MOVIE: In Review
lacks a strong story &
150; even for kids
Some have referred to &
redux. But all comparisons aside, this is a disappointing film. Where Disney was once known for its magical storytelling, it is now the creator of computer animated &
145;toons that have been reduced to lots of noise and action with little narrative. The dialogue is also clearly geared for those parents who are seated next to the little guys, with vocabulary and winking references that no 6-year-old could even begin to comprehend.
At the heart of the film is the relationship between Samson, the lion, and his son, Ryan. Ryan is waiting to get his roar and believes that he needs to be in the wild to find it. Feeling rebellious, he stows away on a cargo ship and ends up in Africa. Samson is determined to find his son and pull off a rescue. He takes along his friends: a koala bear, an anaconda, a squirrel, and a giraffe. At first they wander through NYC, then hijack a tug boat and follow Ryan&
s container ship across the Atlantic.
Kids are never going to be hyper critical of CGI films such as this; they&
ll sit and watch, and only get restless if the dialogue goes on for too long.
But Disney never secured its place in the pantheon of entertainment by underestimating children. And that is exactly what they do in &
Kids can handle stories that are challenging and close to their life experiences. They don&
t crave just bells and whistles and lots of motion. In the end they want to be told a credible and moving story (in this they&
re not all that different from their parents). It&
s what they ask for every night before they drop off to sleep. Disney has abandoned this premise, and it&
s a shame.
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