CURIOUSER AND curiouser. There’s a moment during this unevenly animated adventure when our chelonian hero finds himself in the care of anti-Vietnam War protesters. We’re still not entirely sure why these estuaryaccented(!) eco hippies are rounded up on what looks like an Australian beach.
But this dubbed Belgian export isn’t awfully good on geography. How else might one account for a UK version featuring the voices of
John Hurt, Dominic Cooper and Robert Sheehan? US audiences get to hear Stacy Keach, Melanie Griffith and Ed Begley Jr in the same film. What gives? Nobody releases two Anglophone versions unless they’re selling Toilet Duck or Kinder Surprise. We smell Euro-Pudding.
We smell correctly. There’s hardly anything about A Turtle’s Tale to suggest it was written in any known modern language, let alone English. In this episodic trawl, Sammy almost gets eaten by a seagull and spends decades hoping to run into the girl hatchling he met when he was born. Mostly, though, he drifts about on a raft encountering negative environmental developments.
The film’s clunky eco themes can’t disguise its true meaning. This is toddler fodder, plain and simple. The plot and dialogue lack coherence. But when they say “eye-popping 3D”, they really mean it. Ten years on, co-produced continental animation is still not fluid enough to compete with Pixar’s Finding Nemo, but it can make merry with the technology.
This is dayglo dazzle until your eyes cross over. It’s a digital cot mobile. A loudly coloured antidote to the dull immersive experience, A Turtle’s Tale is for all the tots who start fidgeting once the opening credits have stopped floating in front of your nose. So never mind the film’s strange cross-cultural origins. In the end, it knows right where it wants to be: in your face.