by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
Freddie Prinze Jr. as DELGO
Chris Kattan as FILO
Jennifer Love Hewitt as PRINCESS KYLA
Anne Bancroft as SEDESSA
Val Kilmer as BOGARDUS
Malcolm McDowell as RAIUS
Michael Clarke Duncan as ELDER MARLEY
Louis Gossett Jr. as KING ZAHN
Eric Idle as SPIG
Burt Reynolds as DELGO’S FATHER
Kelly Ripa as KURRIN
Directed by: Marc F. Adler & Jason Maurer
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Two races of creatures in a faraway land have been at odds for years after a traitor to the king tried to commit genocide on one of them. Years later, in the middle of their shaky truce, the traitor tries once again to gain control of the kingdom by kidnapping the princess and framing an innocent man. It is up to a young student named Delgo, who is harboring a lot of resentment for his enemy for wiping out his family, to save the princess and bring peace to the world.
WHAT I LIKED
As a parent of young children, I have come to appreciate almost any type of movie that is appropriate for younger viewers. At times, it doesn’t matter whether a movie is necessarily any good, but whether it can provide any sort of entertainment for my kids. At the very least, “Delgo” gave some of this to my kids.
This may seem like an underhanded compliment to the film; that’s because it is. “Delgo” made a small name for itself last Christmas for being one of the lowest performing wide releases of the entire year, and that’s a pretty amazing feat. Heck, on the weekend I saw the film, my $16 I spent for admission with the kids contributed to a significant portion of my theater’s per-screen average.
It’s not that “Delgo” is awful. There are some merits. The movie does have a decent message, and it gives the kids a positive spin on an otherwise gloomy tale. Also, the animation isn’t terrible, just not cinematic quality. It’s not an excruciating film to watch, and on DVD it plays much better (probably because you’re not a captive audience in a dark theater, and you have a chance to multi-task).
So, as a parent looking for something to show their kids that is definitely age-appropriate with only a modicum of war-like violence, you can do worse.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The problems with “Delgo” aren’t isolated, and that’s what makes things bad. The problems filter through every aspect of the movie. It begins with a script that is simply a hodge-podge of cliches and overdone storylines. I’ve seen all the plot elements before, and they all seem to fall into cliche, stealing from everything from “Lord of the Rings” to “Star Wars.”
Then there’s the cast. It’s just too cluttered, which always signals a problem for an animated film. Then, it’s front-loaded with B-list actors like Freddie Prinze Jr. as the leads. Too many good names, especially if they’re older actors like Anne Bancroft and Lou Gossett Jr., tends to indicate a cast that is slumming it or paying their mortgage.
Finally, the animation is just uninspired. There’s a flatness to the colors and the textures of the movie. This isn’t a problem with a direct-to-DVD release or something that is only shown on the children’s cable networks, but it’s very weak for a theatrical run.
The DVD comes with an audio commentary with both directors, along with a slate of deleted scenes. There’s a nice behind the scenes video the featurette “Sounds of Delgo” Which examines the music and the soundtrack.
Additional features include two interactive menus called “Meet the Characters” and “See the Creatures,” which allow the viewer to pick and choose the different characters in the Delgo universe, see vital statistics about them and look at a CGI template model.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Kids who want to watch a CGI movie but really don’t care about the quality of it.