The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys ★★★

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It’s rare to get an animated movie with this much style, color, and quirkiness, and that puts it over the fresh mark at the end of the day. The story itself is one that got a bit too convoluted for its own good. I appreciated the emotion that we were getting at times, and the character development that was doing a lot for my attachment, but it wasn’t coming together like the filmmakers intended. I would use the word “scattered,” but it is one of those frantic animated films that requires a bit of that regardless. It works because it’s quirky, but it also works because of the voice talent. It’s normally a bit off-putting when adults are playing young kids, but it fits well with this tone. Will Forte is the highlight, but Maya Rudolph is great as the nanny.

Gervais nails the narration, and it’s just as strange as the rest of the film, but it actually works. The movie goes from 0 to 100 super quick when the kids send their parents off, and they have to deal with the circumstances of that. The parents are just the worst. They are supposed to be, because they’re the antagonists, but it was a bit much for a kids movie. The real issue I had was mainly the fact that the story just doesn’t come together in an interesting way, and a ton of the jokes fall flat. Kids are going to love this, as the character designs and animation are full of life, but it wasn’t as interesting of a story as it needed to be. It isn’t necessarily a movie that appeals to me when it comes to the narrative, but it (at least) stands out from a crowded medium of bland film after bland film.

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