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Laugh, Awe and Hurrah with The Willoughbys

Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Share:
The Mary Poppins-inspired Nanny and the Willy Wonka of this world, Commander Melanoff (Terry Crews), who could just be zany one-dimensional fantasy figures, have nuance and depth. Netflix

Netflix has once again brought its subscribers fun for the whole family with its latest animated feature The Willoughbys. It is a mixture of gags, kooky humours and charms, and despite a bit of darkness, has great messages through a heartfelt adventure.

The film, starting with the opening by a talking blue tabby cat and the narrator, tells the stories of the Willoughbys, once an adventurous family but now becoming bizarrely strange in the modern world. Mr and Mrs Willoughbys (Martin Short and Jane Krakowski) have been so obsessed with their love that they ignored their children: Tim (Will Forte), the rational eldest child, Jane (Alessia Cara) and Barnaby A and Barnaby B (Seán Cullen), the creepy twin boys and the youngest of the family.

The new animated movie The Willoughbys is currently the #1 project on Netflix and the film has a star-studded cast. Netflix

No longer able to stand their parents’ behavior, the kids attempt to orphan themselves. To get rid of their parents, they fabricate a travel brochure of volcanoes, bears, and other hazards to send their parents on a “murderous vacation”. However, as the children celebrate their freedom, they have not known that their parents have hired Linda (Maya Rudolph), an eccentric nanny, to take care and later win over everyone but Tim. However, Linda, also an orphan when she was a young girl, eventually helps them discover a new life and a real family with assistance from joyous Commander Melanoff (Terry Crews), the owner of a candy factory.

Let’s begin with the plot, which is based on the book by the same name by Lois Lowry. Children wanting to see their parents dead does sound gloomy to be in a PG film, but this unique part does reflect on the psychology of abused children in society. In addition, through this terrible family, one can understand what a good family should look like. The Willoughbys family is charming, offering moment-by moment gags such as how the nanny triggers a car pileup whenever she crosses the street and so on. Despite being a comedy by nature, ‘The Willoughbys’ also offers several tear-jerking occasions, which make people think twice on the significance of family.

The graphics are excellent, with the entire film looking like a walking picture book. Designed by Craig Kellman, the man behind the characters for DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar and Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, the characters are unique fitting the setting and give a lot to the film. Terry Crews, though only giving voice in his role, does a great job as the funny candy factory owner, a sort of Willy Wanka adaptation.

Meanwhile. the composer Mark Mothersbaugh contributes a jazzy score and original song that punctuate the giddy mood. It will not be strange if you cry while listening to the original soundtrack.

To sum up, The Willoughbys is a perfect watch for families during the lockdown.


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