StarDog and TurboCat
Director Ben Smith calls on Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) to front StarDog and TurboCat, a story of unlikely friendship and heroism in the face of adversity. But the talented cast can’t save this dog’s dinner of a feel-good animation about a dog shot into space only to come crashing down to a pet-free Earth.
Gratingly unfunny, with scant charm, StarDog and TurboCat are unlovable and forgettable. The film’s tagline runs “The greatest superheroes ever unleashed”, but the stars are chained to a vapid plot and a script bereft of wit. The film’s wearisome descent into mediocrity is all the more ironic, and unforgivable, given the boundless potential of its supernatural leads.
TurboCat, real name Felix, is a technological whizz with trust issues: basically Batman, but feline. Stardog (aka Buddy), meanwhile, is trusting to a fault, with a can-do attitude. Their paths collide when Buddy’s space shuttle crashes back down to earth. But nothing is familiar to our protagonist, and the mood in town is decidedly suspect. Enter Felix, to swiftly bring our hero up to speed on what’s happened in the intervening time between his lift-off and crash landing.
The pair must work together to save themselves, as well as a town that has fallen out of love with animals. As they struggle to form a fruitful working relationship and win the interest of audiences, the pair enlist the help of the headstrong rabbit Cassidy (Gemma Arterton) and the scientist cat Sinclair, voiced suitably by a dour Bill Nighy.
There’s little chemistry between any characters, which will leave audiences disinclined to adopt the lead duo into their hearts. Good family cartoons usually lean heavily on the relationships they portray, with their cute dialogue and warming familiarity. But StarDog’s shuttle seems to have parachuted him onto a world without either the warmer aspects of family entertainment or the ingenuity to keep it interesting.
StarDog and TurboCat is released nationwide on 6th December 2019.
Watch the trailer for StarDog and TurboCat here: