Thirteen years ago, the power-mad General Zhong seized control of Planet Bana and tore it to pieces in the process. Now splintered into hundreds of shards, Zhong is Bana's evil-overlord, ruling with an iron fist. Enter Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Vix, a battle-ready fox, and Chunk, a tech-savvy pig. Spark learns of Zhong's secret plan to take over the universe by capturing a giant space monster known as the Kraken - a beast that has the power to create black holes. If Zhong manages to harness the Kraken's power, he'll have history's deadliest weapon at his fingertips, and it's up to Spark and his friends to stop him. Spark's journey takes him to the farthest reaches of the universe, where he encounters great dangers and discovers the secret of his true identity. An action-packed space adventure full of humor and heart, Spark is the story of a boy who takes on great responsibility and in the process discovers his rightful place in the universe. Written by
This review of Spark: A Space Tail is spoiler free
IF CURIOUS GEORGE and Space Chimps left you feeling frustrated at their fun ideas yet dodgy final execution, which was perhaps left unfinished. Then writer-director Aaron Woodley's Spark: A Space Tail will leave you furious, an uncharismatic CG animation with a lot of ideas but left with a dodgy final execution.
Opening with Spark (Jace Norman) a high-spirited teenage chimpanzee who believes he can save his lost planet Bana - which was sucked up by a space kraken. He and his two best friends - a chubby Walrus Chunk (Rob deLeeuw), perhaps as a remake on the titular chubby Goonies character and a tough-hearted skinny fox named Vix (Jessica Biel). Together they go on a quest to save their homeland from evil overlord Zhong (A.C. Peterson). Plot-wise it's WALL-E and Star Wars, Spark lives on a distant planetary shard used as a junk yard, among his friends he has a green cockroach and a clunky old robot - Bananny (Susan Sarandon) for company. Quickly changing formula to another sci-fi epic namely Spark wielding a double-sided light sword perhaps as a reference to Darth Maul, yet a far less memorable one.
The ideas pile on from other references to sci-fi to pop culture, a lot goes on at any given moment but even the most fluid moments fail to finish or at least spark inspiration. At its best the animation is mediocrely primitive looking like it came out in 2005 - given that it shines the brightest light other ideas are left in the shadows. The third act shines the brightest, here the ideas come to a halt and it looks the most original, shining in the full glory of creativity. Here Spark learns of his true heritage, he learns that he is more than he thinks he is - armed with this knowledge he turns out to be a stronger leader.
Along with the piling ideas coming to an end there are a couple of gags namely Patrick Stewart's The Captain pulls the most laughs - hilariously getting struck by lighting and losing all memory of he is "Outstanding" he says when he learns pinnacle information about his body. He shines the brightest light; he proves to be the most charming and brings smiles to this bland animation. Spark: A Space Tail is a bland, uncharismatic and unmemorable animated comedy which has the space for creativity but lacks the spark of inspiration that it desperately needs to liftoff.
VERDICT: A mishmash of space romp combined with half-ish references, unfunny one-liners and an unremittingly charmless all-star cast which fails to achieve liftoff.
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