Ties with The Odyssey as Burbank Film Australia's worst
Now it is not as if I criticise everything to do with Burbank Films Australia. Most of their resume have been solid and some of them like Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan and Hunchback of Notre Dame have been great. So it is not as if I'm biased. Burbank Films Australia have also been responsible for some disappointments, The Odyssey for some time has been my number 1 contender for their worst and I didn't think much of Prisoner of Zenda, The Three Musketeers or Through the Looking Glass either. Don Quixote is for me down there with The Odyssey as the worst Burbank have done, not even the talented Robert Helpmann could save it and considering his calibre you'd think he would. Now I try not to be one to dismiss something based on fidelity to their source, but those who do say that Burbank's Don Quixote is a disrespect to Cervantes' story are right. Having read this complicated but thrilling and sometimes moving story, Don Quixote(1987) is not just unfaithful in detail with omissions of characters(Quixana), additional characters, clichéd plot additions and changes in events and who encounters them(Sancho instead of Quixote thrown by the windmill), but also in spirit, you know you're in trouble when the story doesn't know what direction in terms of tone it wants to go. But that was only part of the problem, and probably the least of the many ones to come. The story itself here feels far too rushed and the adventurous elements just fail to rouse in any way. I also think Don Quixote is one of those stories that can't be told in just 55 or so minutes, the story is too complicated for that. On its own terms, Don Quixote(1987) also fails. The animation is very cheap-looking, I have no problem with the sketchy style, it is an adopted characteristic of Burbank, but there is a difference between it between elegant(Hunchback of Notre Dame) or rough(here). The colours are also flat and the characters look stiff in facial expressions and movements. The music didn't strike me as memorable either, this element has been more inspired in other Burbank animations, while the script is lacking in any wit or intelligence and the characters are nowhere near as interesting, if anything especially the brothers they are rather annoying. The voice acting can do nothing to make the script or characters remotely any more than they turn out to be, either over-compensating or coming across as bored. Overall, just didn't work for me. 1/10 Bethany Cox
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