5 elementary school kids are about to experience the summer camp of their lives when a most unusual alien crash lands nearby.
Cats and Dogs Living Together…
I’m going to cut straight to the chase. I absolutely love this film. It’s everything I expect and want from good family entertainment. The story and characters are deceptively well thought out and the scenarios imaginative. Most importantly, a plot that doesn’t talk down to kids (or their adult supervisors).
As an adult I’ve grown to appreciate the impact popular entertainment can have on youth. The music we listen to, the movies we watch, it all has an especially big influence on young minds. The lessons and ideas portrayed in those mediums have to be as constructive as possible. I really like that “Space Show” has very positive messages throughout. From simple concepts like the importance of cultivating good friendships to lesser covered subjects like working and earning one’s own keep. None of it is in your face; it’s just matter of fact. The characters simply are who they are and audience members interested in seeing the lessons will. I also love that things aren’t sugar coated. Listeners of our podcast have heard Richard and I rant about family movies that insist on showing the world through rose colored glasses. Nothing bad every happens and things are always great in the end. Though this film has a happy ending of sorts, the journey there is not without its consequences. There are casualties in this tale and those that survive will be changed. This is an action adventure through space (literally) with lots of excitement and danger and by the end you’ll be glad (and relieved) you’ve come along for the ride.
The 2D animation work is quite good. With appropriate family friendly cute character designs. There is some use of 3D assets throughout the film, a common place occurrence in anime for the past few years, but the integration though not very subtle, feels at home. This is in large part due to the bright color palate and cartoony character design style. 2D/3D integration can often be an eyesor, pulling you right out of the moment, but it’s a positive that it’s so well handled on this one. The various action sequences are really well realized, with highly dynamic and fluid motion and special effects. Well worth the price of admission.
Where animation in the west has the advantage of highly paid talent and top of the line tools, the east continues to show hollywood what animation was truly meant for. The impossible. Anime has always been the home to animators and creatives that treasure the freedom of a blank canvas. Generating whole worlds we’ve yet to imagine and pushing the concepts of squash and stretch to places the imagineers daren’t. All without forfeiting story.
Home grown 2D animation is said to be dying out in the East. Here’s to hoping the lights stay on just a little longer.
A for animation
B+ for family friendly story