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Back to Gaya
Genre Animation
Year: 2004
Back to Gaya a.k.a. The Snurks is a fun-filled, fantasy animation from the writers that brought you A Bug’s Life and Hercules. It’s good-natured family entertainment with voice talents from the likes of Patrick Stewart and Emily Watson. Also known as Boo, Zino & The Snurks, the film takes on an original story with new characters to some interesting levels. The animation is reminiscent of Jak X, and has a similar fascination with racing buggys.

Why Boo, Zino & The Snurks? Well, those are the principle characters. Boo is the brain, Zino is the hero and The Snurks - well, you can guess who they are. The gang get zapped from TV land’s world of Gaya, a popular kid’s animation, into the “real” world. The characters are just as small as they are on the screen, and they start to question their own existence. Meanwhile, the evil Professor N. Icely is trying to lure the heroes and anti-heroes to retrieve a valuable life-giving pod. But how will the Gayans save their Creator, escape reality and return to their land?

Although it’s mainly aimed at drawing younger viewers, the film also caters for adults. The film deals with themes of acceptance, real vs. unreal, self-determination and friendship. What I really enjoyed was the fact that it was it’s own film. There were parts that reminded me of Flushed Away, but overall Back to Gaya succeeded in pushing animation in a new direction. The visuals were mesmerising, and are comparable with any Pixar productions. The animated feature was directed by Lenard Fritz Krawinkel and Holger Tappe. It is the first fully animated film from Germany.

Back to Gaya starts off sluggishly, but picks up towards the halfway point. The laughs get bigger, and perhaps it just takes time to adjust to the new set of animated characters. The production is slick, and the script does take some time to grow on you. At times, one feels that the plot is missing some connecting pieces, but the narrative is easy enough to follow. It’s not a Toy Story or Shrek, but it does make great entertainment for kids and adults.

The bottom line: Fun.

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