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‘Generic’ would be a more fitting title to the latest animation off the Hollywood conveyor belt – with no originality worthy of the film’s name.

It’s perfectly watchable fare for a family outing at Showcase, but this is uninspiring stuff that brings absolutely nothing new to the genre – and will become a distant memory once Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 are unleashed.

When mourning teenager MK (Amanda Seyfried) tries to bond with her reclusively eccentric father (Jason Sudeikis) after the death of her mother, she’s transported into a magical forest world in a battle between good and evil – a universe her nutty-tagged Dad has dedicated his life to finding.

After the death of Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles), the now pint-sized MK – with the help of warrior Ronin (Colin Farrell) and the roguish Nod (Josh Hutcherson) – has to protect the leaf people and the life essence of the forest (carried in the form of a pod) from the grasp of the putrefying Boggans, and leader Mandrake (multi-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz).

And the problem is that’s about it. Everything is paint-by-numbers stuff that even pales compared to recent sub-par animation fare like Ice Age 4 and Rise of the Guardians – and that’s coming from the director of the first Ice Age, Chris Wedge.

It’s a lusciously-beautiful watch at times in 3D, but – bar decently-voiced turns from Farrell and Waltz – the characters aren’t memorable enough to really draw you into this magical world, that has been done so much better in similar efforts like A Bug’s Life and Antz.

And with the story lacking any ingenuity whatsoever – despite having a cute three-legged dog, snail and slug for intermittent comic relief – don’t expect this barely passable flick to linger in the memory for too long.

Gavin Miller

Voice cast: Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Josh Hutcherson, Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Sudeikis, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull

Running Time: 1hr 35mins

Director: Chris Wedge [youtube id=”GKVO6YRJQTo” width=”600″ height=”350″]


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