The Little Engine That Could (2011)
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Critic Reviews for The Little Engine That Could
Audience Reviews for The Little Engine That Could
The story is familiar to anyone who has been a child the last few generations. It's a simplistic tale really about perseverance, so when this film was announced, I was a bit skeptical on how it would turn out. It actually isn't that bad. A few strong points of the film start out with the strong voice cast. Star power in animation only works when the caliber actors act the part instead of putting themselves in animated shoes and being more "themselves" than the character. That has been my issue with more than a few animated pictures, but here it wasn't. Not even once. However, the drawback is only a few of them are memorable. The main character of the show, the Little Engine, along with Rusty the broken down "dream hauler" and the menacing Nightmare Train. Everyone else just falls in the background and there truly isn't enough plot to care for them much. The story also is typical, but it works. An alternate world of trains that deliver "dreams" to the real world via a tunnel that gets blocked off when a real boy enters their realm. Been there, seen that. It really wouldn't work for a more sophisticated story, but it fit here. Really the wind up is "If you think you can, you will. If you think you can't, you won't", a phrase that basically sums up the majority of childrens films. Visually, you've seen better CGI, and thats really the main criticism. I know its a lower budget film than something like Pixar, so that alone wont cause me to knock the film, but there could have been ways to make it a bit more polished instead of the blow up computer images being used. It's mostly for littler children, if you're over about 7 or 8 you'll get bored with multiple viewings. But there are a couple of things to take away from it. It's a fun experience if nothing else.
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