Movie Games: ELF (2003)

Welcome the second edition of Movie Games a series where we look at a film and then its video game counterparts to not only discuss a games quality but how accurate of an adaptation it is.

In this Christmas episode I will be deep diving into the the 2003 comedy film ELF starring Will Ferrell, this movie only had one videogame adaptation releasing on the Nintendo Gameboy Advance the same year as the film.

First a Recap of the movie and I wont be shy on spoilers so be wary!

On Christmas Eve a baby from an orphanage crawls into Santa’s Sack and is taken to the North Pole, an older Elf agrees to raise the baby and 30 years later the now adult and much taller Buddy is struggling to fit in with the elves, he finds out he is a human and decides to travel to New York City to find his real father Walter Hobbs.

Buddy passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Upon arrival in New York Buddy is searching everywhere for his Father, causing havoc along the way, eating discarded gum, running around evolving doors and jumping across zebra crossings.

He finds his father in the Empire state building but is soon thrown out after Security is called by Walter Hobbs himself, the security sarcastically suggests Buddy goes back to Gimbels.

Taking the request literally Buddy goes into the department store and is mistaken for an employee of Santa’s Village here he meets the friendly but unenthusiastic Jovie, Buddy is so excited for Santa coming to visit the store that he stays behind over night to decorate the store. The next morning Santa comes to the store but its an imposter, Buddy rips off his beard and a fight ensues, Buddy is arrested but bailed out by Walter Hobbs who takes him to a doctor for a DNA test which proves a positive match!

Walter reluctantly takes his Son home to meet his wife Emily and his other son Michael, Walter doesn’t warm up to Buddy as quickly as Emily does and wants to throw him out onto the streets but Emily insists that Buddy stays with them until he recovers from his fantasies.

Buddy soon becomes a friend of Michael after he defeats his school bullies in an epic snowball fight, the two mess around the Gimbles department store and bump into Jovie, Michael encourages Buddy to ask her out and she says yes, after the date goes really well Buddy runs to his dads works to tell him that he is in love not knowing that world renowned author Miles Finch is there.

Finch who is short in stature is mistaken for an Elf by Buddy and his extremely offended walking out on his deal with Walter, Walter in a rage tells buddy to stay out of his life, buddy leaves and writes a goodbye letter to his family, while making his way back through New York City he spots Santa’s Sleigh crashed at Central Park, the Sleigh runs on Christmas Spirit but it had finally ran out and Santa asks Buddy to help him get it back.

Meanwhile Walter is now in another meeting with the CEO of the company after he finds Miles Finches notebook which is full of ideas, Michael bursts in and emotionally convinces Walter to choose family over work losing his job in the process, Walter and Michael find buddy in Central Park, the two makeup and help Buddy with his mission, Walter dresses as Santa to try and divert the Park Rangers while Michael takes Santa’s list and reads it on live TV convincing viewers of Santa’s existence.

Jovie remembers when Buddy told her “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” and begins singing Santa Claus is coming to town, the New Yorkers all join in and even Walter gets in on the action finally giving the sleigh enough power to fly again. In the finale we see Buddy spending Christmas with his family and the following year visiting his Papa Elf in the North Pole along with his Wife Jovie and their baby Susie, a truly happy ending.

The GBA videogame is a 2D platformer and for the most part it controls fine but the game is really bare bones when it comes to its gameplay, this is as generic as 2D platformers can get.

I will give some props to the game for adding various goals into some stages such as collecting all of Christmas Lights and the letters to spell NEWYORK.

Other stages are designed as either top down platformers or minigames, the worst of these stages is easily jumping across the Icebergs, this stage had really bad issues with landing, in most cases you would hit the water when you had definitely landed on the iceberg but because it wasn’t centred the game took that as a miss, the stage is very long and at some points the platforms you need land on are moving which makes it even worse.

Jumping is very floaty in the game in all platforming levels, the iceberg was definitely the worst offender but some other simple platforming such as jumping over the polar bears also proved to be needlessly difficult at times.

The minigame stages are all fine but very generic and extremely easy, examples of what to expect are the usual repeat the button presses, link up the pipes and hit the targets, minigame staples that we see in almost any game.

I’m not going to criticise the game on being generic as that’s almost expected from this, what I will criticise however is how lazy this adaptation actually is they use screenshots from the movie with no dialogue text to give players any idea on what is going on and to top this off the levels are not even accurate to movie.

Small errors such as the snowball fight including elves instead of school bullies,a lack of Walter Hobbs and his family (minus one screenshot at the end of the game) levels with plots including collecting Christmas lights, helping Santa deliver presents and a very small number of movie screenshots which no context make me wonder if this was released either before the movie or developed by a team who had no idea of the plot, needless to say its a pretty lame game and an even worse movie adaptation.

The soundtrack is awful we are only given some very simple audio loops or really bad chiptunes of Christmas songs just another another way to rush development and give the game even less originality.

This Christmas watch the movie but do yourself a favour and skip the GBA game!

2.7/10

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

Thank You for all of your support.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Advertisement

Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991) Review

x1080

In a forest on Halloween Sheldon Snail and Wiltshire Pig are testing out a new carnival ride on their friend Vince, the caring Sheldon is worried for his friends safety while Wiltshire Pig is more interested in making a large profit from those who ride it.

images (1)

After an accident with the ride causes a crater to be made in the ground, the two friends discover Frakenswines Diary which tells the story of the mad scientist and the monster he created, Wiltshire Pig is overly excited about this as directions to the doctors castle and lab are left in the diary encouraging both Sheldon and Wiltshire to seek them out in hopes of finding the monster.

8f080184dc523f2a94ad4ffa8b070e0f--happy-halloween-motionclayhalloween8

The entire movie is made using Claymation and is very impressive to look at and admire for how creative the project is, we don’t see much claymation work these days so this was very nostalgic to someone like me that grew up in an age where this style of animation was regularly used in movies and television.

The short is very funny and charming, the funniest parts are when Wiltshire Pig is trying to convince the monsters in the castle that he’s not alive so that they wont harm him or throw him out, the most hilarious encounter is with his dead grandmother, Wiltshire never attended her funeral and begins to panic trying to give an excuse as to why.

claymation_halloween_02

My favourite clay model in the short was a fat green monster that Sheldon and Wiltshire meet when they first enter the castle, the Frankenswine Monster was also a really fun design and its personality was unexpected and hilarious after all of the effort the duo went through to find it.

I had never heard of this special until today and after watching it I think its going to end up being an annual occurrence to me, the whole special was really funny and the animation style was fantastically made and a joy to watch, I would highly recommend checking this short animation out, as of this review the film is available on YouTube and I assure you it is excellent. I only wish it was a little bit longer as I enjoyed it so much.

9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991)

Happy Halloween 2019

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

Thank You for all of your support.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Four Christmases (2008) Review

They gotta celebrate four Christmases with four families and all in one day.

MV5BMTQ2MjA0NDAwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTU4MTM5MQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_

Four Christmases is about a couple Brad and Kate played by Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon who always lie to their parents and make excuses as to why they cant visit for Christmas every year, unfortunately for them on this particular year they made the excuse that they couldn’t make it because they are doing some charitable work over in Burma when in fact they are actually going on vacation in Fiji, all flights get cancelled due to fog and a news team comes in and interviews them live about how they feel about the holiday being cancelled, of course as you may expect all of the parents see the news report and are very excited because now Brad and Kate can spend christmas with each of the families which is great the only problem is that each of their parents are divorced which means that they will need to fit in visits to all four families on Christmas day.

(L-r) The holiday escape plans of Kate (REESE WITHERSPOON) and Brad (VINCE VAUGHN) are thwarted when they are cornered by a reporter at the airport in New Line CinemaÕs romantic comedy, ÒFour Christmases,Ó distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. "PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION."

The movie has a really interesting plot that honestly I have to give praise too as it’s definitely something that could actually happen in real life, I would be surprised if this hadn’t happened to anyone especially given the large number of divorced parents in the world.

What I hate about the movie is everything else first of all it is so obvious that Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon did not want to be in this movie, I don’t think I have ever watched a movie where the actors and actresses have looked so bored and uninterested through out an entire film, Reese Witherspoon did occasionally have fun playing her role a good example would be the bouncy castle scene where she is trying to get back her pregnancy test that had earlier been stolen by a child, the same cannot be said for Vince Vaughn his performance through out the entire movie can be summed up in just two words boring and awkward.

arts-4xmases-2nd-392

As what is probably expected all of the families are very different and each over play their lifestyles to give off a comedic effect, the families are great and each of them have left me some memorable moments from the film, you got Brad’s angry dad and his abusive kid’s which is the complete opposite to Brads mom who is what most people would call a hippy, Kates mother is played by Mary Steenburgen an award winning actress who has performed in many popular films such as Step Brothers, Elf and Back to the Future 3, Kate’s Mother is dating a Pastor and so to Kate’s surprise shes actually become a christian and Kates dad is just normal

download

The movie is advertised as a comedy and yet the jokes are just about as childish and cliched as they can get, I didn’t expect much else from this movie given it’s average rating on IMDB but the problem I have is that the film almost does have good Jokes but for some reason it moves on before even executing them, a great example of this is a scene in Brads mum’s house where a kid finds some Marijuana Brownie’s and that’s the joke he doesn’t eat them and it’s never even mentioned again, the kid finding the brownies is not funny but what would of been funny is the affect the Brownies would have had on the kid yet for some reason the movie doesn’t even try to make a joke out of the situation.

FC-05530rMDFour Christmases was a really disappointing movie, it had a great premise but an awful and effortless execution, the cast was just as boring as the film, the jokes aren’t funny and the entire movie is so predictable that you will know what going to happen before long before it ends.

Thanks for reading my Review of Four Christmases, please comment below if you think I was too harsh and remember this is just my opinion plenty of other people like this movie, I’m just not one of those people.

The next Christmas movie I will review is

p4322_d_v7_aa

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com