A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures (U)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/03/2011

One out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Disappointing animated adventure that makes good use of its 3D effects but fails to deliver an engaging story thanks to a flat, uninspired script and a general lack of action or imagination.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ben Stassen, A Turtle's Tale begins in present day California, where wise old sea turtle Sammy (John Hurt) recounts his adventures as a young hatchling (voiced by Dominic Cooper) in 1959. After rescuing girl turtle Shelly (Gemma Arterton) from a seagull, Sammy falls instantly in love with her but is then left stranded on the beach as she heads out to sea.

When Sammy eventually makes it out to sea he is befriended by wise-cracking fellow turtle Ray (Robert Sheehan) and the two of them float around the Pacific together, having various eco-message-based adventures (oil tanker disasters, angry whalers, etc) and eventually meeting Shelly again, only to become separated in the Panama Canal. However, Sammy is determined to find her once more, so he sets off, riding on the back of a discarded fridge.

The Good
Cooper, Arterton and Sheehan give it their best shots, though the tedious script gives them precious little to work with. That said, there's a certain amount of fun to be had in trying to work out whether Arterton's excitable delivery constitutes a Marilyn Monroe impression and fans of TV's Misfits might be mildly amused by Sheehan in turtle form, but not for long.

In addition, the 3D effects are used to full gimmicky effect, with things popping out at you on a regular basis, such as whale spouts and octopus arms and so on.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the animation is boring to look at and there's almost nothing in the way of visual imagination – there are no sight gags, for example. Similarly, the story is extremely dull and the dialogue is painfully flat and uninspired throughout, making it impossible to care whether one poorly animated turtle finds true love with another one.

It comes as no surprise to discover that A Turtle's Tale comes from the same people who made Fly Me to the Moon, which similarly had great 3D effects but was also let down by an extremely dull plot, lacklustre dialogue and unengaging characters. In fact, if you're unlucky enough to have seen Fly Me to the Moon then you'll know exactly what to expect from A Turtle's Tale.

Worth seeing?
With a dull script and bland characterisation A Turtle’s Tale is strictly for very young children and only then if they're easily amused. See Tangled again instead.

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A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures (U)
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Content updated: 19/11/2017 01:27

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