Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Movie Review: The Wild

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Jokes continue all the way through
Cons: None worth mentioning
The Bottom Line:
The jokes never stop
And a compelling story
A movie you'll love

The Wild Will Make You Roar with Laughter

Animation, specifically computer animation, seems to be one of the biggest trends in movies. It seems everyone is doing a computer animated film, and it's hard for an animation fan to keep up with them all. Heck, I'm a self-professed DisNerd, and I missed The Wild in the theater. Fortunately, I caught up with it on DVD.

Samson (Keifer Sutherland) and his son Ryan (Greg Cipes) live a comfortable life in the New York Zoo. They stay in their enclosure during the day, but at night they have the run of the zoo, hang out, and even play games with their friends.

Ryan has a problem, however. He hasn't developed his roar. Samson has told him lots of stories about his life in 'The Wild," but they aren't helping Ryan. Every time he tries, it sounds more like a cat then a lion.

Fed up with not meeting his dad's expectations, he decides to stow away in a crate bound for Africa. At the last minute, Samson discovers what's going on and sets out to rescue his son. Helping him in his quest are Benny the Squirrel (Jim Belushi), Nigel the Koala Bear (Eddie Izzard), Bridget the Giraffe (Janeane Garofalo), and Larry the Snake (Richard Kind).

Their quest takes them from the streets to New York to an island off the coast of Africa. Along the way, Samson's secret will be revealed and the gang will face a volcano and a dangerous pack of wildebeests led by Kazar (William Shatner).

This movie is absolutely hysterical. I watched it with a couple friends, and the three of us laughed the entire way through. Yes, there are some absurd situations, but most of the humor comes from the snappy dialog. The jokes are quick, and it takes a couple watches to get them all.

The movie has been compared to DreamWorks' Madagascar, but I didn't see that movie. It's unfortunate that DreamWorks managed to get their movie out first since the pattern I've seen is DreamWorks copying Disney. But that's a complaint for another essay.

Anyway, there have been some complaints about two movies with similar plots coming out so close together. I can't speak to that. What I can tell you is, this movie kept me entertained from start to finish with a couple twists along the way. Yes, there are theme shared with other Disney movies as well, but they lead to some new situations, so I really don't mind. The first half was fairly predictable, but the second half took me by surprise and drew me in.

The actors do a great job with the characters. I'm a huge 24 fan, but I didn't recognize Keifer's voice at all. Eddie Izzard steals the show as the koala bear. And William Shatner is perfect as the villain - creepy and funny at the same time.

The animation is top notch, as you would expect these days. The scenery must have been wonderful on the big screen. The animals are extremely realistic looking. It's a feast for the eyes.

I am truly sorry I missed this gem on the big screen but am glad I bought The Wild. I'll be enjoying it for years to come.

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