24 September 2012 | TheLittleSongbird
The weakest of the Burbank Films Australia Charles Dickens adaptations...
Charles Dickens is difficult to adapt for a live-action film or mini-series let alone an animated adaptation. But as much as I wanted to say that The Old Curiosity Shop was an laudable attempt in adaptation, it didn't do anything for me. In fact, with their Nicholas Nickelby being the best, I found this to be the weakest of Burbank Films Australia's Dickens animations. I wouldn't say that it is completely irredeemable, as the land/cityscapes and colour are very handsome to look at. On the debit side, aside from that The Old Curiosity Shop doesn't have much to recommend it. While I liked the background art, the character designs are crude. The script-writing is also very clumsy and has no flow to it, and the characters are too underdeveloped and lacking in their novelistic character traits, the villains especially are very stock. The voice acting I wouldn't say is terrible, it is a little better than their adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, but again there are a lot of artificial-sounding accents going on. I found the story to be the weakest asset, naturally for an animated adaptation it is condensed and is very short, but with such a plodding length it doesn't feel short, and the narrative as a consequence is not that cohesive for anybody introducing themselves to the story. All in all, I've seen worse and Burbank Films Australia have done both worse and better, but I can't bring myself to recommend this. 2/10 Bethany Cox