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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Aesop spinsSept. 20 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Once upon a time, and a long time ago, a Greek slave named Aesop told his famous fable about a tortoise and a hare who decided to have a race. The moral of the story was "slow and steady wins the race"
Fast forward to 2008, and along comes this straight to DVD movie by Jim "Who's Yo Muppet?" Henson. A part of the "Unstable Fable" series, this sequel to the fable stars the vocal talents of Jay Leno, Danny Glover, Vivica Fox, Drake Bell and Keke Palmer and takes place 15 years after the main event.
Walter Tortoise (Glover), his wife Dotty (Fox) and daughter Crystal (Palmer) now live in fancy digs in the burbs next door to Murray Hare (Leno), his wife and son Butch (Bell). The big race is a constant discussion point, and the feuding critters decide to drag their unwilling offspring into a grudge rematch in the form of an "Amazing Race" type of competition. You can pretty much work out how things are going to end up, but then there's an unexpected twist to shake (or maybe stir) things up a little.
It's okay as far as straight-to-DVD animation goes, and some cliff-hangers will have you paying rapt attention, but in general it's pretty formulaic and not so unstable after all. You get the feeling that they started with a concept the size of a 30 minute Muppet Show episode, and then added padding (and dancing and pratfalls) to pump it up to its present 76 minutes.
Totally suitable for general audience viewing but nothing earth-shattering, you may want to rent this first, and buy it only if your kids like it.
Hare and Tortoise in the snow Aesop spins from down below
Amanda Richards, September 20, 2008
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Tortoise vs. Hare........Slow and Steady wins the Race?.....Sept. 15 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Tortoise vs. Hare is the second CGI film in the "Unstable Fables" line of films from The Jim Henson Company(yes, the ones responsible for the Muppets). In this retelling of Aesop's Tale, It's years since 'Slow and Steady' Tortoise won the race against the 'Speedy' Hare. With both sides obsessing over what happend, The Hare decides to challenge The Tortoise to a rematch in the upcoming Mount Impossible team race. Thing is, this time their kids are involved because it is a team race. Will the younger generation teach the older generation something about friendship, family and playing fair? Well, like I had to, you'll have to watch the movie and find out. You'll be surpised at the ending.
I'll admit, I was expecting this movie to be pure kid's fare..since it is a fractured fairy tale, after all. Yet, I was quite surprised that this movie appealed as much to me as it would a child. Sure, it may not be quite dead-on in it's amusement like Shrek, Happily N'ever After or Toy Story but it has alot of potential. With each 'Unstable Fable' I see, they get better and better in their delivery. As far as the animation is concerned, these guys are pros..it looks just as good as the aforementioned movies and films like Ice Age or even better.
With vocal talent by Danny Glover, Vivica A. Fox, Jay Leno, Keke Palmer & Drake Bell; this is a film the whole family will love. I know mine did. Special Features include: a preview of the next Unstable Fables release, How to draw the characters from the movie with Howard Baker, The Making of Tortoise vs. Hare, it's trailer as well as trailers of other favorites by the Weinstein Group-The Henson Company & Genius Products.
It's a tale filled with laughs and well-crafted lessons about the dangers of trying to win at any cost. Parents and children alike will love it!
Strongest Entry of the Unstable TrioOct. 31 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I'll be the first to admit that the Unstable Fables trilogy didn't exactly dazzle. There was potential in the plots and a few snickers to be had, sure, but poor pacing, reliance upon pop culture references and pacing that tended to bog down viewers from all age groups resulted in entirely mediocre scores from this reviewer.
That said, Tortoise Versus Hare is by far the strongest offering of the trio while breaking the tradition of using contemporary fairy tales as the source material in favor of reaching way back to Aesop's timeless fable "The Tortoise and the Hare".
The story is set 15 years after Walter Tortoise's (Danny Glover) surprising victory in the famous foot race against Murray Hare (Jay Leno). While time has apparently moved on, both parties find themselves obsessing over the events leading up to the overconfident Murray having taken a nap just before the finish line, which, as its told, allowed Walter to slowly cross the finish line first.
The victorious tortoise has, ever since, adopted the adage "slow and steady wins the race" in just about any situation conceivable, while the unsuccessful hare goes into bad-memory induced convulsions each time he encounters the phrase. Past their prime and aware of it, both Walter and Murray believe the way to relive the legendary showdown vicariously through their children. A team race is setup to appease the fathers while the uninterested kids agree to participate despite their lack of enthusiasm.
Not unlike the formula witnessed in Sony's Surf's Up, T Vs H frames its story around the sports documentary format (but does so far less eloquently) that allows for the integration of many pop culture references and puns of varying degrees of success.
The vocal casting is actually quite appropriate with Jay Leno especially doing a bang up job as the high-strung hare. Pacing is decent but the moral of the story becomes a bit muddled in the 79 minute running time thanks to no shortage of unnecessary character set ups and some heavily dramatized moments of peril during the race itself. It doesn't flaw the story so much as is overcomplicates the purity of the moral in the name of exciting storytelling.
Like all of the Unstable Fables, the film feels a bit overextended by its conclusion. The moments of cleverness and genuine humor lose a bit of their impact against a fairly drawn-out prose. The animation and textures however are surprisingly solid. Not up to par with the big DreamWorks or Pixar pieces perhaps, but not too far off the mark either.
A solid cast, decent visuals and some honest (if inconsistent) humorous bits all add up to a film that manages to be moderately entertaining. With a bit of more concise pacing and a plot that kept its intentions in tighter focus, this could have been a solid 4-star property. As it stands however, there are simply so many strong entries in the CG animated feature film genre; this one is a tad above middle of the road. If you are determined to delve into the Unstable Fables franchise, this one is certainly the most impressive of the three titles that make up this franchise.
Painful to endure. The action sequences are too fast and hard to follow, a result of poor animation. Behaviors of the characters defy cartoon physics. Music is canned and doesn't match the story. Young tortise with African American voice stylization only interested in dancing and doesn't know the difference between astronomy and astrology....tunnel diggers accompanied my mexican stylized music. Shameful.
Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. HareDec 13 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
this was one of the first movies I have ordered and was not sure about what kind of condition used discs would be in, but I was pleasantly surprised. It looked and played like new. My grand-children have watched this movie so often that I will have to order another one soone. I can highly recommend this movie and the shipper. I have since ordered other used movies with the same results.