I'd been wondering about this thing for years, seeing as it hasn't really gotten a commercial release recently, and perhaps I built up my expectations too much, because finally finding it was a huge disappointment. As a Grand Finale
I suppose it works, as even if it's not in what Animaniacs fans might jokingly refer to as "continuity" it still provides a chance to see Failure Is The Only Option
averted on multiple levels, but beyond that...eh?
The main problem with the film is that it's not funny—or, rather, it's occasionally funny but never for long and never as much as the original show was. The main exception is a ten-minute stretch in the third act, as well as the occasional innuendo, but the film mostly plays for drama. Now, don't get me wrong, Drama Bomb Finale
s can and do work, but these characters simply aren't built for it, and the rather uninspired plot doesn't help much. Worse yet is that the comedy, when it does appear, is forced upon us, interrupting the pacing and killing what I presume was supposed to be tension.
The other problem is the songs. Songs on the show worked because they were farcical, especially when spoofing Disney, and I was hoping the movie would take a similar route, but, like the plot-relevant bits, the songs are largely played straight, right down to the I Want Song
in the second act and the Triumphant Reprise
of the opening number at the end. The score shines, I'm not denying that, but the lyrics are all kinda hokey.
The film's also heavily padded, with long, uneventful scenes in which the characters race towards their destination. The film is appearently a Road Movie
, but the thing is that road movies only work if stuff happens during the trip. The most we get here is a few delayed character entrances.
Beyond the Warners and Pinky and the Brain, most everyone is reduced to cameo status, but we're apparently supposed to care (if only a little) what's going on with them—most get to take a line in the I Want Song
, and five minutes is spent at the end detailing how they got what they wanted. These characters could easily have been better utilized to fix the padding problem via extensive subplots. Alas.
Overall? This movie just isn't worth an hour and twenty minutes of your time. Sit down and watch episodes of the show instead. You'll be much happier.