Movie Reviews

Animals united: where is the humour?

By inSing EditorMovies - 08 June 2011 12:00 PM | Updated 12:23 PM

Animals united: where is the humour?

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Stars: Jim Broadbent, Jason Donovan, Stephen Fry

The buzz: Probably from the bees in the film. Maybe from the voice cast.

The story: A bunch of animals from all around the world, including a polar bear, a kangaroo and a French cockerel, gather in Africa to take down a dam that has blocked off a river. Led by a meek rat and a vegetarian lion, the group find themselves up against a determined hunter.

inSing says: A CG film with good intentions but very little humour, this German-made animation isn’t big on originality or ideas, but might please the target audience of young kids during the holiday season.

The film has a not very subtle message to drive home about human influence on the environment, but it's one thing to have a message and another to deliver it without ramming down the audience’s throats. The humour is often trying, and a lot of the satire and parody will sail over the intended audience and barely raise a chuckle amongst adults.

Moreover, the animation isn’t as refined as Hollywood efforts such as Kung Fu Panda or Rio. Littered throughout, almost at random, are short musical segments, which make little sense except to fill screentime.


The film has wild swings of tone, between trying to be humorous to preachy to sad. The English voice talent doesn’t give much to the film. Even Fry plays it straight in his voiceover role of a vegetarian lion.

Despite that, the visuals are occasionally stunning, and there's a clear love of the environment that the directors are trying to impart. The film has a good heart, but unfortunately, it takes a lot more to make a good movie.