Well, it's not the original TV series as a film. Realistically (despite what Peter might have said) that isn't possible – a certain amount of background obviously has to be added for instance§. It's also probably best categorised as melodrama. The characters are, in general, quite two dimensional and I'm not sure I've seen anything quite so cutesy and derivative¥ since the My Little Pony Movie†‡.
Anyway, before you all assume that I didn't in fact like it, lets get on to the good points. For a start the animation style is amazing. Whether by accident or design they've stopped just short of the "photo-realistic" style of recent films like Shrek¶, and while this breaks suspension of disbelief a little bit the result (to my mind) is an intensification of the
magic, rather than anything detrimental. It also produces the occasional very cute thing, such as the characteristic motion of Florence's hair when she moves her head. The plot follows so closely to the laws of Narrative Causality that it could practically have been written by Lily Weatherwax; which doesn't stop it from hiding the odd surprise that made me go
that was so obvious!in hindsight.
Whilst I say that the characters are two dimensional I'm possibly doing them a disservice since, whilst they are two dimensional, all of the major characters of the film◊ get given ample chance to explore the whole plane of their characters, and in the process seem more rounded than some supposedly three dimensional characters elsewhere; also the film manages to avoid the
Holywood Moralitytrap, slotting itself somewhat better into the modality of the morality tale or traditional faerie story.
The casing is also very well done, the one reservation I still have being that of Dougal (Robbie Williams). My heart sank a little when I saw Kylie named on the opening credits, but as it turns out she is a perfect choice for the voice of Florence.
So, all in all, it's not an inspired film with an amazing plotline or character development, but some of the references are funny, it has a
Anyway, what other film includes both Sweet, sweet and The Hall of the Mountain King∅?
∗ Well, OK, you've probably never heard of the Rev. Dr. Peter Doble, but there you are.
¥ One source is plagarism, three sources is research?
† Remember Megan, people? :-)
‡ Or was it the Care Bears Movie?
§ We even get an ætiology of the Roundabout itself!
¶ Doing which IMDB search I notice a Shrek 3 on the horizon.
◊ Given the (fairly standard style of) plot setup, some of the characters see fairly little of the action.
℘ Both visually and in the almost perfect shape of the
∅ Hmm, I wonder what four mad cellists could do with Sweet, sweet?