I went into this movie expecting to get a few good laughs at a few mistakes but an overall halfway decent movie I might possibly show to children. What I got was an hour-and-a-half long, musical commercial that was so poorly thrown together I could swear the script was written by the same hacks who wrote Batman and Robin.
About all the series has ever had going for it was some good character designs (as is expected for a series devoted to selling dolls) and some good puns and comic relief. However, all that was here were about 50% of the cast with good new outfits and one or two decent puns.
The rest of the film, well all I can say was it was sloppily shoved together last minute. The voice acting was bad, there was no character development to speak of, the animation (though at times good) was mostly sloppy, and there were so many sub-plots and such hastily done writing that the entire thing just felt messy. Not to mention there was so much retelling of the plot it felt like the entire thing was being shoved down my throat. The fact that the writers felt it was so necessary to remind the audience of the plot every two minutes is a serious insult on the intelligence of children.
Why were Frankie, Draculaura, and Clawdeen even in this movie? They literally had no purpose. The rest of the characters changed emotions so fast I couldn't keep track and when something bad happened it was resolved immediately with no real repercussions. There was hardly a conflict and the message was so cliché it would only be considered original back in the ice age.
The music was all basic, cookie-cutter, bubblegum pop I could hear anywhere. None of the songs will stick with me. Actually, the singers' voices sounded so synthesized I couldn't tell what was singing and what was background music. There was no meaning behind any of the songs that couldn't be expressed just as well, if not better, had it been spoken. On top of all of that, the lyrics I could understand sounded like poetry I wrote in third grade. There is good pop music out there, but none in this movie.
The background animation was pretty great, although the transitions between scenes felt unbelievably sloppy. Some of the scenes and sequences were even pretty decently shot. I particularly liked the one where Deuce looked back to the room with Cleo in it and his sunglasses slowly fell, even though they were back on his face in ten seconds with, you guessed it, NO transition. The characters' facial expressions also looked so forced and overdone that I was nearly begging for another lifeless Kristen Stewart. It didn't quite drive me to that low, but nearly.
Also the romance between Kitty/Seth felt so forced and cliché, something that could have easily been given more time to develop if you cut some of the pointless songs. Another fail in the development was the breakup between Cleo and Deuce. (Seriously? These two are breaking up again? What is this a sitcom?) It felt like one minute they were together and after one conversation with Nefera, Deuce was just ready to break up with her. Not a very stable relationship there.
I think this movie could have fixed several of its problems if had just spent less time with the purposeless and poorly-written songs and more time developing the characters' relationships and the plot. Also, this just in: Not EVERY MOVIE needs to have Frankie, Draculaura, Clawdeen, Goulia, Holt, and Abby in it. I know the characters are well loved, but in a story about Kitty Noir and Cleo they felt added in only for the sole purpose for selling more dolls. Same with all the new characters. The only one who really had a purpose was Pharaoh/Seth. The rest of the characters were all there to, again, sell more dolls. I understand that the franchise wants to make more money, but maybe if they put a little money into their films they could create a timeless classic instead of just a fad that will keep fans satisfied until the next half-baked film.
To conclude, although this movie had a couple of puns or gags I laughed at, some pretty good character designs, and a few well animated or well shot sequences, the overall sloppiness of the writing and lack of any character that cannot be classified as a Mary-Sue made this film nearly unbearable to watch. This film made me lose all faith and/or hope I had that the franchise could grow into something better. Children deserve better entertainment than this.
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