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Children up to a certain age will no doubt lap up the quaint characters and colourful designs, but overal My Father's Dragon is too naïve and predicable a morality tale.

Animation studio Cartoon Saloon has been making magical use of Celtic legends for the past decade with movies like The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and Wolf Walkers. In their newest feature My Father's Dragon they opt for a much more conventional kid's tale about the bond between a young boy and his dragon though and the result - despite some customary wonderful hand-drawn animation – is a much blander affair than we've seen so far from the studio.

Children up to a certain age will no doubt still lap up the quaint characters, the colourful designs and a narrative that owes more than one debt to Maurice Bendak's Where The Wild Things Are. Yet for anyone older than ten or so, My Father's Dragon will be too naïve and predictable a morality tale to hold your attention, while the overuse of dei ex machina to go from one sequence to the next erodes most thrills and emotions.

So now that Cartoon Saloon has tried out a new comfort zone, here's hoping they will seek out more ambitious territory again in their next animated endeavour.

release: 2022

director: Nora Twomey

starring: Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Ian McShane


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