Sunday, September 12, 2010
Written by Terry Pratchett (but I hope not really)
Directed by Jean Flynn
Starring Christopher Lee (but not really), Jean Horrocks, June Whitfield, Annette Crosbie
In a riff on Hamlet (on the page, anyway), asshole brother-in-law (or something) kills the king. Someone smuggles the real prince out of the castle, and the semi-local witches (one of whom is a neophyte) end up getting involved with political affairs to (spoiler alert, but shmeh) save the day.
waah. this was boring. i hated it. i hate moster for adding it and the next one.
i didn't write this complaint myself.
I can see how Leila would be so upset and annoyed as to be bored to the point of leaving the room, mostly because it took about an hour to get into this and that might have only because I'm familiar with the source material. This was produced in 1997, but it felt like (e.g.) the Lord of the Rings cartoons ca. twenty years earlier. [I like using "e.g." and "ca." in the same sentence.] The voice acting was OK, but only individually. Most of the dialogue comes (or appears to come) straight from the page. In reading one applies one's own interpretations of inflection and emotion; but with few exceptions it seemed that most of the vocals were recorded individually. This unnerving lack of chemistry is the most eggregious example of failure in the adaptation.
The adaptation, such as it was, appears to have been intended to take an adult--or, if you want to be an asshole, young adult--and re-skew it for chitluns. There are plenty of examples of cartoons which achieve success for both adults and kids (Spongebob tops the list); but this failed on both levels. Where the books probably play well enough on both levels the script here fails to establish any sense of humor or wonder. There are a couple of pretty good adults-will-get-it dirty jokes, but most of my interest ended up spent trying to identify things which differentiated it from the novel.
This is probably why the only screenwriting credits on Pratchett's IMDB page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0695332/are for Discword adaptations. I'm doubtfully hopeful that the other one of these will go a little way towards an acquittal.