I always loved the classic fairy tale where slow and steady wins the race. The Tortoise and the Hare, written by Aesop, had quite a history, having been adapted into numerous cartoons and TV specials. Strangely, there's never been a film adaptation, understandably due to the short plot. The Jim Henson Company of all people took it upon themselves to bring to life the world that the fairly tales' greatest rivals live in as a CG family film.
Interestingly, this movie's story actually takes place after the classic race. Murray Hare (Jay Leno) had to live with his humiliation of losing to a slowpoke for years while Walter Tortoise (Danny Glover) gets to bask in wealth and glory. When the opportunity arrives in the form of the parent-child Nature Adventure Race, Murray challenges Walter to a rematch, which the tortoise agrees to, and both drag their kids, nerdy Butch Hare (Drake Bell) and sassy Crystal Tortoise (Keke Palmer), along for the ride. As the two teams race and the rivals continue bickering, both Butch and Crystal get along fast after quickly looking over their differences and their fathers' rivalry. If they can get Murray and Walter to work together, they may all survive the dangers of this race.
I have to say, this is a well-made movie. The surprising cast does a great job portraying the characters. Jay Leno nails the arrogant and humorous personality Murray Hare brings to the table. Danny Glover also does a good job with the ever slow-but-steady quality that characterizes Walter Tortoise. Drake Bell and Keke Palmer have a surprisingly excellent chemistry as the interactions between their characters, Butch and Crystal, are a load of fun to watch. It's nice to see that these kids are sorta the opposite of their fathers and to see them become friends is very interesting. The rest of the cast is fine.
The jokes are basically good (couple of which made me laugh) and the obstacles the hares and tortoises face are pretty creative. Character development is one of the film's strongest points as both teams go through some great personal changes as they interact with each other and go through this race. The CG is overall decent, not meant to be all realistic like the effects for Avatar or Peter Jackson's King King.
Despite a couple of animals that looked odd, this is a fun, good old-fashioned family film. You will at least like it and if you have kids, they will most likely enjoy it as I did. Definitely worth a watch more than the other Unstable Fables films, so check it out!
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