Monday, 26 January 2015

Napoleon Review (Australia Day 2015) (Updated)


Release Date: 26th December 1996 - Australia

Production Companies
Adelaide Motion Picture Company
Australia Film Finance Corporation
Film Australia
Fuji Television Network (in association with)
Furry Feature Films
Herald Ace
Nippon Herald Films (in association with)
Pacific Link Communications Japan
Pony Canyon (in association with)
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Sony Pictures Australia

Genre: Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 81 minutes

Budget: A$4,300,000

Box Office Gross: $2,051,855

Plot Summary
Napoleon, a 10 week old
puppy, dreams of adventure
and fancies himself as a
conquering warrior. He
hears the call of the wild
and yearns to be free and
fearless. Napoleon gets more
than he bargained for when
he is carried aloft in a
makeshift air balloon and
into unknown territory.

Embarking on a journey
that will turn any pup into
a warrior, Napoleon dares
to go where no pup has
gone before; roaming
across the barren Australian
desert; confronting
dangerous enemies;
discovering unknown land
and meeting some great
friends on the way.

Voice Cast
Jamie Croft - Napoleon
Phillip Quast - Birdo
Carole Skinner - Cat
Olivia Hack - Nancy
Ashley Malenger - Sid
Frank Whitten - Koala
Brenton Whittle - Owl/Various
Anne Louise-Lambert - Spider/
David Argue - Frill Necked Lizard/
Steven Vidler - Snake/Various
Susan Lyons - Napoleon's Mum/
Other Wallaby
Edward McQueen-Mason - Echidna
Stuart Pankin - Perenti Lizard
Mignon Kent - Nancy
Michael Wilkop - Sid
Fiona Press - Mother Dingo
Barry Humphries - Kangaroo
Casey Siemaszko - Conan
Joan Rivers - Mother Penguin
Stuart Pankin - Father Penguin

Writer/Producer/Director - Mario 
Writer/Producer - Michael Bourcher
Writer/Producer: The Samuel Goldwyn
Company/Lyricist - Mark Saltzman
Additional Written Material - Steve J.
Spears and Ivan Menchell
Producer: Herald Ace - Naonori
Dog & Bird Handler/Trainer -
The Cuong Truong
Animal Consultant - Evanne Cheeson
Dog Consultant - Barbara Moore
Production Designer - Vicki Niehus
Cinematography - Roger Dowling
Editor/Post-Production Supervisor -
Edward McQueen-Mason
Music - Bill Conti

Another obscure movie I have seen in my childhood, I decided to revisit the Aussie family-oriented adventure NAPOLEON. After seeing this old feature about a young pup journeying through adventure and peril; my impression was an appreciation of its cinematography which was shot mostly in the Australian landscapes in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Sadly, with all of this direction that had sophisticatedly and captured the local scenery and setting which could have been more worthy if it was a nature film, but it was let down by the low production value and inability to match the standards of its rival movies such MILO & OTIS and BABE. It is not like the two BABE films because it didn't need any lip movements through mechanical or CGI effects which is just simplistic old-fashioned filmmaking.

I was taken aback by the songs which don't mean much to me due to the composure which is crafted to appeal to a child audience rather than to the adults which a few are willing to tolerate its sense of mean-spiritedness and pointlessness. Although I did like few of its numbers which just feel like a breath of fresh air... "How High I'll Fly". I adore the end credits version more so than hearing the original sung by the lead hero in the film. Then comes its dark cliff-hanger ending which I would think is too notorious for children that they just weren't ready for. It surprises me that the film has left an opportunity for a sequel, it never happened and might have been due to the low grossings at its box office charts. I was delighted that Barry Humphries was recording one of the voices and doing his Dame Edna Everage impression as a kangaroo.

Always remember that NAPOLEON is decent enough to watch despite showing dark scenes and having most obvious deficiencies. It would be my advice to parents to skip the last scene for the kiddies, if you wish to avoid any dark or frightening scenes.

Star rating: (6/10) Fair Movie

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