Continuing on with the “review an animated film that isn’t made by a major studio” series on this blog, this week; Capture The Flag! This film is produced by Spanish animation studio; Lightbox Entertainment and directed by filmmaker; Enrique Gato.
I vaguely remember seeing the trailer for this a couple of years ago whilst watching other things at the cinema and honestly I didn’t think it looked bad but I can’t say I was particularly interested in it, now I’ve seen it however, I’m pleasantly surprised! and almost regret dismissing it back in 2014/15!
For fans of: The Incredibles, Despicable Me, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
I won’t lie, I didn’t originally plan to review this film this week, I originally had another film in mind but I found out last minute that it was another French film, I could have reviewed it anyway but that would have meant 3 French animated films in the 3 weeks that this series has been running, making this less of a “review an animated film not made by a major studio” series and more of a “review French animated films” series, so I’ll go back to the original film I was going to review in a few weeks but this week, a Spanish film! Capture The Flag. (just a note: it’s a film made by a Spanish studio and director but is available to watch in English)
As I mentioned in the first part of this blog post, when I had previously seen trailers of this film, I wasn’t too bothered, I just assumed due to the quirky animal sidekick, the chubby kid comic relief and the far fetched-ness of the story that this was going to be one of those films made just for kids that’s ridiculously silly and full of cringey cultural references, but Capture The Flag doesn’t! Don’t get me wrong, there’s the odd cultural reference of Facebook and Twitter but I feel that one off is balanced out with the odd Star Wars reference made in this film.
If you have never heard of Capture The Flag before, here’s the run down; Mike Goldwing is a 12 year old boy that comes from a family of dysfunctional astronauts; his Father is currently a NASA astronaut and his Grandfather is a retired NASA astronaut, the problem is; they don’t speak and haven’t in years due to the fact Mike’s Grandfather isolates himself after missing out on the chance to go to the moon during the Apollo XI mission. Meanwhile; millionaire Richard Carson convinces the world that the moon landing was a hoax and declares that he wants to be the first person to do it, when in reality he is just looking to steal an energy source found on the moon. The President then plans to send out a NASA team before Carson arrives on the moon so they can prove that the Apollo XI mission was not a hoax by finding the American flag planted there in 1969. Right before Mike’s father was about to leave for the moon, he is caught up in an accident and breaks his leg leaving him out of the moon trip, thinking that there’s a curse upon his family when it comes to going to the moon, Mike is determined to break the curse by sneaking onto the ship heading for the moon. he’s found at the last minute by his Grandfather and the two head to the moon against everyone’s wishes, to stop Carson.
As I keep mentioning, I was really pleasantly surprised by Capture The Flag, it was funny without being embarrassingly kid funny, relevant without being cheesy or too dark and although it was a little far fetched at times (who would trust 2 kids that have had no training to go to the moon!?) it just added to the charm, it’s exciting enough to keep children entertained but not ridiculous that adults loose interest.
Although, I do not blame the studio for this and I don’t think it changes how much I enjoyed the film, I have to say, the animation isn’t quite up to the standard of other studios in some parts, I noticed that in water scenes, the character’s hair sometimes looks greasy and clumped together rather than wet, this isn’t a problem really though, just me nitpicking. As mentioned in the ‘for fans of’ section of this post, this film had character designs similar to that of Brad Bird’s, I noticed similar shapes and features on the characters to that of the characters in The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. The villain of Capture The Flag also reminds me of the villain of The Incredibles; Syndrome, this is neither a positive or negative part of the film, just something I noticed. Mike’s little sister; Tess also resembles Boo of Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. but again, not a big deal.
I’m aware that this review isn’t too detailed as I really can’t highlight many negatives or crazy good positives, this film is a sweet, inspiring tale which is really gripping and funny! Sometimes I watch films that I wouldn’t usually watch and I get bored but with Capture The Flag, I really didn’t! I was rooting for each character and couldn’t look away. I also know I say this in almost every review but seriously! give this film a chance, it’s a fun hour and a half.
Stay tuned next week where I’ll be reviewing another animated film not made by a major studio, what film you ask? I have no idea, it’ll be a surprise for everyone! I have some gaming reviews up on nerdoutwordout.com if you want to read my other reviews. If you want to see the other films I’ve reviewed in this series, here you’ll find; Ballerina & My Life as a Zucchini .