Daniel Holford’s review published on Letterboxd:
Went into this movie completely blind, so it was a complete surprise to me. It’s an interesting tale on a sci fi story you don’t see very often, if at all other than this movie. Certainly bizarre but interesting nonetheless, with so many different ways of interpreting what the story is trying to convey. It seems most obvious that it’s some sort of allegory to human rights, and the importance of animal rights, but there is probably so much more to it than that, fighting against oppression, racism, all covered through this alien tale. It’s just a shame that I never felt truly invested in the characters, the absurdity somewhat getting in the way of my enjoyment.
Saying that though, the animation is wonderful throughout, completely unlike anything I have seen before. Beautiful colours and vivid landscapes of this alien world everything looks great. The sound effects matching each and every scene so vividly, the colours splashing the screen in so many different way. I really don’t think you’ll see animation and visuals like this in many other films. The music that occupancies the scenes really shouldn’t fit, it’s bizarre, almost alien like, but fits so well in creating this large world and universe.
Keeping the story about a ‘human child’ brought and raised by these aliens, keeps the story somewhat grounded, and more interesting. Allowing the viewer to see the world of these aliens through the child’s eyes. Seeing the humans treated as pets, and in some cases lower life forms is an interesting addition to the plot too, wanting you to really think about how we treat their own world around ourselves. I found this first half, with the child being raised with the aliens is much more interesting than the second half. While it’s an interesting tale, and the world is built so well, I still found watching the movie quite difficult, trying to understand the messages the movie is trying to convey. I enjoyed some aspects of the world building, but it did verge into being sort of too surreal in some moments, often seemingly creating scenes and visuals that are there too ‘confuse’. I maybe feel like it tries to do too much during its short run time, there’s so much exposition and rushing through scenes that you never truly get to know the characters and feel for them.
There’s probably so much more you can take away from this movie upon repeat viewings, and while my initial takeaway is that I can’t quite say that I really ‘liked it’, it is otherwise a rather intricate tale and so complex. Its a movie that probably requires multiple viewings to understand the complexities and messages it is trying to set out, however it was still something quite unlike what I’ve seen before. It’s a movie I can appreciate at least.