Delgo turns out to be uninspiring
By G. Michael Dobbs
An animated feature and a comedy series from Great Britain are the featured DVDs this week.
This animated feature has a dubious distinction as being one of the greatest flops in recent theatrical releasing. With an insufficient marketing plan "Delgo" made little impression with audiences when the independent film - first started in 1999 - was released last December.
One of the problems with the recent glut of computer-animated features is that with so many of them, audiences really need to be impressed. Few studios cans match the near flawless design and animation quality set by Pixar and therefore more modestly budgeted features such as "Delgo" need elements to set it apart. Those elements could include an original story and an intriguing visual design.
I would like to write that "Delgo" has those two distinctions, but it really doesn't. The story is fairly standard for a fantasy: young lovers are able to unite two warring nations and find real peace. The look of the film is more interesting. It has a subdued color palette and the look seems to be inspired by artists such as Arthur Rackham and Maxfield Parrish.
The design of the characters is fairly odd. "Delgo" looks like some sort of cross between a lizard and an ape. The princess looks more ape-like and neither facial design is very expressive.
The trouble is that "Delgo" just seems to be too familiar with the story cobbled together with bits of other films. Great animation and design can sometimes hide a lackluster story, but "Delgo" is not strong enough in those departments to do so. "Delgo isn't horrible. It just isn't good enough to warrant much attention.
The voice cast is typical in that name actors were used for some sort of box office appeal. While some of them are just fine in their roles, Chris Kattan, as the hero's comic relief sidekick, is absolutely horrible in his derivative voice and poorly written role.
Is "Delgo" worth your time? Young viewers might enjoy the film. Its PG rating is for the battle scenes, by the way. "Delgo" does buck a trend in recent animation by having only one flatulence joke.
Extras include a short from the same studio that was actually cute and the usual behind-the-scenes material.
Manstrokewoman: The Complete Series
This highly successful British comedy series was produced by one of the people responsible for "The IT Crowd" and "The Office," and such a pedigree inspired great anticipation in me.
Alas, I was disappointed to say the least. It simply wasn't funny.
The show is comprised of quick skits some just 30 seconds in length that are about relationships between men and women. The cast, including Nick Frost of "Shaun of the Dead," are all competent enough but the material is substandard. The quick pace of the show doesn't help it at times. Some of the gags are so short you literally miss them.
I chuckled rarely and I had anticipated a laugh riot.