For some reason, A Turtles Tale had slipped under my radar. Which is actually a good thing as I could watch it with fresh eyes, blissfully uncluttered by the all-important marketing messages. I also had my two best reviewers with me, my 7 year old son and 10 year old daughter.
Thankfully, the tube journey to the IMAX in Waterloo was uneventful and we arrived bang on time. Having said that, arriving 10 minutes before would have been better as it’s pitch black in the cinema once the trailers had started and it was a bit of an adventure finding our seats. All good fun though.
The movie itself follows the adventures of Sammy, a greenback turtle, from egg to hapilly ever after. I know film makers (and marketers) cringe when you make comparisons, but think Finding Nemo with turtles and you’re not far wrong. Only Finding Nemo was never in 3D so A Turtle’s Tale has a few more strings to its bow.
The movie itself is computer animated and takes you to some amazing underwater worlds. With some other movie studios, 3D is used sparingly or is seen as a gimmick by the purists. Not here. In the best way possible, I think a 10 year old was in charge of the 3D on this one. If it can burst out of the screen, it did. There are dramatic bird sequences, sweeping fly-by’s over coral reefs and action sequences that made even me duck got cover. Sure, there are a few scary shark moments and high drama but its never too much. There were plenty of 4-5 year olds there and none of them lost the plot. Top marks!
The story itself is essentially Sammy’s quest to find his sweetheart Shelly, who helped Sammy in his very first moments and became separated almost as quickly. On Sammy’s journey, he makes good friends, gets into scrapes and quite literally travels the world. It’s not a complicated plot and it doesn’t demand the usual multi-sub-plot mental juggling that some modern movies demand. I’m kinda in the business so I like Inception-esque brain benders as much as the next person, but this movie isn’t meant for me really. My kids sat transfixed througout. No wee-wee trips or clinging to arms in the scary bits.
There is a constant undercurrent (sorry) of ‘environmental issues’ that surface (sorry again) at regular intervals. From oil pollution, over fishing and illegal whaling to deforestation and fly tipping. It felt a little forced at times but if it helps the message, then good on it! Some grown ups may find it a bit awkward but for today’s kids, it’s just how the world is. It’s even part of their school curriculum.
If there was an iffy bit, it was the human characters. Even my kids mentioned it afterwards. They just weren’t as convincing as their fishy counterparts. They served their purpose but I’m fairly sure they’ll not be featuring in their own mini-series any time soon.
But overall, it was a charming, kid friendly movie and you’ll be mad not to see in 3D if you have the chance.
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures stars Dominic Cooper, Gemma Arterton, John Hurt, Kayvan Novak, and Robert Sheehan, and is suitable for all ages, but the 3D version is best for ages 6 and up. See it in spectacular 3D at the biggest screen in Britain, the BFI IMAX on London’s South Bank from March 25th to April 7th 2011.
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You can win tickets to see A Turtle’s Tale plus family admission to SEA LIFE London Aquarium! Click here for details.