The advances in animation in the last decade have meant that many of the soft-around-the-edges cartoons that generations grew up on have disappeared off the big screen. With that nostalgia in mind, it's hard to be too mean about 'The Little Polar Bear...', one of those films that will keep the very, very young quiet for a while but offers little to anyone over five.
Already a veteran of small screen and big, tearaway Lars returns with seal pal Robbie and penguin Caruso for a story that takes them very far from their North Pole home. Getting stuck accidentally on a southbound train the trio end up in the Galapagos where new friends, a giant fish and some scientists make sure that there's never a dull moment - for them, anyway.
While cynics would say that the most entertaining thing about this film is the fact that Caruso the penguin sounds remarkably like Tony Montana in 'Scarface' – minus expletives, of course - you have to judge 'The Little Polar Bear...' through eyes of wonder. And there it's still found wanting: too short for older children and not high tempo enough for many younger ones. It's sweet, but there's nothing here to suggest that Lars' rightful home isn't on TV for 15 minutes each weekday. If the makers could up the gag quota and add a little bit of edge they might be on to something because the characters have plenty of potential.
In the meantime, stick with the other deep freeze adventure currently in cinemas.