The Wild (2006)
Amusing, but more tamed...
12 June 2006
"The Wild" demonstrates yet again that Disney's Pixar-less CGI features lack something ("Chicken Little" notwithstanding). The irony is, for all the justifiable comparisons people have drawn between this and "Madagascar," this is actually a better movie than that inexplicably successful mess - the trouble is, I saw this after DreamWorks' "Over The Hedge," which is far superior to both of 'em...

PROS: Wonderful computer animation, substantially from C.O.R.E. (among whose directors is one of this movie's cast); minimum of culture references and some attempts to tell an actual story; the voice cast (particularly Patrick Warburton, William Shatner and Janeane Garofalo).

CONS: An inability to tell its story straight - in some kind of misguided attempt to appeal to everyone, "The Wild" changes its tone seemingly every five minutes and winds up undercutting the serious core of the plot so many times (especially with the wildebeests - what's up with the dance troupe?) that it ultimately shortchanges itself. This would have been a far better film if it could have made its mind up about what it wanted to be and stuck with it, the way "Curious George" did.

It's actually fairly amusing, and at least it doesn't seem too small for the big screen (a la "Hoodwinked") but really not much to write home about. And not much to write about, really.
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