Director: Reinhard Klooss
Writer: Oliver Huzly/Reinhard Klooss
Producers: Reinhard Klooss/Holger Tappe
Starring: Stephen Fry/Jim Broadbent/James Corden/Omid Djalili/Jason Donovan/Dawn French/Joanna Lumley/Billie Piper/Vanessa Redgrave/Andy Serkis
BBFC Certification: U
Duration: 93 minutes
Speechless. That is what happens after watching what should lightly be called a movie. Puzzled. That’s a feeling that comes shortly afterwards when you start to wonder what you just sat through. Animals United literally has to be one of the worst animations ever made for quite a good few reasons, it’s just finding the place to start. The story is just laughably bad, granted that this is most probably aimed for children under the age of nine but it fails to reach out to the poor adults or parents who have to sit through the movie. The story was just everywhere; one minute the animals are doing one thing and then out of nowhere, other animals play a more important role and then they do something else. As well as that, there was quite a few plot holes and there were so many storylines that the movie couldn’t really keep up and failed to entertain you. There was one particular scene which involved the lion Socretes, voiced by Stephen Fry, and he told Billy the meerkat, voiced by James Corden, a tragic story from his past and you just couldn’t really connect or feel anything for his story at all. It just felt like it was randomly thrown in out of nowhere just to make up the runtime. The only characters you did like and could feel something for were the two seven-hundred year old tortoises.
Animals United has a British cast that includes Stephen Fry, Dawn French, Joanna Lumley, Billie Piper and James Corden and most of them sounded very bored as their characters and sounded like they just wanted to get the movie out of the way. James Corden tries very hard to inject humour into the movie but therein lies the problem, he tried way too hard. The writers have tried to make a movie that spreads the message of environmental issues and how it threatens the animal kingdom through humour, great animation and nicely-written characters. Unfortunately, they’ve managed to achieve the opposite, making a movie that felt like it was preaching that all humans are evil through infantile humour, decent animation and one-dimensional characters. Overall, Animals United does have a couple of moments where the animation is nice to look at and an almost-touching scene where one of the seven-hundred year old tortoises tells everybody what she has seen humans do in the past but other than that, it’s a complete mess.
Even though Animals United is aimed mostly at the younger audience, it is still not an excuse to use. Disney and Pixar have proven so many times that animations can reach out to audiences of all ages and all tastes and manage to make the audience feel attached to their characters and make us think about the messages in their movies. However, Animal United fails magnificently in entertaining adults but it could succeed in entertaining the little ones, it’s touch and go. The musical numbers used in the movie is very poor and should never have happened and, because this is a German animation, the lip-synching is out half of the time when they talk. Overall, it’s more or less a bad animation with a tedious story that gets the wrong message across. Don’t pay to see this movie, wait until it comes on television at your own risk!