This animated retelling of the story of Robinson Crusoe is suitable only for the smallest children still undiscriminating enough to be distracted by bright colors, clichéd slapstick shenanigans of talking cartoon animals, and the sort of simplistic wordplay that presumes you’ve only just discovered idioms (“We’ll make them pay,” the feline villain cackles. “How much are we charging them?” her dimbulb sidekick wonders). This isn’t so much the story of Crusoe (the voice of Yuri Lowenthal) as that of the animals on the small island upon which he is shipwrecked, including parrot Tuesday (David Howard); oddly, there is only one of each kind of animal, so how this community sustains itself is a mystery. All depictions of peril—such as the storm that stranded Crusoe—and all expressions of despair and loneliness come at purely toddler-appropriate levels, and the biggest moment of drama or surprise is when Crusoe comes to the conclusion that he had probably better build himself a shelter. The makers of the Madagascar series and The Secret Life of Pets don’t need to lose any sleep over the competition.
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