Monday, May 11, 2020

The Willoughbys (2020)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: The Willoughbys (2020)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length 90 minutes
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: Netflix, BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, The Province of Ontario
Directors: Kris Pearn, Rob Lodermeier, Cory Evans
Writers: Kris Pearn, Mark Stanleigh, Kris Pearn, Lois Lowry
Actors: Jane Krakowski, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Terry Crews, Will Forte Ricky Gervais,  Alessia Cara, Bonnie Riley, Brian Drummond, Islie Hirvonen, Kris Pearn, Rebecca Husain, Robyn Ross, Se├ín Cullen, Shannon Chan-Kent

Blurb from IMDb: Convinced they'd be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. The siblings then embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family.

Cat’s Point of View:
The Willoughbys was definitely a change of pace from the movies I’ve been watching lately – both for the blog and otherwise. I found it rather refreshing.

I enjoyed turning my attention to a family flick for a while. There were appropriately maudlin moments and plenty of laughs. I think what I enjoyed most was that the movie kept me guessing. This definitely didn’t follow your general cookie-cutter cartoon family recipe. This was something outside of the box and well worth the emotional roller-coaster ride.

It’s not really a spoiler, the movie warns you up front that the story is a bit on the grim side. Oh, how I love dark comedy. If you’re a fan of the works of author Edward Gorey (1925–2000) or Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) this movie will be right up your alley.

It was easy to connect with the Willoughby kids – aside from the red hair, I found quite a bit to identify with. Of course, I didn’t spend childhood time-outs in questionable circumstances, but that’s beside the point. Don’t get me wrong, my parents did the best they could and I have no doubts of their love – my childhood was, simply put, a bit on the dysfunctional side to someone on the outside looking in. I did a good bit of raising myself when I was little. Lest I digress, those are stories for another day.

Given those circumstances, and the fact that I was born an only child – I have learned the importance of ‘found family’ over the years and that is another way I find myself connecting with this story.

It’s a weirdly wonderful tale about family and friendship, and it’s more realistic than most animated tales out there. Realistic might be a strong word, given the fantastical things that abound within the tale, but I’m talking big-picture.

With the phenomenal cast on board, it’s not surprising how well the story was told.

I don’t really recall seeing much about this movie before we were looking to put together the Top 20 for its month of release on Netflix. Based on the trailer, however, I had this squarely as my #2; but then it had some stiff competition with a mainstream title, or it might have landed higher.

I think we could all use some quirky and weirdly wonderful fun in our lives about now, and I’d recommend this animated yarn in a heartbeat. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 67%
Metascore – 67/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.8/10
IMDB Score – 6.4/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5

P.S.: There are small scenes during the beginning of the credits and also a small scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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