6 July 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Uneven, but well-intended and worth a look
Am very much familiar with Yoram Gross' animation work, and mostly like it very much (though to me 'The Magic Riddle' hasn't held up and didn't do much for me). Particularly the Dot films, well all but one ('Dot in Space), with the best being 'Dot and the Smugglers', 'Dot and the Whale' and 'Dot and the Kangaroo'.
'Blinky Bill' isn't as good as most of the Dot films, especially the best ones, and is quality-wise uneven, but it has its heart in the right place and clearly meant well. Children will love it and even adults will appreciate what 'Blinky Bill' tried to do even if the execution doesn't always work. As an adult myself, despite the flaws being more apparent through young adult eyes than when younger, there is a soft spot for the film (no this is not nostalgia talking, nostalgia by rule never clouds my judgement).
Do agree with those that say that the animation isn't great. Some nice colours here and there, but the character designs are pretty rough and scrappy, some of the characters look permanently embarrassed or bashful and the backgrounds, done in a way that is typical of Gross' animation (live action) has been much more detailed and smoother before, compared to something like 'Dot and the Whale' some look on the clumsy side.
The story mostly works but has its uneven moments, with the introduction needing more time to breathe, a climax that felt even more rushed and a flashback that should have been placed in a different part of the film. Also agree that the songs are not necessary, and are not particularly good on their own.
However, the script is fun, poignant and affectionately heart-warming, with some nice conflict that avoids being too dark that target audience or tone would be called into question. Much of the story has a lot of charm, a good deal of energy and while parts may make one feel good others will have you reaching for tissues.
In terms of the messaging, it's an important message/subject handled tactfully and not with the didactic heavy-handedness it could easily have done. The characters are engaging, cute and fun, nobody's annoying and everyone has a personality. The voice acting is above serviceable and at least fit the characters.
Overall, worth a look and well-intended but quality-wise 'Blinky Bill' is uneven. 6/10 Bethany Cox