—by Jeff Schultz

It has the most spectacular animated effects I’ve ever seen in a movie. I’m a sucker for talking animals, but nothing prepared me for seeing every beast in the land fully fleshed out (both visually and in terms of character) as actors. It is so realistic, you become so absorbed, you forget the staggering accomplishment that was creating this out of nothing. And it’s fun! The voice actors match their creatures beautifully. The boy, Neel Sethi, although somewhat inexpressive, nevertheless delivers his lines well. And apart from the animal CGI, there’s an awesome giant mudslide sequence, a real highlight. The only noticeable flaw is John Debney’s pedestrian score, which is doubly ineffective for missing so many opportunities to punctuate the action and for being kept so far in the background (as though the producers didn’t like it either).

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