Time was when the arrival of a new animated feature film was an event. Now it's becoming more commonplace-but the really good ones still stand out.
“Antz” is an entertaining movie set in an ant colony. The hero is a fellow named Z who doesn’t respond well to regimentation, especially after he falls in love with the queen ant’s daughter, Princess Bala. Meanwhile, the entire colony is threatened—first by termites, and then by a power-crazed general who has his own maniacal agenda. This may be a bit intense or violent for very young kids, but older children should enjoy it, while grownups will get the ultimate joke: the casting of Woody Allen as Z, a character much like Woody’s nebbish screen persona, with Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, and Christopher Walken among the other stars who are heard but not seen. Use XfinityTV.com to purchase “Antz” on your TV.
“Chicken Run” comes to us from the folks at Aardman Animations who made clay-animation heroes out of Wallace and Gromit. Here, the setting is a barnyard, where Rocky, voiced by Mel Gibson, and Ginger, voiced by Julie Sawalha, realize their ultimate fate at the hands of owners Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy… so they plot a great escape. The movie is filled with funny-looking characters and sight gags, so kids should have a good time, but once again, parents will respond to the prisoner-of-war formula and the specific parodies of such movies from the past. And there’s something about clay animation that’s simply fun to watch, no matter how old you are. Use XfinityTV.com to purchase “Chicken Run” on your TV.
To my mind, the best films in this genre appeal to kids and grownups alike…and that’s true of both “Antz” and “Chicken Run.”
Note: These picks, which start at $0.99, may not be available in all areas. SEE MORE OF LEONARD MALTIN’S PICKS HERE.