29 September 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Sammy's fun, if not quite great, escape
Not sure how popular an opinion this is, but to me the first 'A Turtle's Tale' film was surprisingly enjoyable, one of those films where there was uncertainty as to whether it would be enjoyed let alone liked.
'Sammy's Great Escape' wasn't just worthy but from personal opinion just as good. It was a fun piece of escapism, it wasn't great or awards worthy but didn't need to be to be worth watching. All it needed to be was be something that didn't feel or look amateurish and have a story and characters worth investing in. 'Sammy's Great Escape' succeeds at this even with sizable room for improvement. Not everything works, although most of its components do.
There are some strange character designs admittedly, especially for the adult turtles' heads. While most of the voice acting is serviceable, the Spanish accents for the hogfish sounded overdone. The story is fun on the whole, though it is on the derivative side and there are parts that are likely to scare/upset the more sensitive younger ones.
However, apart from the adult turtles' heads, 'Sammy's Great Escape' is a visually beautiful film, with very detailed seascapes, that will delight children and adults alike, and gorgeous vibrant colour. The 3D version is the one to catch, the 3D is beautifully constructed and makes the most of the setting, actually enhancing the viewing experience rather than distracting which 3D in general can do. Adults in particular will like the soundtrack with song selections from Jimi Hendrix, The Clash and the B-52s, an odd selection but a nostalgic and catchy one.
Writing is fun and clean with some educational value and heart in the mix too. The story goes at a breezy lively pace with enough funny humour and exciting adventure to keep kids entertained while also adults happy with the nostalgic soundtrack and the clever nods to mobster, war and prison films (this aspect may go over some younger viewers' heads though perhaps). The message and values the film teaches are integrated beautifully without preaching and are important and educational enough to warrant their inclusion.
All the characters engage, with the seahorse being one of the better characters overall and Annabel and the penguin family provide the adorability factor. The protagonist is one worth rooting for. The voice acting is serviceable if not mind-blowing, though the Spanish accents could have been toned down.
Overall, fun if not quite great. 7/10 Bethany Cox