Little Spirit: Christmas in New York (2008 TV Movie)
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Let's start with the fact that we have a cast of characters about whom we feel nothing - quite frankly, Leo is simply a boring kid we're all supposed to feel sorry for because his dog ran away - yet I couldn't muster the tiniest bit of sympathy for this flat character. The "city of strangers" with whom Leo is supposed to be bonding throughout this hour of misery are nothing but worn-out New York City clichés. The dog is annoying - and Macy's has yet to grasp the concept of subtlety when it comes to brand placement.
Then we get into the "magical" part - Little Spirit seems like nothing but a cheap rip-off of "Lilo and Stitch" - voice and all - with flashbacks to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" - but without the fun nor the depth.
If this is the new bar which holiday specials must reach, then God help us, every one.
The voice talent is fine, especially Danny DeVito as the cabbie. The idea is fine - a little mawkish, perhaps, but not bad. The characters - well, the irritable girl is annoying, and the spirit thingie isn't half as engaging as it is intended to be: the others are OK, though.
But this film is let down, and let down totally and utterly, by the CGI. The characters are appallingly badly designed and animated, the backgrounds are shoddy, and the camera movements are poorly chosen and badly animated. The first Shrek movie was released in 2001: 7 years later, this film is despairingly bad by comparison.