Director: Lenard Fritz Krawinkel
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Emily Watson, Glenn
Wrage, Alan Mariot, Bob Saker
RunTime: 1 hr 31 mins
Released By: Shaw
Day: 8 December 2005
world of Gaya is home to a race of creatures who are much
smaller than humans, but who have an uncanny resemblance to
them. The Gayans live surrounded by breathtaking scenery that
is rich in dazzling colour.
inhabitants are facing imminent extinction. Someone has stolen
the magic stone Dalamite without which this world is doomed.
Two Gayans called Boo and Zino embark on the dangerous mission
of tracking down and recovering the stone. Their journey takes
them into another world that is both strange and frightening
– our everyday reality. It is only when the pair leave
Gaya together with the feisty mayor’s daughter Alanta
that they realise they are the heroes of a TV series. The
intrepid adventurers discover that Gaya is merely a figment
of a TV scriptwriter’s imagination and only exists on
the small screen.
adventurers don’t have much time to reflect upon the
peculiarities of the human world. After all they have a mystery
to solve. The characters have three questions that need to
be urgently solved: Who stole the Dalamite and why? And how
did they manage to get into Gaya in the first place?
No doubt that through the combined efforts of producer Holger
Tappe and director Lenard Krawinkel, this movie is testament
that it has broken the German film industry mold by being
the first of its kind.
movie opens with rich and beautiful sceneries of Gaya that
have been realistically created with CGI (computer generated
images) animation. Following which, we are introduced to the
film heroes, Boo and Zino, admittedly upon observing these
Gayans, I could not help but relate them to hobbits. Think
hobbits with extremely huge ears and noses.
is your typical brainy genius that is constantly being overshadowed
by the heroism of his best friend, Zino. While Zino is the
reverse version of the pair reflecting brawns and bravery,
but sorely lacking smarts. This actually makes them special
in terms of being animated heroes, because like anyone else,
they are not perfect and have their fair share of flaws. These
aspects are accentuated at one point of the movie as they
are challenged to overcome their personal flaws when the other
one points them out.
key characters in the story include the rebel princess of
Gaya, Alanta (voiced by Emily Watson, whose other animated
movie was Corpse Bride), and the resident bad guys, labeled
Snurks. The trio consists of leader, Galger and cronies, Zeck
the Dalamite gets stolen, these Gayans are brought into the
reality of our world. Through a series of misadventures of
finding the Dalamite and the road back to Gaya, everyone is
forced to work together and their journey leads them to discover
that they are actually fictional characters part of a children’s
television show created by a scriptwriter named Albert Drollinger
(voiced by Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart). In attempts
to find the answers to their questions, they set off to find
their creator, unbeknownst that the villain is trailing them.
the concept of the movie is rather unique, the plot of the
story though is fairly simple even with the numerous action
scenes placed throughout the movie, making it somewhat predictable
at times. The punch lines tend to come in a bit weak, but
the simplicity of it will probably be a hit with the kids.
the strength in its CGI is the attention to detail the artists
have given to each world, making each setting believable and
full of personality, such as months gathering around the lamps
along the streets of a residential neighbourhood. Even the
characters themselves are drawn with careful details in their
facial features and clothing. The one flaw that the animation
has is in the animated movement of the characters. While this
will probably go unnoticed to the average movie viewer, avid
fans of animated film will find that certain movements may
seem a little stiff at times and the lip-syncing is not always
fact that you should know about Back to Gaya, is that it is
the first German film to be completely computer generated.
Even though it might be short of the regular Hollywood standards,
one should keep in mind that this movie does not have the
luxury of having a Hollywood budget that is usually granted
to American animated filmmakers, such as Pixar and Dream Works.
Overall, Back To Gaya is actually pretty good for a family
movie despite its shortcomings.
for the kids and those young at heart - what the movie lacks
in its script, is thankfully made up for in the wonderful
by Jolene Tan