By Liz Lopez
There are generations over three centuries that have heard the name of Robinson Crusoe, aside from those of us who have read books about this character, as well as seen television programs and films about the man who was a castaway. I tend to think anyone that has ever landed on an island after a shipwreck is most likely referred to as “Robinson Crusoe.” For the newest generation, and those of us who still enjoy learning about his adventures, Belgian nWave (A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures, Thunder and the House of Magic) has created an animated film originally titled Robinson Crusoe, but when it arrives in theaters this weekend via Lionsgate, look out for The Wild Life.
You never know what kind of movie you might be walking into with that title, but rest assured that it is a PG film where animals on a tropical paradise give us their version of the ditzy human, Crusoe (Yuri Lowenthal) and his golden retriever, who arrive and changed their world. I am glad I ordered the pot of French Press coffee at the theater on an early Saturday morning to be able to keep up with the constant action in the story. Some people may want to stay away from the film thinking it is a “remake,” but this is a great film for families to take their children to enjoy, and as adults, an opportunity to watch the colorful and animated images with a story about the fellow who learned how to survive on an island.
The bright red parrot, Mak (David Howard) takes the lead for the pack of friends who co –exist on the island, with the exception that Mak has always suspected there is a world beyond theirs and he wants to find out just how big it is. Among his amigos are Rosie (Laila Berzins) a blubbery tapir; Epi, an echidna (Sandy Fox); Kiki (Lindsay Torrance) the kingfisher, and Carmello (Colin Metzger) the chameleon.
There are two cats (voiced by Debi Tinsley and Jeff Doucette) who are not very likeable. In fact, they are not very appealing in looks or attitude, acting as if they want to rule the world. Unfortunately, the golden retriever does not survive and the pair is required to live on the bug-infested Curse Island. This couple creates a legion of offspring in efforts to eliminate all other creatures. Crusoe has created a paradise for the varied species and they work together to fight off the felines, whether it involves dangling off a cliff, sliding down the waterslide Crusoe crafted, or launching objects that seem directed towards the viewers. They are determined to survive and have fun while doing so.
The co-directors are Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen based on a screenplay by Lee Christopher, Domonic Paris and Graham Welldon. Other voice actors include Doug Stone, Ron Allen, Michael Sorich, Jay Jones, Dennis O’Connor, B.J. Oakie, Joey Lotsko, Lex Lang, Joey Camen, George Babbit, Kyle Hebert.
The film has a running time of 90 minutes and opens on September 9th