I was browsing through Vudu’s library of movies instead of choosing one of the movies from my curated lists on Hulu and Netflix and came across this movie. This will actually be the fifth animated movie that I’ve watched from Arcana Studio and they’ve had some mixed results. The Howard Lovecraft trilogy was ok, but I wasn’t a fan of the Steam Engines of Oz so I didn’t have a lot of hope for this movie. At only 73 minutes, I still figured that I’d give it a shot and even if I didn’t care for it, I hadn’t lost much time on it. Spoiler alert, I was right and this was a pretty poor movie that had shallow characters, poor humor, poor animation, and a weak plot.
The basics of this movie is a conflict between an already naturally clumsy and oafish guy named Joe and a colony of pixies disrupted by his tossing of trash that seriously injures one of the tribe. So they “curse” him which consists of sending three members of the colony to disrupt his life with constant accidents that injure him and break stuff. A large portion of the movie then ends up having these pixies create these Rube Goldberge-esque situations filled with slapstick overreactions from Joe. The problem is that they aren’t really that elaborate, and they actually do quite a bit of damage to Joe. At one point they more or less break his foot, though he seems completely fine by the end of the day after meeting a cute girl.
It seems like they’re trying to make you care about the lives of both Joe and the pixies except that it’s really difficult to care about either of them. Joe gets off on the wrong foot right away with the whole trash thing, but the pixies themselves don’t really do much to ingratiate themselves to the audience. The main pixie is more or less against the whole assignment from the beginning and just wants to hang out with his girl pixie back in the village. It’s basically his father and chief of the village who thinks its their duty to ruin this guy’s life as retribution for his crimes or whatever.
But besides the whole life ruining retribution, there’s also the tacked on love story as Joe’s clumsiness introduces him to a vegan artist named Michelle as she slams a door into his face and she talks about her environmental photographs while he waits for her to give him a cold hunk of tofurkey instead of ice. Their relationship unfolds more or less as expected where it’s love at first sight for him and she also likes him because of course she does. But for their first date, he gets knocked out for several hours by one of the pixies making him slip on a baseball and he misses their date. Their second date brings them to an annoying vegan restaurant and the pixies somehow cause him to adopt a dog at the pet shelter across the street. They follow that up by meeting her parents while the pixies continue to cause random slapstick accidents that Joe gets blamed for.
What’s most annoying are the inconsistencies. There’s no explanation as to why Joe is able to see the first pixie and after he sees that one, he’s able to see all of the other pixies and even finds their home and causes some random destruction. But no one else until the end of the movie are able to see the pixies. After Joe comes in and destroys some houses, they also basically declare war and bring a bunch of the pixies to ruin his date at Michelle’s parent’s house. But after that debacle, it all seems more or less over and done with.
It’s just a bunch of slapstick and shallow characters that come together with no real resolution. Joe himself doesn’t really have any personality outside of his bad luck and clumsiness. The lead pixie is the one who eventually goes against his father’s wishes and wants to help Joe rather than antagonize him and the two of them eventually come together, understand each other, and form a truce. But it basically goes from zero to sixty with no reason or explanation. The main pixie just gets tired of hurting Joe and decides to help him because of reasons.
It was more or less what I was expecting based on what I’ve seen from Arcana’s output so far. The animation was generally cheap and simple, the music was OK overall and it started out with a fun little Michael Buble song. There just wasn’t anything especially interesting or worthwhile to grasp onto. There was a subtle message about war and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, but the rest was way too shallow and uninteresting. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.