FILM / Critical round-up

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'The animation is quite good enough to sustain it entertainingly, the story is taken from one of Diana Young's well-respected children's books, and only the proliferation of ghastly American voices on the soundtrack gets one irritable, Robin Williams as bat and all.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'Visually, FernGully seems to have been designed by the makers of our most hideous greetings cards . . . Even Disney's animators in Fantasia - practised hands at kitsch vegetation - never created a forest so twee.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Infantile environmentalism has never been so gloopily catered for than in this ideologically sound animated film.' Nigella Lawson, Daily Telegraph

'The film is a trades fair of rainforest archetypes and stereotypes.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times


'(Director) Srinivas Krishna brings little rhythm or visual sparkle to this chaos: while stimulating to think about, especially for Asian communities, Masala remains dreadfully dull to watch. Except, that is, for Saeed Jaffrey.' Geoff Brown, Times

'The film switches from the surreal to the stagey and gently comical with a glorious disregard for the conventions it employs. The transition is not always smooth, but the film's vigour overrides any shortcomings.' Nigella Lawson, Daily Telegraph

'Masala might have been a Canadian My Beautiful Laundrette. Instead it is more like two hours of watching undersize story ideas spin around in a greyish lather.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'The film is a little too long, often uneven and sometimes predictably cussed. But it is also adventurous, brave and very lively indeed.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian