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  1. Published on: 11/08/2019 04:54 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: When an explorer discovers a legendary creature, they must travel the world to locate the creatures long-lost relatives.

    A new film from Laika always has me excited. It basically getsme to further show my love for their debut feature Coraline. An absolutely wonderful stop-motion animated fantasy that is so fantastical and terrifying at the same time.

    If you're not aware of Laika, they are basically the American version of Aardman Animation. They have created wonderful features such as Kubo And The Two Strings, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. They have yet to an Academy Award. But when they do, it will be the most joyous of days, because they wholeheartedly deserve it.

    As for their latest project, while the trailers never got me completely excited for it, being a film from Laika was plenty to get to go and check it out.

    After seeing it, I feel like I appreciating it more than enjoying it. It's hard to ignore the wonderful world the film's crew has created with their own hands (literally). The budget looks to have been boosted somewhat and they've definitely made the most of it. There are some gloriously executed scenes that I can't even begin to imagine how they took to create. Also, the way it's edited managed to enhance the gorgeous scenery.
    So all that is left is the story. It had a Around The World In 80 Days vibe about it, which when done right can make an easy amount of money. There's nothing wrong with it, it's perfectly fine. But it's nothing more than that. It pretty much goes down how you would expect it to. It flirts into more tense and dark moments. But on the whole, that aspect along with the characters prevented me from going nuts about it.

    The voice acting was did as good a job as they were given. So well done to Hugh Jackman, David Walliams, Zach Galifiankis, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant and Matt Lucas. The characters that they were playing might not have been at all memorable. But you could feel the passion gone into their voice work.

    I think the reason for me just calling good or solid instead of great was that the dialogue was surprisingly mature. They talk in ways that kids would easily lose concentration with and have gags that adults would only get. There's even some dialogue moments that require subtitles which obviously will be tricky for younger children. There are some physical gags that the kids would like. But easily not enough to hold their attention span.
    Also, the pacing never felt right for what was happening on screen. I think it needed to move along just a little bit faster, make it a bit more frenetic and the story-telling might have been a bit more smoother.

    But I think the strength of its ambition and wonderful production design was strong enough to give it a fairly good rating. The story is fine, but does nothing to surprise you. However, my amazement of how many different sets that they managed to make and execute perfectly cannot be ignored.
    It's probably the weakest of Laika's features. But if that is a studio's lowest ranked film, then that just shows how good Laika are. I remain upbeat for whatever they are making next.

    Rating: 7/10

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