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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Wild » User review

A Roar More Akin To A Whimper

  • Oct 17, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+1
I really enjoyed "The Wild," but I watched it feeling as if something was missing. It lacked the magic that I've come to expect in Disney's theatrical releases. Unlike "The Lion King" and "Cinderella," it lacked the "epic" aspect. Where "Hercules" and "The Emperor's New Groove" were laugh-out-loud funny, "The Wild" came across as a lukewarm comedy. It has a wonderful cast of voices including Kiefer Sutherland (who has the warm, fatherly voice downpat), Jim Belushi, Eddie Izzard (who almost steals the show), and William Shatner. It also has the reliable Patrick Warburton and Janeane Garofalo. But for some reason, things just don't add up. Not even the music is up to the same level as that of other Disney flicks released within the last two decades such as "Tarzan" and even "Chicken Little."

The story is okay, though many have wrongfully compared it to "Madagascar." In this particular tale, a gang of animals head into the wilds of New York City and Africa in order to find Samson's (Sutherland) son, Ryan, who was inadvertantly shipped off to Africa. They have no intention on staying in the wild. They just want Ryan home and safe again. In "Madagascar," the zebra wanted to go to the wild and stay there. His friends were trying to get him to change his mind. There's also a funny plot twist involving a herd of wildebeasts who are intent on taking over the top of the food chain.

The animation is good, but it seemed as if the animators were at constant odds with whether or not they wanted this to be very realistic (such as in "Dinosaur"), or funny (such as in "Valiant").

Overall, this really is a fun film for the whole family, but it feels more like a direct-to-DVD Disney sequel than a Disney theatrical release. It is more deserving of three-and-one-half stars than the three I gave it, but you may want to rent this before buying it. I purchased it and have no regrets, but others may feel that it falls too short of the Disney standard to warrant buying.

Mildly recommended.

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About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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A cuddly koala who wants to be fierce, a squirrel in love with a sarcastic giraffe, an addle-pated anaconda, and a lion with a secret set off from their cozy zoo to rescue the lion's adolescent cub from an accidental kidnapping. After braving the dangers of the big city and stealing a boat, they find themselves in the African jungle, where a renegade herd of wildebeest have decided they want to change their position on the food chain (understandable, really).The Wildis hodgepodge--it's never clear why these mismatched creatures are friends and plot elements seem haphazardly plucked fromFinding Nemo,Madagascar, andIce Age: The Meltdown(though the latter two were made at the same time asThe Wild, so it's just unfortunate for this movie that they came out first). Despite a general air of manic desperation,The Wilddoes have its strengths: The animation is richly realistic, leading to some gorgeous depictions of light (not exactly a selling point for kids, but adults can appreciate it). Several characters pop out--a pair of sewer crocodiles sound like NPR's Car Talk guys; William Shatner (Star Trek,Boston Legal) is effectively scary as the cult-leader/choreographer of the wildebeest; and comedian Eddie Izzard lends some of his trademark smart and silly humor to Nigel, the disgruntled koala bear. Successful bits and pieces don't make for a great movie, but they keepThe Wildfrom the brink of disaster.--Bret Fetzer
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