I stumbled upon this film whilst browsing the kids section in HMV, to see if there was any C.G.I efforts that I didn't own yet, I'd never heard of this movie and was surprised to see something I had neither heard of or seen an advertisement for! The artwork on the box made me pick it up, I scanned the blurb on the back and decided to buy it based on curiousity and the drawn in "Burtonesque" (my term for anything that reminds me of the artwork/style of Tim Burton the king) faces of the human characters on the cover.
I watched this with my 6 year old daughter as my 4yr old son was too busy playing "Sonic the hedgehog" to want to come and watch the film, (probably just as well, as I feel the film may not have been as 'engaging' for a younger child- as the other reviewer pointed out that the film sits somewhere between the lines of being an adult/child cartoon)
As an adult cartoon I very much enjoyed it and found the artwork therein to be absolutely stunning! yes it does look a little like "shrek" and it follows a somewhat "mish-mash" formula as does shrek but the film differs in that it has dark undertones and barely any humour at all. This did not make the feature boring, instead it gave it a mythical, epical and most importantly serious feel instead, there is nothing wrong with a cartoon being serious in my opinion and it made a refreshing change from all the other happy go lucky colorful stuff out there.
The story is not really all that epical after you've watched it but the general feel of the film due to it's style, themes and sound give it an epical feel. There are only a couple of laugh out moments, the rest of the film's focus is pretty serious and straight-forward with a few darker themes, It still held my daughters attention from start to finish none the less!
I loved the visual style of this film, the narration I felt worked well most of the time, although at times I did find it a little intrusive, but not so much that it spoilt my enjoyment of the film.
I gave this 4 stars because I thought it was a brilliant addition to my C.G.I collection and well worth the £12 I paid for it, I don't think anybody should give it a miss based on opinions that it is not engaging enough, I don't feel it should be compared to other contemporary C.G.I efforts, this is not toy story, bee movie or shrek, but it has it's own style and enough charisma and substance to sit among classics such as "Rattatouie" and "The nightmare before christmas" just for being different and grown up! this is definitely one for the adults, but children who have an affection for more grown up stories or who like to watch films with their parents rather than on their own will watch this. Get it if you yourself like cartoons and quirky imaginative storytelling and/or you have kids who share your tastes, fine for older children, some younger children may not find it engaging enough to sit through the entire movie, but that's just some, we are not all the same!