After seeing the trailer a few months ago, I expected Robinson Crusoe, (otherwise known as The Wild Life, depending on what country you live in), directed by Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen and starring Matthias Schweighöfer and David Howard, to be a funny, family film about a man and his dog making friends with a host of cute animals on a tropical island and helping them save their home from a pack of pirates and their cats. But while this was kind of the case to some extent, I did not expect it to be so violent and terribly sad.
Without giving too much away, I would highly recommend you pack some tissues for this film, as, to the shock of myself and the audience I watch this film with, one of the most lovable characters is trapped in a burning ship and dies when the gunpowder causes an explosion. Needless to say, you may want to think twice before bringing very young children to see this film.
I also noticed that some parents in the audience were not so happy with the amount of violence portrayed in this film, particularly when a group of scurvy pirates are seen drinking lots of alcohol, throwing knives into the wall around tied up chicken and beating each other the up. Although most of the children seemed to just find the pirates to be silly.
This film is also rather confusing when you think about the animals on the island. There is only one of each species, which makes me wonder what happened to the rest of the animals. The pangolin, which in real life comes from Asia and Africa, uses a lot of stereotypical Australian slag, with what could be a poor attempt of an Australian accent. The parrot who all the animals have known for their entire lives as "Mac" gets called "Tuesday" by Crusoe and suddenly they all take to calling him by his new name with no question, and the cats, who want to eat all the seven animals on the entire island, decides it is a good idea to have a huge litter of kittens to help them rise up to kill all the animals, which makes no sense, as there would be even less food to go around.
On the other hand, this is a wonderfully animated film with a unique twist to this classic story, which would suit older children and adults as there is still a lot of humour and many lovable characters.
The main messages in this film seems to be that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and keep your cats indoors, so they do not harm wildlife and/or become feral.
Robinson Crusoe 2016 (A.K.A. The Wild Life) is not yet rated.