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Playmobil The Movie


Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Gabriel Bateman, Daniel Radcliffe, Karen Strassman, Jim Gaffigan, Kenan Thompson, Adam Lambert

Director: Lino DiSalvo

Given the growing cost of making movies, product placement is becoming increasingly endemic in contemporary films where - presumably - such patent product promotion helps contribute towards the picture's budget.

Nothing particularly innovative there.

But now it would appear that simple product placement isn't enough. Having been treated to The Lego Movie and its sequels, it was inevitable that more movies dedicated to selling toys would make their screen bow.

And so, learning that for more than 45 years 'children have enjoyed' the German-created 3-inch high Playmobil plastic toys, then their big screen debut was inevitable.

And here it is, not so much product placement as dedicated product promotion.

Working from a story by debuting director DiSalvo, screenwriters Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland kick off the story with a live action musical number before seguing into the animated adventures of young Maria and her younger brother Charlie who land up in the 'vast and wondrous world' of Playmobil.

Cue a series of animated adventures catalysed by scads of the eponymous plastic toys who come attractively to life in all sizes and shapes - human, animal, prehistoric and simply weird and wonderful - whose zany antics should entertain easily diverted youngsters while accompanying adults might consider taking a torch and a good book.

Serendipitously Radcliffe, voicing a silly secret agent and carrying on regardless in spite of the fact the Harry Potter is over, is fortunately heard and not seen, in a perfectly predictable children-aimed animated adventure that does exactly what it says on the box but without leaving any really memorable trace.

Alan Frank

France/Germany 2019. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 10 Aug 2019