We'd be lion if we said there was anything original about The Wild, the latest computer animation from the Disney studios. A cross between Madagascar (big-city zoo animals transported to the jungle) and Finding Nemo (anxious dad seeks missing son), it's a depressingly bland affair with creepy visuals that tread a fine line between nature-doc naturalism and cartoon zaniness. Frantically directed by the dubiously nicknamed Steve 'Spaz' Williams, it's further proof the House of Mouse ain't nothing without Pixar.
Stop us if you've heard this one before. A lion who takes pride of place at New York Zoo (Kiefer Sutherland) is forced to rely on his long-dormant instincts when he is suddenly relocated to 'the wild'. Along for the ride are an assortment of his fellow critters: a resourceful giraffe (Janeane Garofalo), a laconic koala (Eddie Izzard) and a hyperactive squirrel called Scrat... sorry, Benny (Jim Belushi). Oh, and did we mention the wacky lemur colony? Well, they're here too. Only they're not lemurs this time, but wildebeest. Makes all the difference.
"GRIEVOUS LACK OF WIT"
CG 'toons generally come in twos in Hollywood: for every Antz there's a Bug's Life, for every Nemo a Shark Tale and so on. (The next big thing are penguins, if the upcoming Happy Feet and Surf's Up are anything to go by.) What's so aggravating here is the grievous lack of wit, imagination and plain old story, Williams and his four writers content to throw just about anything at the screen (turtle curling, wildebeest break-dancing) in the vain hope it'll stick.