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  • First, this film is not available ANYWHERE. If someone knows where a complete version of this is available for sale or streaming, let me know.

    My daughter saw this via a YouTube upload. The first 10 minutes were missing, but she still liked the concept of a place for orphan and lost animals to go and spirit guardians that are shape shifters.

    This is not REAL native American mythology, but rather a child's interpretation of it.

    I only wish I could find a compete version for my daughter who insists on see this even chopped up. I would note that she (at seven) is not unsophisticated in made up mythology films. She is a huge fan of all of Myazaki's films and went as "Princess Mononoke" for Halloween.
  • My main problem with this animated film was his story and presentation of that story to viewer. First of all, I don't know anything about native American legends and stories, so I think that anybody who is not familiar with that, will have trouble following this story. They have spend more running time of this film on stupid and many times seen attempts at slapstick comedy, then on explaining story to someone for who is this first contact with this mythology. And story issues are main problem with most of recent animated films; you can't compete with Pixar on visual and animation field, but you can be creative with story, and story development.

    Next thing that I didn't like, was visual style of some characters; they had "fake" shading; some shadows and highlights ware simply painted on texture of characters. Even that look kind of good in some situations, and it was in style with overall visual feel of film, but unfortunately it looked weird and bad in most of situations. That made characters look "artificial" and lifeless; except few hard shadows, and some direct light, there was little or none visual interaction of characters with environment.

    What I liked, was music witch was nicely composed and made nice audio mood, and I liked animation of characters; some characters ware animated better then others, but lucky there was more good animation, then mediocre or bad one. Good animation of characters kind of fixed bad lighting and texturing, and also made characters interesting.

    So, in the end, this film is nothing special, and if you don't know back story you will be confused. Watch it if you don't have anything smarter to do.

    Story: 3/10 Visuals: 4/10 Animation: 8/10 Comedy: 4/10 Audio: 7/10 Action: 6/10

    OVERALL: 5/10
  • This movie came in 2010 not 2019 so people why waste your time
  • fodelode15 March 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Kind of strange how nothing works in this movie. From scene one they take a bad turn. One would think they'd at least try getting somewhat of a connection between the viewers and the characters, but that did not happen.

    From the very start you get this feeling that this movie is meant for children, age 6 - 10. Cause the ADHD flooding every scene is a bit too much to take for 90 min, unless ofc you enjoy that over a balanced story / action movie. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy speed and action sequences in a movie. But this is too much, compressed into such small time frames.

    Seems like they are in such a hurry to tell us the story and personality behind every character that they overlook the fact that it has to be put in to a context. It has to be done in such a way that would connect us to them and the scenes, rather than turning us against it. Scene jumping at an alarming pace is also an element that does not give us the proper understanding of the characters and their part in the story..

    Somehow only a few characters have fitting voice actors. This kind of takes away the focus from the story, and gets annoying as the movie unfolds.

    As for the animation, it does not leave you with a WOW feeling once seen, but works fine in its own way. Some nice details from time to time, and some grand scenes. But unfortunately they miss shadows here and there, and seem to focus on details a bit randomly.

    I would recommend this movie if you don't care much for story, but rather want a fast paced ADHD marathon. But this kind of falls into the laps of younger viewers. As for older people, this does feel forced and exaggerated.

  • Thankfully, I am more native than anything. The storyline fits with the lifestyles of the Natives to their country. I have looked in many titles to locate this movie. My grandchildren loved it and that was important to me. It didn't scare my youngest grand baby which in todays film-making seem to get a great joy out of doing. It was age appropriate for my next generation.

    The fact that it was an animation kept me from looking to see what else could be done. The shadowing and gradients were fine for the viewing. It was in fact an animation. It irritates me that cartoons are so depicted that they are almost real. take some of the creativity back a step. 2D graphics are still OK. Not everyone has to be on the level of natural drawing. stick figures are still fun.creativity should be fun and this was that.

    If this movie was available now, I would purchase it. Not because it has been fine tuned and written so well that you cant tell if it is real or "ameriteque". Children are more interested in cartoons being able to do something than to watch real life do it.

    This movie is a must see if you have small influential children that are trained within this realm. I also wouldn't mind a soundtrack to this. My mother and god-mother both loved the soundtrack.
  • paindweller27 May 2019
    This was really nice to watch, good humour and clean & entertaining. Sure there are areas for improvement, still an overall breath of fresh air compared to the nonsense put out nowadays.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The main character is an unlikeable teenager with too much attitude. The plot of the film is not very interesting: when non-human animals die, they go to heaven, but some can't find the way, the so called "secret pass", so some "chosen ones" (shape-shifting humans) have to help them. Why do humans think they are so much more important than all other species that they have to play a central role even at the time of death? The premise is just dumb.

    The film plays like the "lost animals" are still alive (they fear dying, but they fail the basic instinct of fleeing from humans, most of them actually trusting the "chosen ones" without a hint of hesitation or whatever, even when they are picked up by their alter egos, which are huge birds of prey). The metaphor is too obvious, but it's slapped on the viewer's face at the end, when one of the animals hears the voice of its deceased "wife" calling from beyond the "secret pass". It tries too hard to be smart, ending up looking very dumb.

    There are no explanation for the whole family being shape-shifters. It tries to credit it on some kind of holy spirit's gift, but it also tries to make it sound like the "chosen one" has to be able to change by itself. "Magical" isn't an excuse to be "illogical".

    The story is very boring, filled with forced thrills (that are not thrilling, just silly) and some very irking moments of total lack of reason, with the rules of the magic changing all the time.

    The ending is obvious, fully happy, of course, with the villain's demise caused by himself, in a twist that is not a twist, because one of the characters gives out the outcome way before that: to open the secret pass, one has to sing a song exactly, and only the chosen one is told the correct song by the holy spirit, so when coerced, the protagonist sings the wrong words to the villain, so when he tries to open the pass, he's disintegrated...

    Of course, "happy ending" is a point of view, as it's made very clear that all non-human animals die or are already dead when they go through the secret pass.

    Worth watching? Forget the voice talents behind it, they do as well as can be done with such a messy plot, so, pass...
  • Don't expect Pixar-sized budget and polish - this is an adequate kids movie from a small studio.

    Impressive list of voice actors filling a typical lineup of characters and worn out tropes, with some hits and misses.

    The animals are generally endearing and cute - except the lizard, who seems to jam in as much throwaway sarcasm as possible - which was initially fine but got tiresome.

    Leans heavily on repeated slapstick gags for laughs (think classic Looney Toons), rather than clever writing. The ol' cactus in the rear gag happened twice in just the first few minutes.

    The overall character development is wide but shallow.

    Lots of zoomy action with some rushed plot (given to us in big gulps by grandpa), but overall, it'll do.

    Whole thing wraps up neatly around 90 minutes. There's definitely worse movies in this genre.

    Initial viewing availability was scarce, but now it's on most major streaming services like Amazon and Hulu.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film on American legend has mistakes and the makers have no idea what they are doing, they say they are Thunderbird's and turn into Eagles, but this is a mistake in its self a Thunderbird did exist when God created earth 6000 years ago and might even exist in remote places today & some tribes have even spotted them alive, The Genuine real Thunderbird is not an eagle it is actually a dragon or dinosaur, ( They were called dragons or beasts originally, until the name change over a century ago, Pterodactyl got it's name Thunderbird by when it flapped its wings it make a loud crash like thunder as its wingspan was so big hence the name Thunderbird :)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So the antagonist is chasing down the protagonist because he wants to learn a magic song, and has no way of verifying whether any song he's told is actually the one he wants. And the magic gate he needs the song to open? It destroys anyone who sings the wrong song.

    The cast all know and understand this.

    It just seems like this this whole thing could've been resolved a lot quicker.