Unstable Fables: Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Hi all!

Watch as the Jim Henson Company presents a new take on an old story. Goldilocks and the 3 Bears takes the traditional story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and gives it an animated, reality TV spin.

[Rating:2/4]

Mac Bear runs a fish shack in the land of fairy tales, who is in steep competition with a new sushi restaurant crowding into his territory. Ruby Bear is a homemaker who dreams of making it big in show business. And Junior Bear is a smart bear trying to navigate the mine field of junior high school. They are a tight family unit who actually like spending time, talking, and eating meals together.

Goldilocks has a home makeover show called “Totally Fab Rehab” and chooses the Bears’ home as the next one to make over after receiving a video from Junior explaining that they would really want a taste of the “sweet life.” In her vacant blond mind, she decides that what they really want is a home made over entirely in candy. Candy windows, candy canes on the walls, candy furniture… And of course this doesn’t go well.

Once the reality of the candy house sinks in (and Hansel and Gretel make their surprise exit), Goldilocks’ agent, Jay Weasel, pitches a new show to the network… “Goldilocks and the Three Bears Show”… which is a reality show shot for 30 days. The cameras follow Goldilocks and the Bears from the time they start living together, and we see how fame and fortune affects these people who used to be doing ok as a family.

Throw in an American Idol-style talent contest, a lot of interesting secondary characters, and you have an animated story that wasn’t half bad.

Tom Arnold, Brooke Shields, and Jamie Lynn Spears headline the voice actors for the movie, providing voices for Mac Bear (Papa), Ruby Bear (Mama), and Goldilocks. Junior Bear (Baby) was voiced by Colton Parsons.

My biggest problem with this film wasn’t the animation or the story, it was wondering who the target audience for the film actually was. One minute they’re doing satire of “reality” television and the next they send a character into sugar shock due to eating too much candy.

That said, the script was actually pretty well written, with witty bits meant for parents as well as jokes aimed squarely at the kids.

Besides the movie itself, the DVD has a few extras…

“Making the Goldilocks & The Three Bears Show” talks to the producers, director, and writers who created the story and brought it to life. The trick was to balance the modern world with the world of fables and still provide a message about the power of families.

“A Lesson on How to Draw a Character” takes us to the Jim Henson Creature Shop with the kids from the Melrose Elementary School. Director Howard Baker introduces the kids (and us) to the art of storyboarding for movies and how to draw for animation. It’s very interesting to see how a storyboard gets created and transformed into an actual movie. And it’s fun to watch the kids take a script and turn it into a panel in the storyboard.

In addition, they’ve included the trailer for Goldilocks and Sneak Peeks of a few other movies in the Unstable Fables collection, including 3 Pigs & A Baby, Tortoise vs. Hare, Doogal and The Reef.

This isn’t the best animated feature I’ve ever seen, but it was ok. We’ll give it 2 out of 4 stars and see what else the animation arm of the Jim Henson company has to show us.

Be sure to check out Goldilocks & the 3 Bears Show at your favorite rental or movie store!

–Fitz

p.s. You can find it at Amazon here:

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The Blue Elephant is Coming to DVD on September 2!

Hi all!

Before I get into this review, I have to start with a little story. Once upon a time, there was a boy who believed that Jim Henson was a god among men. He had the Midas touch combining storytelling with lovable puppets. And things were good. The Muppets were amazing and still have the magic Henson gave them at birth. The Dark Crystal was a movie that would affect me as a child and stay with me as an adult. My two girls still love Sesame Street and are in love with Elmo. And things are good.

So keep that in mind when I say that to see the Jim Henson name on this movie kind of makes me cringe.

[rating:2/4]

With all of the great animated films that have come out in the last few years, including Horton Hears a Who and Wall-E, you’d think that the people controlling the Jim Henson name would at least want the brand to appear on a great product. Wouldn’t you think that was the case?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be.

The only thing I can say that worked for the film was the story. Khan is a young elephant who goes on a quest to find his father, gets lost, and has an adventure with some new friends while learning some important lessons about family, love, and courage.

The cast includes voices from Carl Reiner, Martin Short, and Miranda Cosgrove. Martin Short does a fun job as the messenger bird who is Khan’s friend. And in typical Martin Short fashion, he was a bit over the top in a fun way. 🙂

So what didn’t work? The animation. With all the amazing animated features coming out these days from Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age, Ice Age 2, Horton Hears a Who?, Robots), Pixar (Wall-E, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo), and others, I was kind of shocked by the so-so CGI animation.


And beyond the animation there were the transitions. Or rather the lack thereof. We went from one scene to a black screen and then to the next scene. Not the worst transitions, but I’ve seen better.

Did I hate this film? No. My girls (ages 3 and 7) really seemed to enjoy it. But I don’t look forward to any of the other titles arriving from this joint Jim Henson Company and Weinstein Company combination. (One of them was an update of the Tortoise and the Hare. The trailer didn’t do much for me.)

Am I being hard on this film? Maybe. In an era of Veggie Tales, Backyardigans, and Bob the Builder, I’d expect more from the Jim Henson Company.

If you have young children, it’s probably worth renting when it becomes available on September 2nd. But I’d rent it before you bought it.

This gets a 2/4. Not much to make it stand out from the back of the crowd unfortunately.

So until next time, go see a movie!

–Fitz

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