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Fantasia 2020

[FANTASIA] ‘The Old Man: The Movie’ review: YouTube sensation translates as well to film as can be expected

Who knew cows could be so dangerous?

Set to screen at this year’s all virtual Fantasia Film Fest, The Old Man – The Movie gets off to an auspicious start. The movie is based on a YouTube favorite in its native Estonia. This is rarely a good sign. Before the film has even began it carries a stigma. Thankfully, things are nowhere near as bad as some may expect. Old Man is about some kids who have gone to visit their grandfather at his farm one summer. When his cow escapes, the group must find it before disaster strikes.

Old Man employs stop motion animation that is perfect for the story being told. Barnyard animals also seem to look better in this style and that is no different here. The sometimes surreal events are also better suited to stop motion. Animation has progressed very far over the years, but this is proof of how a simple style can be best.

The movie is genuinely funny. This is a story about an escaped cow, so those expecting subtlety and wit will be disappointed. Old Man works with lowbrow comedy that will impress kids. That means plenty of flatulence and visual gags are found in the film.  More often than not, it is silly enough to work. There is also a charm to the movie that allows things to rise above merely poop jokes.

Who knew cows could be so dangerous?

Old Man does a good job of telling a story. The source material is a series of shorts. This means it runs the risk of feeling like a series of placeholders before the next joke. That does happen here on occasion. There are times when it is obvious the creative staff are buying time for the next big joke. That being said, things tend to flow smoothly for the most part.

The Old Man: The Movie is a beautiful stop motion movie with a silly story. There are some laugh out loud moments to be found. As is the case with any movie that relies on toilet humor, the jokes will be hit and miss. It does not have the same heart as many of Disney’s releases, but then, few movies do.  Still, as YouTube adaptations go, it is one of the better ones.

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