DVD Review: Snowflake, the White Gorilla (2011)

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Original Foreign Title: Floquet de Neu

A well-intentioned mess of a movie despite its pro-diversity message, Snowflake the White Gorilla is a mismatched mishmash of too many awkward ideas and filmmaking techniques fused together into one bizarre presentation.

Half live action, half animated and fully dubbed into English from its original Catalan-language* cut, Snowflake also suffers from a grab-bag of vocal talents that never get a chance to play off one another well enough to find a comedic rhythm.

The film is similarly bogged down by too much tween-bait stunt casting where veteran actors Christopher Lloyd, David Spade and Keith David find themselves having to volley off the uninspired serves of Dallas Lovato (among others). Needless to say, Snowflake is all over the place right from the start.

While Mychal Simka was able to work wonders with another recent foreign work by elevating Lionsgate’s Wings with a superb rewrite for its English language voice-over translation, he wasn’t able to find the same magic this time around in a film that’s more forced than funny.

Thankfully, the littlest ones in your household probably will give it a passing grade, thanks to an average storyline about a friendship between a live action girl and animated gorilla, which despite a cute start, never finds its cinematic footing.

What at its best could’ve reminded us of classic live action Disney animal slapstick fare of the Dean Jones variety (think Monkeys Go Home etc.) instead drives us to distraction with too many mediums mixed together. Irritating from the get-go, the unsuccessful blend of the two techniques comes off less polished than ‘70s era Pete’s Dragon admittedly B-level fodder to remind us of something altogether cheesier indeed.

Done an even greater disservice by the casting of too many lifeless vocals in lead roles, leaving veteran funnyman David Spade to pick up as much of the slack as humanly possible – while his brisk humor helps keep up the pace, we’re never able to suspend our belief or buy into the odd endeavor.

And regardless of how much we support the film’s positive statement that being different is good, in the end, this picture is just too different and certainly not good enough to drive the point home, let alone recommend to others looking for quality family fare.

* Correction Note as of 4/13/14: The original language of the foreign feature was Catalan and not Spanish as previously indicated. While we regret the error, we thank a savvy reader for calling it to our attention.

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