Sweet, warm movie about the rivalry between neighbors
There's something with Aukrust's characters, and his version of Norway. It's innocent in a sweet way, and manages to point fun at the Norwegian mentality in an appreciating way. It must be difficult to come up with new stories that does this in the same way as Aukrust, and maybe because he set the bar so high, these new movies does not cut it. But they are good attempts, and can be enjoyed on their own merits.
The plot in this movie is very simple: Solan (as always) gets the gang into trouble because of his over confidence, ending up with Reodor having to participate in a race. If you have seen he first movie with these characters, Flåklypa Grand Prix, the plot might sound familiar. The movie addresses this in a quick, but funny way. The race in this movie is between Flåklypa and its neighbor village, Sildre.
There's much to like in the movie - but maybe most of all I appreciate all the things it did not do. Movies like this could easily resort to low brow gags, which surely would be a hit with the kids, but still be selling the characters too short. The movie does not try to raise the stakes for the characters to an impossible level, and even have the characters treat each other fairly. While it pokes fun at many Norwegian concepts, it avoids any low hanging fruit, making sure it's first and foremost a friendly movie. (A possible exception to this is the character from Bergen, but judging from the reaction in the Bergen screening I went to, the locals just enjoyed the attention).
I'm still "only" giving this movie a 7. While the movie has the heart in the right place, it often feels like it is taking shortcuts. The soundtrack has one enjoyable theme (that was also in the previous movie), but it is almost drowned out by the rest of the decent, but forgettable, soundtrack. I loved the use of dialects in the movie, but some of the characters still felt a bit off (I can't really say why). Flåklypa feels really small due to the fact that they only show a handful of people living there. I assume this is due to the movie's budgets, and it is fairly easy to forgive it as the movie works either way - but having Flåklypa portrayed as an "actual" village would have benefited the movie greatly. (Same with Sildre, for that matter).
Now, all of this is nitpicking, and will not be noticed by the movie's target audience (the kids were enjoying themselves a lot, where I saw it). But because of Flåklypa Grand Prix having its unique position here, you expect quite a lot of new movies set in the same universe. Considering this, it's an impressive achievement that they are able to make successful sequels/reboots at all.
Last note: I really, really, really love that they are doing this using stop motion animation.
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