30 September 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Gnomes & Trolls: The utterly bizarre chamber
It actually pains me to say that about 'Gnomes & Trolls: The Secret Chamber', as it does with any animated film or show that is considered mediocre or less by me. Am a big fan of animation and foreign/international animation fascinates me (particularly Russian and Japanese anime), but when eventually viewing it online it just didn't do anything for me.
'Gnomes & Trolls: The Secret Chamber' sounded like it could have been a decent film at least if done right, but the execution was severely lacking in almost every area. While nowhere near among the worst animations ever made it is down with the most bizarre and messiest. Not being a prude, or at least not intending to be, am a child at heart despite being a young adult who judges every film taking target audience, the film's aim and what it is meant to be into account.
The best thing about 'Gnomes & Trolls: The Secret Chamber' is the father/son relationship, that was the one element that had any heart or humanity and was beautifully and tenderly done.
Some of the backgrounds have some nice detail and Peter Stormare has fun with his character. There is the odd bit of sporadic amusing humour but it's never hilarious.
However, the animation is mostly not good at all. The backgrounds have moments, while others were simplistic and unfocused, but the colours are flat and murky and even worse the character designs are stiff and look ugly, almost unintentionally creepy.
Particularly bad too was the storytelling, working only in the father/son relationship. The rest of it is very messy and muddled, almost borderline confusing with many things coming over as vague which gives it an overly hectic and sprawling all over the place vibe. It started off slow then got rushed and weird. The dialogue often sounds awkward and while love, friendship and family values are very important they have been executed with far more subtlety elsewhere than the patronising way 'Gnomes & Trolls: The Secret Chamber' did.
None of the characters did anything for me, they were either bland, annoying, bizarre or pointless. You'd be hard pressed to find a weirder character of any animated film in the past decade than that hedgehog. Of the voice acting, Stormare is the only one who actually fits his character and sounds like he's making an effort. Talented prolific voice actress EG Daily is wasted.
In summary, bizarre and messy but not without its redeeming merits. 3/10 Bethany Cox