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I was charmed by this movie and cannot understand the venom unleashed upon it by some of the other reviews. I don't have any kids, nor do I spend a whole lot of time watching movies geared towards them, but most "kiddie fare" seems so saccharine and preachy, with screeching soundtracks and day-glo color schemes all designed to work as commercials for happy meals and action figures that this one stands out because it's just plain fun. The production design and special effects are unique -- and purposefully so. Some reviews have complained that the film is not set in a readily identifiable time or place, but that's the charm; set in a kind of timeless anywhere that is both familiar and foreign, with the kind of hazy details and warm glow that suggest a fond childhood memory/fantasy. If you expect some Dizneefied, pre-fabbed, pre-digested offering that hits all of the right beats at the right moments with such predictability that you can set your watch to them, skip this. (Or watch "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut," because it sure mimics the form while subverting the content.) If you want something fun and imaginative, different from the usual, give this a try. And if the kids complain that it's boring, send them to bed and watch it yourself.
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