Every year for the holiday season there is that one movie that is released just in time for the winter break and that families will be rushing to take their kids to go see. This year, that movie appears to be Spies in Disguise, the newest animated movie from Blue Sky Studio Productions. Based inspired by the animated short film “Pigeon Impossible” by Lucas Martell the trailer promises a kid friendly spy movie that will keep you entertained.
While we loved playing the new Spies in Disguise game, the movie we found was a bit lacking and there were parts we completely checked out in. The movie actually has several parts we felt were in appropriate and had us questioning who the audience was for the film when we watched it.
In Spies in Disguise Walter (Tom Holland) is a young scientist who makes unique, albeit, odd gadgets who is working for the Spy Agency. The big shot spy is Lance Sterling (Will Smith), who’s name but conquests play into almost every spy movie trope that you could imagine. From the good looks, to the unimaginable missions Sterling is at the top of his game, until a bad guy frames him for a crime and Sterling is now finds himself at the top of the most wanted list. He finds himself turning to the least likely person, Walter, for help – and after a freak accident and mix up – turned into a Pigeon. Now, together they have to figure out the case and clear Sterlings name – and hopefully turn him back into a human again.
It sounds like the perfect set up for a great kids movie, or even a regular spy movie – but despite the great story there were several things that we didn’t like about Spies in Disguise.
Inappropriate Jokes and Gross Humor Are Only Some of the Problems
While we were watching Spies in Disguise, there were several times the movie didn’t hold our focus – even as adults. This is going to be a major problem with kids who have a much shorter attention span. Even the beautifully modeled scenery and iconic locations around the globe wasn’t enough to keep us in the story.
One of the problems we had with the movie was a lot of the jokes and the humor were written for what seems to be 8 year olds – or rather a lot of bathroom humor and jokes. From Pigeons repeatedly puking up items to more disgusting moments – the bit is over played and unneeded throughout the movie.
But the biggest problem – as Lance starts to transform into a Pigeon he notices that his hand has shrunk. His next move is to open his pants to check on his privates to see if they were affected. In an a movie targeted to adults, this wouldn’t bother me but the marketing for Spies in Disguise is towards children and this bit and joke are inappropriate for the film. Yes, we know jokes and moments are added in for older viewers, but it seems something like that should not be placed in an animated film like this when the movie is clearly for kids.
Where does Spies in Disguise excel?
With the issues we had with the movie you would think we completely hated it. Which is actually untrue, it just wasn’t what we expected and has some issues that should be addressed. But the movie does have some great things in it as well – including a high focus on science and how it can be employed in different ways, championing the weird and unique – which often kids don’t get that message and even the strong support from a parental figure. These are great messages for kids and things that we feel should be screamed louder – even if they were tossed in with the other parts.
Spies in Disguise is in theaters everywhere this Christmas. While it may not be for all audiences, I’m sure there is an audience out there that will enjoy it. Overall, the movie does offer some laughs and some absolutely amazing graphics but the amount of inappropriate and just plain disgusting moments in the movie leave us questioning if it’s really hitting the mark for the holiday movie that most families are looking for when they head to the theater with their kids.
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About Spies in Disguise:
Twentieth Century Fox presents a Blue Sky Studios production, “Spies in Disguise,” an animated spy comedy adventure set in the slick, high-octane, globe-trotting world of international espionage. Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is…not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo is forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise-transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic…pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril. “Spies in Disguise” is directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno from a screenplay by Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor and a screen story by Cindy Davis inspired by the animated short film “Pigeon Impossible” by Lucas Martell. The film stars Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled and Masi Oka. “Spies in Disguise” is produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Michael J. Travers, p.g.a., with Chris Wedge and Kori Adelson serving as executive producers.