David Gifford’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really didn’t like this one much at all. The only thing the movie did for me that was good was make me realize that I did actually hold a bit of good thoughts about the original movie that I hadn’t thought of in some time. I don’t really love the original movie, but this movie reminded me that I did have a lot of enjoyment for it and probably still do. That was mostly because the only thing I could think of while watching this movie was just how much I would rather be watching the original animated movie.
I am sure many people are going to claim that the movie is soulless, and I agree to a small degree. I don’t think that was just because Disney wanted money, but a combination of that and a poor idea from the start. Honestly, making animals that look real life and act similar to their real-life counterparts honestly just makes for an almost robotic appearance.
Like seriously, the movie barely has any emotion at all. It’s a bunch of soulless eyes dubbed to lines that didn’t feel convincing at all. Many of the performances were from celebrities too instead of voice actors and the delivery often times shows. It really makes it hard to get sucked into the world of the movie when the story is so emotionless and synthetic.
That isn’t mentioning that most of the songs were inferior to the versions of the songs that are already out there. They just didn’t work well all the time, and many of them just didn’t feel as good. It also shows that most of what the movie does right was already there to begin with. The movie does very little to separate itself from the original movie, and for that I can’t really recommend this one. Just go see the original.
It does have to be said though that the movie is a visual treat. It looks absolutely incredible and almost the entirety of the its technical merits come from that. It really is something to see, and would likely look great in 4K. I likely won't be finding out though, because the likelihood of me purchasing this movie is incredibly slim.
Technical Meter: 5
Combined Score: 4