Der Kleine Eisbär
Cutesy German animation
Piet De Rycker & Thil Rothkirch
Running Time: 78 minutes
UK Certificate: U
Why dont polar bears eat penguins? Because they cant get the wrappers off, obviously. But, in The Little Polar Bear the cutesy German animation based on the kiddies books by Hans de Beer – they dont eat seals either, which takes a bit more explaining.
You see, when Lars (the bear cub of the title) makes friends with a seal pup called Robby, the entire polar bear population are forced to realise the error of their ways and start eating fish instead. Dont know how the fish feel about that, of course perhaps theyll save that issue for the sequel.
This harmless but fairly lame little toon is basically three separate stories, all about Lars landing himself in various spots of bother, bless im. At one point, he falls asleep on a chunk of ice and inadvertently drifts all the way to a non-specific tropical paradise. At another, he comes face to face with a gigantic fish-munching sea vessel (theres those fish getting it in the neck again).
The artwork is nice, simple stuff, and the sporadically CGI-aided animation is of a decent standard. Unfortunately the English dialogue, translated as it is from the German original, doesnt work particularly well. Excitement and humour are both kept to a disappointing minimum and, while theres probably just about enough on display to satisfy the target pre-school audience, any accompanying adults can expect to drift repeatedly in and out of consciousness.
It's Got: Clinically-depressed lemmings.
It Needs: get rid of the irritating singing penguin
DVD Extras Lars DVD Guide (which seems suspiciously like a polar bear an animal that doesnt even have proper fingers - trying to tell us how to work a remote control), some VERY basic background info on the main characters, a flip-book fade-in sequence, create your own animated movie (well, not exactly it really just lets you choose the running order of three scenes), a trailer, three interactive games, a music editing thingy, and a sing-a-long section featuring some unknown girlband singing a catchy cover of The Eurythmics There Must Be An Angel to a remarkably large audience. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10
Strictly for the littlest of little uns.