Chris Renaud director of Despicable Me and The Lorax brings Illumination Entertainment another decent animation. (Who doesn't laugh at the Illumination Entertainment logo when the Minions giggles?) with the help of fellow animator and relative newcomer, Yarrow Cheney.
It has a cast of recognisable voices, mostly from the world of comedy with Louis C.K. taking the lead (see what I did there?) Jenny Slate who previously voiced Bellweather in Disney's Zootopia, Kimmy Schmidt's Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart and fellow comedians Hannibal Buress, Steve Coogan and even Dana Carvey. Albert Brook's Tiberius Hawk and Coogan's cockney alley cat are my favourites.
As the trailer tells us, C.K.'s Jack Russell Max gets lumbered with Eric Stonestreet's Newfoundland Duke and the two form a relationship reminiscent of John Candy and Steve Martin sharing a hotel room. Trouble ensues and the two of them find themselves on a homeward bound adventure whilst the rest of the gang tried to find them.
There's a couple of hidden plot lines, involving a revolution lead by Hart's Snowball, the not so cute, white, little bunny that would make great casting should Monty Python remake The Holy Grail (that's not a request, purely an observation) but there's also some unnecessary parts obviously used to flesh out the story. At one point our duo somehow walk into a sausage commercial.
Alexandre Desplat does a good score, worthy of family animation film and, again as the trailer suggests, it has an interesting soundtrack with System Of A Down being a highlight.
The animation is vibrant and very well done, bringing New York a nice shiny gloss, even the sewers were colourful; reminded me very much of Disney's Ratatouille. There's some great touches and some clever treats that are funny, just thought it was going to be really funny.
It has a clichéd story with heroics and lessons in friendship but it's a kids movie, a family picture and I would expect children to like this hearing the giggles from the audience but it wasn't the mutt's nuts of a funny film I was expecting. There's nothing really new here.
There's a bonus at the beginning, following in Pixar's lampsteps we get a Minions short about them raising cash by gardening to buy the latest banana blender. The gnome actually makes a cameo appearance in the movie.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 7
Job Description: 5
The Extra Bonus Point: 0