Posted September 9, 2017 by Chris Hick in Film Reviews

Spark (2016) Blu-ray Review

Spark (2016), also known as Spark: A Space Tail is the latest science-fiction – (computer) animated mash-up. A Canadian-South Korean co-production, it generated unfavorable reviews on its release. Made by ToonBox, the same makers who brought us the 2014 film, The Nut Job, the plot centers on Spark (voiced by Jace Norman), a monkey boy who is from an abandoned and destroyed planet, brought to its end by intergalactic super-villain Zhong who creates black holes from farts by a giant docile space kraken. Spark escaped the destruction, but his parents are killed in the destruction (cue Disney premise of parental loss). Spark has dreams of being a hero and learns martial arts but is defeated by his feline foxy friend, Vix (Jessica Biel). He has another friend, the big friendly giant wart hog Chunk (Rob de Leeuw) who is also an inventor and mechanic. Together they all live on a garbage dump. Zhong now plans to dominate the whole universe and in his desire to be a hero Spark makes his way onto Zhong’s spaceship where he finds an unlikely ally in Zhong’s similarly simian Queen (Hilary Swank). He finds a way to try and defeat Zhong’s army and bring about happiness.

The plot and everything about this animated film is like a third rate Star Wars saga but with the inclusion of the cast from the awful Space Chimps (1998). The film doesn’t even make any attempt to disguise it’s Star Wars rip-offs. The monkey army of Zhong meanwhile look like monkeys that have stepped into the uniforms out of the original 1930s Buck Rogers. Meanwhile Spark’s weapon looks suspiciously like a light sabre version of a wakarishin, whereas Spark himself doubles as the orphaned Luke Skywalker in search of parent figures. The list it references and other similarities to the Star Wars saga goes on. This also extends to the well executed and animated space sequences and the extra attention to detail paid to the craft. I’d like to know how all the creatures are able to comfortably breathe in space though.

While the quality of the animation is high in many of the sequences I don’t believe I have seen a film where the obvious moments of 3D effects are literally so much in your face, as though it’s trying to disguise the film’s shortcomings. Like an over sweet desert is sickly, too much of a good thing is bad. Other members of the voice cast include Susan Sarandon and Patrick Stewart.

There are no extras on the disc.

Chris Hick


Chris Hick