Friday, May 16, 2008

It Came From Forgotten Filmography Friday 9

Three Pigs and a Baby (2008)
Dirs. Howard E. Baker and Arysh Fyzee
The Weinstein Company/Jim Henson Films
Synopsis: “Topical” “adult-friendly” “humor” meets “wacky” “fairy tale” meets cut-rate CGI animation meets me trying not to gouge out my eyes with spoons for an hour and a half.


I rented two movies this week produced by the Jim Henson Company. The first, Mirrormask, was exceptional, and I’d recommend everyone go out and try to rent it. (By my own extremely arbitrary rules I can’t talk about it because I had heard of it.)

The second:

Unstable Fables: Three Pigs and a Baby is not.

We all know the success of the fairy tale send-up in Shrek. And, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these fellas are very sincere flatterers.

If it isn’t clear from the poster, the animation is god awful. And not like bad, but just incredibly unpleasing. Every character looks weird. Especially the wolves.


Especially the wolves.

The film chronicles the three little pigs who, after routing the big bad wolf, being infiltrated by wolves who place a baby into their custody believing the baby will turn on its parents to feed them (they end up having to trick the adopted wolf-who-doesn’t-believe-he’s-a-wolf-and-thinks-he’s-a-pig-wolf to do it anyway.)

Three topic jokes I could do without:
1) all the FEMA jokes
2) “It’s a little too soon for Mission: Accomplished, cadet”
3) And the interracial adoption plot as a whole.

Three pop culture references I could have done without:
1) Dr. Wolfowitz, the Dr. Strangelove-esque mad-scientist, complete with the “out of control appendage” (in this case a tail.)
2) The nod to “The Great Muppet Caper” (which only served to remind me what a great genius Jim Henson was, and what.)
3) The line-by-line reenactment of the “you’re tearing me apart” monologue from Rebel Without a Caue.

And, finally, all the gay pig jokes.

John Cryer plays one of the three pigs, Richard, who is, well, the gay pig. In his house of sticks (which is meticulously decorated) he has a prized statue of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Thus he’s a “friend of Dorothy.” He’s overly fussy about his clothes, decorations, and so on. He also goes “Hello, teenagers!” at one point, which, if you can read the inflection, was, well effeminate to say the least. At the end, when grabbing onto a motorcycle, he’s happy it has “a sissy bar.” I don’t want kids watching movies that perpetuates homophobia. Cryer’s performance, in and of itself, is not exceptionally offensive and barely comes off as swishy, but the things they have him say makes me squirm.

Not that there’s a lack of things that made me squirm.

If you have kids under the age of 5, try to find something better for them to watch. If you’re over 5, ignore this movie like the plague.


1 comment:

Ross Williams said...

Thanks for reviewing this one. I was thinking about renting it for my kid, because I'll watch anything once, and I'm always on the lookout for hidden gems. Sounds unnecessarily painful though, there's nothing worse than sitting through a really bad kid's movie.

I'll keep checking back, I love forgotten films.