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Can 'The Wild Life' get any wilder?

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Anthro animal animated features are sneaking up on us faster than we can announce them.

Here is the trailer for the 90-minute The Wild Life, due for American release on September 9, 2016. It’s very loosely based on Robinson Crusoe from the island's animals’ point of view; Tuesday the parrot, Carmelo the chameleon, Scrubby the goat, Rosie the tapir, Pango the pangolin and others. The animals decide to “help” the human castaway and his dog. Ha, ha.

This has already been released throughout Europe in February as Robinson Crusoe, and it will have been seen in most of the rest of the world by the time we get it. If nWave Pictures is involved, it’s a Belgian production. nWave’s animation studio is in Brussels. It does good work. nWave produced the 2013 The House of Magic, which was scheduled for an American theatrical release – it’s set in Boston – up to the last minute. It ended up as a direct-to-DVD kids’ release.

Let’s hope that The Wild Life has better luck.

Comments

Your rating: None

"That wasn't so bad."

I think the trailer just reviewed itself; LionsGate Animation is the North American distributor, and their last movie was ... Norm of the North. However, they also distributed Shaun the Sheep Movie, and they will also be releasing the MLP:FiM movie next year, so they are kind of all over the map (please note, they only distribute, which is very different from producing, or even creating).

Also, the trailer seems to indicate the American version has renamed Tuesday the parrot to Mak.

Your rating: None

"Tuesday" is a lampoon of Robinson Crusoe's native "Friday" in Defoe's novel. Does "Mak" have a meaning?

I suppose that Lionsgate decided that American audiences wouldn't recognize a joke based on being familiar with the original novel.

Fred Patten

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That's kind of sad, especially since the Archie comics already referenced it decades ago. I did read the book but the middle section is a slog! Old-fashioned sentence structure is very tiring and absolutely nothing happens. It's just him prattling on about providence over and over and over.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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They also, literally, hadn't invented chapters yet. Those are a actually really nice.

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I don't know, the Bible has chapters and that's over a thousand years old. Chapters can be nice but they also are unnecessary for fiction. Some authors, like Terry Pratchett, don't use them at all.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Have you read the 1726 "Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World", a.k.a. "Gulliver's Travels"? Or to keep it to 18th-century anthropomorphic novels, who remembers my review from 2012 of the 1786 "Fabulous Histories" by Mrs. Sarah Trimmer?

https://www.flayrah.com/4520/review-fabulous-histories-mrs-sarah-trimmer

It’s available for free on Google. The 1783 “The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse” by Dorothy Kilner, narrated by Nimble, the mouse, can be read for free on Project Gutenberg.

Fred Patten

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Nope. None of those, I'm afraid.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Still, I think distributors have a hand in the quality of the movie they bring to the screen. They still get a first logo credit before the film starts, and to the general public they might associate that company as the creators of the movie they are about to watch. If LionsGate releases too many like Norm of the North it will keep some away from future titles associated with that distributor. Although I suspect for most they don't care.

Until an animation studio becomes a household brand name on its own I think some will associate LionsGate as the creators. I still read/hear comments that movies created by Blue Sky are "Pixar" movies.

Your rating: None

Also, Cartoon Brew's commenters were ... a bit dumb about it, as per usual. I like the guy going "I'd only watch a talking animal movie like Blacksad and Maus." Huh, a detective story and a story about the consequences of systemic prejudice ... if only there were a movie playing right now that combined those two elements!

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Trivia quiz: name two animated features about Robinson Crusoe. There’s Belgium’s 2016 “The Wild Life” and …

How about Uruguay’s 2013 “Selkirk; El Verdadero Robinson Crusoe”? Animation from Uruguay? Oh, yeah; it exists.

Selkirk website
http://www.selkirklapelicula.com/

Selkirk trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hORLhKA9BJo

Selkirk poster
http://www.movieposterdb.com/movie/2231505/Selkirk-el-verdadero-Robinson-Crusoe....

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

Super duper bonus round: True or false; is Robinson Crusoe attacked by wolves on the island in the original novel?

False; he's attacked by wolves after he gets off the island!

Your rating: None

What is with people making adaptations of Robinson Crusoe that are nothing like Robinson Crusoe? A large portion of the book was him being alone, learning to survive and all that. He spent something like 15 years all by himself. The scenes in that trailer are all packed with people.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

I'll comment before seeing what others have said. It does look good, so that's a big plus. It might even be fun, however, the "loosely based on Robinson Cruesoe" seems to be limited to one of the character's names. I didn't really see anything in there that reminded me of Robinson Crusoe. So if they aren't actually taking anything from the book why even reference it? Then it just bothers me that 1) it's extremely unlikely that that combination of animals would ever be around each other and 2) that island is too small to support that population.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

You know a movie isn't gonna be great when the trailer shows a butt / fart joke.

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Like this one?

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Ugh that bad movie... I'm glad I didn't watch the trailer beforehand

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"[T]hat bad movie..." is "Zootopia". You live in Madrid, don't you? How did "Zootopia" do in Spain?

Is "The Wild Life" scheduled for a Spanish release at all? I don't see one listed on IMDb.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

It's a joke, I love Zootopia. Zootopia did well everywhere.
I don't have much interest in The Wild Life.
But I don't like the butt / fart joke trope in comedy / kid movie trailers. It's like, everywhere.

Your rating: None

I have made a surprising number of posts, both here and abroad, on the butts of Zootopia. And I'm on record that I'm not much of a butt man.

I did find it hilarious that, while the dancing tigers did get most of the attention, the credits featuring Shakira/Gazelle's performance did contain what felt like a ten second shot of basically Shakira/Gazelle's butt, and nothing but the, well, butt.

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It's also common in video games.

Your rating: None

TBH the singing / dancing gig at the end was the weakest part of the movie, and I'm very glad it's at the end with the credits. I feel they were compelled by producers to include a silly marketable happy song / party. Set aside at the end I can turn it off or leave if I want. I have no interest in any sensual perspective of the movie (or the erotic fanfic thereof), the buddy cop story was great.

As you explained in the review, the butts in the buddy cop story have a reason for being there, not simply for display or cheap jokes.

Your rating: None

No, actually, I just explained that in a random comment, not the actual review, but I'm just pointing out that there are good butt jokes, and there are bad butt jokes (and then there are Shakira butt jokes).

Interestingly, I do wonder if they learned a lesson (perhaps not a good lesson, but a lesson) from Frozen; basically, it was a pretty crappy musical when you consider "Let It Go" is basically the only song worth a crap. Yeah, the movie is a cultural artifact at the moment, as is the song "Let It Go," but is there any other song (with the possible exception of the "Building a Snowman" song) that's even memorable? The older Disney musicals usually had the one "hit," but there were also memorable back-up songs; "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" may have won the Oscar, but was it really the stand-out over other Best Original Song nominees like "Hakuna Matata" or "The Circle of Life" or even non-nominated songs like "Be Prepared" or "I Just Can't Wait to Be King"? (Frozen's musical status also kind of petered out as the movie went on, but that totally also applies to the earlier Disney movies; they rarely featured a song in the third act, even as a closer).

I think it basically became "what's the point of writing an entire musical" when all you really need is that one song? I wonder if the "Try Everything" style Disney song doesn't become the new norm, at least for a while.

Your rating: None

Oh, and getting back, well, not on-topic, but back to the topic of butts in Zootopia, one review by a woman I read praised Judy's feminist character design for having a "bigger bottom than bust," which just seemed like maybe I don't always get feminism as much as I think I do (I mean, still a guy, and all), and also maybe an inappropriate compliment to aim at a children's movie protagonist in general, and a rabbit children's movie protagonist in particular.

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http://www.theonion.com/video/bratz-dolls-may-give-young-girls-unrealistic-expec...

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics