Directed by: Peter Lepeniotis
Screenplay by: Lorne Cameron & Peter Lepeniotis
Story by: Peter Lepeniotis
Based on Surly Squirrel by Peter Lepeniotis
Starring: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon, Joe Pingue, Annick Obonsawin, Scott Yaphe, Robert Tinkler & Jam es Rankin
Set in the fictional town of Oakton, year 1959, a group of animals, led by a Raccoon, store food for winter in a giant tree in the park. Among these animals is a selfish purple squirrel named Surly, whose thieving reputation has made him a pariah. His only friend is his rat partner Buddy. After an attempt to rob a peanut cart goes haywire, forcing him to be banished from the park, he and Buddy struggle for a way to survive, planning the ultimate heist of a nut shop owned by a mob who is planning their own heist.
By far, not the best animated film for kids. The main problem with this movie was the script. It was cliché after cliché. Very few parent’s, if any, are going to enjoy this movie. Not only was the script a complete cliché, but then there was the individual lines. Yes, the actors did a splendid job doing the voice overs, but the lines themselves were dull and listless. This movie was trying far too hard to achieve that setting of the 1950’s, making it come off as forces and taking the charm from the movie. It was forced, and that was obvious even from the voice-overs, and came off as far from natural. Little children while certainly enjoy this movie if only for the fact that it is an animated film featuring talking animals.
The story as a whole though can be appreciated, as the outcast is the one who has to save the day from the manipulating con man, the Raccoon, voiced by Liam Neeson. Surly, voiced by Will Arnett, grows as a character, becoming the hero the in the story, and in that respect it was a good movie because the story was well developed and thought out.
But that was about all, other than the animation, that could be appreciated from the movie. As a whole, it simply did not work, did not feel natural in any sense of the word and while the dialogue should have been smoother, it lacked charm. ★★☆☆ (C-)