The message is clear – nature’s calling out for help but the humans are too focused on corporate gains to hear its pleas. Originally in German, Animals United tells a story of wild beasts from all over the world coming together in Africa for a common agenda – sorting out a drought problem and saving themselves from humanity.
We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
Penny C reviews.
Billy, an absent minded meerkat struts out on his own in search of water for his family when he gets reprimanded for not trying hard enough. Here, father disappoints son and he wants to make things right. Billy soon seeks companionship on this trip from his best friend Socrates, a relaxed and tolerant lion who initially disapproves because of the danger that lies ahead but joins in, nevertheless. Especially since he was unable to dissuade Billy from continuing on.
As the two find a way to solve the problem of a drought, in other parts of the world, a motley crew of animals have boldly left their habitats when their homes were destroyed by the effects of global warming, oil spills and bush fires – disasters that have been triggered by the careless mistakes made by humans. The paths of these animals and that of Billy and Socrates cross as they meet in the Valley of Death, en route to extract water from a ginormous water dam which they discover later, was built to supply energy for a luxury resort. Yup, another of man’s portfolio of careless economical pursuits.
So now there’s an uprising against humanity and the animals want what should be rightfully theirs – a chance to live. Through the many obstacles they face to bring water back home where it belongs and to regain nature’s balance, these animals show just how far cooperation, wisdom and determination can bring them to. It’s victory! Though Animals United worked hard at driving home an eco-friendly message, it was slow paced and the delivery wasn’t as smooth as I hoped it to be. The plots are rather disjointed. At one moment you’d be sitting there thinking, “Look! This monkey’s wearing a suit and speaks like a human. Cute!” But if you aren’t quick at catching the nuances behind it, a couple of scenes later you’d be going “Hmm, right..but why?”.
However through subtle visual analogies, the movie cleverly depicted the way mankind have gradually taken over control of nature. Greed and ignorance of environmental protection methods are the main causes. Corporations forget that we share this earth with animals, it doesn’t belong solely to us. People have let serious environmental issues go unnoticed and important ecological questions unanswered, despite organising numerous green conferences where delegates are unfortunately, more interested in the buffet spread.
The creators of this animation could have gone hell bent for wittier dialogue and funnier imagination to better supplement its theme of environmental awareness. But hey, thumbs up for the impressive 3D effects! The movie ends with a quixotic image of animals arriving in New York from across the oceans via whales (yes, whales!), trooping their way through the streets. It’s their way of telling mankind, “Guess who’s baaack?”.
Animals United opens in Singapore on 9th June 2011!
Animals United Official Trailer
Yep: Water is life, save the earth!
Oh: Ho-hum pace
Thumbs: 2.5 out of 5
Thanks goes out to OMY for the movie tickets! :)