(special thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy!)
Well, here we have four reasonably delightful and entertaining short holiday-themed films from Dreamworks. They’re based around the Dreamworks movie franchises of Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-Fu Panda. Despite having only seen two of the four franchises, I found all four movies to be enjoyable. Let’s look at them each.
Madagascar – I know basically nothing about this movie franchise. The story here concerns Santa’s sleigh crashing and animals teaming-up to get the presents delivered for Christmas. There’s some amusing North Pole/South Pole confrontations between the reindeer and the penguins and a few amusing moments. I’m sure children will get a kick out of the talking animals, if nothing else.
How to Train Your Dragon – A young boy (with, I notice, an artificial leg, which is nice to see in a kids movie), lives in a village full of dragons and Vikings, because why not. One day, the dragons all fly off, and the town is left wondering why. The boy spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out what happened. This was a bit more entertaining, and I did really enjoy the different dragon designs. I also liked the central message of “if you love something, set it free”. Overall entertaining.
Kung-Fu Panda – I saw the first movie and thought it was decent. This video is pretty much more of the same, only this time concerning an epic feast that is being prepared. Jack Black is always fun, and the video was about as good as the movie. If you liked the film, you’ll probably like this, too, and I’m sure little kids will enjoy it regardless.
Shrek – Ah, here we go. The gem of the set. I saw the first two movies and really liked them. This film is more of the same, showing Shrek and Fiona trying to have their first Christmas as a family. It then goes a bit wild when Donkey shows up and starts interfering, as he does. Then it ends with a pretty decent message about how flexible the word “family” can be. I really liked this story. It was funnier than the others, and it was really helped by having all the regular movie cast members reprising their roles. Definitely a worthy successor to the movies.
So there you go. Four decent movies, four stars, and an excellent package for anyone who likes these franchises.