You could say “Lucky” was cursed from the start. The first feature film from Skydance Animation, the studio’s animation division was mired in controversy when it installed disgraced former Pixar executive John Lasseter as head of animation. Because Lasseter is known to many for bringing his golden stamp to the films that have made Pixar the animation powerhouse it is today, his departure from the company following allegations of sexual misconduct cannot be overlooked. .
But at first glance, Lasseter’s name is nothing more than “Lucky”. Directed by Peggy Holmes in her first original animated feature and written by Kiel Murray (“Cars 3”), “Luck” seems to have all, well, luck on its side – female directors Rarely, an experienced creative team. from both Disney and Pixar, and an all-star cast led by Broadway sweetheart Eva Noblezada, along with Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, and Whoopi Goldberg. All “Luck” needs to do is establish itself – and Skydance, by proxy – as a bold, original work of animation. And it doesn’t? Not much.
“Lucky” is like if someone watched Studio Ghibli’s “The Cat Returns” and thought, “What if we’re ‘Monsters, Inc.’ just for what?” The result is a mediocre fantasy adventure film, rather tedious, like every second of its 1 hour 37 minute run time.
No such luck
Sam Greenfield (Noblezada) is the unluckiest girl in the world. She’s just turned 18, no longer at the children’s home she’s spent her entire childhood, but she’s established her own life. She got a job, an apartment, and online classes for her college degree. But it seems the universe is always ready for her, whether it’s the dozens of couples who never give her a chance to find her “forever family,” or a stuck bathroom doorknob. when she’s late for work, or the tire is flat. on her bike, or keys that keep falling down the storm drain. It seems she’s absurdly unlucky, to the point where her job at a florist is in jeopardy after her first day ends with spilled paint cans, broken glassware and ladders. run away (apparently this is an all-inclusive flower shop).
Sam is fed up with her bad luck – but what she’s most worried about is that her best friend Hazel, a young girl at daycare, is going through a similar life of bad luck. After an encounter with a lucky coin and its talking cat owner, Bob (Pegg, has a blast while working). most has a great Irish accent), Sam decides to borrow a lucky penny to Hazel so that Hazel can find her forever family.
Sam’s quest takes her to the Land of Fortune, where elves, lucky cats, and dragons (and pigs, for some reason?) live together, creating fortunes that humans can enjoy. Of course, there’s the Land of Luck, which Bob desperately wants to avoid – making him and Sam team up to get the lost lucky coin back before they’re banished to Bad Luck. You can guess what happens next: Hijinks happen after that.
A broken mirror
“Lucky” can be a fun time if it’s not clearly reminiscent of other, better movies. But aside from some really stunning visuals (especially that Land of Luck’s design is a gorgeous work of retro with a hint of fantasy), “Luck” can’t help but feel like a movie set. Ghibli movies are processed according to the Pixar formula. Ghibli’s light-hearted and whimsical world is there, as is Pixar’s tendency to deftly turn highly conceptual ideas into mundane bureaucratic structures. The story and even some of its visuals are entirely inspired by Ghibli’s “The Cat Returns,” a 2002 fantasy film directed by Hiroyuki Morita, which follows a teenage girl invited to the region. fantasy land of cats. The funny thing is, Pixar has taken elements from previous Ghibli films (Lasseter is a famous fan of the Japanese animation studio), but recycled them in fun and engaging ways. – the influence of the “Spirited Away” in “Coco” and the Exalted Flight scene in “Toy Story” are just a couple. In “Lucky,” those nods seem like a half-baked way to capture the magic of both Ghibli and Pixar.
The premise of “Lucky” – what if good and bad luck were created? – too thin to make either element feel satisfying. Instead, the film’s most imaginative qualities feel washed out, while the film’s attempts to give a fresh, modern edge to these stale concepts feel unappealing. exploited and bland. John Lasseter’s involvement (or lack of involvement) ended up being a blessing and a curse on “Lucky,” which missed the mark of what gives Pixar movies their soul. their performance and it ended up feeling like a smaller, inferior performance.
“Lucky” feels destined to collect dust in the library of Apple TV +; it’s a rare blunder for a streaming service that has found its niche in new, high-quality titles driven by creativity. Instead, “Luck” feels fueled by nostalgia, an attempt to start over with Pixar-grade talent and Pixar-lite stories under a brand new animation studio. But if this is Skydance Animation’s first movie, I can’t say I have high hopes.
/ Movie rating: 5.5 out of 10
Continue reading: 14 Best Animated Movies (Not Made by Disney or Pixar)
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https://www.slashfilm.com/947228/luck-review-skydances-pixar-lite-adventure-jinxes-itself/ Lucky Review: Skydance’s Pixar-Lite Adventure Jinxes Itself