An animated enviromentally-aware adventure for little kids, A Turtle's Tale has its heart in the right place – but being well intentioned isn't, unfortunately, much fun. This Belgian production looks absolutely yummy in a Finding Nemo sort of way – lots of watery landscapes and beautifully realised aquatic wildlife – but the story plods along, beginning as John Hurt voices the elder Sammy the turtle as he starts to tell the story of his life.
Born on a beach where he hatched at the same time as cutie-pie turtle Shelly, Sammy finds himself alone and adrift on a raft after freeing himself from a bird's hungry beak. So begin his adventures, which involve some scary moments (as well as the birds, there are piranhas, fishing nets, an oil slick and sharks to avoid), some sweet ones (he hopes to be reunited with Shelly, his true love even though they only knew each other for a moment) and, to be honest, quite a few forgettable ones, too. Visually, it's great and the 3D works well, but the slow plot, lack of humour and naff soundtrack will be lost on little kids, while grown-ups will probably find the handling of the eco-message (mankind damaging nature) rather preachy, too. Note that the American release has a different voice cast that includes Melanie Griffith, Tim Curry and voice artist Yuri Lowenthal as Sammy.
Is A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This film is really aimed at the under-8s, yet the very young will find the opening scene. where baby turtles are captured by swoooping birds, quite upsetting.
It may also scare very young ones to see Sammy caught in a fishing net.