I didn't make it to see WALL-E this weekend, but a friend of mine who's more fanatical about robot love stories saw it Friday. Always wanting to keep abreast as to what I should praise and what I should ridicule, I asked him how it was.
"Really good," he said, "but there this was a trailer for this flies in space movie that literally almost forced me to walk out of the theater. What was that all about?"
"You mean Space Chimps? Are you sure they weren't chimps?"
"No, definitely flies. And the title was even something stupid with 'fly' and 'moon.'"
"God. What, like Fly Me to the Moon?"
"Yeah, actually, I think that was it."
"Are you sure? I write for a movie blog. There's no way I wouldn't have somehow caught wind of a flies in space movie. This can't exist."
"Well, it does, and it's absurdly bad."
I forgot all about it until today, when I received a message with attached proof-of-existence trailer. He was right. It's so bad. And not even bad in that usual celebrity-voiced, Pixar-wannabe way (see Madagascar 2 trailer). Bad in a very strange, awkward way, like it was made by someone who's never seen an animated film and thus has absolutely no idea what an audience would expect (though there are still celebrity voices, including Christopher Lloyd doing an impression of himself).
After the cut, see the trailer and my biggest points of contention.
Biggest points of contention:
1. The humans. I didn't know it was possible to get all the creepy pseudo-reality of The Polar Express while also retaining that dated quality that makes you think the 3D models were stolen from local commercials.
2. The flies. Adding winged torsos to California Raisins does not equal a fly, nor something comfortable for the eye to see.
3. The main character introductions. I'll accept that the flies are dollar-store knock-offs of Alvin and the Chipmunks that have been drained of all personality, but couldn't they at least demonstrate the traits claimed by the narration? "IQ has the brains." Then IQ stiffly waves to another fly. Hey, I guess he does have the brains!
4. I understand I'm probably not the target demographic for this, but I have to think many children will still find it odd that these child flies have functional space suits. So the only thing holding juvenile insects from beating the U.S. to a moon landing was the expense of rocket propulsion?
5. Fleshy, chanting, cherubic maggots should not be characters, now or ever again.
6. Fly mom: "They are going to the moon!" Next line: "Your boy is going to the moon." In case you didn't catch that.
7. My unsureness in replying to my friend with, "At least there weren't any awkward attempts at humor though." There weren't, were there?
I've never been more confident in the assessment that a movie is based entirely around a stretched pun. Did I miss anything?