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wildanimals' Review of The Adventures of the American Rabbit

rated it: posted: Jun 20, 2015
Reviews: 47 | Animated Enthusiast
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If styrofoam became sentient and learnt how to make movies, this would be the result. 'The Adventures of the American Rabbit' is bland bland bland into infinity, and a perfect example of the 1980s' pre-occupation of trying to make movies out of pretty much anything. Not that its' source material was entirely devoid of potential - the rather kitschy paintings this was based on could lend themselves to something if there was an actual, fully developed story behind them. As a half-hour TV special that was aware of its ridiculous concept and actually had some fun with it, then maybe this could have worked. But this is an hour-and-a-half movie, and it is neither self-aware not particularly fun.

The greatest problem with this movie is its main character, in that he is nothing but a Mary Sue/Gary Stu with long ears. Rob Rabbit is meant to be this Clark Kent-type character with a heroic destiny that he struggles to fufill. However, you never really see much of this struggle, because you never see him develop as a character. Right off from his childhood, everybody talks about how great and special and talented he is, but you never see Rob's own reactions and feelings on the matter. We're just meant to believe he is God Himself, even though we've been given no reason to care about who he is whatsoever. The rest of the characters are really no better. We have the obvious love interest who falls in love with the main character, despite the fact that there's absolutely no chemistry between them. Villain-wise, we have the steretypical lackeys who speak in faux-Italian accents, and an arch-villain who straight out says that he only does what he does because he is evil. Again, this could have worked well if the story was more self-aware, but instead we're meant to take this guy 100 seriously.

The art and animation are also sub-par for a theatrical release. If this had been a TV special, that would have been fine, but the character animation really does not work on the big screen. While I did like the cutesy-designs of the characters, the animators do not take advantage of this and its possibilities - instead we have the unexpressive faces and exagerrated hand movements more in common with low-budget Saturday morning cartoons rather than an animated feature. The voice acting ranges from okay to comepletely terrible - the voice actor for the gorilla characters sounds like he is speaking in his sleep.

I guess the main problem I have with this movie is that nothing is really developed - not the story, not the characters, nothing. It feels like the creators only made it because they had to, rather than because they had a story they wanted to tell and characters they wanted the audience to get involved with. As a result, this movie isn't so bad as it is just boring and uninspired. There's nothing offensive in it, but nothing of real substance either. 3/10