Complete A-Z list

Mia and Me: The Hero of Centopia


Stars: Margot Nuccetelli, David Willetts. Voices: Gedeon Burkhard, Rick Kavanian, Madeleine Levins, Julian Maroun

Director: Adam Gunn

A gooey candy-floss cartoon for pre-schoolers, which begins in live-action, but soon segues into animation.

Mia (Nuccetelli), in the live intro, is a sub-teen living with her granddad (Willetts, who succeeded Michael Crawford as The Phantom of the Opera on the London stage) and currently on holiday with him, but still clutching her magic Centopia book which, thanks to the emerald on her wrist-bracelet, enables her to disappear and travel to a far-away fairyland.

Alas for Centopia, the elves of Lotus Island (should elves have wings?) have been overpowered by smoke emanating from the mouth of escaped villain Toxor (Burkhard), a giant toad. Toxor is the only amusing character in the film, and resembles a mini-version of The Beast on TV's The Chase.

But it's Mia to the rescue, as she flies to the elves of Main Island, and journeys on to Storm Island, ruled by a camp unicorn (Srormzy), who is liable to miniaturise and burst into tears. He's been banished 'cos 'I rained on a parade' he blubs, in one of the movie's few (weak) gags.

Toxor, however, is having none of it, and roars into battle, crying 'Come and get it, you winged worms'. So it's all the more saddening when saccharine-sweet Mia transforms him into a pink and happy version of his former self.

There are one or two rude jokes for (slightly) older children, but the animation is on the jerky side, the voice-work below par and the script excruciating. It even pinches the end from The Wizard of Oz when Mia exclaims 'Oh Grandpa, it's so good to be home'.

David Quinlan

Germany/Australia/India 2022. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour (unspecified).
85 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

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

Review date: 18 Oct 2022