Family/Adventure, 102 Minutes, 2014
This was a good movie. A fun movie. No complaints really. Solid, if clichéd, characters, cool visuals and some weepy-eyed moments. Heck, Disney went all out on this by (sorta) orphaning this hero twice! Everybody knows that a Disney hero isn’t worth shit unless they’ve got at least a few dead family members (yes, Merida, Bob Iger’s going to get your parent’s Scottish asses any minute now).
Still… was it really all that?
First off – and let’s be clear that I’ve never paid all that much attention to the Oscars – how does this get nominated for animation awards where “The Lego Movie” [my Review] doesn’t? You could say that this movie is, at least metophorically, more of a Lego movie than the actual Lego movie as it pulls everything from the pre-fabbed pieces box.
There’s the aforementioned orphans. There’s the death of (multiple!) mentors steeling character’s resolve. There’s the rag-tag group of heroes that fail utterly until they learn the power of cooperation. There’s a strong guy and a cute girl and a dumb guy and a smart guy. There’s a whole heaping scoopful of the stuff that made “The Iron Giant” [IMDB] great, even if it is a little stale by now.
Obviously, something can be clichéd and still good – this is, after all. My problem here is that people are treating this like it’s the second coming of “Steamboat Willie”. The best thing since “Fluffernutters”. This means, of course, that a separate group of people must therefore prove to the Internet that they’re super-cool by whining on and on about how terrible it is. The worst thing since “Fluffernutters”. (Since everyone likes Fluffernutters, those people hate them as well.)
The truth is in the middle. This is a good movie, with a solid, predictable story and fun characters. It’s far from the apex of modern animation, but it’s also very far from its nadir. Good, yes. Maybe even “great”. Better than “The Boxtrolls” [my review]? Not a chance.