My opinion right after watching the movie
My opinion right after watching the film is that….. I barely remember it. It’s one of the dullest and painful films I have ever witnessed, and this is probably going to be the most half-butted review I will ever write, because recollecting this film will be excruciating just because there is NOTHING there.
Apparently Reel FX took part in animating this film, making it the most expensive chinese animated product.
The story takes place on a village by Snow Mountain, whether a father cat named Khampa (J.K Simmons) is the high guard, and is expecting his son Bodi (Luke Wilson) to follow in his footsteps. OF COURSE he does not WANT to follow in his father’s footsteps, and the go-to career for these derivative plotlines is to be a MUSICIAN. The son could not get the steps like his father did previously, and got distracted once by music, which is why it is banned. Apparently some wolves that wrecked havoc on the village in years past was defeated by the father, but they are going to eventually return.
A radio ends up in the son’s possession, which only fuels his love for music since he can hear his favourite musician Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), and starts to ditch his guarding duties. The father gets some people to dress as wolves to trick his son back into his guarding duties, but a bunch of mess happens, which somehow leads the father to let his son go to a music trip in a nearby city. If things fail, Bodi will have to come back and be a guard, and you all know the deal.
Apparently the son Bodi is being used as a pawn by the villain wolf named Linnux (Lewis Black), since with Boni kidnapped, Linnux can use him for ransom to take over Snow Mountain. The kid joins an unsuccessful band with people I don’t care enough to identify, loses a guitar contest, and things are not going as planned. Scattergood approaches Boni to meet with him, and to trick him to write him a song in the form of a guitar lesson, which Scattergood plays on the radio, and the kid realizes that his idol played him for taking ownership for the song he wrote.
Boni ends up being kidnapped, Scatergood is guilt tripped into helping him, the Snow Mountain is attacked by the villains, Boni is saved, and destroys the opposers with playing the GUITTAAAARRRR FROM HIS HHEEEAAARRTTT. We of course have the typical happily ever after that’ predicted within the first movie the movie started.
Wow, I put too much effort into summarizing the story; more than I was anticipating on writing. There is just no depth, effort, entertainment, well-pacing, multiplicity, or anything that makes a great and engaging story. Predictable is not even the word that I can use to describe this……thing I have to call a film. I honestly should have chosen to write and review something else.
What characters? I don’t even know if I can call them one-dimensional. The father is the typical character that fills his role, we have the flat villain with the weak motivation, our main character is just overtly generic, and what other characters? Who cares?
I will say that the animation is kind of decent. There is still some cheapness to it, but you can tell that they were working with what they had. Textures are not horrible, pretty nice colors, and the designs don’t burn my eyes out, and can be pleasing at times.
For a film that focuses on the music, it was another aspect that was extremely weak. I do not remember a single song, and the score is unmemorable as well.
Reception at Release
The film became a complete flop when it was released in February 2017 in North America (though it was released last year in other areas). It made $20 million worldwide, with a $60 million budget.
Critically, it received negative reception from the few people who did see and review it. Lack of charm, uninspiring story, lackluster and second-tier in every single aspect. There was literally nothing positive that people muttered about the film.
14.5/40 = 36%