Coraline, ParaNorman, and the just-out Boxtrolls). No. The new animated movie titled THE HERO OF COLOR CITY is something of a throwback to the simpler days of telling a small story with relative efficiency and simple but hugely colorful animation, using some OK-and-famous voice talent and rolling out a movie that should please undemanding parents and kids. Once, that is, they get past the pretty awful beginning scene in which the crayons come to life and spout some really third-rate dialog. Yikes!
Frank Gladstone (pictured left), who has done a serviceable job of, well, I guess, putting it all together. The story begins with a young boy involved in his drawing, until it's bedtime and his mom insists he go to sleep -- after which his crayons come to life and head off down a magic chute to a place called Color City. Once there, the movie grow more colorful and things begin to percolate. A minimal plot takes hold and the "character" of various crayons appear. These are more or less based on their colors. Yellow is always scared, red is red hot, white wants to be used more in place of always remaining as background, while black is tired of constantly always being used to make the "outline." You get the picture.
Christina Ricci's in the lead role of Yellow (above) comes off best. She's got ample screen time and makes the most of her frightened character's learning how to face things and "brave up."
Magnolia Pictures, opens tomorrow, Friday, October 3, all across the country. Here in New York City, although the film was advertised in this past Sunday's NY Times as opening at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, turns out it will play instead at the AMC Empire 25. You can see a listing of all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters by clicking here and scrolling down.