Sammy’s Great Escape / Sammy 2  (2012)    67/100

Rating :   67/100                                                                       92 Min        U

This is the sequel to 2010’s ‘A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures’, an English language Belgian production aimed at younger children. It’s pretty good all in all, with a vibrant and colourful underwater world where the scene stealing characters are, as always, the penguin chicks, although they don’t feature very much. Surprisingly, this is one of the best uses of 3D I’ve seen, and although it still lacks a bit of visual clarity (always difficult to tell if that is the result of post-production work, or an inherent problem with the technology) the swirling environment with characters floating around everywhere lends itself very well to the medium. The story follows Sammy and Ray, now grandfathers, and two of their grandchildren as they try to get back to their home, having been ousted from it by a gang of evil human fishermen.

There is a nod to ‘The Little Mermaid’ (89) with two of the bad guy’s ‘heavies’ appearing in the guise of eels, but here rather than having everyone erupt happily into song, Jimi Hendrix’s version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ rings out as the captured fish start to fight each other over the food the humans give to them, aiding the message of the film that keeping any creature in captivity is a bad thing. More effort and thought has been put into this than a lot of the 3D fare that is being churned out of Hollywood at the moment, though some young children may find some of the less aesthetically appealing sea creatures a little frightening – there were a few squeals as the protagonists’ friend to be, a schizophrenic lobster, is introduced, replete with eyes rolling in different directions and claws clamping out of the screen toward the audience, though eventually everyone settled down, having seemingly gotten used to the weird variety. Seeing as the heroes of the tale are turtles, I guess there’s no reason they can’t have a third film with their next generation of offspring…

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