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If you see just one Norwegian animated film featuring a bull being treated for BSE with electroshock therapy, make sure it’s Cattle Hill. Offering a possibly troubling glimpse into the national psyche, director Lise I Osvoll and screenwriter Anne Elvedal’s deceptively candy-coloured film aimed at the family audience revolves around a teenage cow called Klara, living in the city with her divorced mother. Klara dreams of winning a talent competition, or even just having a talent, and decides to visit her retired rock star dad at his bucolic farm in search of tuition and bonding.
But the poor bull seems to have lost his mind, and is convinced some nefarious rascal, invisible to everyone else, is stealing from him and ruining his life. Meanwhile, an evil porcine landlady on one of those gyroscopic hoverboard things comes round to demand he make a hundred apple pies by next week or he will lose the farm. Like any good bovine daughter, Klara decides to help and soon discovers the antagonist is a mischievous and insatiably greedy scarecrow with a carved pumpkin head, whom she and her new friend – a shy goat with vertigo issues – can only thwart by baking a pie made out of poo.
The goofy-looking figures have been animated on the cheap, which means the fur textures look like plastic microfibre cloth and the faces barely move. That they’re voiced by an unknown American-accented cast, dubbed over the original Norwegian, just makes this feel even more displaced and bizarre – but the songs are surprisingly catchy. If this doesn’t give your kids nightmares, they might love it.
• Cattle Hill is released in the UK on 22 November.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Cattle Hill review – udderly bewildering rock’n’roll cows | Film