Despite the hiccups that The Great Ghost Rescue has for pace, this product can be an enjoyable light-hearted Halloween treat for the entire family.
Humphrey was once an ordinary boy with an ordinary life. Well, that is, until he died—quite by accident, really. But just do not tell his best friend, Barnabas, that. His death literally sets in motion The Great Ghost Rescue, a tongue-in-cheek horror comedy from the UK about dislocated spirits looking for a new home.
This movie made a quiet release on this side of the pond with very little fanfare during a Halloween season. Also, this film is by no means a faithful adaptation of Eva Ibbotson’s original novel of the same name, published 1975. And the message it makes about how one particular family can stay strong during a moment of crisis cannot go unnoticed.
While children may not get all of the jokes, older audiences can easily chuckle at the hilarious sight gags and crazy societal dysfunction going on. This production is a blend of the humour from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the grisly silliness from The Addams Family. Even though the laughs are cheap and the acting over the top, this film can be enjoyed when everyone is sharing that same sugar rush after trick or treating.
Both the novels and animated series in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise can be enjoyed as its own separate entities.
Dreamworks has a solid product with How to Train Your Dragon. Loosely based on the novel of the same name by Cressida Cowell, this movie version makes for a refreshing take in dragon folklore. With allusions to the tales of yore, the cartoony caricature driven CGI world created here does more than stir the imagination. It harkens to a potential saga in the making. With more books in this series, there is potential to adapt the later novels. And the altered storyline is something that writer Chris Sanders is not too worried about.
This veteran in the animation scene is better known for his work in the Lilo & Stitch series, and he repeats his winning formula for Dreamworks. If one looks carefully, Toothless the dragon looks a bit like the alien Stitch.
And instead of a girl meeting an extraterrestrial, the tale takes a spin in a world of fantasy where a young boy, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) encounters a dragon. His Viking village is at war with the entire dragon race and in order to train the next generation to fight against them, Hiccup goes to school. With this film, what he does is play hookey instead. Little do his classmates know, he is rehabilitating a serpentine beast behind everyone’s back. But it’s a question of who is training who, and those moments are particularly engaging. Just like Lilo and Stitch, there are a few adorable moments as the two bond.