As a parent, one of the funniest sights I've ever seen in a cinema occurred many years ago as I returned to my seat from a trip to the jacks while attending a certain animated movie with my then four-year-old son. As the light flicked bright and dull, all I could see were rows of wide-eyed kids and an equal amount of dozed-out parents. It was the one fun moment on an otherwise mind-numbing trip to the cinema.
Now, The Nut Job is far from a tedious film, but it does fall down on the fact that there's not a lot of stimulation in it for adults. If I was a five-year-old, and that's sadly not going to happen again, I think I'd lap it up.
The story follows the fortunes of a group of wild animals in a city centre park. Surly is a squirrel (voiced by Will Arnett) who has forsaken the community of wildlife and lives a selfish independent life on the fringes. When Raccoon (Liam Neeson), the leader of the park's animals, informs the rest of the group that they don't have enough food to last the winter, squirrels Greyson (Brendan Fraser) and Andie (Katherine Heigl) go to raid a nut cart situated just outside the park. Only thing is, Surly's got there first.
A major catastrophe follows, resulting in Surly being banished from the park. In the city he discovers the shop where the nut cart comes from, and a caper ensues involving a bunch of bank robbers, a dog, and lots of furry creatures.
Sure, you could drive a 40-foot container through the plot, but it bounces along quite pleasantly and youngsters should enjoy it. Okay, it's not The Lego Movie or anything like that standard, but it is fun, and can teach kids a few lessons about sharing and community. Nothing wrong with that, folks.