After visiting his father in Arkham Sanitarium, young Howard Lovecraft accidentally uses the legendary Necronomicon to open a portal to a strange frozen world filled with horrifying creatures and a great adventure.
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Young Howard Lovecraft begins his adventure by going to the Butler Sanitarium with his mother to visit his father Winfield Lovecraft, a patient there who has been driven mad by something he's done. Howard's father goes into a spasm of paranoia and fear, begging his son to destroy a book that he should have never written. The boy doesn't scream during the incident, but does go home with a small gift - a paper star made by his father. Once home, Howard's curiosity is too much and he begins to read his father's book. He's drawn into a dark, cold world of magic and deceit. The book tells of a place - R'yleh - a "kingdom described as an unholy marriage of fairy tales and nightmares." Unwittingly, the boy reads a few words written in the book in a strange language - and is sucked through a whole in the fabric of the universe. He meets a Deep One, Thu Thu Hmong, who initially tries to eat Howard but comes around after the boy saves the creature's life. Howard, who fails to pronounce the ...
The O'Reilly family (Kiefer, Michelle, Sean Patrick, Summer, Phoenix and Harmony) take seven of the 14 speaking roles. See more »
When Howard, reading the Necronomicon, says,"None of these words make sense", the text on the page is actually in Greek characters. However, the character reads them out quite correctly (including a previous reference to the hideous creature called a Penguin). See more »
There is a short scene after the main credits showing the Govlins snowboarding on the slopes of R'lyeh. See more »
First off, let me say that it was suggested this production company adds positive reviews for their work. Keep that in mind. Judge for yourself if this is the case by the dates the reviewers joined.
Now to the review: I did enjoy this film more than I should have. I really liked it. Why? This is probably one of the best (only) Lovecraft stories for children that I've seen. The other notable and best was "The Real Ghostbusters" Cthulhu episode. What works: The animation style is charming, relaxed and easy to see. Lots of contrasts enable you to follow the action without distraction. The talent: Fantastically voiced by the actors, notably young Howard. The themes: reasonably loyal to Lovecraft's characters - but obviously you can't do that and still have a children's' show. I liked the compromises made. The artistic designs - wonderfully modelled characters do a nice job of making you feel the 1920's feel.
What does not work: The actual animation - several times I saw trees floating in air, parts of the ground missing (though this could have been deliberate). The flow seems a bit jerky at times, but I don't imagine this picture had a massive hardware budget, so it's forgivable. This has the feel of being created around the same time as "Starship Troopers - Roughnecks". The voice of Spot: very, very badly voiced by a producer. No inflections, difficult if not impossible to understand for most of the show. You might as well remove all of Spot's dialog and just have him grunt. The pacing: This show could have used the experience of a professional director / editor and chopped about 30-45 minutes out of it. The action pauses so many times during the 'intense' scenes that it's like they tried to lengthen the film by adding 10 seconds every minute. Perhaps the distributes demanded it be a certain length and they simply didn't have the content. The price: This is a show I think you should buy - but only as a $5 digital download. Currently its price-point is excessive and preventing widespread sales. I hope the producers make this change before it is downloaded for free via torrents.
Overall this is something that should have been sold on STEAM, not destined for theatres. It does not have broad appeal and selling it as a $20 bluray is a pipe-dream.
That being said, I'd love to see this as a television series. I think it would be reasonably well received. Like I say, I really enjoyed it, but I'm starving for new HP Lovecraft content and this will have to do.
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