The Willoughbys

Showing on Netflix UK.

Inspired by Lois Lowry’s book, the Willoughbys tells the story of four children who have the misfortune to be lumbered with two very unloving parents who spend all their energy loving each other leaving them with no love left for their children, this inspires them to hatch a scheme to get themselves adopted in the hope of finding the loving parents they desire.

What that brings us is a fast paced colourful animated adventure, not anything as subtle or original as the best animations that we have got used to from Pixar, but it was a fun 90 minutes nonetheless, from Ricky Gervais’s not overly annoying narrating cat to Maya Rudolph and Terry Crews’s surrogate parent figures who all keep the story moving a long after a sluggish opening and while it has plenty of site gags, the film also does what all good children’s tales do and delves into some darker areas.

The animation is striking with plenty of oversized characters and lots of colour to fill the screen. It should be remembered that the story does explore some dark sides that earn it a PG rating, so perhaps be careful before showing it to the youngest of children.

The Willoughbys is unlikely to win awards for originality but it was, for me, a fun story with plenty of energy, colour and humour to whisk you along and if you’re looking for some lockdown family fun then this may fit the bill.

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