A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise (2012)

20% – Critics
33% – Audience

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A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise Movie Reviews

A good family film

Sammy is a turtle: he is captured and put in an underwater high-end aquarium, and it is up to baby turtle offspring to rescue him.

This CGI sequel to a film which I never saw didn’t fill me with enthusiasm beforehand and, having seen it (not in 3D), it is absolutely clear how much of a debt it owes to Finding Nemo.

But, in its own way, it is rather good. The characters are well designed (I have some reservations about the turtles’ creepily human heads and shoulders), the settings and animation are good, and the story is involving, if derivative. Plus this is aimed at family audiences, and much of the design and humour appeals strongly to the younger element of the audience (though some sequences will be scary for them).

Recommended for family viewing.

Inspirational theme in prison-breakout plot, but the animation is plain.

WITH the proliferation of animated movies, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Sammy 2 leans towards the former. It has an inspiring story that’s easy to understand but the animation is nothing new and adult viewers may start looking at their watches.

Two granddad turtles escape a bird attack but end up in a fishing trawler.

The trawler brings its prized possessions to Dubai, where an Indian runs a sea world below the sea. Here, rich visitors dine in luxury while enjoying the sight of fishes swimming outside.

The two turtles are introduced to a myriad of fish species, including Big D, a sea horse that’s the gangster of the huge aquarium. His position is backed by two eels that speak in a French accent.

BTW, the movie is directed by Belgian Ben Stassen and is dubbed into English.

The turtles plot to escape, and this is where the plot emerges. It’s a ‘soft’ copy of prison breakout movies. A hammerhead shark encourages viewers to never give up, which is the moral of this flick.

The turtles must first wait for the arrival of their two grandkids, but not before the latter escape from two menacing fishes in a chase more exciting than the one in The Bourne Legacy.

The movie picks up steam now as the whole gang of fishes get ready for their great escape.

Other than the sea horse, the only other interesting character is a lobster with split personality.

Movie Magic With Jeff Lee (blogspot and Facebook)

Sammy’s fun, if not quite great, escape

Not sure how popular an opinion this is, but to me the first ‘A Turtle’s Tale’ film was surprisingly enjoyable, one of those films where there was uncertainty as to whether it would be enjoyed let alone liked.

‘Sammy’s Great Escape’ wasn’t just worthy but from personal opinion just as good. It was a fun piece of escapism, it wasn’t great or awards worthy but didn’t need to be to be worth watching. All it needed to be was be something that didn’t feel or look amateurish and have a story and characters worth investing in. ‘Sammy’s Great Escape’ succeeds at this even with sizable room for improvement. Not everything works, although most of its components do.

There are some strange character designs admittedly, especially for the adult turtles’ heads. While most of the voice acting is serviceable, the Spanish accents for the hogfish sounded overdone. The story is fun on the whole, though it is on the derivative side and there are parts that are likely to scare/upset the more sensitive younger ones.

However, apart from the adult turtles’ heads, ‘Sammy’s Great Escape’ is a visually beautiful film, with very detailed seascapes, that will delight children and adults alike, and gorgeous vibrant colour. The 3D version is the one to catch, the 3D is beautifully constructed and makes the most of the setting, actually enhancing the viewing experience rather than distracting which 3D in general can do. Adults in particular will like the soundtrack with song selections from Jimi Hendrix, The Clash and the B-52s, an odd selection but a nostalgic and catchy one.

Writing is fun and clean with some educational value and heart in the mix too. The story goes at a breezy lively pace with enough funny humour and exciting adventure to keep kids entertained while also adults happy with the nostalgic soundtrack and the clever nods to mobster, war and prison films (this aspect may go over some younger viewers’ heads though perhaps). The message and values the film teaches are integrated beautifully without preaching and are important and educational enough to warrant their inclusion.

All the characters engage, with the seahorse being one of the better characters overall and Annabel and the penguin family provide the adorability factor. The protagonist is one worth rooting for. The voice acting is serviceable if not mind-blowing, though the Spanish accents could have been toned down.

Overall, fun if not quite great. 7/10 Bethany Cox