A Warrior’s TailCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Resilience and heroism are rife in this animation adventure fantasy. Originally released in Russian under the name of its title character Savva, the film follows the story of a nine-year-old boy who embarks on a quest after his mother is captured by oppressive hyenas. In this world, animals reign over humans with the hyenas exercising full control. Along with a group of castaways, Savva and his friends come across multiple obstacles as they trek through the mountains in search of a magician, who will help Savva save the village from the tyrannical hyenas.
Originality is lacking, the movie inviting comparison with other adventure animations. The adorable pink creature Puffy displays the same charm as Shrek’s Puss in Boots and Savva, a younger resemblance to How to Train Your Dragon’s Hiccup.
The film’s draw is in its vocal talent. With a host of high-profile actors providing dialogue for characters, including Sharon Stone voicing the hilarious Puffy and Whoopi Goldberg as the voice of evil three-headed monkey queen JoZee, A Warrior’s Tail appeals with its range of personalities. Travelling with defiant Savva on the trek are mentor and wise white wolf Angee (Will Chase) and vain Baron Fafl (Geoffrey Cantor) whose scenes with Mosquito (Joe Pesci) – an observant insect with a flatulence problem perched on his shoulder – serve as the only comedic elements. The problem with a large group of characters is evident here, as many are forgettable due to their limited screen-time. Whoopi Goldberg’s character has the potential to become a favourite but lacks significant screen time.
The film’s main weakness lies in its plot, with many concepts failing to be fully addressed. A film of this genre’s primary function is to develop its story but, here, a step forward always elicits a look back due to unresolved questions. The themes of conflict and struggle for power are explained reasonably well for a young audience; the production is not afraid to subvert stereotypes, proving that the allure of power can sway even the most adorable. Despite overarching issues, A Warrior’s Tail ‘s ideas about friendship and fortitude make it a heart-warming tale.
A Warrior’s Tale is released in selected cinemas on 1st April 2016.
Watch the trailer for Savva: A Warrior’s Tale here: