Saturday, April 20, 2013

This Month In... 2006: "The Wild"

You know that movie Madagascar? Yeah, so do the people that made this movie.

Officially Not Disney

      Oh, this movie. I remember seeing this movie in theaters. I didn't like it then either. But, I figured that maybe I would like the film a bit more now. After all, it had been 6 years since I last saw it. A lot changes in a person in 6 years. Like 6 years ago, I was 10. Now I'm 16. My, how times change. The film is directed by Steve Williams and written by, get ready now, Ed Decter (The Lizzy McGuire Movie), John J. Strauss (The Santa Clause 2), Mark Gibson (Snow Dogs) and Philip Halprin (Passion and Romance: Windows of the Heart). It follows lion Samson (Kiefer Sutherland, Monster vs Aliens) who is trying to find his son, Ryan (Greg Cipes, Teen Titans), who has accidentally been shipped off to Africa. He teams up with fellow zoo friends squirrel Benny (Jim Belushi, According to Jim), koala Nigel (Eddie Izzard, Cars 2), giraffe Bridget (Janeane Garofalo, The West Wing) and snake Larry (Richard Kind, Argo) and travels to Africa himself. But, while looking for his son, Samson and his animal friends stumble into a religious cult of wildebeests, led by Kazar (William Shatner, $#*! My Dad Says).

There's a reason you don't animate
animals realistically...
Wild and Lazy

      I'll be honest. I don't have much to say here. I really haven't felt this indifferently toward a movie in a long time. It's alright, I guess. Quick question. Have you ever seen a movie where someone is looking for someone? Have you ever seen Madagascar? Then don't see this one. There is literally no point. There aren't any funny jokes. Oh, they try to make jokes. But they just aren't funny. I'm mean, ha ha the koala crapped himself. Is that really all that funny? Even for kids? I don't remember it being funny. The animation is decent, but it could be more cartoony. Realistic animals and kids films don't tend to work well together. Everything else is fine, I guess. The voice acting is good and the story is strong enough. And, in what is easily the film's biggest strength, it's mostly harmless. I never wanted to gouge my eyes out while watching this film, and that's always a plus.

The Other Wild

      And yes, this does stink is similarities with Madagascar. While, granted, seeing as how long it usually takes to make animated films, I'm fairly certain this movie isn't trying to directly rip it off. Though you could be excused for thinking so. The Wild has pop culture references, a mildly similar story and set of characters, especially in the beginning and is also not very good. Though to be honest, I think that The Wild might be the better movie. Maybe? I don't particularly like Madagascar. At all. It's usually painfully unfunny, always annoying and I always felt like it was the most commercial Dreamworks movie. Like it was literally written by a focus group on what kids like. But at least it was something. It was bad, but it was something. It was memorable and it has a legacy. The Wild could literally not exist and no one would notice. I think that even people who saw the movie think it was just a lame parody on TV. It literally brings nothing to the table.

... Because it's freaking creepy!
The Verdict

      The most surprising thing about The Wild is that people remember it exists. Really, other than it's similarities to Madagascar, there is literally no reason for someone to remember this movie. It's not funny, not exciting, not interesting. It's bland, boring, poorly animated and overall just pointless. But hey, what were you expecting from a director nicknamed "Spaz"? The Wild gets 2 and a half stars out of 6. Next week on This Month In..., 2006 comes to a close and it's sticks the landing. Mostly.

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