Run-Of-The-Mill Animated Feature: Our Review of ‘Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 12, 2022
Run-Of-The-Mill Animated Feature: Our Review of ‘Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon’

Reviewing animated films can be tough, especially if the reviewer isn’t the target audience. After all, children enjoy different thing than adults do, and are more willing to overlook problems in the storytelling. That being said, Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon isn’t a bad film. It’s entertaining, you learn something from watching it. And there is a wholesome moral to the story that is important for all ages to understand. The problem is however, it could have been something more. It could have tried to be unique. To offer something different than the typical Disney template. So many studios try to emulate that template and usually fail in doing so.

Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon follows the story of a thirteen year old girl named Ainbo (Lola Raie), an apprentice hunter. She follows two spirit animals deep into the forest in an attempt to save her tribe from an evil demon. She’s on her own however. The rest of her tribe has given up on the old legends and don’t believe her stories about the curse the demon has placed on them. Throughout her adventures she encounters several creatures from South American lore. But in the end it’s up to her alone to do what is right to save the day for them all.

Learning about Peru’s myth’s and legends, and seeing the movie told through the eyes of an indigenous female character are the strengths of the film. So much so that the producers should have played them up even more. Instead the plot skips back and forth between a mythological threat and a human one caused by logging and illegal mining. The movie also decides to add animal sidekicks to help Ainbo along the way. In this case they’re a tapir and an armadillo who look a lot like The Lion King‘s Timon and Pumbaa. Really, it just makes the film feel even more like a Disney movie instead of something truly unique. Even the animation feels like Disney. Although yes, it is slightly different and seems to be influenced by a Japanese style as well.

Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon is a fun film and kids will surely enjoy it. If adults aren’t too nitpicky, and take it as it is, they will find themselves drawn in as much as their children are. And really, that’s the way it should be. Watching a children’s film through the eyes of a child is the only way some films can truly shine.

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While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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