Rating: PG, for some action and scary images.
This is an animated, musical fantasy from the mind of George Lucas which also contains elements of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If you think it sounds like there’s a lot going on there, you’re right. It all takes place in an enchanted land which has been split in two: There’s the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest. A plucky fairy princess (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) dares to enter the scary neighboring territory, where she makes an unexpected connection with the mean, lonely Bog King (Alan Cumming). And they do it all in song! Some of the colors and background elements are vibrantly colorful and beautifully detailed, but the characters’ and creatures’ faces are stiff and rubbery in an off-putting way. The music — a mix of pop songs from the past 60 years or so, ranging from Elvis Presley to Bob Marley to Beyonce — is incessant and overbearing. And some of the homelier creatures, including the Bog King (who’s some sort of insect hybrid), might frighten younger viewers. OK for most ages. But I’d go see Paddington first.