Ava & Lala
Releases on DVD October 7th, 2014
1 hr 20 mins
Director: Wang Yunfei
Tom Arnold as Uncle Bear
J.K. Simmons as General Tiger
George Takei as Rat
Maile Flanagan as Lala
Review by Stephen M.
Ava & Lala is a cute Chinese animation coming out in the United States this week with a talented cast of voice actors including J.K. Simmons and George Takei. The story follows a mischievous adventurous girl and a liger (yes, half tiger, half lion) as they journey to a mystical world of animals where they reside peacefully away from humans. Ava, of course, being human and not to mention rebellious, leads to loads of trouble for liger and a bear they befriend in Cloud Land. General Tiger wishing to lead the animals against humans also doesn't help the situation as Ava tries to return home.
What will attract you to this animation is the cute animation of both the humans and animals. From the character designs to the beautiful environment that's created as the backdrop from Ava & Lala's wonderful, everything is just a sight to behold. The two main characters, Ava and Lala, are adorable in their own ways. Both a contrast in character to each other's personality wise. With the bear playing a parallel character to Ava's own overbearing protective human father. The actors does a fine job in adding character to these wonderfully drawn girl and animals.
There is little to complain about the film with the only thing that comes to mind is that comparisons may be drawn to other films like Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz and Kung Fu Panda. The story, while not necessarily unique, overall, is still entertaining enough with humor and action that is suitable for the entire family. The only other gripe I would have is why does the animal that is always a villain have to be a tiger? The Jungle Book, Tarzan, just to name a few. No wonder no one cares that they are going extinct!
Overall, I would recommend the film especially if you have young children in the 6-10 age range. The film doesn't necessarily have educational values, but has some good lessons on loyalty, friendship and discipline. Seeing the Rat voiced by George Takei is another great reason to see the film. You can't help by think of Splinter of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when you hear his voice and see the character in action. George would have been a perfect choice if Tony Shalhoub had not nabbed the role.