Cute creatures have always been used as a draw to family films. They can strike an instant link with audiences old and young alike. With animation, an array of cute creatures can either be the ingenuity of animators working with a good story or a gimmick to appeal to children. Sadly, The Nut Job falls into the latter category as an unimaginative and underdeveloped film.
The film is inspired by the Surly Squirrel short by director Peter Lepeniotis. Lepeniotis expanded his short into a full length feature film for The Nut Job.
There are two obvious problems with the films story. The first is that there is too much going on. With Surly's story arc, the park animals and the humans planning a bank robbery, it’s very convoluted. The second unavoidable problem is the fact that none of the story lines are particularly interesting. Easily predicable and inhabited by two dimensional characters that are not likable. The film makers have clearly assumed that cute talking rodents will compensate for the films lack of a decent story but this is not the case.
The film is done using CGI animation and although it is not unappealing to watch it pales in comparison to what Pixar and Dreamworks can produce. It just feels flat with its lack of detail and textures.
As for the films voice cast some brilliant actors have been used but none are able to lift the film.
Will Arnett proved such a draw as Lego Batman but sadly his vocal talents are wasted on this tosh. The character never utilises Arnetts range in voice or tone. Liam Neeson, despite his astonishing vocal talend, proves the same as the park leader Racoon.
The rest of the cast are equally unable to infuse their characters with any life.
Cute creatures do not compensate for a lack of story and no originality. A poor excuse of an animated feature with the most random closing credits ever, (animated Gangham Style).
The Nut Job is out this Friday