Friday, June 3, 2011

‘The Lion of Judah’ is a plain cartoon | 1 star

A faith-based cartoon aimed at the very youngest Sunday school students, “The Lion of Judah” is the story of Easter as observer by farm animals.

There’s assure in the idea that farm animals might band together to put sideways a spunky lamb (voiced by Georgina Cordova) who doesn’t understand he’s about to become a give up. Landing Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine as the voice of a heroic rat and Michael Madsen (an “unclean” raven) counts as a coup.

But the script is drab and nearly grave. It’s as if the writers never saw a secular cartoon and couldn’t find anything funny to do with a cowardly horse, an irked human-hating donkey and a lamb who calls himself “The Lion of Judah.” The 2-D and 3-D animation tends toward the unrefined — in the clunky style of direct-to-video fare. What, the VeggieTales folks weren’t available for a discussion?

No sooner have the animals met Judah than a human has quick him and sent him off to Jerusalem. The other critters suck up the bravery to go after him. Along the way, they hear of a new “King” among the humans, a king born in their steady years before. He is the only person who can set the lamb free, they consider.

The dialogue is banal, the jokes weak and the sight gags, like all else animated here, leave a lot to be desired. The meek may come into the Earth, but they won’t do well at the cinema complex if they can’t do better than this.


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