Back to Gaya

2007-04-14 12:09

Buu and Zino are inhabitants of a fictional TV world called Gaya, where they are constantly bothered by a trio of inept villains called Snurks. Meanwhile, in the “real” world, a scientist has discovered a way to transport items between worlds. In an attempt to capture Gaya’s all-powerful Dalamite Orb, the evil scientist accidentally transports the pair, along with the Gayan Mayor’s daughter, into the real world. Now the race is on to get back to Gaya - hopefully in one piece.


Back to Gaya is a fairly old film. It was first released in its native Germany around 2004, actually. So, it’s taken a while to get here, no big deal, right? Wrong. It’s an animated movie and, as with all things technological, three years is a long time to sit on the shelf.

Even then, by 2004’s standards, Gaya’s animation is patchy. Movement is clunky, rendering (on AMD processors!) is ok but not groundbreaking, and some directorial choices with the camera perspectives are a bit… mental.

Storywise, this one is strictly for the kiddies. And don’t be surprised if even they turn around to ask you what’s going on at times. It moves along nicely but won’t get any points for plausibility or even fantastical imagination.

If animated films were still a rarity then we might be able to pass this off as a little rough but amusing enough, but the fact is we’ve seen far too many better films to ignore Gaya’s flaws. It’s main claim to fame is that it is the first CGI animated film produced in Germany. Admirable - but hardly a good reason for sitting through the movie.

That said, it isn’t a total failure. Patrick Stewart and Emily Watson do bring a touch of class to proceedings, and now and again a sequence does work well enough.

But it would probably be best viewed on a Sunday morning on the floor in front of the telly with your 6 year-old. It’s got that Nickolodeon TV feel to it. Think The Smurfs versus Gargamel in a white coat with a CGI budget and violence factor set on “high”.

- Anton Marshall
With less-than-breathtaking visuals, a hokey story and ropey dialogue, this animated kiddies flick is more like "Back to Germany, 2003". And even then it sucked like an inter-dimensional vortex.

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