Did you know an animated film was released in over 1,000 US theaters last weekend? No it is not My Entire High School is Sinking In the Sea (which I highly recommend). No it is Spark: A Space Tail. This is a film out of Korea and is the same studio that brought us The Nut Job…
That may sound like a sassy introductory paragraph but a side of me wants to be easy on Spark: A Space Tail. I see potential with it and other foreign CG films that I wish I could nurture and develop. Too many are quick to discount these smaller studio efforts as immediate garbage but I try to have an open mind. In fact, I really think if you could get some writers involved who know what works for an American palate they could be successful. Movies like Spark, Wild Life, Rock Dog and more have solid animation, voice acting but suffer from poorly developed scripts.
Spark is my least favorite out of those 3 films. I was hoping I would enjoy it like I enjoyed Ratchet and Clank (yep, I liked that film). Unfortunately it was not to be.
There are some positives to Spark: A Space Tail. First of all, I enjoyed the animation and the world building. It may not be on a Pixar level but it was bright and full of colors. I also liked the various alien designs and how they moved and flowed in unique ways.
I also thought the voice cast was solid featuring Jace Norman, Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart and Hillary Swank.
The problem with Spark is I frankly found it extremely boring. The story felt so rehashed from other films and nothing was compelling or drawing me into the story. This kind of space adventure should be fun and nostalgic but it wasn’t. I’ll be honest I fell asleep and not just my normal nods. This was full on sleep for 5 minutes or so…Nothing interesting was happening and the story doesn’t even get really started for an hour into the 90 minute movie. The villain was super lame and felt like a rip-off of Mojo Jojo from the Powerpuff Girls and was shouting most of the time. The teenage angst of Spark didn’t interest me and everything about the story was so predictable and boring.
I hope in the future studios try to make their films more appealing to an American audience if they want their work to take off. In Spark: A Space Tail I didn’t care about the characters or what was going on and I don’t think kids will either. They will be bored along with their parents and start begging to watch Star Wars again instead and I wouldn’t blame them!
Still, I hope these smaller studios can figure things out. Start selecting better scripts and make the good movies I can see in their future. The potential is there!
Overall Grade- D