Monster House

Bomb Rating: 

Much like "The Polar Express," this seems less like a movie designed to tell a story than an experiment designed to test the limits of animation techniques.

As far as I know, this is another film that uses the technique of drawing animation from the actions of real actors, so that's two films in one week (along with "A Scanner Darkly") that I've had to watch utilizing this technique. And yes, I'm sick of it.

You'd think executive producer Robert Zemeckis would have figured out after "The Polar Express" that this animation technique freaks people out. Or perhaps I'm simply the only person who's freaked out by it. The basic problem is that I end up spending more time watching the way the animation works than actually paying attention to the story. However, one lesson Zemeckis did take away from "The Polar Express" is to not make the animated characters look exactly like the actors voicing them.

Much like "The Polar Express," this seems less like a movie designed to tell a story than an experiment designed to test the limits of animation techniques. If you've seen the trailers, you've basically seen about half the film. The other half involves DJ (Mitchel Musso), Chowder (Sam Lerner) and Jenny (Spencer Locke) getting inside the house and discovering the big secret that makes the house a Monster House, which involves the old man who owns the house, Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi), and his deceased wife, Constance (Kathleen Turner).

While watching these animated films where the object is to make the characters appear just short of human, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out who's voicing the different characters. Do the producers actually think people go to animated films to hear the voices of people they know? I think it's exactly the opposite. I'd rather know that the voices are all people I don't know; that way I don't pay attention to the voices and instead can concentrate on the film and the story.

Though in this case, that wouldn't have helped much, since the story wasn't much to write home about. In the end, the true test of this film is the same I applied to "A Scanner Darkly": Would the film be any good if it was live action? The answer in this case is also a resounding "no." As a result, "Monster House" inspired me to animate myself right out of the theater.

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