With no real story and the absence of a real climactic payoff, â€œFire in Cardboard Cityâ€ is a short film that you never feel invested in. A sad fate, especially given the fact that the quality of the overall animation far outweighs the depth of the narrative.
More like a series of disasters in Cardboard City, with characters that fail to grab your attention, followed by a not so shocking twist, it feels more like a small sample of what this team could do, in hopes of one day getting an opportunity to do so. While this is the goal of all short film creators, this attempt is rather blatant.
Although it doesnâ€™t feature a wild musical score or a top-notch cast, Phil Brough and Matt Heathâ€™s â€œFire in Cardboard Cityâ€ will remind you a ton of â€œLego Movie.â€ Why? Because youâ€™ll smell the big plot twist coming a mile away. Lacking a real narrative push, its mishmash of scenarios is what youâ€™d expect from a few kids in a backyard. Not so ironically thatâ€™s what you get by the end.
Again, itâ€™s not fair considering the quality of the animation. The fire, the water, the city, all look great. Thereâ€™s a litany of untapped potential here. And although the film is a short, it feels larger and thereâ€™s definitely room to do something. Ultimately, however, it just falls flat.
Overall, with a predictable and lacking story, this filmâ€™s most redeemable quality is the fun and unique animation. If thatâ€™s what youâ€™re looking for, youâ€™ll get a momentary smile or two out of it.
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