Latest posts by Alexander P. Garza (see all)
- Review: Little Rooster’s Egg-cellent Adventure (Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos) - October 30, 2015
- Review: Behavior (Conducta) - June 17, 2015
- Lorís Simón Salum and the Literally Short Film Festival - June 12, 2015
I remember nearly 15 years ago, when I first saw some of the Huevo Cartoons online. I was in High School, and we had just got past dial up and AOL. We were using AIM, ICQ, Lycos and Yahoo. We were done recording cassette tapes off the radio, and we had started buying CDs. My cousins from Monterrey, Mexico would come to visit sporadically throughout the year. We were close in age, so we shared a lot of what was trending among teens in our respective countries. The newest thing was these Huevo Cartoons. Many people loved these cartoons to death, and thousands went online to catch the next episode, but I wasn’t one of those fans. I saw a couple of the cartoons, and occasionally got an email from one of my Mexican relatives with a link to one of the cartoons. Some of the things were funny, some of the jokes went over my head due to the culture barrier (yes, even though I’m Mexican American, it doesn’t mean I understand all Spanish and Mexican idioms, puns, and allusions.
But the original creators, directors and brothers Gabriel y Rodolfo Riva Palacio-Alatriste that bring the most recent film, Little Rooster’s Egg-cellent Adventure (Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos), removed those barriers for U.S. audiences. In fact, most of the allusions made are to U.S. culture. The film alludes to Rocky, Karate Kid, Snoop Dogg and The Godfather and focuses on easily understandable puns for Spanish-speaking U.S. citizens such as when Confi puts in eye drops after someone says “Ahi viene el moto”, meaning “Here comes the motorcycle”. (In Spanish, mota is slang for marijuana, and thus the play on words is with “moto”.) It was a pretty funny moment that none of the kids got in the audience.
The film is about a young rooster named Toto (Bruno Bichir), who is having trouble finding his voice so he can take over the morning crow and lead the farm. He also is a clumsy embarrassed mess when in the vicinity of his beloved Di (Maite Perroni), a young female chicken. When the farm is at risk of being sold, Toto must go into cockfighting and defeat the intimidating rooster, Bankivoide (Sergio Sendel), to gain the money to save the farm. Through a series of adventures, training sessions, and fights, Toto find his voice, and grows into the rooster he’s destined to be, saves the farm, and wins the heart of Di.
Formulaic? Absolutely. But for this film, it works. Fans have watched these characters grow, change, go through so many adventures together, and make new friends along the way. It’s now presumably something fans can now share with their children. The kids in the audience seemed to have a great time and laughed throughout. There were countless other adult jokes and innuendos, most of which probably went over the kids’ heads. However, if your child is apt to ask lots of questions, then you may be tasked with the difficult job of explaining some of these. One of the issues with the film is how it strives to gain mass appeal by targeting families and children, but the adult-joke driven tenants of what made the cartoon popular in the first place remain firmly in place. This is great for die hard fans and those who enjoy the nostalgia, like me, but terrible for people who don’t understand the show’s roots and have to explain sex and drug jokes to their children. I know of one person who told me that she walked out of the film, because she didn’t like the humor and said the film was just plain dumb. I let her know that it was actually the third film of the huevos and based on an adult-driven web cartoon that started fifteen years ago. She maintained her opinion of the film- not that I expected her to change her mind.
Despite this genre identity crisis the film has, the performances were outstanding. Bruno Bichir executes a seamless performance as Toto and his voice is much better suited for the role of Toto the rooster rather than Toto the egg from the first film or Toto as a chick in the second film. Omar Chaparro played Patín Patán, my favorite character of this film, a new huevo who is absolutely insane and hilariously engaging. Chaparro gave this huevo such an interesting voice with wild range of pitch and wonderfully appropriate tone. Confi was played by Gabriel Riva Palacio Alatriste and is probably my second favorite character of the film. It’s characters like this that allow the actor to paint the story with variation, excitement, comedy and entertainment gold. Another pair of characters that fit this mould are Tlacua y Cuache (Rodolfo Riva Palacio and Fernando Meza), two possums that discuss whether destiny exists while they unsuccessfully try to satiate their appetites by chasing after chickens.
The one thing that was highly distracting was the wattle- the red dangling skin from the bottom of the chin of chickens and roosters. They looked like, well, “huevos” dangling from every chicken or rooster in the film. It was pretty disgusting and pulled me out of the scene at times, especially at the beginning of the film. I’m not sure if it was done on purpose or not. If it was unintentional, I hope someone at some point pointed it out. Also, the film was also being featured in some theaters in 3D, however, I saw it in 2D. I don’t think I missed much from missing the 3D version, and I’m not sure how it would have added any value to the story. (That’s my opinion for most 3D films, actually.)
The bright colors, bright scenes, and well-animated characters and world brought the story to life. Creating the film using 3D CGI animation as opposed to the 2D animation of the first two films enhanced the experience. I was wondering if this switch was not going to do the Huevo Cartoons justice, but the animators expertly stayed true to the Huevo Cartoons roots. The film was extremely entertaining, and I eagerly await it’s release on DVD and digital format. If you’ve heard of the Huevo Cartoons, I highly recommend checking out this film. If you don’t know the Huevo Cartoons, then please check out the first two films to get an idea of the humor and the characters. You may find that you can enjoy the third film after understanding the Huevo Cartoons roots a little better.