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Good Animation, Poor Story
on 29 December 2013
Sad to say this did not meet the very high expectations I had of it. The plot was thin, characters undeveloped and most of the music unmemorable. I think the big problem was that we never got below the character' skin in order to understand where people in it were coming from. I didn't feel any particular affinity with any of them.
This may seem an odd failing for a cartoon but anyone who is used to Japanese animation would know what I am talking about. An animation can have developed characters as well being (as this is) visually stunning. There was nothing wrong with the characters - I just wished we knew more about them.
The one moment when it did lift itself into something very good was when Lock, Shock and Barrel (Oogie Boogie's henchmen) returned to their tree house and sang about what they were going to do with "Sandy Claws". For once the music and the story matched the high quality of the stop motion animation.
If the story had used - I am avoiding a spoiler here - a storyline discussed as an unused potential sub-plot in the extras this, rather than just the story line actually used, would have fleshed it out a bit and much improved the bland ending.
This cartoon probably demonstrates that you can have a good basic idea for a cartoon, and fantastic animation, and yet produce something mediocre if the story isn't properly developed through the cartoon.
Like a lot of western film-length cartoons its suffers because it is primarily a vehicle to display stunning animation rather than a vehicle to tell a story in a stunningly good way. You never forget you are being presented with animation rather than being told a story that happens to be animated.
At £3 this has to be a good buy just for the stop motion, but watch it for the good bits and be prepared to fast forward when it gets boring.