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I think this was supposed to look and work like a big-budget Walt Disney production. Well, If you like big-budget Walt Disney productions and you are half-blinded then there's a chance you like this one.... I can't think of a reason to make a movie like this other than to make money. I mean it looks like its all computer generated, no single drop of ink was spilled. The character -design and the colours look just like in a TV-spot for cereals. I hate TV-spots with cartoons! Same with the music. It's only there to emphasize this "Movie-for-the-whole-family"-thing. And also the voices. It sounds exactly like the Germans would have dubbed a Disney movie. And the characters sound so hysterical-happy or they sound hysterical dumb and so on. I just got such a pretentious feel of the whole thing. I get angry, when people just take an well-approved concept(not that I like Disney movies!) and think they just have to transpose everything with a slightly different and dumbed down version instead of develop an own and original style of telling. This is a movie made for adults, to make them feel like they are actually doing something nice to their children. Small children will stare at anything with big eyes and open mouths and if they will laugh at some points then its not because Till Eulenspiegel is so damn funny, its because it looks stupid! Its just like this MCDonalds TV-spot, where kids drag their parents to the next MCDonalds restaurant and everyone smiles like a psycho. I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT.............
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you mention the name Till Eulenspiegel in Germany, pretty much
everybody will say they know him. But the story itself in detail is not
that famous. Same goes for me, so I cannot say how accurate this is
compared to the original. The film only runs for 80 minutes and that
does already include the ending credits. It is written and directed by
Eberhard Junkersdorf, quite an interesting character. He produced many
films by German directing legends Volker Schlöndorff (including Academy
Award winner "Die Blechtrommel") and Margarethe von Trotta, also by
Reinhard Hauff. The 12-year-old "Till Eulenspiegel" is the only film he
directed and wrote, however. He wrote one other movie and he also
directed another movie, also an animation film, although, at least in
terms of this movie here, cartoon fits it probably more than animation
as, by the pure looks of it, this Belgian-German co-production also
could have been much older than 2003. Junkersdorf also did some acting
a long time ago, in Edgar Wallae movies. He is not the only writer for
"Till Eulenspiegel". One of his co-writers also worked on the famous
"Lion King" movie.
The cast here is pretty spectacular: Adorf, Thalbach, Ferres, Jaenicke, Tramitz, Kavanian and Habeck is something not many German films can come up with. Only the actor who voiced the central character (Benedict Weber) is fairly unknown, at least to me. The crew has a good reputation as well. Many of the animation department worked on "The Prince of Egypt". The story is the usual. A princess, or here daughter of the mayor is intended to marry, but falls in love with somebody else while evil forces try to get rid of the king in order to gain his power. However, this is also where the story has some flaws. This marriage is only mentioned once and never elaborated on later. I guess it was enough that the daughter of the mayor said simply no. And what happened to the king's nanny? Unfortunately the humor is not always spot on, for example they lower themselves to farting humor in one scene. Basically, humor is the essential element in animated movies these days. It is perfectly fine, if they are not realistic at all, and there is huge coincidence which is in this movie from start to finish, but with this coincidence there needs to be comedy and this is where the film fails. It is almost never funny. The cute little duck is a decent addition and also adds a bit to the story with the golden egg reference. By the way, she sounds exactly like Donald Duck in these very old Walt Disney Cartoons from the 1940s.
One of the biggest flaws of the film is maybe everything around Eulenspiegel. I never found him particularly likable as he kept rambling like prime Eddie Murphy, even if he gives money to the poor. That constant talking got quickly repetitive and annoying. And also, there is something in his looks that did not really appeal to me, maybe his freckles, which should probably underline what a little rascal he is, or maybe it is just a mix of everything. The mayor's daughter was better in my opinion. She was voiced by Veronica Ferres and it was even pretty bearable if you don't see her.
I´ve seen the preview on TV and thought "This must be a funny movie!" So I went to the cinema together with a friend, and then... I fell in love with it! For now I´ve seen the movie 3 times, and didn´t get bored any time. The story is hilarious, the heroes are lovable, and the humor is great! This movie is pure fun, even for adults ;-)
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