Friday, January 25, 2013

RONAL THE BARBARIAN (2011) movie review

Ronal the Barbarian (2011) d. Andersen / Christoffersen / Lipski (Denmark)

A pleasingly irreverent spin on the animated kids feature, focusing on the titular lone nebbish resident within a musclebound community of axe-slinging, ale-guzzling, fierce and furry (male and female alike) warriors. When a malevolent, supernatural nemesis overwhelms the village with a surprise attack, it’s up to Ronal to assume his destiny, questing alongside a ragtag band of misfits to find the mystical blade. There’s a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your sensibilities) amount of scatological and/or body humor and the classic tale of an outsider coming into his own is well told.

The only downside lies in the unfortunate English language dub job loaded with dumbed-down Americanized vernacular and vocal characterizations. (For instance, why would a barbarian minstrel talk like a trailer trash hick? Do they really need to use “asshole” every 10 minutes just to be cheeky?) Do yourself a favor and watch it with the original Danish soundtrack to eliminate this unfortunate element (one that often sabotages imported Japanese anime features) because I think there’s an audience out there for Ronal. Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen, Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Philip Einstein Lipski

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