The Incredible Story of The Giant Pear - Movie Review

Friday, June 21, 2019

In Sunnytown, the sun shines bright. The mayor, JB, is loved by all, especially by his two good friends, Sebastion and Mithco. After disappearing under suspicious circumstances, the hot-tempered vice mayor, Mr. Twig is put in charge and immediately greenlights a new town hall that is so tall that it blocks the sun from shining in Sunnytown. While complaining about the current situation to Mithco, they discover a message in a bottle that turns out to be from the missing mayor JB, proving he is still alive and sending the duo on a grand adventure.

I discovered this film while browsing on Netflix. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out that it was a dub until after watching it and I had trouble finding the original with subs. I find this important to mention especially when speaking of the story because I believe the main problem with this movie is that there were too many things lost during translation.

Overall, the story is your typical kids' film that sends a few characters on a journey and they (surprise) learn and discover things about the world and themselves. It feels like it was put together in sections, like puzzle pieces, and, sadly, not all fit. In particular, there is a scene involving a “pitch-black sea” that is full of ghosts. While it stands out as one of the most beautiful parts of the movie, it does not add anything to the story. This part of the film proved very troublesome for me, as I struggled to find some sort of meaning for it. Yes, it does have a few good lessons in it, and also seems to allude to rising from depression after LOTS of pondering. However, I fully believe that if you removed it from the film, you wouldn’t be missing anything. I really hope to watch a subbed version someday, as I think that would probably fill in the gaps left by the English dub and I do believe that if you love animation, this film is worth watching solely for this scene (even though, as mentioned, it adds nothing).

The animation style is super cute and reminded me of the Calico Critters toys. The tiniest details, like Mithco’s fur (dry and wet), the way the water moved, and the light effects were just beautiful and made me ridiculously happy. I also found the building cut-aways that showed everything to be incredibly satisfying.

The characters themselves are mostly enjoyable. Sebastion, an elephant, is cautious and pessimistic. I found him and many of his reactions extremely relatable. Mithco is an adorable and energetic cat, who, in many ways, is the polar opposite of Sebastion. JB is very calm and friendly and Professor Glucose is a bit aloof and goofy at times. I did not particularly care for the pirates and only after several watches did I begin to appreciate Ulysses (his dragon is cool, though). Also, the tub guy, whom everyone who watched this film with me seemed not to notice, was probably my favorite character (other than Sebastion and Mithco of course). Another interesting thing and something I have seemed mentioned in other reviews is the mentality of all of the adults. They do not behave the way you would expect and seem to view the world as a child would.

Now, during my first few watches of The Incredible Story of The Giant Pear, I assumed it was PG. It was not until I began researching other info for this review that I became aware that it is actually someone rated TV-G. I disagree with this rating and I think it just BARELY managed to qualify. Those pirates that I mentioned I did not like are the main reason.

The pirates curse and have a song that mentions things they have eaten, including their cook and his mom that goes on to describe how they almost choked on the mother because she was so hairy. Now, to older children and adults...this comes off as a bit funny (good ol’ cannibalism), but this film is deemed acceptable to children as young as five or six years old. My favorite section of the film, the “pitch-black sea” could also be a bit too scary for some children, especially the more sensitive ones. To prove I’m not crazy (since I have no kids and obviously have no right to dictate what is good for them) I actually found a website that showed the opinions of parents and the age they thought this film would be appropriate. The general consensus? Ten years and up. Don’t let the cute animation fool you.

Even with all of its flaws (and mostly because of how pretty it is), I found this film very enjoyable. In fact, I have watched it at least six times now...and I think it is safe to say it is currently one of my favorite things to have on in the background. I believe this was my introduction to Danish animation and I definitely look forward to exploring more of what they have to offer.

Rating: 6.5/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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