Paul Leonard’s review published on Letterboxd:
A new Disney film that is not a remake of a previous animated version is oddly a pity as that is exactly what this film could have been. This could have been an animated hit. The reason is talking animals.
Doing animation allows you to do many things. Unrealistic things can come to animation that defy logic but you forgo that because it’s animated. This includes animals that can talk to you. Once you create a live action movie and you spend all that money trying to make an animal look realistic what you then don’t want to do is suddenly find yourself listening to Danny DeVito talking out of a stray dog.
The Lion King remake suffered with this and the same is true here. Yes the effects in creating the animals is impressive but despite this the whole time I am never believing what I am seeing as I know it’s all just effects and famous actors voices. None of it is real. And that’s a pity as the story is engaging.
I am obviously not this movies target audience and I am sure the kids watching will more than enjoy the story of a talking artistic gorilla pining for a life in the great outdoors instead of being a piece of entrainment in a circus.
It’s silly adventure outside of the circus mall just didn’t work but overall it’s sentiment is in the right place and it’s actually based partly on a true story.
Not at all a movie for me as I just kept imagining what a much better movie this would be as an animated musical.