nice! Hope you enjoy it. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it hilarious.
hey posted this on reddit for you let me know if you get a traffic bump
Aww, thanks Adam! Much appreciated! 🙂
our reviews pretty much mirror one another! ha. I did not have any interest in this one, but wow, I was surprised how much I liked it in the end. Not perfect, but fun. the kids in the theaters made it even more enjoyable.
Ooh, I should check it out later on. I only popped over to respond to your comments, hahaha. Yeah, the initial trailer I saw for this didn’t interest me in the slightest, but the second trailer with the sloth going “dun dun DUNNN!!” did it for me. Am I a lame sauce? Yes. I admit it. Proudly. :p
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Solid review Rae. I actually thought it was a decent animation. I recognize that the story isn’t anything new and the characters aren’t that unique, but the adventure that this family goes on is worth watching at least once.
Hi Dan! 🙂 Yeah, I agree. I’m not sure if this is for my own DVD shelf, but it’s something I can see myself watching again as a rental later on with friends or something.