Queen Latifah, the official voice of Pizza Hut, narrates this corny National Geographic production about arctic animals affected by global warming. Children and Republicans may benefit from its message, but Arctic Tale isn’t to be trusted, though not for any reason having to do with its thoughts on climate change. The filmmakers trace the journey of a polar bear, Nanu, and walrus, Seela, from birth to maturity, but the dramas that connect their lives feel largely manufactured. I didn’t notice a disclaimer, but one would have been nice: Though the storyline appears to span only one calendar year (during which time the entirety of the film’s footage could not have been shot), the narration states the animals were followed for much longer. In short, there’s simply no reason to believe that the same Nanu that sticks her little head out of from her mother’s hibernation den at the beginning of the film is the same bear spreading her legs for a male suitor at the end; even if it is the same animal, it seems unlikely that her life would be so inextricably bound to Seela’s for so long, or that of a cute, tailgaiting little fox that is suspiciously never shown in the same shot as the bear. This is to say nothing about the music on the soundtrack (Seela’s walrus posse grooves to “We Are Family” while Nanu & Co. opt for “Celebration”; is this the Arctic or Fire Island?), the asinine suggestion that Seela is primo marriage material because she’s less of a hoochie than the other girls in her group, or the “sassy” spin Latifah gives to her anthropomorphic narration. “You best be going” is how Nanu’s mother tells her daughter to ease on down the icy road of the Artic (or is it the Underground Railroad?), and by the time Seela’s family starts farting up a storm on a patch of ice (during a game of “pull my flipper”!), you’ll probably feel like doing the same.
- Paramount Vantage
- 90 min
- Sarah Robertson
- Mose Richards, Kristin Gore, Linda Woolverton
- Queen Latifah
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