Review of Welcome to the Space Show (2010)

Moving picture, 136 minutes

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) with a drama about accidental animal liberation taking the place of Douglas Adams’s absurdism. The first hour is funny, but the main source of humour in it is the extreme and unimaginative banality of the setting, where the children can eat junk food and watch TV without having their assumptions challenged: “A cola is always a cola.”

When the drama suddenly becomes the focal point and the comedy fades away, there is nothing left to hold interest. Compounding this fundamental problem, there is no depth or credibility to the science-fiction aspects, Neppo and Marie seem to have no motivation, the dialog is bad, and the presence of funny animals—whose “funny” self-consciousness shows an implicit contempt for animals—rounds out a bad film.

Simply mixing bright colours and drawing improbable bodies is not a praiseworthy form of imagination outside of kindergarten. I hear people say that the variety of characters makes as much sense as in Summer Wars (2009), but the intradiegetic rationales are disparate. In the case of this film, there doesn’t appear to be any. It’s driven entirely by a sense of spectacle, coming off as contorted and dull to me, and apparently as “too long” to most people.

References here: Okko’s Inn (2018).

moving picture Japanese production animation fiction