One of my favourite things about school holidays is that I get to take my kid, the Rocket, to the movies. Sure, I could take her all those other weeks of the year, but film distributors only release movies when they get the most viewers, and for kids films, that means school holidays. It is one of the times when I get a bit cranky being an adult, because maybe I want to see a new Disney movie in the middle of February, but can I? NO! And sometimes they come out overseas first and we have to wait six more years weeks before they come out in Australia and anyway, you can probably tell I have a lot of feelings about this.
The three major movies for this holiday season are Early Man, Sherlock Gnomes, and Peter Rabbit. The Rocket has decided that Peter Rabbit is for babies, which has broken my heart a bit because I LOVE movies, all of them (but not really those ones that are just extended TV shows like Peppa Pig or The Wiggles or Paw Patrol or who am I kidding, I would totally go see Peppa Pig at the movies.) My partner, Teach, was only interested in Early Man, so we trotted off to see it the other day at the Hoyts in Chadstone because it was a good excuse to go look at the Lego store while we were there.
Early Man is about a clan of cavepeople who have survived all the way to the Bronze Age while still living sheltered, cavepeopley lives. They hunt rabbits and not much else, don’t understand money or anything really, and aren’t interested in new ideas like the ones that caveman Dug comes up with. Everything still goes along nicely until one day when their little paradise is discovered by a mining patrol looking for bronze, headed up by a terribly terrible bad guy called Lord Nooth, and Dug is inadvertently captured and taken back to the city while his friends are all banished to the badlands. After finding himself in the middle of a stadium full of screaming crowds and fearing the worst, it turns out that bronze age people are reeeeeeally into soccer, and Dug has only one way to save his home: use his ancestor’s ball-kicking skills to beat Lord Nooth’s famed soccer team, the prize being getting their land back. And if he loses? Everyone he knows is banished to the mines. FOREVER.
I love Aardman movies. I like the amazing effects of computer-generated movies and how convincing they can make the worlds around them, like the water in Moana. But when you see an Aardman movie, you can see fingerprints in their clay bodies, and really feel the effort and work that’s been put in. I’ll never stop appreciating people for making movies, I think. Anyway, the movie’s okay, and there are some hilarious parts, and Dug’s best friend Hognob (who is a boar, but is still the movie’s very smartest person) is hilarious, but it’s not excellent. It’s about soccer quite a bit (which is good, of course, if you like soccer), and is a bit too short to really get much out of the characters, and you’re never properly worried about anything going wrong. I think The Rocket, who is six, had a hard time understanding Lord Nooth’s French accent (he is played by Tom Hiddleston, who is Loki in the Marvel movies) and some of the other jokes, but claimed angrily that she loved it when we asked her otherwise. I hope you enjoy it if you get to see it!