Review Of Mia And Me: The Hero Of Centopia: A Utopia Of Pastel Colours In Peril
This feature-length spin-off, which is based on a German children’s TV series, faithfully trots out the fantasy clichés – quest story, chosen-one hero, and plenty of multicoloured unicorns – but doesn’t truly extract anything intriguing from this otherworldly brew. Director Adam Gunn uses gaudy and elaborate animation to represent the Narnian world of Centopia, which the film’s protagonist Mia (Margot Nuccetelli) enters with a magical book and bracelet that were gifts from her late mother. The general absence of personality is summed up by the elf dwellers’ empty eyes.Mia is called to Centopia as the megalomaniacal toad Toxor (voiced by Paul Davies) is once more posing a threat to the land while she is relaxing with her grandfather (David Willetts) in his lakeside mansion. He has plans to paint the pastel-colored utopia in shades of Mordor by spewing forth malicious smoke that turns the local elves into servile “groundlings” (can you blame him?). When Mia crashes lands on the bequiffed elf prince Iko’s (Alex Beauman’s) airship as he flees the destruction of his Lotus Island, she discovers that only three magical gems can defeat the haughty frog.The live action and animation blend brings to mind classic films like Roger Rabbit and Cool World.
However, the live-action parts of the movie are just used to bookend it with Mia and her grandfather, missing a chance to comment on how reality and fantasy interact that even the preteen target audience might be able to understand. Sadly, Gunn shoots low, saying, “Friendship is a danger, Toxor,” in a babyish tone and with sententious tendencies that seem like leftovers from therapy sessions. You will be singing along to Walking on Sunshine and hoping for another poisonous breathburst.On October 21, Mia and Me: The Hero of Centopia will be shown in UK theatres.