Rated G; Directed by Steve “Spaz” Williams; Starring the voice talents of Kiefer Sutherland, Eddie Izzard, James Belushi, Janeane Garofolo, William Shatner
Watching Disney’s “The Wild” was a disconcerting experience. It’s an animated film about a group of zoo animals who end up escaping the New York Zoo and miraculously finding their way into the wilds of the jungle – sound familiar? If you saw Dreamworks’ “Madagascar” last year you may think it’s the same movie. It makes you wonder how two different studios come up with these ideas at the same time. It is disconcerting to watch a movie looking for the differences.
“The Wild” starts out at the zoo. Samson (Kiefer Sutherland) the lion is having problems with his young son, Ryan, who can’t seem to muster up a good roar. When Ryan accidentally ends up in a cargo ship headed out of New York, his father decides to track him down. Helping him out are his friends Benny the squirrel (James Belushi), Bridget the Giraffe (Janeane Garofolo), Larry the snake (Richard Kind), and Nigel the koala (Eddie Izzard).
Compared to “Madagascar” this movie has more of a story. The animated animals look good, though the overall animation seems clunky. The humor is also clunky. The plot gave the writers plenty of opportunities for hilarity, but it all falls rather flat, though the chameleons are good for some laughs. Even wildebeests that enjoy their choreography don’t live up to the premise. It seems that the animators were aiming for the whimsical, but their aim misses wide.
I think kids will enjoy the movie, but for adults, once again, the latest animated film leaves something to be desired. Now I just wonder – what will be the next two animated films to have similar plots?