Playmobil: The Movie

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Playmobil: The Movie
Playmobil2019Teaser.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed byLino DiSalvo
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Blaise Hemingway
  • Greg Erb
  • Jason Oremland
Story byLino DiSalvo
Based onPlaymobil
Starring
Music byHeitor Pereira
Edited byMaurissa Horwitz
Production
company
Distributed byPathé Distribution
Release date
  • 7 August 2019 (2019-08-07) (France)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryFrance[2]
Budget$75 million[3]
Box office$12.3 million[4][5]

Playmobil: The Movie is a 2019 English-language French animated adventure comedy film based on the German building toy Playmobil. The film is directed by Lino DiSalvo, in his directorial debut, written by Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb and Jason Oremland, and produced by On Animation Studios. The film stars the voices of Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Bateman, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson, Meghan Trainor, and Daniel Radcliffe.

Playmobil: The Movie was released in France on 7 August 2019 by Pathé, in the United Kingdom on 9 August 2019 by StudioCanal UK and is scheduled for release in the United States on 6 December 2019 by STXfilms. The film received negative reviews from critics, who compared it unfavourably to The Lego Movie.

Plot[edit]

Marla is a formerly free-spirited girl who has grown up to be responsible yet overprotective in order to care for her brother Charlie, who has grown lonely and disconnected from her after the death of their parents. One night, Charlie sneaks out to visit a toy museum with a Playmobil exhibit. After Marla arrives and scolds Charlie for running away, a lighthouse illuminates them and transports them to the Playmobil world.

Marla and Charlie find themselves in the middle of a Viking battle, and Charlie helps them until he is kidnapped by some pirates. Frantic to find her brother, Marla goes to the nearest town hoping to ask for help, and runs into Del, the driver of a food truck whose client refuses to pay him over pink hay that causes the town's horses to sprout wings. As Marla tries to form a posse to find Charlie, Del gets her out of trouble when she shows Viking gold to the whole town, and agrees to help Marla find her brother in exchange for the gold.

Marla and Del run into Rex Dasher, a secret agent and an old friend of Del. Rex explains that a number of characters have disappeared, and the group sneaks into a villainous spy headquarter to find information about the disappearances. Despite some issues, they successfully gather the data and escape, but Rex is later captured by the pirates. He is taken away to Constantinopolis and finds Charlie, who had been locked up with other characters by Emperor Maximus, who intends to have the prisoners fight to their deaths. Rex tells Charlie that Marla had been looking for him, which encourages Charlie to break away. However, he later allows himself to be recaptured so the other characters could escape.

Del recognizes that a device used by the pirates belongs to Glinara, an alien crime lord. After meeting with her in exchange for information, Del offers to pay twice as much as he owes her. Glinara agrees and reveals that she sold the device to Maximus. However, Del is unable to uphold his end of the bargain, as Marla only had two pieces of gold left. Angered, Glinara captures them and attempts to drop them into a portal, but they are spared by Glinara's robot servant Robotriton, who hacks the portal and drops the group into a forest. Del leaves the group, upset by Marla's deception. Marla and Robotriton get lost in the forest until Marla accidentally hits a fairy godmother, who encourages her to continue her search and sends her to Constantinopolis.

Arriving at the city, Marla reaches a coliseum where Charlie is about to fight a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Charlie and Marla work together to fight off the T-Rex, but to no avail. Del soon arrives with his food truck, and Marla uses the last of Del's pink hay to turn the T-Rex harmless. An enraged Maximus orders his guards to arrest them, but the guards reveal themselves to be Rex and the missing warriors, who then lock Maximus inside a cage. As everyone celebrates their victory, Marla and Charlie use the T-Rex to fly back to the lighthouse and return to the real world, where it is revealed that they were missing for only five minutes. On good terms, Marla promises to Charlie that their relationship will be mended.

In a mid-credit scene, one of the security guards finds a figure of Maximus on the floor next to a cage. As he places him on top of a Mount Olympus, Maximus's laugh is heard.

Cast[edit]

  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Marla Brenner, Charlie's sister. Taylor-Joy also voices Marla's Playmobil form.
  • Gabriel Bateman as Charlie Brenner, Marla's brother. Bateman also voices Charlie's Playmobil form.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

An animated feature film based on Playmobil figurines, produced by On Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Pathé, was originally expected to be released at the end of 2017.[8]

The film originally involved Bob Persichetti as director and screenwriter. The film will be the first in a trilogy of theatrical animated films based on Playmobil. Persichetti initially pitched the film to Sony Pictures Animation. Although Sony tried to buy the pitch, it fell through. He was eventually offered instead to direct the 2018 superhero film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.[9]

The film was animated in On animation's Canadian facilities. The film was also originally supposed to be distributed by Cross Creek Pictures.[3]

On 9 February 2016, Lino DiSalvo came on board to direct the $75 million budgeted film, replacing Persichetti. Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache of On Animation Studios will produce the film.[10][11] On 12 May 2016, Open Road Films acquired the US rights to the film, whose screenplay was written by Blaise Hemingway. It would mark DiSalvo's directorial debut after spending 17 years at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Alexis Vonarb, Axel Von Maydell, and Moritz Borman would also produce the film.[12]

On 17 November 2017, it was reported that Wendi McLendon-Covey would star in the film. The film will be a CG-animated/live-action hybrid.[13]

In June 2018, the film's production was underway and some details of the film were revealed, during a session at Annecy International Animated Film Festival.[14] In October 2018, lead voice cast was announced which included Anya Taylor-Joy, Gabriel Bateman, Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan, Meghan Trainor, and Adam Lambert, while Trainor and Lambert would also write and sing original songs for the film.[15]

Release[edit]

Playmobil: The Movie was released in France by Pathé on 7 August 2019, on 610 screens, and will be released in the USA by STX Entertainment on 6 December 2019. It was originally scheduled to be released in the United States by Open Road Films on 18 January 2019,[12] which was later delayed to 19 April 2019,[16] Due to the bankruptcy of Global Road, STX bought the U.S. distribution rights to the film in early April 2019[17], and set the U.S. release date to 30 August 2019. On 5 August 2019, STX pushed the U.S. release date back once more to 6 December 2019, among other schedule changes of other films from STX that reportedly happened due to STX having limited cash flow and wanting to pull their resources in to support Hustlers, although STX has denied that this was the case.[18]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 24% based on 37 reviews, with an average rating of 4.33/10. The critical consensus reads: "Much like the toys it advertises, Playmobil: The Movie seems sadly destined to be regarded as a superficially similar yet less desirable alternative to the competition."[19] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 25 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[20]

Guy Lodge of Variety magazine wrote: "An attempt to do for the smiling, claw-handed Playmobil collective what The Lego Movie did for the humble plastic brick – but without that blockbuster's dizzy, self-aware wit and visual invention – Lino DiSalvo's hyperactive film never transcends its blatant product-flogging purpose."[21] Olly Richards wrote in Empire: "Maybe it's fitting Playmobil: The Movie is old-fashioned, stiff and only suitable for those between the ages of four and ten, but it sure isn’t much fun."[22] Robbie Collin for The Daily Telegraph, likened watching the film to "being beaten over the head with the Argos catalogue," and dubbed it a "blaringly witless branding bombardment."[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PLAYMOBIL THE MOVIE (U)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Playmobil, le film (2018)". unifrance.org.
  3. ^ a b Thill, Scott (21 October 2015). "ON Animation Studios To Spend $75 Million on a Playmobil Movie". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Playmobil: The Movie (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  5. ^ "PLAYMOBIL (2019) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  6. ^ Michelle, Paloma [@Palomaofficial] (13 December 2018). "This is the 1st time I see my character in all her glory!! "Valera," what an honor! Non stop chills. This movie looks sooooo bad ass!! Comes out August 2019! #PLAYMOBIL #PlaymobilTheMovie #WomenInAnimation" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 August 2019 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Spencer, Spike [@spikespencer] (25 July 2019). "HEY! Have you seen the new Playmobil Trailer yet? I have the amazing good fortune of voicing 4 characters in this awesome movie! MANY THANKS TO Karen Strassman and Lino DiSalvo for the oppurtunity WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!..." (Tweet). Retrieved 26 July 2019 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (6 November 2014). "AFM: On Ent. Plays With Wild Bunch, Pathe on Playmobil Pic (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  9. ^ Amid Amidi (18 December 2018). ""If We Could Do Anything Our Own Way, What Would We Do?": A Conversation With 'Spider-Man' Co-Director Bob Persichetti". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  10. ^ Hopewell, Elsa Keslassy,John (9 February 2016). "'Playmobil' Movie to Be Directed by 'Frozen' Animator Lino Di Salvo (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  11. ^ Amidi, Amid (10 February 2016). "Bob Persichetti Out, Lino DiSalvo in As Director of Playmobil Movie". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  12. ^ a b Pedersen, Erik (12 May 2016). "Open Road Grabs 'Playmobil' For U.S., Toon Feature Based On Popular Toys". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (17 November 2017). "Wendi McLendon-Covey Joins Voice Cast Of Open Road's 'Playmobil'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  14. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (14 June 2018). "New Details on 'Playmobil The Movie' Spilled at Annecy Festival". Variety. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  15. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (10 October 2018). "Anya Taylor-Joy, Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert & Daniel Radcliffe Among Voice Cast For 'Playmobil: The Movie'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (9 October 2017). "Open Road Changes Release Dates for 'Midnight Sun', 'Show Dogs' & 'Playmobil'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  17. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (4 April 2019). "STX Boards U.S. Rights To 'Playmobil: The Movie' Featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert, Anya Taylor Joy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  18. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming; Jr, Mike Fleming (2 August 2019). "After Denial, STX Moves 'Playmobil' From August 30 to December 6". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ "Playmobil: The Movie (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Playmobil: The Movie Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^ Lodge, Guy (7 August 2019). "Film Review: 'Playmobil: The Movie'". Variety.
  22. ^ Olly Richards (5 August 2019). "Playmobil: The Movie". Empire.
  23. ^ Robbie Collin (8 August 2019). "Playmobil: The Movie review: like being beaten over the head with the Argos catalogue". The Daily Telegraph.

External links[edit]