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This animated feature from an alliance of relatively little-known production companies offers a seasonal adventure that’s derivative but moderately amusing. High above the Arctic circle, the village of Taigaville is populated by anthropomorphic animals, some of whom, like the arctic fox hero Swifty (voiced by Jeremy Renner) would be plausibly native to the region while others, such as a squad of Italian-accented beavers, surely shouldn’t be there, zoologically speaking. And let’s not even get started on the animation convention that has all characters walking around on two legs.
Plucky postal worker Swifty longs for a promotion from working the sorting conveyor belt to delivering parcels with the sledge dogs he idolises, but he’s too small and weedy, and practically invisible thanks to his white coat that camouflages him. His caribou boss Magda (Anjelica Huston) is a strict taskmaster who enforces corporate discipline and speed, so she won’t give him a go on the sledge. However, any hopes that this might turn out to be smuggling in a critique of late-capitalist workplace practices – a Sorry We Missed You for the reception class set – are soon deflated.
Instead, it’s yet another politically toothless pro-environment fable, wherein an evil walrus (John Cleese in self-parody mode) set on fracking the area must be defeated. Once that happens, everyone can go back to consuming and partying and delivering parcels, safe in the deluded belief that there’s nothing else to worry about. Greta Thunberg would probably not approve, but there are some wry, self-referential jokes and the animators are good at facial expressions and powdery, polar landscape textures.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Polar Squad review – John Cleese dials it up for lukewarm anti-fracking fable | Film