Friday, March 7, 2008


Animal adventure

Using voice-over rather than have the real-life beavers talking sets this movie apart from the more common animated version. But in so doing, it comes across like a National Geographic documentary and so would have little appeal to anyone under 6 or 7 because let’s face it, real beavers are not cute and cuddly. Although there were several members of the target audience (my guess, 6 to 12 years old) their lack of enthusiasm at the end of the film probably says it all. In a word, it’s a disappointing movie for several reasons:
 During the first half, the producers have tried to create some measure of suspense (including appropriate dooms-day type music) of the impending demise of the beavers by some of the animals in the area, all of whom have no such intention; this “cry wolf” scenario soon becomes boring
 Since it is a movie about beavers the paucity of information about their diet, their natural defence mechanism, even how their front teeth don’t get completely worn down from felling trees is a huge oversight
 The story is bereft of conventional expectations in the case of the reunion of the little beaver with his mother and how the older male beaver so easily integrates himself with the others
 The narrative is infantile and replete with well used clich├ęs (“neither hide nor hare”, “patience personified” etc)

On the plus side it does have some things going for it, the first being “how do they do that?” because the camera is right there, all the time, so how come these wild animals didn’t turn and run?

In addition, the choice of music is bang on and there are some beautiful but gratuitous shots of the scenery that don’t relate that well to the story.


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