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STUDIO: Peace Arch Home Entertainment
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
“From the producers who saw Shrek 1-3.”
Seriously? Nobody you’ve hear of, in Spanish OR in English. As for characters… a plethora of Spaniards (including Don Q and Sancho P), barnyard fauna (“The donkey says HEE-HAW!”), a lion (?), and one rabid weasel (???).
“Once upon a time, the most famous knight errant (the one and only Don Quixote) is in search of true love… accompanied by Sancho (his squire who wants to be mayor), his brave and valiant stead, his terrifying bodyguard… and a donkey who thinks he’s a horse.”
Just as the trailer narration alludes, the title character (Sancho’s borrowed mount and Dreamworks-livestock wannabe, Rucio) is an afterthought in this feature, and in my opinion, just another “character” in a revolving door of flat jokes, non-events, and an utter waste of the medium.
Let’s delve into the “why”, shall we?
Zach and Miri Make a Porno: The Animated Series? … If only…
The dreaded “WHY”…
1] Poorly placed pop tunes, and covers at that. “Born Free”? Really?
2] A lack of focus. Don Quixote already had his story told. Who’s the main character here? Rucio (more the narrator than main character) drops out for long sequences.
3] Telling a story where nothing much actually requires the art of animation besides talking animals (and Babe and others proves this isn’t the case). So much effort goes into creating an animated feature. Make it worth that effort.
4] Generally unremarkable-to-terrible jokes overall (a Shrek reference? UGH), but the inclusion of racier gags like a Crying Game “homage” involving a cross-dressing horse, or a rooster landing in a puddle of piss, is off-putting here and reeks of trying too hard.
5] I don’t care about Don’s quest for Dulcinea in this (since it is kind of a sequel to Cervantes’ masterpiece and you get zero insight into their “relationship” here).
6] Give me giants and monsters (hallucinations or not) that the single dream sequence hinted it! Bastards! That would have been something to show of the medium. Gilliam wouldn’t have let me down in that area.
7] Donkey X requires me to admit “Quest for Camelot isn’t this bad”.
There were NO
Mutant beast of burden Super Soldiers anywhere through the running time,
as the title might suggest.
“There. You see, Lord Vader, she CAN be reasonable. Continue with the production of the animated film, Donkey X… You may FAIL when ready.”
“Don’t you have anything nice to say?” my Mother’s voice brays from the back of my melted brain (I feel as if I’ve been donkey-punched). Well, Mom… The joust-tournie climax does ramp up the adrenaline a tad, but mostly comes off as blatant Knight’s Tale thievery. The look of the film (which is arguably nothing new, see also the superior Happily N’Ever After) is pleasing enough. The characters are all cleanly designed, the backdrops are picturesque, and the animation gets the job done just fine. But if this DVD has any virtue at all… it inspired me to finally rearrange my Netflix queue and sit down and watch O’ Toole and Loren in Man of La Mancha. Do yourself a favor, and check that classic out instead. It’s brilliant and moving, and a tale worth telling. Donkey X dreams the impossible dream, but wakes up looking like an ass (as stated previously, “The donkey says HEE-HAW!”).
After my agonizing second viewing (once was more than enough, but I watched this flick twice in order to get screengrabs), I was longing for Rankin/Bass tv specials. Not just because of Donkey X‘s alternate take on a famous tale, or even due to the donkey, but because R/B specials had quality voice actors (how I do miss Paul Frees), songs to massage over any boring exposition, economical storytelling (most were under 50 minutes), and plenty of charm.
This “Donkey Show” is just NOT worth the price of admission.
“At last we will reveal ourselves to the CHUD DVD Review staff. At last we will have our revenge…”
Ooh… You get the opportunity to watch the so-so voice acting in 2 languages (strangely, it looks like the English was the original lip-synched track). Oh, and a TRAILER! Navidad came early this year!!! The only elements of the film for which I actually had any interest/admiration (design and animation) alas, were not granted a single gallery or featurette to showcase these processes.
The cover art is appropriate (even if the title is not) and the amray case does a fine job of keeping the attracted flies away from the manure-fragrant disc inside.
Even Donkey X‘s characters offer commentary on this DVD’s value. Straight from the horse’s mouth… er… or cock’s thumb?