But in comparison to The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Napoleon is significantly lesser in quality for a lot of reasons.
Although The Adventures of Milo and Otis wasn't perfect, the story was a lot more believable than the one in Napoleon which is ridiculous in many areas. But then again, with a film like Napoleon you have to be able to sacrifice reasonable thought to truly enjoy the film. And for what it's worth, it's ok, but Napoleon is still far from perfect.
The footage in Napoleon isn't perfect, but it is full of cute creatures and nice Australian scenery which makes it a rather nice visual experience. It is a gentle one with a story which is thin, but touching. It is simply a tale about a young boy who goes on a journey only to realise that he misses his mother and turns it all around. So it is a very cliche one, but the simple fact that the protagonist is a golden retriever puppy dog should appeal to animal lovers.
Napoleon isn't the best film, but it is a well created one. It is composed almost entirely of a lot of animal footage which is combined into 81 minutes and a single narrative to tell the story of Muffin or Napoleon as he journeys across Australia to discover what he is looking for. All of the appeal in the film is reliant on how the audience interprets the visual aspects of the film. Viewers who can appreciate the cutsie animals, the Australian scenery and the way that the story is created out of a series of random shots of animals strung together into a story will be able to appreciate it, while others that find the concept juvenile and artificial will not enjoy it. All in all, I didn't really enjoy Napoleon because it felt like it stretched its thin concept a lot further than it could actually handle and so towards the end it feels more repetitive and slow than it had actually been up until that point.
The entire film felt like one big segment from Play School because the entire idea was very childish and the atmosphere didn't feel like a legitimate film. It felt like a segment from an ABC tv show that was stretched too far for its own good, played on tv and ended up on VHS sitting on a shelf at your local library waiting for someone to purchase it. Napoleon did not feel like a film, it felt like an extended episode of a child's TV show, and if it actually was that then it would at least have the ability to justify itself. But as a feature film which somehow has a budget of $4.3 million, it is hard to understand how because the question of where all the money went actually bewilders me. It couldn't have gone into the visual effects because the obvious blue screen moments are low quality, and the animal training isn't strong enough to constitute $4.3 million.
The problem is that the film is a little bit too juvenile. While Napoleon has a cute premise as an addition to the animal journey genre of films, it reduces the quality of the story by having the creatures talk. In contrast to the superior film The Adventures of Milo and Otis where the entire film was narrated by Dudley Moore or to the infinitely superior Two Brothers where there was no dialogue or narration from the characters and it was entirely reliant on the silent footage of the characters against the backdrop of the footage and the musical score. In Napoleon, the characters all talk and the dialogue they have is very juvenile and isn't that funny or that cute. Clearly Napoleon couldn't survive without the dialogue because the footage is limited, but the dialogue isn't one of the more aspects of the film. The story in Napoleon is already thin enough, and the script deals it no justice and does nothing to strengthen in or make it much funnier, except to the youngest of children who are watching this film. I'll admit that I found the film to be rather cute because of all the animals and because of its childish nature, but the dialogue in the film was really poorly conceived and did not pay any favours to the story, not to mention the fact that the characters' mouths don't even move when they speak so it seems more artificial than it already is.
Napoleon is clearly a film which has the power to appeal to kids, but the markets above that are less likely to feel the same effect because there isn't a whiff of intelligence or originality in the film. I may be putting a bit much criticism on a film about a talking dog, but there are many other films in the genre that did it better such as The Adventures of Milo and Otis or Two Brothers because those are so much superior in visual quality and less juvenile due to the absence of cheaply constructed dialogue. Napoleon has the colour and the cute creatures necessary for the film, and although I can tolerate the fact that it really doesn't have that much heart to it, I struggle to deal with its lack of humour. Napoleon makes the mistake of thinking that it is funny a bit too often, and it makes use of one too many childish jokes to really harness its potential.
So all in all, by the standards of the genre, Napoleon is not one of the better animal adventure films. It has cute animals and nice scenery, but instead of feeling like a film about an adventure, it feels simply like a juvenile extended TV special with a lot of golden retriever footage but not enough humour.
This is the story of a Golden Retriever Pup named Napoleon, who gets transported away from his home after climbing into a loosely-tied basket with helium filled balloons. He gets into all kinds of trouble, eventually ending up stuck in outback Australia. Along his journey, he finds a mentor named Birdo, who tags along with him and helps him as he makes his way home.
There are heaps of animals encountered along the way. They include: an evil cat, a lazy koala, a conniving spider, a flamboyant kangaroo, a grouchy frill-necked lizard, playful dingo pups, and hilarious penguins. My goodness was it riveting to see as a child. I haven't seen the film in years, yet I haven't forgotten a thing. napoleon
The cinematography is magnificent. I could imagine how difficult it would have been to film all of these animals, and have to match human voices to the expressions on their faces. All I know is that it worked, and worked well. I also vividly remember the music to be exciting and make you want to run down the backyard and explore.
If you're not a fan of children's movies, then stay clear of Napoleon. If you have children, buy this film as soon as you can! What may not seem like much to adults can be a the most exciting, entertaining thing in the world to kids. Napoleon is just that, exciting.
a wonderful adventure for the kids and quite the educational treat
it covers both the pup's incredible journey of self-discovery and the outskirts of the Australian outback
I'll be honest though: the songs are pretty bad for the most part
the voice acting is just ok
plus it's amazing to much of a degree these animals were trained to match how the story swent, that alone couldn't have been easy
the puppy himself is an incredible lead while also interacting with the wildlife
all dog-lovers must watch this movie!!!