Film review

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Generic would be a more fitting title to the latest animation off the Hollywood conveyor belt as it had no originality worthy of the film’s name.

It’s perfectly watchable fare for a family outing at your local multiplex, but this is uninspiring stuff that brings absolutely nothing new to the genre and will become a distant memory once Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 are unleashed.

When mourning teenager MK (Amanda Seyfried) tries to bond with her reclusively eccentric father (Jason Sudeikis) after the death of her mother, she’s transported into a magical forest world in a battle between good and evil – a universe her nutty-tagged Dad has dedicated his life to finding.

After the death of Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles), the now pint-sized MK – with the help of warrior Ronin (Colin Farrell) and the roguish Nod (Josh Hutcherson) – has to protect the leaf people and the life essence of the forest from the grasp of the putrefying Boggans and leader Mandrake (multi-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz).

And the problem is that’s about it. It even pales compared to recent sub-par animation fare like Ice Age 4 and Rise of the Guardians.

It’s a lusciously-beautiful watch at times in 3D, but – bar decently-voiced turns from Farrell and Waltz – the characters aren’t memorable enough to really draw you into this magical world that has been done so much better in similar efforts.

And with the story lacking any ingenuity whatsoever – despite having a cute three-legged dog, snail and slug for intermittent comic relief – don’t expect this barely passable flick to linger in the memory for too long.