THIS is aimed solely at a very young audience whose attention span is unlikely to be held, with nothing to sate an older appetite.
It starts promisingly in real-life New York where Marla and Charlie are doing their best to get on with life following the death of their parents.
After a chance encounter with a spark of magic, the pair are thrown into the catalogue – sorry, the world of Playmobil – where they go on a somewhat formulaic adventure involving as many characters as the marketing department – sorry, the director – could fit into its 99 minutes.
Admittedly, it’s no more cynically presented than its Lego, Angry Birds and UglyDoll cousins, but certainly in the instance of Lego, this lacks the tongue-in-cheek references to its own commerciality and, more crucially, the laughs and excitement.
For example, one of the main characters is a thinly-veiled weed dealer – ripe for some cheeky grown-up gags but there’s nada.
We get too many characters, not enough decent lines and a message that bears no relevance to the toys (apart from the obvious “buy Playmobil” one).
It’s polite enough, rendered brilliantly and has some half decent tunes in there so, if it is aiming for the 5-10 age group, it may just get away with it.
One of these stars is purely for the 99mins that parents of young kids will get to nap.
Playmobil: The Movie (U)