100% Wolf review – werepoodle is more fluff than stuff | Animation in film

More like 92% generic. This decent Australian family animation, about a werewolf boy who transforms into a fluffy poodle instead of a ferocious hound, zips along with plenty of zany action and some passable gags. But it looks cheap and the script might have been generated by a computer program that had been fed with plotlines from earlier, better kids’ films – the big debt is to The Lion King. As for the bland lessons about friendship and being yourself, even preschoolers must be rolling their eyes at this stuff by now.

Freddy Lupin (voiced first by Jerra Wright-Smith and then by Ilai Swindells) is a 10-year-old boy from an illustrious family of werewolves, and next in line to be leader. Rather than feasting on human flesh by the light of the full moon, this pack indulges in the more PG-rated pastime of super-heroism, saving townsfolk from burning buildings and muggers hiding in dark alleys. After Freddy’s dad is killed, his ruthless uncle takes control of the pack. Worse is to come, six years later, on the night of Freddy’s initiation into werewolfdom, when his alter ego turns out to be an adorable poodle. He is banished from the pack.

From here the plot becomes gimmickier than tutti frutti toothpaste. All alone in the world, Freddy makes friends with a scrappy stray pup called Batty (nicely voiced by Samara Weaving) and the two get picked up by dog catchers from the pound. Do dog pounds exist anywhere outside kids movies any more? Maybe not, but Freddy’s incarceration gives the film its best characters, including a pugnaciously chippy chihuahua and a doberman with a Werner Herzog accent. There’s also a funny moment where Freddy, who has been adamant he won’t urinate like a dog, can’t hold it in any longer and lets rip mid action scene, spraying pee like machine gunfire.

• 100% Wolf is in cinemas from 31 July.

Source: The Guardian

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