With massive seismic activity, land masses splitting apart, deep chasms forming, homes being lost; you would think there would be enough excitement to last through this entire animated film. Unfortunately that was not the case in this latest installment of the movie franchise. When the ground splits open, ripping their homeland to pieces; Manny and his gang take off on a wild sea adventure. Voiced again by Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond-TV, The Lost Words), Manny captains an iceberg as he desperately tries to find his family. I found myself starting to doze off from the predictable and bland story. The jokes were less sophisticated, geared more towards kids. For a CGI movie it did not have the same visual impact that Madagascar 3 or Brave had on me. I will say this movie did have great character voices with Wanda Sykes (Evan Almighty, My Super Ex-Girlfriend) as Granny and John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge, Righteous Kill) as Sid. A new character was Captain Gutt, voiced by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones-TV, Death at a Funeral), who with his fellow pirates was determined to prevent Manny from returning to his family. If you have children and they want to see this film, then it would be appropriate for them. But as for the rest of us, maybe it is time this franchise became extinct.
1 3/4 stars
I do not have children; but if I had, my hope would be that I raised them to be free thinking, independent adults. My parents did, even if that was not their intentions. With that being the case, the story in this Pixar animated movie was a success. Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly MacDonald (No Country For Old Men, Nanny McPhee), was not going to grow up in the traditions of her mother Queen Elinor, voiced by Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Last Chance Harvey). Merida did not want her parents deciding who she could marry or how she should act. If only she could make her parents understand; the young princess was determined to break the traditions of her family. What I found different in this movie was the presence of a strong conflict between mother and daughter. In my opinion it was about time an animated movie dealt with deeper real life issues, yet still have the elements of a funny Disney movie. There was conflict, a challenge and a consequence; but for the broader audience, there were elements of humor, adventure and fantasy. It was like having a smorgasbord of emotions spread out for the viewer to sample. Visually this movie was stunning; the amount of detail was breathtaking. I was mesmerized by Merida’s beautiful, flaming red hair–it looked so real. Overall I felt the film had a split personality. There seemed to be a shift in focus that dulled the story for me, when the witch’s spell came into play. But like any relationship, one could not pick and chose the parts they liked. The entire movie experience for me was good, not great and I almost felt as if I had just been to Scotland.
2 3/4 stars