Jasper, Penguin Explorer (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/07/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 82 mins

The animation may not be up to Pixar / Dreamworks standard but this is a charming, nicely dubbed children's adventure with likeable characters and a decent plot.

What's it all about?
Directed by Eckart Fingberg and Kay Delventhal, Jasper, Penguin Explorer (also known as Jasper: Journey to the End of the World) is a German animated adventure based on a children's TV series. Jasper (Rick Adams) is a young penguin born with a sense of adventure and a conviction that another world exists out there beyond the ice caps of the South Pole.

When exotic Agent Kakapo (Rob Rackstram) washes up on the ice, Jasper and his little brother Junior agree to help him and soon find themselves aboard an ocean liner where they join forces with the captain's daughter Emma (Kate Rawlings) and attempt to rescue some stolen Kakapo eggs from the clutches of the evil Dr Block (Steve Hudson).

The Good
Jasper, Penguin Explorer is a vast improvement on previous dubbed European animated adventures (e.g. Terkel in Trouble, The Ugly Duckling and Me, Free Jimmy), which have been uniformly terrible. For one thing, the dubbing is excellent and someone has taken a bit of time on the script and translation, Having Agent Kakapo sing 'I'm Just A Kakapo' to the tune of Louis Prima's 'I'm Just a Gigolo' is a stroke of genius, even if Rackstram doesn't quite have the singing voice to carry it off.

The characters are likeable (Rackham is clearly doing a slightly rubbish Dustin Hoffman impression as Kakapo) and the plot has some nice ideas, such as the fact that Dr Block plans to use the easily-frightened Kakapo eggs as the secret ingredient in lemonade, so as to make children too afraid to disobey their parents.

The Bad
The animation may be crude compared to Pixar and Dreamworks standard, but the character designs are appealing and the film retains the feel of an illustrated children's storybook throughout.

Worth seeing?
Jasper, Penguin Explorer is a likeable animated adventure that should appeal to its target audience of very young children and might even surprise a few dragged-along adults into the bargain.

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Content updated: 19/07/2018 01:06

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