STARRING Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Chris Kattan, Burt Reynolds, Anne Bancroft DIRECTED BY Marc Adler, Jason Maurer SCREENPLAY Marc Adler, Scott Biear, Jason Maurer (story)
Patrick J. Cowan, Carl Dream, Jennifer Jones (screenplay) MPAA RATING Rated PG RUNNING TIME 90 Mins. DISTRIBUTED BY Freestyle Releasing (Theatrical), 20th Century Fox (DVD)
Has anyone else noticed that Freestyle Releasing is becoming synonymous with low-budget, low-imagination full-length animated features?
"Delgo" began production in 1999, and finds itself in theatres in 2008.
It wasn't worth the wait.
The film actually reminds me of a much better, yet still low-budget animated feature that I viewed during the 2008 Heartland Film Festival,"Terra."
The two films share similar themes with their sci-fi focus and concerns about warring worlds, cross-cultural romances, courageous heroes and dedication to finding a way we can all get along.
While I wasn't completely enthralled with "Terra," that film is vastly superior to "Delgo," a weakly written tale with decidedly antique animation.
Notice...I didn't say "retro" animation. I can tolerate, even embrace, animated films that embrace old school animation techniques. Yet, one gets the distinct impression that "retro" isn't the goal here. Instead, it's the end result of taking nearly 10 years to get the film into theatres.
It looks old, because it is old.
It is kind of funny, however, to have Keanu Reeves and Freddie Prinze, Jr. films opening on the same weekend.
Between the two, there is ALMOST an emotion that surfaces onscreen. Almost, but not quite.
In this film, Delgo (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is a naive Lockni teenager who rallies his friends to save his land from a civil war between rival factions, the Lockni and the Nohrin.
Sedessa (Anne Bancroft), is the exiled sister of the Nohrin king and is plotting to take over the land after creating conflict between the two rival factions.
What follows is war, conflict, love, romance, etc.
Who really cares? I sure didn't.
Delgo falls for a Nohrin princess (Jennifer Love Hewitt), while Delgo hangs out with his best friend (Chris Kattan, trying to provide the film's comic relief). Throw into the mix a traitor (Malcolm McDowell), a great warrior (Val Kilmer) and a wise guy (Michael Clarke Duncan) and you have the generic-label version of virtually every animated sci-fi flick you've ever seen.
Directed by first-time writer/director Marc Adler, "Delgo" is the kind of film I like to admire. I love hearing about writers/directors who toil away and give their heart and soul to making a film happen. I only wish I felt as strongly about the finished product as I do about the journey to make it happen.
I never thought I'd catch myself saying this, but this weekend avoid the pro-peace, animated family film "Delgo" and, gasp, go see Keanu Reeves instead.