THE WILLOUGHBYS (2020) Review
Directed by Kris Pearn, Cory Evans
In essence of Lemony Snickets and a bit of Roald Dahl’s family novels, Netflix’s latest animated film stays true to its tradition of being playful with its story and how they tell it. The Willoughbys is old-fashioned, fun family adventure that captures the spirit of longing for love of a family.
The story if familiar, yes. We already have ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ ‘Matilda,’ and other children-looking-for-a-family-who-loves-them stories but it’s really the way these films are executed that made them special and The Willoughbys handled the sensitivities of the absence of love in a family and still make it fun, entertaining and heartwarming.
At first, I thought it was stop-motion film Laika is known for. But nonetheless, the animation is perfect for its story. Even though it has mature themes, the look of the film still makes it family-friendly. The colors, the setting and how the atmosphere shifts from fun to serious are done decently.
I love that I am familiar with some of the voice actors. Ricky Gervais, Maya Rudolf and Terry Crews are perfect to voice their respective characters. And that the story reminded me of family adventure films that made me love to see movies when I was a child. ‘The Willoughbys’ may not be new or perfect, but its message is still relevant and worth telling. Not just for the kids but also for the adults.
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
‘The Willoughbys’ is now streaming on Netflix.