Genre: Fantasy, romance, adventure
My Rating: *****
Official Rating: PG
Age Group: 6+
It's a fight of evil against good; light versus dark. Life versus death.
It takes place in a forest. Death is always fighting life in the forest. Balance is the answer, which life knows well. Death refuses to accept balance.
Of course, M. K. knows nothing about this. She has other problems, like the fact that her mother has just died and she's stuck with her father who appears to be...delusional. When M. K. needs someone to talk to, he's off in the woods searching for little people he's just sure exist but hasn't actually ever seen. M. K. gives up. She wants to go back to the city. She's almost old enough to live on her own anyway. So off she goes, but first she has to catch her surprisingly fast three-legged dog Ozzy (who might be just as delusional as her father).
Meanwhile, Nod has problems too. He doesn't have any parents, he doesn't know how to work with a team, and he's fed up with being treated like a kid. So when the Leafmen (an army of sorts) need him, he takes off to enjoy life for once.
At the wrong moment.
M. K.'s world collides with Nod's when she comes across a dying queen who holds the power of life in her arms and hands it over--to the shrunken M. K.
You thought it was crazy before? Well hold on to your seat! It just gets crazier from here.
Word of Warning
Wow. Um, were there any problems? I was really impressed. There were, of course, bad guys. They wear the skulls of dead animals. A queen is shot with an arrow (we see the arrow, but no blood, and the death is, all things considered, rather calm). Bad guys die left and right, people get knocked all over the place. M. K.'s father doesn't listen to her (but that changes). M. K. and her mother had not lived with her father and M. K., getting frustrated with her father (who apparently doesn't care for her) is a bit rude toward him. A mouse tries to kill some characters. Jokes are made, insults are thrown, but no swear words or poor uses of the Lord's name are to be found here. A bit of flirting by a slug and Nod. An animated kiss.
Really. Not a whole lot to object to in this movie. Battles and drama, but even those weren't too hard to handle. It is, by far, one of the best PG movies I've seen in a long time.
I wouldn't say this film was "epic", but it was pretty spectacular. The voices of the characters were fantastic, and the romance was really well done. The action was balanced out well with beautiful moments between characters and just of the forest landscape. Characters had personal struggles along with the bigger problem, and these were dealt with gently. A small message of "protect the forest" was there, but it was hidden very deeply behind an exciting adventure.
What is there to say about such a movie? Nothing. Except this: watch it.
At least, that's my personal recommendation. If you only watch it for the animation, you won't be disappointed. The scenery, the characters, the story, they're all beautiful in a very thrilling way. This is not a movie you want to miss.
And it can be enjoyed by the whole family.