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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Rather Disappointing

Author: gavin6942 from United States
10 September 2016

After visiting his father in Arkham Sanitarium, young Howard Lovecraft accidentally uses the legendary Necronomicon to open a portal to a strange frozen world filled with horrifying creatures and a great adventure.

When this film arrived for review from Shout! Factory, I have to say I was intrigued. Although I have not read the graphic novel, I do appreciate the work of H. P. Lovecraft and I generally like animation. But this ended up being rather disappointing. The Lovecraft elements are strong, but the animation aspects are terribly weak.

The animation itself is choppy and reminds me of the old computer game "Alone in the Dark". In some sense, this is oddly appropriate, because the game had some Lovecraft elements to it. But if you are going to animate with computers, it probably shouldn't look like you're using a 25-year old animation program.

The voices are also really strange. Some of the actors deliver the lines naturally, and really understand their roles (not surprisingly, these seem to be the bigger names). But others seem like they're reading off a page without context or inflection. Conversations start and stop in very awkward ways. It's pretty awful.

What may be the biggest stumbling block of all, however, is the complex plot. Those familiar with Lovecraft may find it perfectly natural, but most viewers (including the children this is presumably aimed at) might be confused. The Great Ones, Old Ones, Deep Ones are hard to keep straight, and most challenging (even for me) is why Cthulhu has another name. This never really clicked for me.

As much as I support getting more Lovecraft into the mainstream, and introducing him to children, this seems like a less than perfect way to do it. From the sound of it, there might be some sequels coming, and I don't hold out much hope for those either.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not the finest moment in the Cthulhu mythos...

5/10
Author: Paul Magne Haakonsen from Denmark
12 October 2016

I am somewhat at a loss at how I feel about "Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom". On one hand then I think it was a nice enough way of opening up the bizarre writings of H.P. Lovecraft to a young audience through means of an animated movie, and without it being too weird and too heavy on the cosmic dread. But at the same time, then I feel that this animated movie, while having the heart at the right place, hardly did the writings of H.P. Lovecraft very little justice.

The storyline is easy to follow, and even my six year old son was entertained enough by watching it, at least to the point of his attention not drifting away from the animated movie and the story.

However, what I think was the biggest anchor around the animated movie was the CGI and the textures. It just looked like the movie was halfway done. The textures were blank and featureless, making it appear that the CGI department hadn't had time to go over the finished product to fill in all that was missing. As such, then it just felt like watching a half-finished animated movie.

When talking about an animated movie, then voice acting is also a very crucial factor. And without proper voice acting, then the animated movie suffers terribly. The voice acting in "Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom" was mediocre. Sure, some were doing good jobs, but then others were doing half-hearted jobs and they were dragging everything down. But it was impressive with the names that they had managed to get aboard for this project; Ron Perlman, Christopher Plummer, Jane Curtin and the iconic Doug Bradley.

I am a huge fan of the immortal writings of H.P. Lovecraft and everything Lovecraftian in general. And I can now check this 2016 animated movie off the list and say that I have seen it. It wasn't a memorable experience, not by a long shot. And it is not an animated movie that has enough contents to sustain more than a single viewing, provided you manage to sit through it to the end of course.

In overall, then "Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom" was a mediocre animated movie which definitely could have prospered from more levels of detail in textures and CGI. It scores a meager and mediocre five out of ten stars from me.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Interesting as a pair of Cthulhu slippers

3/10
Author: invadermac from Oregon
11 October 2016

I was intrigued by the idea, especially given it is October and it has such people as Plummer & Pearlman attached to it. I was aghast at the animation. I thought maybe along the lines of Paranorman but Wow no. Very badly written. Too much for kids, too horrible for anyone older than 14. Maybe the animation was what failed. I used to work in the industry back in the 90's & this would have been great- until about 1995. Sorely disappointing. I give them 1 star for the attempt & 2 more for the acting talent. I almost want to take 11 stars off just for the amateurishness. Read your kids Neil Gaman's Graveyard Book or re watch something better made like Paranorman instead of this weak film. Seriously.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Torn - love to hate it or hate to love it.

5/10
Author: dean-202 from Canada
9 October 2016

First off, let me say that it was suggested this production company adds positive reviews for their work. Keep that in mind. Judge for yourself if this is the case by the dates the reviewers joined.

Now to the review: I did enjoy this film more than I should have. I really liked it. Why? This is probably one of the best (only) Lovecraft stories for children that I've seen. The other notable and best was "The Real Ghostbusters" Cthulhu episode. What works: The animation style is charming, relaxed and easy to see. Lots of contrasts enable you to follow the action without distraction. The talent: Fantastically voiced by the actors, notably young Howard. The themes: reasonably loyal to Lovecraft's characters - but obviously you can't do that and still have a children's' show. I liked the compromises made. The artistic designs - wonderfully modelled characters do a nice job of making you feel the 1920's feel.

What does not work: The actual animation - several times I saw trees floating in air, parts of the ground missing (though this could have been deliberate). The flow seems a bit jerky at times, but I don't imagine this picture had a massive hardware budget, so it's forgivable. This has the feel of being created around the same time as "Starship Troopers - Roughnecks". The voice of Spot: very, very badly voiced by a producer. No inflections, difficult if not impossible to understand for most of the show. You might as well remove all of Spot's dialog and just have him grunt. The pacing: This show could have used the experience of a professional director / editor and chopped about 30-45 minutes out of it. The action pauses so many times during the 'intense' scenes that it's like they tried to lengthen the film by adding 10 seconds every minute. Perhaps the distributes demanded it be a certain length and they simply didn't have the content. The price: This is a show I think you should buy - but only as a $5 digital download. Currently its price-point is excessive and preventing widespread sales. I hope the producers make this change before it is downloaded for free via torrents.

Overall this is something that should have been sold on STEAM, not destined for theatres. It does not have broad appeal and selling it as a $20 bluray is a pipe-dream.

That being said, I'd love to see this as a television series. I think it would be reasonably well received. Like I say, I really enjoyed it, but I'm starving for new HP Lovecraft content and this will have to do.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not worth watching. 3/10

Author: asbngbgbdk
29 September 2016

I expected too much from the movie i guess as it had Lovecraft's name attached to it. but i assure you it has nothing special to offer.

The protagonist's attitude can be described as nothing but laconic, his inability to react appropriately to situations and correctly use the tools made available to him makes the story boring.

The antagonist doesn't have much to offer either. It seems the author tried to follow a basic story telling model but failed miserably in writing dialog and reactions. the work is amateurish at best.

As a children's movie, its really not worth watching as it offers no "MORAL OF THE STORY" if you will. Its just a story, there's no point to it.

This could have been better.

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10 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Lovecraft for kids?

Author: Nick Goins
28 September 2016

Someone with a massive amount of coke thought it was a wonderful idea to adapt elements of the stories created by H.P. Lovecraft into an animated children's movie.

WHY?

I might give this a pass if it was at least competently written. Alas, it is not. The works of HPL DO NOT lend themselves to lighthearted fare.

If you appreciate Lovecraft's work at all, pass this one by and by all means, do not insult the intelligence of your children with this.

Incredibly dumb and misguided.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Really Enjoyed This!

8/10
Author: highfiber
8 October 2016

Never in my life would I think I would be writing a review of a kids movie, but being a life long Lovecraft fan I have to. When I first heard about this, I did a double take. I have seen lots of different takes on Lovecraft but this one takes the cake! The basic premise of the movie is Lovecraft as a child unwittingly uses the Necronomicon and opens a portal to the Frozen Kingdom where he is trying to find a way back home. The In a way, it reminds me of older holiday cartoon specials with a really strong Lovecraft feel to it. If you are looking for a fun and creepy movie to share with your little deep ones, this is the movie for you.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Yes, Lovecraft for kids!

Author: AxelC
30 September 2016

Years ago, I saw the review of this book in the Chicago Tribune and had to read it. I simply couldn't fathom a Lovecraft story for children; I was so wrong. I simply loved it! So, when I saw this coming out as an animated film, I was incredibly excited! Now, I won't give away a lot of the story, but this film blends parts of Lovecraft's real life with elements of his work. I know that may sound strange to some, considering this is a children's film, but think goosebumps with a Lovecraft twist! While fans of the book may wish some of the darker elements stayed in, this was a charming film and how can you say no to Ron Perlman as a Lovecraftian creature? The downside to the film would be the animation seems a little dated in style and some scenes linger a little for me. But overall, a fun movie for kids and the kid inside us!

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

YES Lovecraft for kids!!

8/10
Author: lizzysart from United States
3 October 2016

As a huge fan of the graphic novel this is based on, I was very excited to learn that they were doing a movie. While I do wish that the movie could have been truer to the book, I still loved it. There are plenty of Lovecraftian elements woven into an original, kid-friendly plot. The animation is reminiscent of old Rankin Bass stop-action animation. This gives it a cool retro feel and also just really works with the frozen kingdom/winter setting. Its a great way to introduce Lovecraft to the next generation of fans and also has plenty of fun moments for adults as well. It's accessible to anyone while still having plenty of perks for Lovecraft fans!

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