by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5 stars)
Studio: Phase 4 Films
Directed by: Jose Pozo
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Rucio the donkey recounts his true story of the legendary Don Quixote and his best friend Sancho. The donkey, along with his heroes, are on a quest to battle the Half Moon Knight and save the kingdom.
WHAT I LIKED
Now I’ve seen it all. We’ve had a series of twisted fairy tales for many years, beginning with the “Shrek” films, continuing with clever independent fair like “Hoodwinked,” and eventually being run into the ground with “Ella Enchanted” and “Happily N’Ever After.” Yet in a strange way, “Donkey X” gives a unique spin on the twisted fairy tale. It gives us a twist on the classic story of Don Quixote.
You can’t compare a film like “Donkey X” to the big budget films of Pixar and DreamWorks. Instead, it has to be compared to similar films like “Doogal” and “Happily N’Ever After 2.” When taken in this context, “Donkey X” is okay. It’s animated, which in itself captures the attention of kids. It also has animals, although they aren’t exactly considered cute.
I showed “Donkey X” to my kids, and while I was noticeably bored, my eight year old son and my six year old son both enjoyed it to a degree. They haven’t come searching for it in my pile of DVDs yet, but they do have quite a selection to choose from.
So, as a discount children’s film, it’s okay. And they kid might actually learn something about classic literature in the process.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The biggest stumbling block with “Donkey X” isn’t that it’s based on Don Quixote, although that does cause some problems. After all, what makes twisted fairy tales work is the reliance on the audience knowing the original story. Plenty of kids know the story of Snow White and Cinderella. But how many six-year-olds know anything about Don Quixote. Wouldn’t this be like making a twisted fairy tale on “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Still, the biggest stumbling block is that this movie seems to have been generated from a simple pun. “Donkey Xote” sounds exactly like “Don Quixote,” and there’s your concept. The rest of the movie is shoe-horned into it, relying on cliched characters and cheap gags to string together a relatively incomprehensible and truly forgettable plot.
There’s a trailer... that’s it.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Kids who like anything animated, no matter what it is.