“This is going to be one crazy voyage,” says Blue (Wayne Brady) to the rest of his crayon friends as they set out to stop a giant unfinished drawing from stealing their color in the animated family film The Hero of Color City.
Every night when six year old Ben goes to sleep his Crayons come alive, jump into their box, and head into their home called Color City. It’s a magical city full of color and fun, but this one particular night a giant unfinished drawing and Nat (Craig Ferguson), his small flying friend, have traveled to Color City in hopes of getting some color onto themselves.
Mistaking the giant drawing for a monster, mostly because he has no mouth to communicate and doesn’t know his own strength, all the Crayons run away from him in fright. Determined to obtain some color, the unfinished drawing blocks the source of the crayons’ color by jamming up their rainbow waterfall. With their very existence in jeopardy – no rainbow waterfall flowing means the Crayons will fade until they no longer exist – Yellow (Christina Ricci), Red (Rosie Perez), Blue, Green (Jess Harnell), Black (David Kaye), and a few others set out to clear their waterfall and stop the unfinished drawing from terrorizing them before Ben wakes up.
Cute but not that engaging, The Hero of Color City struggles to be a Toy Story for pre-schoolers and kindergarten children but sadly comes up short. The writing and character development are weak and one-dimensional. The voice work from the cast is fine, but without any interesting or funny dialogue there’s not much to work with. The actors are given lines like, “I wish I was cool like Blue or smart like Green,” and, “Oh, they are so brave,” lines that don’t help give the crayons any real personalities. The writers do try to have a few lessons in the film for the young members in the audience, like learning to overcome your fears and trusting in your friends, but it just doesn’t feel fresh.
The animation is unimpressive and the look of the film isn’t much better than a Saturday morning cartoon on television. Perhaps that’s really where this adventure for the very small ones belongs. The Hero of Color City deserves to be either a Saturday morning serial or a straight to DVD special release and not up on the big screen.
The Hero of Color City is rated G for all audiences.
– Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
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