Bright, cheerful and energetic, Spanish 3D animated movie “Capture The Flag” surprises and delights in equal measure and while it’s nowhere near troubling the giants of animation, it’s a welcome alternative to the other family fare on offer at the moment.
When billionaire Richard Carson casts doubt on the legitimacy of the Moon landings and declares an intention to mount an expedition of his own, NASA are forced to return to the Moon to prevent the evidence being erased and Carson claiming the Moon’s resources as his own.
While much of the story is fanciful sci-fi fare, “Capture The Flag” at least makes a token effort to get some real scientific principles in play and its pro-NASA leaning allows it to revel in just how much of an achievement it really was to land on the moon in 1969. There’s a curiously anti-private enterprise tone to the whole movie though, which may bely its European origin and Carson is a thinly veiled caricature of figures like Elon Musk and Richard Branson, albeit grossly magnified to cartoonish supervillainy. His two sidekicks – Steve Gigs and Bill Gags – are proxies for Jobs and Gates respectively, completing the odd bias against the American technocracy. Aside from that undercurrent, the movie is a lot of fun. Sure, there’s more use of the word ‘fart’ than you’d probably get from a production based in an English speaking country and it may even be that the film was initially aimed unsuccessfully at a slightly older crowd before being retooled for a younger audience, such as happened with Korean/ French animation “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir” but it’s entertaining enough for what it tries to achieve, despite the hyperactive Diablo Cody-lite dialogue spouted by the three main characters.
Alongside the space mission, there’s a gentle family reconciliation side story to pad out the running time and even a few sly gags (more subtle than the Gigs/ Jobs one) such as the director of the faked moon landings bearing a remarkable resemblance to the late Stanley Kubrick.
Fun and fast paced, it’s a likeable sci-fi fantasy with enough nuggets oif real science to hopefully pique the interest of the young audience it will appeal to.