Genre: CG Animation
Director: Enrique Gato
Cast: Meritxell Ané, Óscar Barberán, Belinda, Carles Canut, Fiona Glascott, Adam James, Michelle Jenner, Miguel Ángel Jenner
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Shaw
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/tadeojones
Opening Day: 13 June 2013
Synopsis: Tadeo has always wanted to become an adventurous and famous archeologist. However, he spends his days daydreaming between the cranes and the cement on the building site where he works. The chance to fulfill his dreams offers itself when his friend, a celebrated archeologist, receives a mysterious stone tablet, the key to the route to the Lost City of Paititi and its legendary treasure. Just as he is about to start out on his journey, the archeologist suffers an unfortunate accident and Tadeo has to take his place on the expedition. Upon reaching Peru, Tadeo discovers that Oddyseus, an important gang of treasure hunters, is also on the trail of the Lost City of Paititi and will stop at nothing to find it. With the help of Sara, an intrepid archeologist, Belzoni, a mute parrot with a strong character, Freddy, a strange guide with a surprising multipurpose overcoat and Jeff, Tadeo’s inseparable dog, he will undertake a risky adventure which will lead them up and down the whole country to save the Lost City and to keep the mysterious treasure out of the claws of their enemies.
The months of May and June have been seeing several animated film releases, including this recent release of Tad, the Lost Explorer. The film certainly seemed promising initially; after all, it has won five awards from three award ceremonies (mainly ceremonies to honour the best of Spanish films), including three wins of Best Animated Film/Best Animated Feature. However, you are bound to leave the cinema with disappointments if you set your expectations that high…
Tad, the Lost Explorer tells the story of Tadeo, a young man who always longed to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming an archaeologist. However, he only finds himself picking up worthless artefacts from his construction site, and got fired time after time because of his failure to focus on the right things. One day, as he pays a regular visit to a local archaeologist professor, they received news that the missing half of the key to a mysterious ancient civilization is found. The professor is invited over to bring his half of the rock tablet so as to combine and unlock the door to the lost civilization. Unfortunately, due to some twists and turns, the professor was unable to fly over to complete this mission. Not wanting to let go of such a rare opportunity, Tad decided to take a leap of faith and flew over to Peru in place of the professor.
Tad’s journey was quite a ride. As he sets off on his adventure to pursue his passion, he met with the bad guys who have their eyes set on the treasures in the ancient civilization. The action was not sophisticated and overall easy to follow. The 3D definitely gave it an added dimension. The visuals are quite colourful, but lacked brilliance. They certainly could not match up with pictures produced by Pixar’s and Disney’s, the two other strong competitors in the market. The characters in the movie are also not exceptionally adorable or loveable, not those you would expect to be made into cute merchandises. The main character, Tad, also lacks charm and personality – even the two little animals and the Peruvian driver showed more character and focus. As a result, it led on to a rather dull and uninspiring story.
As you could already tell, the story started off with lots of imagination, but hardly delivered it well enough. The story line was easy to follow, but way too predictable. In its attempt to impart ‘good values’, it came across as a little didactic and cliché. Even kids nowadays expect a little more surprise from the films. Entertainment value wise, it did evoke some laughter in the crowd from the blunders Tad and his friends make. But regrettably, the 3D effects were not used to their optimum. The smooth animation was really a plus though.
All in all, this could be just another option for the kids during school holidays, another filler to watch while waiting upon the summer block busters and major animated film releases (like Monster Inc. University and Despicable Me 2). Watch Tad only if you are interested in a virtual tour to Peru and would want to have a taste of foreign flavour.
(Not all those who wander are lost; but all those who wander into the cinema for Tad are indeed so)
Review by Tho Shu Ling