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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors May 2, 2016

1/29/2014 12:01:00 AM
Movie Review: The Nut Job
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

Yet another animated movie that looked reasonably entertaining in the previews, but fails to entertain much beyond those snippets that we have already seen. This is the story of Surly, a squirrel that is exiled from the park for destroying the nut cache that had been stored for the winter. He hits the streets with his only friend, Buddy the Rat and they find, oddly enough, a nut store where they can pilfer what they need. What they don't know is that the store is a front for a planned robbery. Confused? So were many of the kids; this movie tried too hard to be something for everyone and wound up failing for just about every segment of the audience.

Tons of talent was involved in the voicing of the characters. Will Arnett plays Surly and Rob Tinkler is Buddy. Also offering their vocal abilities were Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Hiegl, Jeff Dunham and Maya Rudolph. (Interesting trivia side note: Rudolph's mother was Minnie Riperton, whose biggest hit "Lovin' You" was what she sang to Maya as a child.)

The animation is beautiful and the movie is blessedly short, so the little ones might be entertained if they aren't looking for a cohesive story and just watching the animated animals can keep their attention. Older children and definitely adults are not going to be as big of fans. Animated movies are most successful when they can entertain a range of ages and this one does not pull that off. There were a couple moments that made me smile, but no really funny sequences or lines that will be quoted when you leave the theater.

Rated PG, but I'm not sure why; there is no profanity, not even any frightening scenes. There are a couple moments that I suppose could feasibly disturb very sensitive children, but I'm guessing it was more for a couple "inappropriate" comments on bodily functions.

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