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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Movie Review:All Creatures Big And Small

Premise:Two young animals separated from Noah's ark try to survive as the flood encroaches on the land.

Cast:Callum Maloney as Finny, Ava Connolly as Leah, Dermot Magennis as Dave and Mr. Griffin, Amy Grant as Hazel, Martin Sheen as the lion, Paul Tylak as Obesey, Chris Evans (not that one) as Stayput, Aileen Mythen as Mrs. Griffin

Directors:Toby Genkel and Sean McCormack

MPAA Rating:G

Genres:Animation

Notes:May also be titled God's Little Creatures. Poster taken from AMC Theatres.

Pros:Good animation. Different spin on the story of Noah's ark.

Cons:Some bad characters and acting. Story has been done before. A forced lesson with no bearing on the plot.



What if an animal supposed to be onboard Noah's ark got left behind? This is the dilemma of Finny the nestrian (a colorful, fur-covered creature that's constantly migrating) and Leah the grymp (a grouchy mammal resembling a combination between a cat and a small dog). Meanwhile, Finny's panicking father and Leah's angry mother are trying to get past the unhelpful crew to find their lost kids.

I don't know how much this movie cost to make, but the animation is done well for the most part, and the designs on the main characters/fictional species are nice to look at.

While the plot did offer something new in the way of the Noah's ark story, a lot of it has already been done in movies like Ice Age 1 and 2 or even the first Shrek (an unusual group journeys and fights through obstacles along the way). Two of the major characters encountered halfway through the movie were not that interesting (and one was entirely unnecessary). Other parts raise questions like why were the griffins rejected or why did they let the grymps onboard when the only two we see are female?

And while we're on the topic of the grymps, they acted cold and self-serving for no good reason beyond a badly done "learn to work with others" lesson. The voice acting on them wasn't that good either.

Overall, I wouldn't pay to see it in the theater.


Sex, Gender Issues, & Nudity:A pair of animals are mistaken for a married couple, much to the female's chagrin. The credits hint at a few creatures pairing up. A male animal tries to appeal to other male creatures by dismissing a female as oversensitive.

Violence:The big thing is the flood going to destroy the world (though it's not constantly raining for some reason). Carnivores threaten herbivores. Griffins chase and try to eat small animals. Someone is knocked unconscious, which is played up humorously. Creatures fall from great heights, get whacked on the head, are crushed under rocks, wind up underwater, get bitten, and take a ride through a cave similar to a roller coaster ride.

Drugs/Alcohol:Predators pull out wine glasses for romantic dinners.

Language/Insults:Nothing stronger than "poop" or "good-for-nothing".

Gross humor:Nestrians are known to excrete blue gas when panicked. An animal literally worries himself sick. A tiger pulls a spit-covered animal out of her mouth. A bird poops on another animal's home. Someone's sneeze splatters the camera.

Spiritual:It's loosely based on the biblical story of Noah's Ark, but that's it. God is never mentioned except in an alternate title of the film.


So what was your opinion?

© 2015 by M.R.R.

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