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1.5 out of 4 stars

Title
The Wild Life
Directed by
Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen
Starring
Matthias Schweighofer, Kaya Yanar, Dieter Hallervorden
Classification
G
Country
USA
Language
English

More uninspired than insipid, The Wild Life, a Belgian-produced, lackadaisical but well-intentioned update of Daniel Defoe's classic survivalist epic Robinson Crusoe for the preverbal toddler set, has a handful of novel 3-D effects, lots of bright colours, competent animation and little else. Wholly unfaithful to its source material, it's a pandering yarn about a shipwrecked British cartographer and his trusty dog befriending a bunch of cute, talking animals on an uninhabited island, with a daydreaming macaw taking a particular shine to the castaways. The jokes aren't funny, there's no memorable voice work and although a major character dies at the hands of some mangy, homicidal cats, every bit of story and dialogue comes delivered in a sing-song tone designed to soothe wee ones into thinking everything will end up just fine. It's dreadfully boring to anyone over the age of 4, but at least it isn't trying to sell kids anything. I guess that's a plus.

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