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There was once a time where almost anything animated that didn't come from the Disney canon was mostly deemed inferior. However, starting with the halcyon days of Pixar and Dreamworks Animation, the market for animated entertainment stepped up its game and diversified for the better. Yet every now and then, there's a movie that reminds us of those primitive days, be it with a poor script or horrible animation. The Wild Life is the most recent film to fall into this dubious category, and boy does it go out of its way to annoy and belittle its audience.
We all know the story of Robinson Crusoe and his harrowing 30 years marooned on a tropical island, all the while facing odds stacked against him. But what if that tale wasn't the truth? Prepare for a fine feathered spin on that literary classic, as Mak - a parrot who lived alongside Crusoe, and his other animal friends - tells us the ''true'' story about Crusoe's antics surviving on that infamous island. It's up to Mak and his animated pals to help Crusoe, as he's totally clueless about island living, and being pursued by two very nasty cats who want him dead.
Were this a film in the vein of Dreamworks' Shrek franchise, or even Sony Animation's Sausage Party, The Wild Life could have been a witty and fun romp. Sadly, those in charge of this film's production didn't see fit to craft such a product, and instead produced a film so thuddingly dull that it may as well be used as a doorstop, or a means to knock oneself unconscious, so that they don't have to finish the movie. Mak's narration is the most annoying aspect of this totally useless film, as he'll either confirm or predict dialogue that could have spoken for itself. Nowhere is this more apparent than during the closing credits, when what must have been intended as still frames to close out the film become overrun with his tacked on epilogue. If you enjoy playing ''Connect The Dots'' with someone constantly pointing out the next dot you're supposed to connect at every single turn, then The Wild Life is the movie for you!
If the animation to The Wild Life was more beautiful than what we ended up getting in the end, then at the very least, audiences would have had something pretty to look at. But the second strike against this film comes directly from that department, as the film looks like it was thrown together to introduce a cheaply made theme park ride movie that somehow found itself expanded into a feature film. Yet for as sub-par as the animation is in The Wild Life, it must be begrudgingly admitted that some sequences have extremely impressive camerawork. Seriously folks, there could have been a great movie here, if the attention paid to some of the camerawork was paid to the whole damned movie.
Whether The Wild Life was broken from the factory, or a victim of being dumbed down in its English translation, it's a sin that such a film will be released on a theatrical distribution platform, instead of landing its true home: as a disc given away for free with a McDonald's Happy Meal. You probably hadn't heard of this film before you clicked on this review, and you wouldn't be blamed for forgetting it after you've concluded this piece. However, I implore you to remember its name. Keep it in the dark recesses of your mind, as an example of what not to do with a limited budget and a legendary literary property. Don't let this happen again!