A lot of people will instantly discard my review of this film, knowing that I have what some might call a blinding love for all things Star Wars. That's not exactly the case. I can nitpick Star Wars, there's a few things I'd have done differently, there's some "corrections" to the Special Editions that piss me the fuck off. But overall, I love it all.
I've been on and off about this cartoon for a while. I've been excited for it for a long time, but the reviews have been pouring in and people have been taking big, smelly shits on this movie. It had my expectations down a little bit. I went into this film wondering what it might be like to not enjoy a Star Wars theatrical experience.
Thankfully, that didn't happen.
This film sets a tone right at the beginning that let's you know that it's a kids movie. The opening crawl is replaced with a war-film-like narrator, bringing the not-yet-able-to-read-that-quickly-audience like my son up to speed on where this occurs in the timeline and doesn't really let up from there. It seems as though a lot of reviewers of this movie were expecting an animated Empire Strikes Back and wrote reviews based more on their dissapointment of what the film wasn't instead of their joy at what it was. This is a kids movie, through and through. And it's done in some very smart ways.
I thought that I would be annoyed by the idea of giving Anakin a sassy young padawan (who will by the end of the TV series no doubt meet a sad and horrible fate) but this is a stroke of brilliance to rein in an age demographic that hasn't been specifically served by a theatrical Star Wars movie since Phantom Menace. Ahsoka is what every young Star Wars fan wants to be, a padawan learner, and she's every bit the reckless padawan Anakin deserves. And it's insinuated in the film that Obi-Wan and Yoda planned this padawan purposely in order to temper Anakin into the Jedi he should have been. I can't imagine him losing her before the end of the Clone Wars will help his descent to the Dark Side...
But this film is a really, really accessible kids movie for all ages. It's not as good as a Brad Bird kids movie, but it's certainly ahead of the curve on childrens entertainment and made me thirsty for more. I'm quite pleased with the idea that I'll be able to tune in to new installments on Friday's.
This set the tone for how I imagine the series will run and the Clone Wars is an almost endless well of short stories to cover in a 20+ minute format.
Also, Jabba the Hutt's son didn't bother me. There's not much to argue with there. I heard a lot of people were pissed off about it, but seriously, people who'd be pissed off about something that trivial is obviously a douche-bag.
The animation took a little getting used to, but by the time a third of the film had gone by, the animation seemed great. The stylizations of the characters were really cool, the action sequences well coreographed and the Clones were absolute bad-asses. I can already hear a lot of people groaning about how they turned the Battle Droids into clowns, but the audience I saw it with (admittedly, the median age was 11) ate it up. The movie as a whole really entertained the kids and Star Wars fans like me and even drew applause from the harder-core Star Wars fans dressed as Boba Fett, Plo Koon and others.
It was pretty good. Will I see it again? Definitely. Will I see it again this weekend? Most Definitely.
Should you see it? If you're the type of nerd who can appreciate kids entertainment, yes. Bring a kid, yours, a niece or a nephew or something if you want to see it but you're the jaded prick sort of nerd. I guarantee you'll like it a lot better and enjoy it a lot more watching it with and through them.
But don't expect the animated version of Empire Strikes Back. It doesn't even try to move in that direction, though I would bet there will be episodes of the show that might be able to pull of that sort of mood and timbre.