Inside Out meets Monsters, Inc, Dreambuilders follows a young girl called Minna (Robyn Dempsey), who gains access to her Instagram-obsessed stepsister Jenny’s (Emma Jenkins) dreams in order to understand her unruly behaviour. Jenny is a million light years away from Minna. She is self-important, savvy and claims to have better fashion sense than her easygoing sibling – but her attitude does not last for long. During a brief spell in purgatory, Jenny realises there is much more to humanity than meets the eye and, as a result, changes her ways.
In an age where animated films regularly tackle grown-up themes, Dreambuilders opts for the opposite. Primarily aimed at a younger audience, the plot explores the ups and downs of Jenny and Minna’s relationship. The family sequences are what anchor the film and give it its edge; Jenny’s entry into Minna’s life brings drama and conflict sorely lacking in Minna’s mundane dreams.
The story is augmented by the onscreen colour palette: Minna’s yellow jumper conveys her sunny personality, while Jenny’s blue portrays her angst and emotional turbulence. The stunning use of Scandi-pop music gives Dreambuilders a promising set-up with a melancholic gloss that holds its audience all the way through the opening credits, but the ambiance soon shifts and becomes somewhat humdrum. This is a film that clearly celebrates the power of the imagination, and it has some memorable moments, but it drags.
Dreambuilders is released nationwide on 16th November 2020.
Watch the trailer for Dreambuilders here: