"Duck Duck Goose" is a new American/Chinese animated movie from 2018 and the presence of China here surprised me a bit when I read that this is from the producers of Shrek, but yeah the film is set in China, so this may be one explanation and I guess they also wanted to cash in with the gigantic population of this country too. No idea if it was a success though. It is the first directorial effort for Christopher Jenkins though and when it comes to writing he is hardly any more experiences, nothing except Surf's Up. Anyway back to this movie. There are actually many rookie filmmakers who delivered huge hits, sometimes even their career-best work, at the beginning, but these 90 minutes we have here weren't exactly a revelation. The beginning is solid to be honest. The whole introduction and explanation of the whole situation is fine. The main character is mediocre from start to finish. The little ducklings were supposed to deliver some cuteness and they do most of the time (except farting jokes), but that's pretty much it sadly. The girl has some solid elaboration on her early on, but becomes pretty pointless. The duo's story about belonging is not a triumph by any means and falls completely flat looking at the emotional impact they wanted it to make. Same for the romance story involving the main character that feels very much rushed in at the end, especially with the dad suddenly liking him. It is a bit of a pity as some supporting characters (the dad, the turtle, the love interest) offer room for memorable characters, but simply weren't elaborated on in a way that they deserved. The one character I found really weak was the main antagonist, the cat with the split personality. This one was really weak and often it is a the case that these films stand and fall more with the enemy in terms of how interesting and memorable he is and if that is the case here, then it was a big disappointment. One of many. The key story at the very core of it all, i.e. him getting back to his group, never really gained pace either. Here and there there is an okay funny moment, like the Chinese Wall reference or the sudden development about how the little duck speaks as Satan himself when he is hungryl, but there had to be some with how many shots at comedy they were taking. And most of it was also disappointing too unfortunately, so clearly a case of quantity over quality with some blind misses I guess. The animation is fine though and even if that is almost a given these days in new animated movies, we should not take it for granted. What else can I say? Oh yeah, the film is probably at its weakest when they are in the city later on and the restaurant parts are just cringeworthy to watch. Compared to that, the scenes with animals only are really good, but also only compared to that and not from a neutral perspective. All in all, really only one to watch for my fellow animated film lovers and probably even those (or especially those?) will be just as disappointed as I was with this movie. Skip it.
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