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Adapted from a Danish children’s book by satirical cartoonist Jakob Martin Strid, this endearing animated feature offers an alternative to Incredibles 2 and the other U-certificate fare currently on offer for families seeking a darkened, air-conditioned escape from the summer heat.
Although it doesn’t even come close to meeting the quality bar set by Pixar/Disney and other US studios for character design, depth of rendering and sheer granular detail, as Euro cartoons go this is a pretty decent effort. The human characters (the protagonists are, for no particular reason, a fearful elephant and a plucky girl cat) have exaggerated features such as comically bulbous noses, jelly bellies or jutting chins, which adds a graphic swagger to proceedings. Sure, the water is a little viscous-looking, but there are some genuinely beautiful interludes, particularly in a scene set in a black cloud, which creates a permanent night that isn’t as dark as it seems at first.
The story is a little overcrowded with incident, particularly for younger viewers. Sebastian, the aforementioned nervous pachyderm, and his feline bestie Mithco, are accidentally sent to sea in a beautiful, pale green pear the size of a bungalow, in a shameless rip-off of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. Accompanied by Professor Glucose and with plenty of moxie, they encounter pirates, boffins with ambiguous motives piloting sea-dragon-shaped submarines, ghosts, and a mysterious island where their friend, the mayor of Sunnytown, has been shipwrecked. The villain is a stubby little vice mayor who wants to build a skyscraper but is a stickler for the rules, sort of like a cross between the much-vilified mid-century Manhattan-based town planner Robert Moses and European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Accompanying adults may enjoy mapping other political parables on to the plot, although sometimes a giant piece of fruit is just a giant piece of fruit.
Source: The Guardian
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