‘Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure’: Not just a kiddie affair!

Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure is a pleasure to look at and scarcely less fun as a story. I came to scoff but was left with a smile. I confess the premise did not inspire me: But the screenplay is cleverly played out and the visual style is rather distinctive and appealing. Maya Digital Studios and Viacom18 collaborated on this production, which premiered on Nick on 18 May at 10:00 am. The near 75 minute feature takes the famous Lotpot comic characters Motu and Patlu on a different adventure this time around. The film is set in the middle of the sea where Motu and Patlu along with their friends are carrying a few passengers across the sea under their new venture ‘Motu & Patlu Travel Company’. The feature starts off with the characters bumbling and fumbling on screen creating a few funny moments that would certainly grab the attention of the kiddies. Soon there is an element of mystery and adventure, as the sea creatures enter the premise and stir up a magical storm to shipwreck Motu and Patlu along with their friends. Next they find themselves underwater and at the mercy of a hammerhead ‘magician’ shark. Motu continues to come up with witty jokes and keeps you in splits; there comes a time when you feel that you are watching a Bollywood film with names like ‘Chingam’, ‘Sharkaal’ and ‘Sharkuni’. The music adds to the fun and frolic of the kiddie flick, the dialogues too are well written and easy to understand for kids. There is also the larger message in the film focusing on how in life the bigger fish always devours the smaller fish and moves ahead in life. With great advances having been made in the field of animation technology in recent years; computers have taken over the detail work and freed artists to realise their visions. But few Indian animations movies have been as painterly as Motu Patlu Deep Sea Adventure, which begins with good choices of faces for the characters (note the detailing of the facial hair and glasses for Motu and Patlu respectively). The landscape is convincing without being realistic, the colour palette is harmonious and the character movements include little twists, jiggles and hesitations that create personality. And the sea creatures blossom as personalities. The artwork, the dialogue and the voice-over work by the actors; the filmmakers have all worked together to really see and love these characters, who are not “cartoon sea creatures” but as quirky and individual as human actors, and more engaging than most. The story sneaks up on you and eventually wins you over.