Saturday, March 3, 2007

It's like a medieval Kim Possible, only it's totally not...

I live under a pretty hefty rock, so I don't know if I'm ahead of or behind the curve on this one, but people, you have just got to go get the kids and watch Jane and the Dragon.

An obscure DirectTV channel called Ion carries VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins! on a Friday afternoon network called Qubo, also available on our NBC affiliate on Saturday mornings. After the lovable Christian comestibles ran their credits, this new CGI confection came on, and I was immediately hooked. So were the rest of the Dungeons and Dragons dorks lounging around my living room getting a head start on their Friday night buzz. Buddy likes it well enough, but I bet he'll enjoy it more when he's older (he needs more explosions right now).

Anyway, things that are right about Jane and the Dragon:
  • It takes place in a medieval castle, in an era of chivalry and, of course, dragons. As far as I'm concerned, every TV show, movie and book should have a similar setting. Even the ones about WWII.
  • It's about Jane, a girl who wants to be a knight.
  • It's made by Weta, who are singlehandedly responsible for everything that is awesome in my DVD collection so far.
  • The CGI animation is well-done, but that's not a major accomplishment anymore. What is remarkable is the beautiful and extremely original styling of the animation: the colors are soft, and the backdrops look as if they've been drawn with colored pencils, and the character modeling is very appealing. Jane's hair is especially fun. Dragon's motion controls are genius, the giant reptile slithers over the walls of the castle like a skink.
  • The stories are good and include a compelling moral for the kiddies -- and it's not too simplistic, there's room for discussion at the dinner table

A word to the wise, however: last Sunday I watched The Chronicles of Riddick and the Oscars, and I thought both were fantastic, so clearly I have absolutely no taste.

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