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Here’s a modestly entertaining stop-motion family film with a fuzzily retro homemade aesthetic and a warming gentle Englishness: decent enough, but stretched perilously thin. Produced by the Hove animation studio Gigglefish, its young hero is a short-sighted mole called Mungo who must give up dreams of a career in football to follow his dad down the mine. The knitted puppets with nubbly bits of wool sticking out of them did it for me, but you may find them twee – and their limited facial expressions are more suited to a snappier kids’ TV format.
All his life people have been telling football-mad Mungo to get his head out of the clouds – leave sport to the athletic beasts, the lions and gazelles. But one day an inventor pal makes him some gadget goggles that give him 20/20 vision and sporting prowess. Overnight, he becomes a legend, the star striker on the national team. Hang on a minute, the goggles do what? Even for a family film the plot is a little unthought-through.
Meanwhile, over at the mine, a sinister Blofeld-like villain known as the Boss is plotting a takeover. (The joke is that he’s a long-haired white cat who creepily strokes a mouse.) The two storylines are boshed together; the footballing thread is funnier. The England manager, a cloth-capped pig, gives nothing away in post-match analysis. Asked for three comments by a reporter, he replies. “Comment comment comment.” It’s not quite enough to keep grownups from reaching for their phones. Even kids’ patience might be tested. But the detail is lovingly crafted. In Mungo’s messy boy bedroom, tiny woollen socks hang out of drawers, and you can see the wriggling worms in his breakfast bowl.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Strike review – Mungo the mole goes for goal | Film