This is a user-submitted post by Rachel Wagner.
Animation is my passion so I try to keep a pretty good handle on the major and minor releases that come out each week. However, this week a film called Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos caught me off guard. It is an animated film from Mexico that scored a surprise 8th place in the box office over Labor Day weekend. To my surprise, it was playing at a local theater so I decided to give it a watch. It’s somewhat of a strange film but overall I was mildly entertained by it.
Un Gallo is made by Huevocartoon Producciones and is animated with computer graphics and some 2D added in for dream sequences (a little strange the characters dream in 2D, but it works). The animation is pretty good especially considering its meager $5 million budget. It’s bright and the movements feel natural and pleasant to watch. I’ve certainly seen movies with budgets over $100 million that didn’t look half as nice.
To me, Un Gallo is about the same entertainment value as the recent Minions movie. It’s cute, looks nice, and has a few laughs, but the plot is subpar and there are adult humor moments I could do without. The voice cast for Un Gallo features Mexican stars, like Angelica Vale and Sergio Sendel, who all do a fine job. The music by Zacarías M. de la Riva I also enjoyed.
The film tells the story of a rooster named Toto, who is small and ungainly but has dreams of being a fighter in the cockfights downtown. Evidently cockfights are not illegal in Mexico and these fights draw large crowds with huge cash prizes and bets going to the victor. Toto’s boxing mentor is The Red Rooster, who was once great but left the sport under mysterious circumstances. There is also a new star fighter named Bankivoide.
The main comedic element of the film comes from the anthropomorphic eggs that are evidently popular characters in Mexican animation. It’s never really explained why the eggs don’t crack or hatch, so I guess they stay eggs forever? This point was a little unclear. There is also a piece of animated bacon, which I found very strange.
Through various contrivances, the farm is in jeopardy and the animals decide to enter Red Rooster in the cockfights against Bankivoide. Unfortunately the Godfather Egg doesn’t want Bankivoide to fight Red Rooster, but Toto instead. This leads Toto to seek out a duck that defeated Red Rooster using special tactics. They meet a bunch of rapping ducks including one called Snoop Duck. The mentor duck leaves, but they find his trainer egg and he helps get Toto ready for the big fight.
It’s all very predictable and silly, but just nutty enough to be mildly entertaining. I liked Toto as the lead character and found him easy to root for. However, the kids in my audience did not seem to enjoy it and kept having to go in and out and up and down the aisles. (It was a little annoying!)
As a movie fan there were some pretty good in-jokes and references to other movies that made me laugh. I particularly liked the jokes about mob movies and sports movies like Rocky that were weaved into the story. The script isn’t that bad, it’s just in the service of a super corny, played out story.
Unfortunately there are a lot of inappropriate jokes. There is a sexy bird who sings a more than suggestive song about what she wants a rooster to do to her. Then we get jokes about male and female bird anatomy, which are pretty tasteless. Most of that will go over kid’s heads, but I still hated it.
That said, if your kids speak Spanish or are learning Spanish it may be a good experience for them to see a movie in Spanish with English subtitles. Plus, it is an easy way to introduce them to the whole concept of foreign cinema and reading subtitles. If they aren’t old enough to read the subtitles, then the story should be easy enough to understand for them to be engaged.
Like I said, it’s right on the level of Minions. It’s harmless, cute, mildly entertaining animated fair. Nothing more, nothing less. If you have a free afternoon go see it. I’m glad I did.