Monday, January 13, 2014


This year's first wide-release animated film opens on Friday, the derivative-looking The Nut Job. It's a lower budget Canadian/Korean production directed by Pete Lepeniotis, an animator who worked on films like Toy Story 2 and Fantasia 2000. It looks like a run-of-the-mill kids film, but…

Dirty little secret, it could've been something different...

Both trailers for the film didn't do a thing for me, as it looked like a showcase of everything wrong with poorly-written animated family or kids' films these days. Toilet humor is everywhere, along with pop culture references and… PSY? Yeah, I have a feeling that this will be a turkey. Reviews are coming in too, and they're saying it's not so good.

So how could it have been different? If not possibly… Awesome?

This film is based on the director's 2005 short film called Surly Squirrel. It's the polar opposite of this romp, and it is definitely for adults. It takes place near a bank robbery and there's swearing, among other things. The lead character is not a cute, good guy squirrel, he's a selfish bastard. It definitely ain't kiddie.

Give it a watch, it's actually pretty decent…

With such a small budget and an opportunity to take a real risk, how come the studios behind The Nut Job couldn't make the film be like the original short? Seems like Lepeniotis and crew were probably controlled by execs looking to make moolah, assuming PSY cameos and fart jokes were going to bring in the crowds. Surly Squirrel isn't a children's short film, The Nut Job should've been just like it.

They could've made a risky, adult-oriented animated film with the same characters from the short film (yes, the squirrel and raccoon share the same name in the film, but they aren't the same characters), use the same tone and sense of humor. It would've beat something like Sausage Party to the punch and it could've possibly helped create a market for adult-oriented feature animation.

Ah, what could've been…


  1. The worst part about seeing Frozen? Having to watch the crappy trailer to this potentially crappy movie.

  2. Could they be any more ableist?

  3. You know there was a teaser for this movie called Nuts and Robbers on YouTube made years ago and it's way better than the trailers for this movie. I wonder what happened.