Respect is due to the Disney company for going straight to the source for this supposedly family-friendly trawl through a handful of classic Russian folk tales. It's intended as the first in a series of European co-productions for the House of Mouse: let's hope it's also the worst, because 'Book of Masters' is quite alarmingly awful, a shallow, crass, wildly derivative pantomime adventure with nothing to recommend it. The spiky-haired teenage hero is smug and obnoxious, the villains forgettable, the storyline nonsensical and the fusion of Olde Worlde Russian folk dress with whizz-bang MTV visuals and sickening dayglo CGI effects makes the whole thing look like a Skittles ad written by Chekhov. Undemanding toddlers on a sugar jag might find it almost watchable, all others should avoid like the plague.
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