Sunday, 8 May 2016

Robinson Crusoe (2016)

Aka 'The Wild Life' in some regions.

Robinson Crusoe survives a shipwrecking storm and ends up on an island where there only appears to be one of each species of animal (it brings up questions when they all deny the existence of the outside world). Here, he attempts to survive but the presence of the ship's cats (who also survived the storm) cause trouble. There's also something to do with pirates. but it doesn't amount to much other than bookending the film.

Ben Stassen returns with another animated film, which should send shudders down your spine as this is the guy responsible for heinous films such as 'A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventure' and 'Sammy's Great Escape' (apparently Sammy is such an enduring character that he deserved two films. Let's hope it ends there). His last film, 'The House of Magic', was an improvement but still doesn't inspire much hope about watching his films. And now he's churned out a 'Robinson Crusoe'... which turns out isn't quite as dire as the trailer makes it out to be and is another improvement on Stassen's part. At this rate, he'll be making the next 'Inside Out' in a couple of hundred years. Okay, that's cruel. It's more getting to the point where there's less in the film to aggravate me. Or maybe, like the 'Tinkerbell' films, I'm getting too used to them.

There's not really much to this film to really discuss. It's a bland, generic animated film for kids. It has talking animals (among other one-dimensional characters), a colourful setting, bouts of unfunny slapstick 'humour' and the occasional tinge of a darker edge but nothing that amounts to anything engaging or new unless, perhaps, you're small/young enough to fall for it all. But I suppose, in that regard, it is harmless enough a distraction for them and the children in the audience did appear to be enjoying it. And, to be fair to co-director Stassen, the animation has improved over previous efforts though his approach to storytelling (and the dialogue that accompanies it) still leaves a lot to be desired.

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