Directed by Chuck Sheetz, featuring the voices of Andy Lawrence, James Woods, Melissa Joan Hart, Pam Segall and Peter Mac Nicol.
Adults these days are spoilt. Thanks to media-savvy kids films like 'Toy Story' and 'Shrek', taking children to the cinema has never been so enjoyable. Trust Disney to turn up and ruin the party. Their new animated film, 'Recess: School's Out', is bereft of any entertainment for people who have reached puberty.
Based on the TV show of the same name, 'Recess: School's Out' tells the story of a group of friends who set out to foil the dastardly Dr Benedict (James Woods), and his plan to cancel summer vacation by moving the moon with a laser.
T.J. Detweiler (Andy Lawrence) is the cocky leader of the bunch, a prepubescent Ferris Bueller without the charm. He leads this gang of smug urchins on an adventure to save the kids of America from year round school, clashing with teachers, parents and bizarrely, ninjas, along the way.
Where the film sticks to its brief, to entertain children, it is moderately successful. The problem is that it frequently becomes sidetracked with attempts at nudge-nudge, wink-wink humour. This humour is directed over the heads of the kids, in a fruitless attempt to keep the adults occupied with a string of cack-handed pastiches of classic films, including 'Patton', 'Indiana Jones' and 'Easy Rider'.
The animation is pointedly not up to Disney's usual slick standard. They have embraced the rough style that 'Rugrats' and 'South Park' championed, but forgot to include the intelligence, humour and wit of those films. The usual bland collection of indeterminable, drab accents are also present, with the exception of a criminally wasted James Woods, who appears to be struggling to muster the requisite motivation to deliver some frankly laughable dialogue.
There is probably enough in the film to distract kids for the duration, but adults will start fidgeting after about fifteen minutes. If the kids have seen 'Shrek' and the other family fare this summer then it might be worth sending them along, but do yourself a favour and hire a babysitter to take them. At least they'll be getting paid to sit through it.