The Wild Life Review

wild life2So I just saw the new animated import from Belgium called The Wild Life and honestly I am still processing it. While I can’t really tell you it is a “good” film it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And it makes a lot of unusual choices that at the very least make it a bit of a curiosity.

First of all, The Wild Life looks way better than I expected it to be. I did not see it in 3D because the 3D trailer looked awful and I’m glad I didn’t. The animated action sequences are pretty impressive. They are long quickly paced and intense. Going into the film I was expecting a comedy but there are actually not that many comedic moments. Most of it is shipwrecks and fights. The water was really good for this kind of budget.

wild-life3The character design all looked textured and better rendered than I was expecting. I honestly think the animation is as good if not better than anything we’ve seen from the Ice Age films in a long time.

The one exception to that rule is the cats…I pretty much hated everything about the cats. I hated their animation, characters, vocal performance, story arc, everything.

wild-life-5It’s kind of cool they do not use any celebrity voices and everybody except the cats fits very well with their parts. It’s kind of strange that all of these animals on this tiny island all have different accents but if you don’t over-think it, it works.

wild-life-4Robinson Crusoe is actually a pretty likable character and his bonding with the animals is more authentic than I thought it would be. I was thinking Crusoe would be more of the villain invading the island but actually he and the animals bond quickly and there are a lot of charming scenes with them working together. It’s not reinventing the wheel or something but I enjoyed it.

And like I said the action is a lot of fun. It’s very fast paced and imaginative and at times very tense. There is even death to a character that would never die in an American animated film.  There is also a pregnancy that felt so strange. I’ve never seen anything like it in an animated film.

Unfortunately some of the action goes on a bit too long and the story wasn’t compelling enough to carry my interest the entire film. I got bored in several sections. I’m not sure what they could do to make it better but I nodded off a couple of times.

Still, this is the kind of movie that people will love to use hyperbole on and declare it the worst thing ever but it’s not in my opinion.  One review I read said “few have failed as confoundingly as The Wild Life” Now that I can get behind.  It is a strange movie. There’s no doubt about that, and I guess its watchability depends on your tolerance for the odd choices it makes.

But if you can ignore the bad stuff like the cats and focus on the good things like the animation and the action, I think it is worth watching. I personally would rather watch this film than a lazy unambitious effort like Ice Age: Collision Course but that’s just me.

If any of you see The Wild Life let me know. I am anxious to talk about some of the strange story elements with someone else who has seen it.

Overall Grade- C-

Animated News 3/17

I just posted this week’s episode of Animated News!  I would love if you guys took a look at it.  I’m still learning but I think it is getting better.

Here’s a run-down of the news

  1. Zootopia grosses 50 million- only dropping 33% from week 1 and that is really good.  The film has made 83 million overseas, 288 foreign total, 431 total.
  2. Storks Trailer- For some reason all of these comedies I’m liking the teasers better than the full trailer but this looks ok. A little generic but ok.
  3. Wild Life Trailer- This was a new film I learned about and I must say not that impressed.  It’s being distributed by Lionsgate who gave us Norm of the North.  Hopefully it will at least be better than that. Robinson Crusoe on an island run by animals- the idea has potential. 
  4. Long Way North Trailer- Another project that was new to me, but this one I’m really excited about.  From animator Remi Chaye who worked on Secret of the Kells.  It looks beautiful and sounds like a good story. I predict this will be in the running come Oscar season.
  5. Sausage Party Trailer- I’m not impressed with the humor or animation in this adult comedy. To me it looks very lazy. Won’t even share the video with you guys but if you want to watch it here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VoNgLnjzVg
  6. April and the Extraordinary World- I’m very excited for this film that comes to my cinema 4/22.  It has a cool steampunk look to it.  The 2D animation looks great and I think the story sounds interesting.
  7. Little Prince Gets Dumped- In a bizarre action Paramount Animation has dumped the US release of The Little Prince a week before it was to premiere.  Even though I had issues with the film, it certainly deserves to be seen by American audiences.  I can’t fathom why they did this?
  8. Power Puff Girls- The new reboot of Power Puff girls debuted at SXSW film festival to great reviews.  The intro and other clips I’ve seen look promising.

What in this news interests you? What in all those independent trailers looks the best to you?  Why do you think Paramount dumped Little Prince?  Are you a Power Puff Girls fan?  If so, what do you think of this reboot?

Put in the comments section here or on the video and let’s talk!  🙂  And if you like my video please give it a thumbs up!