Another holiday season and that means another animated movie to get the kids to the theater for more fun and frolic. Well in the mega money schemes of Disney, there are few willing to take the risk to put their work out and give it a try. Blue Skies Studio is ready to answer that call and this week the latest animation is going to try and make its mark on the world of children’s entertainment. Robbie K back with another review as he takes a look at the film:
Movie: Spies In Disguise (2019)
- Smooth Animation Style
- A More Unique Concept
- Good Pace
- Heartfelt Moments
- Creativity With Gadgets
- Action At The End
- A Bit Over silly At Times
- Villain Needing A Little More Tweak
- Some underutilized characters
- The Commercial Syndrome
We know most animation films have got this formula down and spies in disguise has a fun design and animation that is exciting, fluid, and perfect for the feel of the movie. The bird movements look rather accurate and when anthropomorphized, they achieve the blend between human and bird quite well. Past that style though, these spies are equipped to entertain the young and young at heart with some tricks of the trade that are timeless, yet also diverse. It starts with the unique concept of transformation, that’s both formed into the story and a nice plot device as well as pigeon and man team up to conquer the criminal underworld. The trailers do not disguise the fact that the film is both funny and fun, cramming jokes and adventure in many frames to bring that fun kids flick that we all have grown up with and all at an entertaining pace. These jokes are part due to the voice acting and dialogue, but it also comes from the creative with helping to bring spy gadgets down to a PG rating, yet not be so kiddy that it feels like a Nick Jr. special. This is especially true at the climactic moments where Walters inventions come out in his own style that somehow seem to work during the fast-paced conflicts that unfold and somehow be decently suspenseful. Note that this is not just a comic infused super movie though. Much like Disney, Spies in Disguise manages to merge with a more adult path, not only going dark at times, but managing to put character development into this film that pulls at heart strings and finds a new angle to hand the exciting moments. It’s all these components that really helped make the movie super fun for this reviewer.
Yet, there were some things that went down a different path for this reviewer that I did not quite enjoy. For one thing, the movie gets a bit silly for me, going into banter or running jokes that start to go stale like most new episodes of SpongeBob. It’s forced comedy for a target audience of young ones and while it was to be expected, these moments get magnified when they suddenly veer away from the better storytelling moments. I supposed this is of course to help with the rewatchability and merchandising sales, but from a quality standpoint it took away from the movie. In regards to the villain, it’s tough to say he is a limitation, but hear me out. On one levels, the movie integrates the villain quite well, and puts a better back story that fits with the theme of the movie. However, the villain also could have been ingrained a little more, for his ploys are more so menacing monologues and sneers rather than manipulation and fighting. It’s a weird blend that holds great promise, but that promise sort of gets bogged down in the comedy medium this movie is big on. In addition, there are some underutilized characters I thought would have a bigger hold on the film, primarily Reba’s head agent character who again holds the keys to an interesting aspect of the film that unfortunately is demoted to boring background character. The same goes for some other henchmen and baddies who after a fun opening are again reduced to background noise that is annoying and disappointing to say the least. However, the biggest limitation is the commercial syndrome occurring again. Spies In Disguise has given a lot of things away in the trailers, and if your young one has bombarded you with the commercials over and over again, then you are going to find that the movie is a bit stale. While there are still some treasured moments not on the short trailers, many of the gags and fun scenes have already been done to death.
Spies in Disguise had a lot of delays and to be honest, the movie does not shatter too many things when it comes to originality or that unique energy Disney does. This does not mean the film is bad though, and in fact it’s quite enjoyable. Animation wise it’s clean, bringing a design that matches the fun nature of the film, with comedy and adventure around every bin. And though much of the movie is a blur, the film succeeds to expand to other audience members and get some character development going, that fits in theme with the creative approach to the spy thriller. It’s true the balance to silliness does veer off at times, and the villain needs some of that time to really get the full effect, but for the most part the movie’s biggest limitation is not having that Disney spark and giving too much away in the trailers. Still, this film feels like a good theater run thanks to the fun adventure and special effects, especially if you have a little ones or a group to go with. If not, then please check this out and enjoy the fun ride.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0