Sunday, November 24, 2013

Movie #226: The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo is a short film originally broadcast on the BBC, and screened in some theaters in the US (had to be, since it was an Oscar nominee). It's an animated, stop-motion film based on a children's book by Julia Donaldson, and stars Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, and Rob Brydon.

So, simple enough: A mama squirrel (Carter) tells a story to her little squirrel kids (pups) about a mouse (Corden) who goes walking in the "deep dark woods," encountering predators like a fox (Wilkinson), an owl (Hurt) and a snake (Brydon), but scares them off tell stories of a monstrous creature that, he thinks, he's making up as he goes. But then he actually meets the creature, the Gruffalo (Coltrane) and has to trick him into thinking that he, the little mouse, is the most fearsome thing in the woods.

The story is cute, the animation and characters are beautiful, and the voice-work is pretty top-notch (I especially like Brydon's snake). The story goes on a little long for my taste, especially since it's so repetitive - it's very fairy tale like, which is fine, but you can kinda see where it's going easily enough. That said, it's an easy way to kill 40 minutes if the kids don't have time for a full movie.

My Grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium-low

Next up: The Guardian