Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Willoughbys :: Netflix review

© Netflix
The Willoughbys is a charming and unique animated film
by Justin Moore
Rated: ★★☆

Lois Lowry, author of 'The Giver', wrote 'The Willoughbys' in 2008. The story centers around four old fashioned siblings who live with their neglectful parents. They adore old fashioned adventures and scheme up a plan to get rid of their parents who are nothing but cruel to them. 'The Willoughbys' story is brought to Netflix in animated form with a voice cast that is sure to impress. Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara, Ricky Gervais, and Maya Rudolph all lend their voices in a delightful film to watch during this quarantine.

The Willoughbys is a visually appealing movie. The CG feels blended with the animation of stop-motion and it gives it a distinct look. The Willoughby children are tall and lanky, which gives off a Tim Burton feel. Each character and setting are given a look that represents their situation and personality. Maya Rudolph’s Nanny has hair that resembles a heart, which represents her love for the children and the brighter character, Commander Melanoff (Terry Crews), is the wackier character of the film.

© Netflix
The siblings are the heart of the story. Tim (Will Forte), the eldest Willoughby child, is often rational and loves traditions when it comes to family. Jane (Alessia Cara), is the middle child and loves singing and dreaming. The twins Barnaby A. and Barnaby B. are the youngest children and I must say that they are creepy as well. The four children have a strong bond since they must rely on each other. They all have different personalities but it's their love for one another that brings them together. The film approached their relationship in a realistic way and created something that any siblings could relate to.

The Willoughbys - Barnes & Noble
There were plenty of fun moments as the children were in control of their own lives since they were trying to get rid of their parents. They felt free and happy, which was lacking from their lives. The film started out with a dark tone that showed how the siblings were living and how they wished their lives were different. The animation matched the tone as it presented darker colors. As the parents went on vacation and Commander Melanoff and Nanny were introduced into the film, the animation became brighter and so did the film.

Director Kris Pearn, who directed the animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, cared a lot about the animation and characters to tell a charming story. If you have read 'The Willoughbys' story, it has many heartwarming moments towards the end of the film and Pearn handled the emotional moments well. The growth of the characters and their relationships allowed for the scenes feeling personal to the characters.

With a lack of films hitting theaters over the last few weeks, many will turn to streaming services for content and The Willoughbys is one that should not be overlooked. It may take some time to get adjusted to the unique style of animation, but it is worth it in the end.

The Willoughbys trailer
© Netflix

No comments:

Post a Comment