"Wants to be Finding Nemo in 3D.  Isn’t."

Between them, Pixar, Disney, and Illumination Entertainment (the new kid on the block) have pretty much got the animated film space under wraps.  Their films offer a heady mix of stunning visuals, terrific talent, and story lines that captivate both children and adults in equal measure.  In short, they pretty much have it all.

It’s very difficult therefore, for any independent CGI film to get a look in between the plethora of released from the big three, so when given the option to see ‘A Turtle’s Tale’ I was intrigued – could a small independent film hope to compete with the big boys?

The difficulty faced right off the bat is that where a small live action indie film may be able to uncover exceptional talent on the cheap, CGI relies on pure processing power to look spectacular, and that doesn’t come cheap.  It’s not surprising therefore, that ‘A Turtle’s Tale’ doesn’t live up visually to the likes of ‘Toy Story 3’ and ‘Despicable Me’.  Underwater in 3D is a great idea, and hasn’t been done yet, but I can’t help thinking that Pixar, Disney or Illumination could do it better.

Still though, there was hope.  ‘A Turtle’s Tale’ could have a spell binding story, captivating both the kiddies and the grown ups alike.  Except it didn’t.  Ostensibly the film preaches about the myriad of ways that humans have screwed up the oceans – it might as well be a propaganda film for Greenpeace.  The characters are under developed, there’s very little connection with the story (so much so that the little girl next to me asked her Dad “when’s it over” about two thirds of the way through), and worst of all, for a detail freak like me, the dubbing was all over the shop (the film is original Belgian, which in hindsight explains a lot).

Maybe one day, independent CGI flicks will be able to compete with the big boys.  All ‘A Turtle’s Tale’ tells us however, is that that day is not today.