This is not the Daniel-Day-Lewis-with-lots-of-singing-actresses-9 but the Elijah-Wood-voicing-tiny-wee-animated-puppet-thing-post-apocalyptic-9.

So the lack of Nicole’n’Penelope is deliberate.

Anyone who has hung around this blog for any length of time will know that I am a sucker for animation and a strong advocate of the “not just for kids” approach to such films. And I don’t just mean the inclusion of jokes for the grown-ups which go over the heads of the ankle-biters, but proper animated films for adults.

I’m not entirely sure who the target audience is for this film; it’s a 12 because of the moderate sustained threat (there is a really good mechanical monster in this) but most of the little characters are quite cute, especially the two who live in the library whom I thought were really sweet.

Anyhoo, plot wise this is a science-gone-wrong film, where something that was meant to be beneficial for mankind has gone berserk and the scientist responsible has created these little creatures with a life-spark to fight the machines and perhaps re-start civilisation in some form, though of course it isn’t quite as simple as that.

This has loads of things that press my buttons:

  • I love Tim Burton, even when what he does isn’t wholly successful (still haven’t been able to watch all of Planet of the Apes, but loved Mars Attacks (for example))
  • I like what I’ve seen of Timur Bekmambetov’s work (Nightwatch and Wanted spring to mind)
  • Christopher Plummer is one of my acting heroes, ditto Martin Landau
  • I love steampunk (or as its described in the blurb “stitchpunk”)

And on the whole I thought this worked well. The design of the world after disaster was cool, there was a reasonable sense of jeopardy for the creatures, and the end was rather sweet.

So, not a masterpiece by any means but an enjoyable Saturday night movie and one I would watch again.

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