When Jack climbs the beanstalk, he finds himself at a creepy castle in the Land of the Clouds, with a beautiful princess, people turned into mice, an evil witch hellbent on becoming Queen, ... See full summary »
I may not be quite as gushing as the first review, but I do disagree respectfully with the negative reviewer. I found this animated adaptation to be surprisingly good, of the three animated adaptations- the other two being Burbank's version and The Adventures of Oliver Twist- this one is the best. Okay it is not in the same league as the 1948 David Lean and the 1968 musical Oliver!, but it is far better than the disappointing Elijah Wood version and the strange 1933 film that has only historical value going for it. Maybe some scenes are on the rushed side, and Fagin's voice lacks colour. But this is an animated adaptation that succeeds more than it fails. I will admit that I have seen better animation, though I will be unfair in listing any so I am not going to, but there is also far worse out there. It is still quite good though, what has been described as flat actually adds in terms of colour palette to the darker aspects of the story and the backgrounds are on the most part very handsome. The character designs are not as stiff as I thought they would be. I thought the music was lovely as well, the incidental music has a hauntingly beautiful edge and the songs are well-meaning and tuneful. Again there has been both better and worse. The dialogue is engaging and never feels corny, while there are several cute, dark and very emotional moments in the story and the characters still have the impact they ought to, even if Fagin has been more oily and manipulative in other adaptations. Even with the additional animal characters, who did serve a purpose to the story and didn't feel bizarre or out of place, there is evidence of fidelity to the source material, and considering how Dickens is notoriously difficult to adapt(even for mini-series with as much as 15 episodes) that is to be deserving of credit. The voice acting on the whole is good too. Overall, a laudable animated adaptation and a surprisingly good one too, considering how I was expecting to not like it very much. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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