When it comes to kids, Disney have them pegged. From their first full length feature in 1937 to combining live action and 3D computer animation in 2009, kids have been well looked after. The newest adventure from the offices of Walt Disney follows three guinea pigs on their quest to become FBI agents. In 3D.
G-Force is a great film for kids. And, while Disney have never been known for appealing to adults, fart gags, car chases and three-dimensional images apparently flying at the audience, along with talking guinea pigs out to stop the world being taken over by a mysterious evil billionaire, is a winning formula for the kids. G-Force seamlessly combined live action with 3-D computer animation. The high-tech trio of FBI hopefuls, helped out by their human handlers Ben (Zach Galifianakis) and Marcie (Kelli Garner) and fellow animals fly Mooch (Dee Bradley Barker) and mole Speckles (Nicolas Cage), are out to prove to the disbelieving FBI, in particular Agent Kip Killian (Will Arnett) that size does not matter.
But too many writers may have just spoiled the broth. We know that Disney’s first aim is keeping the kids happy and parents barely get noticed, but the team of five writers could not even be helped out by comedy writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. Though adults may only smile or giggle slightly at the shenanigans of the furry secret agents’ quest, they will gasp along with the younger audience at the 3-D effects. In the end, while there may not be enough humor for the adults, there are enough jokes for the younger audience to make the film worthwhile. While adults may find it difficult to relate to the furry heroes and feel both their pain and joy, younger viewers will enjoy following the ups and downs of their small heroes. And, for both older and younger viewers, the final revelation of the mysterious billionaire and his reasons for taking over the world keeps the story interesting to the very end.
So, if you’re looking for something for the kids to do this summer, take them out for a few hours of fun.
SECOND OPINION | Stuart O'Connor **** After G-Force had its premiere in Los Angeles, I saw a tweet go out from Iron Man director Jon Favreau, saying his 6-year-old daughter had proclaimed it "the best movie ever made". And that sums this film up perfectly. As kids' films go, G-Force is an absolute winner. OK, it's not as clever as those wonderful Pixar films, nor as some of the recent Dreamworks efforts – such as Monsters vs Aliens or Kung Fu Panda; it's not, as such, a family film. But what's wrong with that? Why shouldn't a kids' film be aimed fairly and squarely at kids, and just be very good while it's at it? As live-action/CGI blends go, it's one of the best I've seen; and the 3D, too (if you're lucky enough to see it in that format), is pretty spot on. The human cast are terrific (although, Mr Nighy, what is up with weird quasi-Aussie accent?) and the voice cast are brilliant. But where it really wins is that the guinea-pigs are just so damned CUTE! Go on, take your kids along, try to see it through their eyes and just have fun.