The world's most egg-cellent animated (Huevo Cartoon) series finally cracks the U.S. big screen with UN GALLO CON MUCHOS HUEVOS! Toto, (voiced by Bruno Bichir) was born the runt of the litter. But, when an evil rancher threatens to destroy his home and his family, Toto must go from a timid young "chicken" to a brave and scrappy rooster. Toto and his friends (voices include: Angelica Vale, Maite Perroni, Omar Chaparro, Ninel Conde, Carlos Espejel) must band together on an egg-citing adventure that will prove that big surprises can come from little packages.
"Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos" is cute, but unoriginal.
"What came first, the chicken or the egg?" It's a question as old as well, chickens and eggs – and questions. And the answer is the egg! At least that's how the story appears to go in the animated comedy / action-adventure "Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos" (PG-13, 1:38). If you're one of our Facebook page's American followers (and you're really observant), you may guess that, based on the title, this movie ain't from around these parts. You'd be right. This is a Mexican animated movie, and received the widest U.S. release of any other Mexican animated feature to date. "Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos" (pronounced: OOHN GUY-oh COHN MOOCH-ohs HWAY-vohs) literally translates to "A Rooster with Many Eggs". It's the latest in a series of animated features from Mexico's Huevocartoon Productions.
The rooster of the film's title starts out the movie as an egg (hence, the answer to the age-old question). He's a heroic egg (think "Underdog" with a white shell) who swoops into a kitchen and saves three eggs and a strip of bacon that an obviously monstrous human was about to (gasp!) cook in a frying pan! Soon after this dramatic rescue, as the story's opening narration goes, "a miracle occurred". That heroic egg hatched into a young rooster named Toto (voiced by Bruno Bichir). Tales of his heroic exploits, as told by another egg, make Toto a folk hero in the barnyard, at least to the younger eggs. (In this movie, eggs have faces, arms and legs, but even a runt like Toto towers over the little walking, talking eggs.) Toto may be young and small, but he's destined for great things – even greater than he realizes. Early in the film, he's being trained by the ranch's experienced rooster to crow at dawn. In spite of the encouragement of his mother and the older rooster's daughter, Toto is really bad at crowing. He's going to have to practice, but before he has the chance to master the art of crowing, he has bigger bacon to fry (sorry, Bacon). The old widow who owns the ranch is out of money and she's going to have to sell everything – lock, stock and barnyard. The ranch's poultry hatch a plan to help out the old woman by staging a cock fight with high-stakes betting that, of course, young Toto ends up having to fight and win.
The ranch's experienced rooster used to be a champion of these cock fights (not with claws as much as with boxing gloves) but that was in his younger days – and his career ended in disgrace. The local crime boss egg agrees to promote the fight that the older rooster wants, but only if little Toto is the fighter – and he fights the local champion, a very large rooster named Bankivoide (Sergio Sendel). To say that Toto is both scared and unprepared is putting it mildly. He's going to have to make up for his lack of size and strength with technique. Toto is encouraged by all the hens, roosters and eggs on the ranch and he's being trained by the son of the fighter who ended the older rooster's career but will it be enough? Along the way, this story is chock full of pop culture references – including many which will be familiar to those of us north of the border. Characters that appear throughout the film include poultry-esque versions of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Marlon Brando and even Snoop Dogg. There are two or three American songs, one of which is Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" - played by a mariachi band! The most obvious American influences in this movie are the other films that it imitates. Movie Fans who see this film will probably notice strong echoes of "Rocky", "The Karate Kid", "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story", "The Godfather" and several animated features. I think the amount of outside influence in this movie is just too much. Every movie contains influences from other movies and there are no totally original stories out there, but this film takes things too far. There's a fine line between paying homage and ripping off. This movie crosses that line.
Unfortunately, a lack of originality isn't this movie's only problem. It's predictable, some of the plot points and dialog don't make much sense and there are double-entendres and scenes of female anatomy bouncing in slow motion, all saddling the film with an avoidable PG-13 rating. On the plus side, however, the animation is outstanding and the movie does have its cute moments. This movie isn't egg-cellent enough to earn my recommendation, but it doesn't deserve to be tossed in the compost pile either, and the young eggs on your ranch may well like it. "Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos" gets a "C".
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