x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Movie review: A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventure

Far too reminiscent of films that have gone before and suffers from being overly didactic about its environmental themes.

Director: Ben Stassen

Starring (voices of): Melanie Griffith, Isabelle Fuhrmann, Yuri Lowenthal

Ben Stassen, the director of the anthropomorphic adventure Fly Me to the Moon, one again turns to animals to teach young cinema-goers in A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures. It's the story of the titular turtle (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) who embarks on a 50-year journey (spanning from 1959 to 2009) across the world, meeting all manner of crazy creatures, but none so unusual as man. Seeing the destruction humans have done to the world, he travels across the globe hoping to meet his true love Shelly (Isabelle Fuhrmann), a fellow hatchling whom he met when he was young.

With hopes of emulating films such as Finding Nemo and Happy Feet, the film is let down by its forced environmental message. Instead of becoming part of the story, it is jammed awkwardly into the narrative. However, putting this aside there is a perfectly fine script, filled with some nice humour, playful exchanges with the various characters Sammy encounters, and talented voice actors (particularly Lowenthal's spirited performance as Sammy). The 3D is also worked well into the story, enhancing the animation rather than trying to provide a cheap spectacle.

But in the end, A Turtle's Tale is far too reminiscent of films that have gone before it and suffers from being overly didactic about its environmental themes. A worthy approach, perhaps, but one that tends to spoil what is otherwise a perfectly cheerful family film.