Condorito: The Movie (2017)
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I grew up reading Condorito and it's character and humour proved to be complicated to translate to cinematographic language. Rarely do we see Condorito involved in large story lines as it's a character (and a universe) that works better when its self-contained to gags.
Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable, familiar comedy... at least for latinamericans. Maybe someone outside the specific demographic will struggle to get any of the jokes as they are, most probably, lost in translation. It's worth the ticket price and it's worth its run-time.
Considering that it's a very old comic, is not surprising that most of its humor could be seen as way too childish and simple for modern audiences (Some jokes occasionally include elements of adult humor and innuendo, though.) I enjoyed reading it during my childhood, and I still enjoy reading it from time to time even when the issues produced in the recent years had a severe decline in quality.
With that being said, I only had very low expectations towards this movie: The first promotional images looked awful (I'm glad that those early versions of the main characters were changed for the actual movie, since the original CGI versions of Condorito and Coné were both Uncanny Valley nightmares.) and the teaser trailers looked forgettable at best.
However, when I finally decided to give it a chance, this animation turned out to be an acceptable adaptation of its source material. The plot it's a bit too childish and the CGI was quite average, but there were more than one scene where it managed to make me chuckle in the same way the comic does.
As it was expected, a couple of elements from the original comic (like some jokes that would be considered inappropriate or politically incorrect for modern audiences) are toned down here, and like in many other animated films from the recent years, there were a couple of obligatory sappy sentimental moments, but the overall result was still adequate.
In my opinion, the most negative aspect from the movie was the voice of the main character, which felt a little bit awkward in more than one scene and didn't fit his personality. It was a minor detail, but I can understand why it would bother some viewers.
Another negative aspect is that the movie only focuses in a reduced number of characters from the original comic (The most easily recognizable ones) in order to give more screen-time to the new characters. I guess this detail could be forgiven for the sake of narrative, but at least some cameos of some secondary characters would have been nice (Of all those secondary characters, only one of them appears in a non-speaking role)
Despite that, I still appreciate the overall result. Adapting a character like Condorito to big screen in a way it appeals to modern audiences while keeping its very particular identity wasn't an easy task (And let's be honest here: This movie could have been way worse) but it managed to be an OK flick for kids.
I guess for those viewers who never read the original comics or those viewers who are aware of the existence of the comics but simply don't care about this, this might be just another generic CGI movie with very little to offer. But for those viewers who grew up reading Condorito comic, this might be at least a somewhat interesting watch.
And for all its flaws, I definitely enjoyed this far more than the atrocious "Boss Baby" mess from Dreamworks.
In the movie the unique thing that has relation with Condorito is the name and his friends, but absolutely any more. The history could have been called Pepito Perez and there would not be any difference. Personally I feel deceived when I saw the movie and see that the developed argument does not have absolutely to do with the personage. I do not recommend it at all.
If you still want to see it, have an open mind that the plot is developed with the personages of the cartoon but history could have developed for anybody.
Condorito The Movie does not do this. Instead they opt for a Lord of The Rings-style opening, then the movie jumps to present time where Condorito and his friends, his nephew, his girlfriend Yayita and mother, and his archrival Pepe all know each other. Next thing you know, though, the narrative has moved into outer space.
Why not show how Condorito met his friends, their adventures in sleepy Pelotillehue, and how he and Yayita met and became a couple? This last one is important because it has so much potential: she's respectable, attractive and fashionable, while Condorito is a happy-go-lucky guy with no ambition who lives in a shack. That would have been great! The comics don't provide their origins because each strip was an independent joke, but since this is a 90-minute movie the filmmakers could have set up a bona-fide franchise by starting at the beginning. This is why this movie feels like a sequel; the creators made the choice to skip conventional storytelling and set an adventure in outer space. It does have its funny moments, I'll admit, but I keep thinking about what could have been.
On another note, I think we should have all had the pleasure of watching this movie with the original Chilean voices. I don't know why they re-dubbed it with Mexican voice-actors for North America. I don't think Pixar is re-dubbing Coco with South American voices for that market. We should have heard the originals!
Hey Pajarraco Films, it doesn't mean it's over. Paddington 2 is universally acknowledged to be better than the first, so you can do better.