Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: A Troll in Central Park (1994)

Director: Don Bluth
Starring: Mostly trolls and little kids.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Reviewing a kids' movie? Truly, that won't yield the right results because you don't have the right mindset to enjoy it! You're going to be too harsh on it if you criticize it at all, since it was made for kids and kids will eat up anything you throw at them."

Oh, bullshit. A Troll in Central Park is a deeply mediocre and forgettable little venture that I don't find very well made at all. It's about this troll who gets kicked out of...troll-land...for...being too nice and loving flowers...and then he meets a little boy who is selfish like most kids are at his age, and a little girl who is as sweet and innocent like most kids are at her age. The movie rambles along for 40 minutes without furthering the plot at all while the troll and the kids...just do stuff, I guess. There is a ton of stuff about following dreams and believing you can do anything, and a whole lot of stuff that is well meaning enough, but also completely idealistic and not at all rooted in reality. It's all pleasant to watch, but what would I have gained from it if I were 5 years old and watching it? That no matter what happens, it'll be okay as long as I wish hard enough for the right thing to happen? That isn't exactly the right message.

And this movie doesn't even really make me believe it. It spends a lot of time singing deliriously about such matters, but little time elaborating or explaining anything else. I know I have to expect a certain level of...well, childishness...in a kids' movie, but that doesn't mean there doesn't have to be any substance at all. So we're supposed to believe that if we wish hard enough, our dreams will come true. And? The movie says little else beyond that. If a kid were to try and actually follow these directions, he'd have very little knowledge of what to do after the initial "believing."

But let's just pretend that that doesn't matter, being that it is a kids' movie. Is it good then? Well, maybe if you didn't have the annoying songs, the lack of any real plot, the creepy, weird singing flowers, the completely shit final battle that amounts to a very confusing, directionless fumble with a thumb-war somewhere in there...

Yeah, it sucks. The Nostalgia Critic is reviewing this next week, and I will be eagerly awaiting what he has to say about it. For those of you who aren't, I don't think this should be on your list of movies to show your kids.