Sunday, 10 May 2009

Monsters v Aliens

A long time ago in a land far far away, well the year 2001 to be precise Shrek arrived and set the benchmark for modern day animation.  Shrek had the one thing that many other children’s films did not have - the adult factor and because of this a franchise was spawned that peaked at Shrek2 and died an undignified death at Shrek the Third.  Every animated movie since the release of Shrek has desperately tried to gain adult acceptance as that is were the true money lies and on the Easter Weekend we were treated to Monsters v Aliens.

It stars the usual big Hollywood names in the trendy fashion that is voicing a CGI kids film.  This time we had the talents of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogan (who is more than everywhere these days), a British Huge Laurie as the Monsters and Keifer Sutherland hamming it up voice style as General Monger.  I don’t know what it was, maybe because I actually liked the actors voicing the characters but I thought they were all great.  Reese Witherspoon did a great job as Susan (Ginormica) and Seth Rogan is apparently just as funny doing voice work (and gaining most of the laughs) as the literally brainless B.O.B.

The story is as basic as it gets.  Monsters are imprisoned.  Aliens attack.  Monsters fight Aliens and are accepted into the world.  Although the story is basic that isn’t a criticism.  It was simple enough for the young kids to follow but it is the telling of the story and all the little side scenes such as those involving the President of America and all the daft clichés were for the adults.

The animation was fantastic to look at.  It had all the polish of Pixar without the over smaltzy Disneyness that usually accompanies it and was just as funny as the rough and ready Ice Age series (which in my view outranks Shrek any day of the week!)

There were some very funny set pieces and the action was fast and exciting.  There was nothing to scary for very young children but there is enough action that the older kids (and adults!) will be impressed by.  I will admit to laughing out loud on more that once occasion especially at the “global warming - convenient truth” quip that no body else in the audience seemed to pick up on.

I would give the movie 8/10.  It is an animated movie that you can actually volunteer to take your kids to and enjoy it just as much as they can.  There probably will be a sequel but if you look at Shrek (again) the second one is always better!!

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