Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure is a remake of a much loved arcade game about the adventures of a young girl who lives in the Candy Land area of the Candy Kingdom. In this version the main character, known as Lyric, has been shrunk into a tiny person due to a virus. His friend, Jib, wants him to go back home, but Lyric can’t move after contracting the virus. To save his life, he must find help from some unlikely people.
This fully-animated direct-to-DVD film is very much like the old arcade game. You’ll see all the classic features like the shop, the candy Mountain, the Candy Coin Challenge, the freeze tag, and the underground tunnel as well as the familiar control panel and screen. In fact, many of the old elements have been retained, but with a few improvements. The Great Lollipop Adventure is mostly in color and includes over 25 original songs, which gives it a nice nostalgic value. The animation is quite smooth for an animated direct-to-DVD film and some of the special effects are genuinely funny.
One of the things that makes this animated direct-to-dvd film so popular is its story. Princess Lolly of Candy Land lives in a beautiful house, filled with expensive candy that her father buys for her on a regular basis. However, one day her father finds out that she’s been stealing from him and he makes sure that she gets punished. But when Lyric, the little gingerbread boy who lives in the house, decides to steal some of his favorite candy, his parents catch him and lock him up in the attic. Now, faced with two evils to face, Lyric must learn to trust and love again. While he’s away, a blond princess named Ariel finds herself drawn into Lyric and they quickly start to have a relationship.
What actually makes this animated film so wonderful is the excellent storyboard work by Peter Chan. The story is told through the point-of-view of a character called the Lord of Candy, who lives in a candy land and rules it with an iron fist. It shows Lyric’s (voiced by Eric Bana) transformation from a spoiled and greedy boy to a caring and kindhearted prince who wants to help the poor people of Candy Land. In fact, the first few minutes of the movie have the entire cast reciting lines, almost verbatim. It is truly an amazing scene as it perfectly captures the fantasy world of the story.
The voice of the major characters, particularly the lovable gingerbread boy are very enjoyable to listen to. The voices of the other characters add more life and lovable characters to the storyline. The animation, while not as detailed as other animated films of its kind, is still extremely enjoyable. What really makes this film a classic is the use of pop-ups. Although this may not be a big surprise, the pop-ups are still extremely fun and have kept children entertained during the last few years. What more could you ask for from an animated direct-to-DVD film?
The other thing that makes Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure such a great cartoon is the incorporation of technology into the story. The scenes are shown from the point of view of the main characters, Lyric (voiced by Eric Bana), Ginger Tree (eds her own series), and King Candy (voiced by Craig Robinson). You can even see the reactions of your favorite cartoon characters as they get caught up in all the action. One notable scene involves the lollipops being stolen by a group of muggers. You also get to see how the candy is taken from the candy tree and Lyric and Ginger Tree get captured by the evil trio.
When it comes to the actual story, there are three different acts. Act one consists of the heroes tracking down the lollipops and the villains stealing them. This act also includes a miniaturized Ginger Tree trying to stop the thieves and a deleted scene from the first part of the movie where we see the Grinch stealing the candy from the tree. The second act sees the heroes reuniting with the missing candy and the Grinch attempting to get away with them again while they’re in a chase scene. Finally, in the final act, the heroes finally get their prize and rescue Lyric and Ginger Tree from the Grinch and confront him in his candy land: the Grinch Crumble.
Overall, the storyline is great and will keep children entertained. However, the special effects were found to be a bit lacking and it seems like the makers of Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure were trying to create the same effect as they did the original Gingerbread Man with several different types of explosions. The special effects were much less flashy than they could have been and some people have mentioned that some of the explosions could be too realistic for some children to enjoy. In spite of these issues, this is still one of the better gingerbread man remakes and is well worth a look if you like the original.
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