“SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE” – Space Core (Portal 2)
Science Fiction is one of my favourite genres of storytelling; throughout my life I’ve loved shows such as ‘Red Dwarf’ and ‘Dr.Who’ and movies like ‘Aliens’ and ‘Moon.’ While these types of media are more mature, Welcome To The Space Show is a family movie that’s more about the experience rather than complex storytelling, but does it work?
The director behind the movie is Koji Masunari, whose name some might recognise from the anime series ‘Read Or Die’, along with producer Atsuhiro Iwakami who has also worked on many acclaimed anime such as ‘Bakemonogatari’ and ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’. The studio animating the project is A-1 Pictures who have been recently successful with TV series such as ‘Fairy Tail’ and ‘Blue Exorcist.’
The story follows five school children – all of different ages. On their summer holiday they spend a week alone at a camp house without any parental supervision, and on the first day they decide to look for the camp’s rabbit who’s gone missing in the mountains. It’s there that they discover strange crop circles in a field and an injured dog. When the dog recovers we find out that not only does he talk but he is an alien named ‘Pochi’ and as a thank you for saving him, the children can have any wish granted. They ask for a field trip, and Pochi takes them on a space adventure that they will never forget.
The movie is split into five arcs, which can be a bit tiresome as by the time you get to the third, you actually start to wonder where the plot is heading and that’s one of my gripes with ‘Welcome To The Space Show’: the plot lacks focus in the middle. But when you get to the final arc, things thankfully start to get resolved. Unfortunately another gripe is that the movie can be a bit too long for some but the fantastic visuals keep that from becoming a huge hindrance, especially when you’re watching it for the second time.
The five children are likable enough to avoid becoming dense and uninteresting, and the English dub cast do a good job to bring these characters to life; the child actors Matthew Jacob Wayne who voices the geeky Koiji and Michaela Dean who voices the youngest child Amane do great jobs to bring emotion to their roles. Others like the mature Kiyoshi and quiet Noriko are also engaging characters, although it took me a while to warm the tomboyish Natsuki as her childishness can be frustrating at times but by the end, I liked her.
Like I said, the film is more of an experience rather than going into huge detail on what’s happening and this is largely thanks to the animation from A-1 Pictures that makes the film look absolutely spectacular. Considering that most of the movie takes place in space, the lush colours, the places you’re taken to, and the different alien worlds and creatures are so creative and wonderful to look at. Since this is the Blu-ray I’m reviewing, it looks incredible in high definition.
Again I feel that the movie is aimed at families and children; those looking for a complex, aliens story might want to look elsewhere. However if anything I’ve said in this review has interested you in any way, I would still hugely recommend it; the gripes are few and it is a really fun movie, especially for summer viewing.
The extras on the Blu-ray show a three minute framed storyboard on the early development of the movie and a short trailer.
Small criticisms on the movie’s plot and length don’t ruin the fact that ‘Welcome To The Space Show’ is visually stunning movie that is worth the ticket of admission.