DVD Review: THE HERO OF COLOR CITY @ 2 December 2014 11:38 AM
If you don't follow animation very closely -- and even if you do -- you have to be a discerning consumer nowadays when choosing some animated films on DVD and Blu-ray. Even the shoddiest animated features can have celebrity voices and might look good based on their packaging.
That's not to say that low-budget features are not worth considering, however. Some high-budget features can emanate fumes, too.The thing to consider is how the filmmakers were able to maximize with what they had.
Such is the case with THE HERO OF COLOR CITY, a new animated feature made by industry veterans that enjoyed a limited run before arriving on video today. It's a warmhearted, entertaining feature with modest pretentions that, like TOY STORY, anthromorphothizes a beloved household plaything: crayons.
"Well, then it's just TOY STORY with crayons, right?" Yes and no. There were several animated films about living toys before TOY STORY, so to call it a rip-off would be hasty without seeing it.
While THE HERO OF COLOR CITY does focus on the familiar theme of "facing your fears" (which also worked nicely in TOY STORY OF TERROR!), COLOR CITY offers a new "box" of characters and a new magical land of colors, in which the bad guys are seeking to add color to themselves at any cost.
What the film has going for it is a story line just absorbing enough to sustain a feature (not an easy nor always successful task), well-cast voices -- including (Owen Wilson, Christina Ricci and the always interesting Craig Ferguson as well as voice acting vets like Jess Harnell, Tara Strong and David Kaye), a pleasant musical score and peppy songs.
This feature does not go for the satiric bite of THE LEGO MOVIE, nor does it make an embarrassing attempt (as a few unfortunate films do). This is a lovely movie for families and kids. And to quote Rodgers and Hammerstein, "All the rest is talk."
One Christmas morning when I was a kid, my Dad gave me a huge box of crayons with activity books. It paled next to the flashier toys and I'll always feel a little bad because I made very little fuss about it upon unwrapping it. But in the ensuing months, that became the gift that kept on giving long after the other gifts lost their luster.
So crack open a 64-pack (with sharpener), open a huge pad of drawing paper and color along.
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