The 1.4/5 Star rating on Netflix should have been a dead give-away that this movie would not be that good. The animation was good, the story line was extremely cheesy but was bearable, the music was really good, but there were just a few weird things that made me want to turn it off multiple times.
- The dad was a failure and was trying to live through his son, and held his son to unfeasible standards, causing his son to feel like a perpetual failure. A great message for the target audience, and a very real issue. Those unrealistic standards that the dad had for his kid i this movie was to be like Tarzan: to climb trees, ride a bike, be strong, and read books. The kid wanted to ditch school to go dumpster diving to collect trash to build uber creepy "garbage friends" that he stored in an abandoned warehouse. Usually these types of movies encourage kids to "be themselves", and encouraging parents to accept their kids for who they are. But, the dad's "encouragement" was uncomfortably extreme for a children's movie, and was downright abusive at times. In risk of sounding like an authoritarian, no parent should encourage their kid to be like Ivan.
-I have no idea why the animators decided to give all the women really weird boobs.
-I have no idea why girls in Ivan's grade were old enough to have boobs, drive vehicles, look like teenagers, yet be barely learning how to read. It's like they were all 15 year-old learning how to read for the first time.
-I don't know why Ivan had to chase letters around the room to represent his dyslexia. That scene didn't make much sense to me.
-His creations were EXTREMELY creepy. It was even weirder that the girl like them.
-I know that the witch was representative of his fairy god mother. Yet, she was really creepy. He found her drinking in the middle of the woods, got naked, and slept in her clothes. Then he drank weird potions she gave him. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it was weird.
-The kid's life was a living hell. Why would she give him a potion that would make his pain go away for only a day? To send him back to the pit of despair?
-The years of abuse the dad gave to the kid ended with a simple talk?
-At the end, he never really overcame being bullied, or learned how to read.
There were other things off about this movie, but these were some of the highlights.