The Mouse and His Child
Time Out saysLondon crime figures are Toy Town statistics compared to the frog-mugging, mouse-napping and brazen treacle brittle heists in this animated feature based on author/illustrator Russell Hoban's fantasy classic. The graphics slog of more than 30 US animartistes is worth it, especially in the opening toyshop scene where we meet our heroes - a bland duo of wind-ups spot-welded together in an eternal last tango. The clockwork rule of 'doing what you're wound to do, not what you want to do' is topsy-turvied after the magic midnight hour; and the adventures of the mice meander to the rubbish dump empire of Manny the Rat (spivvy unctuous voice by Ustinov), their escape aided by a stagestruck parrot (high camp beak-work from Leachman). Hoban won't thank directors Wolf and Swenson for laying naff hands all over the finale of his whimsy and turning it into a homily.