While I hadn’t heard much buzz about this movie, I’d say it was pretty good! Disney/Pixar does a good job when they’re not making the 10,000 sequel to something. It was a classic, heartfelt story of how an adventure could bring two opposite people together.
The first thing that I loved about this were the voices. These included Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as the main characters, as well as Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer. Chris Pratt is one of my favorite actors, and both he and Tom Holland definitely made their characters interesting and unique, which can be hard when you are just a voice. The familiar voices also helped me enjoy more of the movie as well as feel comfortable right away.
One of my favorite things was the relationship between the two brothers. One was incredibly shy, and the other was as outgoing as can be, and they generally clashed. But as they continued on their adventure, their relationship slowly evolved into mutual respect and friendship. And this was not totally in a blatant way either, which made it all the more astonishing when the younger brother realized that his sibling had been taking care of him the way his dad would have all along. I loved this “twist”, if you will, because it really supports the idea of an unconventional but still complete family, and was certainly a tear-jerking moment.
The only things that I have to say I did not like were the lack of humor and the role of the manticore. Chris Pratt is a very humorous actor, and Tom Holland can be pretty funny as well. I feel that they did not use this to its full potential, and that the movie could have been a lot funnier overall, all though it did have its moments. I also thought that the manticore was a bit overplayed and cheesy, and seemed like an easy insert for the boys to magically have what was needed, and to be in the right place at the right time. I thought that the whole journey with her and the mother was a little pointless, and only served the purpose of taking up time. I think this movie unfortunately missed out on having a great soundtrack, because Disney/Pixar often does a great job of that. I saw a lot of moments that could really have amped up the song quality to make the movie even better.
The last thing I wanted to touch on was the character of the older brother. He was obsessed with a particular game (Dungeons and Dragons style), and was originally portrayed as annoying and a nerd. However, he is accepted and even a hero at the end, which I think was an important message to send to kids who are perhaps teased for their more nerdy tastes in school. I loved how he was passionately, unapologetically, happy and proud which made him a great role model.
Overall, I thought the movie was well made and unique, mostly because of the different characters and the final twist of the younger brother’s discovery and the final scene with the dad. While it wasn’t a standout for me in terms of great Disney/Pixar movies, it certainly was enjoyable. And it was definitely better than a 4th sequel to the Troll’s movie.