From the animators of Despicable Me, Minions and The Secret Life of Pets comes SPYCIES, a fast-paced, sophisticated animal espionage animation film exploring extinction and climate change.
A daring, at times overly complicated film, SPYCIES, is suited to an older audience (10+) yet it’s a memorable movie as far as I’m concerned.
While it would benefit from a tighter plotline and fewer characters on the whole (there’s literally hordes to keep track of), SPYCIES left a powerful mark on my former filmmaker self, if not on my own children (aged 10 and 7) who both felt underwhelmed by the close of the film. Engaged throughout however, they said it was, ‘too long’ and ‘some parts were confusing’. They didn’t regret watching it but said they wouldn’t watch it again.
So, what’s the film about?
Special agent cat, Vladimir is the Secret Service’s top spy but like all super spies he’s a rule breaker and maverick agent. Following a reckless mission, this protagonist is sent on a disciplinary assignment offshore in the middle of nowhere where he must guard a top-secret cargo with only his timid rookie, Hector the rat, for company.
When a gang of mysterious figures break into the platform and steal the consignment, the pair must then embark on an undercover mission to find the stolen goods, redeem themselves as spies and save the animal kingdom from the brink of extinction.
Reminiscent in tone to Disney’s Zootropolis, elements of the film were impressively slick with some of the animal characters deeply depicted ensuring we unflinchingly followed and cared for them. The thrills came with the plot’s many twists and turns making for a smart kids’ movie (the audience are not once underestimated here) and the visuals particularly in the climactic scene and towards the resolution were achingly beautiful.
Stand-out moments saw the ensemble cast of animals coming together combatting the antagonist, fighting to save the world with complex and dynamic animation sequences and stunning choreography only usually seen in live action films. The swarm of bees dispatched to help the Bee Princess, (daughter of the Queen Bee) when in danger is one of my most loved scenes in any film I’ve ever seen which is testament to the standard of animators behind the scenes.
Absolutely a worthwhile film to watch in my opinion but it required one more phase of edits to reach the heady heights of its peers.
Kaleidoscope Entertainment presents Spycies in Cinemas
Nationwide 14 February 2020
Cert: PG Runtime: 98 mins approx
Check out the trailer:
Book to see Spycies.