26 September 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
"Fantastic": 100% ironic
Have made no secret of being a lifelong, and long will it continue, fan of animation. 'Fantastic Force' (or 'The Illusionauts') appealed to me because the cover looked beautiful and the concept was such a clever one, what other animated film has a premise that intends on destructing Jules Verne? Even if the pro-literary message is not original in animation, having been done much better in 1994's 'The Pagemaster'.
What a real waste of fantastic potential. The premise is both overcooked and under explored, and coupled with so many things done poorly and what the film tried to do, it was hard to tell whether 'Fantastic Force' was trying too hard or not trying, if this makes any sense it seemed like there was a lot of both going on. Fantastic? More like very bad, saved from total doom by a couple of things. They being the spirited voice cast, with Christopher Lloyd in particular playing his tailor-made character to the hilt, the peppy soundtrack and some cool gadgets.
However, the animation is terrible (as said with 'Izzie's Way Home') and some of the worst to not have Video Brinquedo or Spark Plug Entertainment's names on it. So bad in fact that it deserves its own paragraph. Calling it late 1990s-like animation, regardless of the valid argument of computer animation having advanced significantly on the whole since then, is almost insulting, am aware that this is low budget but that shouldn't be an excuse for such amateurish work. The backgrounds are lifeless, the attention to detail careless, the colours are flat and garish, the eye movements are unintentionally creepy, there is nothing natural about the characters' movements and the lip movements are sloppy and near-incomprehensible.
Just as risible is the script, enough for target audience and who it was aiming for to be severely questioned constantly. 'Fantastic Force' is a family film, like most animation, but fails from personal opinion to appeal to both children and adults. Adults will cringe at the excessive gross-out/potty humour, that takes over everything frequently. Meanwhile children are likely to be confused by some of the film's many ideas and muddled narrative and find it at times near-sadistic. The whole stuff with Profiterole's gas takes up far too much time and should have been used much less and more time devoted towards properly developing the concept and ideas.
Loved the unique premise, but it really suffers here from trying to throw in too many ideas and do very little, and in some cases not do anything, with them, which complicates and increasingly confuses the story. There were some good ideas here actually, but they were badly under cooked and anything to do with Jules Verne are reduced to fleeting references. What a waste of a potentially clever plot.
Dialogue throughout is awkward, the slapstick is overdone, poorly animated and overly-immature and the characters are bland and annoying with any development falling completely flat.
Overall, the complete anti-thesis of a fantastic film. With such a good concept there was a good film in there somewhere squandered completely by execution that always veers between the very bad to embarrassing. 2/10 Bethany Cox