Saturday, January 18, 2014

Skip the Nut Job

Movie Title:  The Nut Job

Grade: C-

In a Nutshell:  Skip it.  When stunning animation movies like Frozen are out in the theaters, why would you waste your time or money on this one?  It’s a meager attempt at following the recipe for a successful kids’ movie.  Young kids may be entertained, but parents will either fall asleep or want to stab a fork in their eyes.

Filled with an unlikeable main character, endless capers, dumb gangster goons, an obligatory dance scene and electrocution moment, and lame lines such as “Let’s not get nutty around here”, this Saturday morning cartoon falls way short of being memorable or magical.

Uplifting theme: It’s important to work together.  Teamwork doesn’t have “I” in it.

Things I liked:        Great voice actors include Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, and even ventriloquist Jeff Dunham.  Unfortunately, none of them had good material to work with, so their talents were underutilized. I thought the red cardinal that Racoon carries around was pretty cute and I liked the 3D popcorn popping effect.

Things I didn’t like:  When the writers couldn’t think of clever jokes they just resorted to lots of farting and burping. The animation itself was simply inferior.  The supporting characters lacked visual distinction or interest.  The scary rat gang looked like ugly stuffed animals.

Funny lines:
  • “Is that Bubonic Plague you’re wearing?”  - Surly
  • “That’s my cologne, made of tree sap and falcon tears.” - Surly
Inspiring lines:
  • Hmmmm….can’t think of any.  Pretty sad, right?

Things to look for:
  • Baby squirrel sucking its thumb
  • Little bird’s trembling lips when the tree burns

Tips for parents:  See something else. 
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