Mak the multi-coloured parrot finds paradise a bore.
Food is in plenty, peace prevails, there’s companionship with an assortment of
animals, it’s an idyllic existence. Except that Mak believes there’s an
exciting world that exists outside their little island.
When Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked along with his
dog, only Mak is curious to explore the possibilities. The other animals are
wary and two vicious cats who’ve also survived the shipwreck convince them that
Crusoe is up to no good. But in an attack by the cats, Mak finds a friend in
Crusoe and his dog. Mak even likes being called Tuesday, the new name Crusoe
has given him. As he tells the other cryptic animals, this human saved my life
and his dog even gave up his life to save me from the cats.
It takes a while but clumsy, klutzy and kind Crusoe
soon wins them all over. Though he pines to be back in England watching the sun
set over the Thames, he makes himself comfortable in his new home. The animals
who like having him around, pitch in to help him build a tree house for all of
them, and it’s a united front that finally stands up to the wily, vicious cats.
The animation is technically sound and the voice-overs
are all conventionally appropriate. But two directors, Vincent Kesteloot and
Ben Stassen, and three writers, Lee Christopher, Domonic Paris and Graham
Weldon, have crafted a film that’s immensely childish.
It starts off with a pirate attack but that’s only a
springboard for telling the story of Crusoe and his animal friends. And that’s
just it. There’s nothing more to it than a motley bunch of cute animals.
For a film that doesn’t hold the interest of anybody
who’s more than six years old, The Wild
Life gets a 2* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author