The second Disney release of 2006 was The Wild. I have heard about this before but didn’t watch it, because obviously. You know my track record of Disney movies was terrible before the project. (Sadly, the gif-fairy wasn’t generous with this one, sorry.)
The movie starts with a father telling his son an epic story about his younger days. We dive into the story, see vivid visuals of Africa and one lion fighting a lot of animals. The title card reminds us we are, in fact, in The Wild. (I don’t give out gold stars. You have to look at the Snark Squad for that sort of thing.)
The whole scene is about how the young lion found his roar, when the biggest beast attacked. It’s getting utterly ridiculous until the kiddo tries a roar and fails epically at that. And…dun, dun, duunnnn, we find ourselves in a zoo in New York, not The Wild.
I, for one, think the animation is pretty nicely done but apparently the critics din’t think so. I’m too often on the other side of what the majority of people likes or doesn’t like. Anyway. There are visitors at the zoo who heard the kiddo’s roar and they are laughing at him. Personally, I don’ think that’s fair but we need the drama.
The kid, Ryan, is disappointed and wants to prove himself. He mentions some green boxes but his father says nothing good comes of them. Hmm. Then a squirrel ends up in the lions den but it’s all good because they’re all friends.
After the zoo closes up, all the animals break loose and it basically turns into a sporting event. They play curling with turtles and OMG I love it! Also, Benny the squirrel, is in love with Bridget, a giraffe. It’s fantastically fantastic. I love how crazy this is! She is not having any of his advances but I like how he tries.
Meanwhile, Ryan is hanging out with a kangaroo and a hippo. They don’t seem like the best people to hang out with. Ryan still wants to prove himself so he gets up to the gazelles but more on that later.
First, we play some curling. I could watch a whole movie about the zoo’s curling tournament #justsaying The hot continent animals are losing to the arctic ones but Samson, that’s the big lion, is advocating them to use their secret play. It’s pretty fun. They also have a koala on the team, Nigel, and he is probably the sassiest thing in this movie. I love him and his ridiculous accent that makes me think of Melbsonmymind.
It looks like Samson and co. have won their game with a hail mary pass when the gazelles arrive and trample everything down. Samson isn’t happy with Ryan so the lad sulks away.
Benny suggests Samson tells his son the truth, whatever that is. I have a suspicion that out brave lion isn’t as much of a warrior than he lets other people assume but we will see.
Next we get a sad song montage to Good Enough by Lifehouse. To me, that’s more of a break up ballade but whatever. Ryan decides to pursue the green boxes, goes into one and everything is okay for a short while. Until the thing is closed up and set in motion. Samson hears Ryan’s cry for help but can’t do anything about it when the container is driven away on a truck. The animal gang follows it as long as the fences of the zoo allow. Womp, womp.
They go to ask the pigeons where the trucks go. Apparently they go to the Statue of Liberty, so the harbour to go overseas. Samson wants to go after his son because obviously but he tells his posse to stay put because he has to do it alone. Ugh, quit the high horse, honey.
Samson escapes the zoo via garbage can but it turns out, the rest of the gang had the same thought and they’re all together on the pursuit. They see New York City while ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay is playing.
At some point, they all leave the truck and go further on foot only to run into some dogs. Samson, despite him being a warrior, just hides instead of fighting them. they end up in the sewers where they run into some alligators. Those aren’t friendly at first but when they learn that the gang are tourists so to say, they get real friendly and help them find their way.
It’s all too late though, as they reach the harbour by sunrise and it is freaking big. They can only spot the green boxes on a ship and it is about to leave when they reach it. So the steal a small boat to follow the big ship to Africa. Of course they don’t ever run out of fuel. (I assume it’s Africa but even if it was South America, it was still impressive.) Benny, who fell off the garbage truck a while ago catches up via goose travel. Then the boat hits a beach and it is naturally next to the harbour where the big ship with the green boxes ended up. Only, the boxes are for animals to be stored in and transported to NY and not away from it because there is an active volcano.
Ryan darts off as soon as his container opens and the others hit the ground to look for him. Only, it’s their first time in the wild. Samson thinks he is on Ryan’s trail learns that he was just after the scent of some poop. And when he does’t eat the small animal they encounter, the other’s get suspicious. He has to reveal that he actually did not grow up in the wild but in a circus and he had the same roar problem as Ryan. Apple, meet tree. Anyway, they split up.
Ryan meets hippo and her daughter but that doesn’t end amicably. Also, Nigel gets separated from everyone and ends up in a cave with gazelles (I think that’s what they are). The cave is in the active volcano, I think. I just called it Mount Doom for emphasis but whatever.
The gazelles think that Nigel is a king and it is utterly phenomenal. Or, better yet, he s an omen because once, a stuffed koala bear fell off a plane and landed with the gazelles, which led to a victory of them over some other animals. Fun times.
Ryan was found by the geese but the vultures are after him. He still can’t roar so the vultures laugh at him. After a while, Samson hears Ryan and goes after him but so do the gazelles. Samson then has to reveal that his stories were just stories and he grew up in a circus. Whelp, I already mentioned that up top, sorry. They full reveal doesn’t happen until now, my bad. They fight alongside but get separated again.
Benny finds samson who looks injured. Meanwhile, Bridget and Larry the snake are already inside the cave. Samson gets back on his feet and trusts his instincts which runs out to be a bunch of chameleons, pointing him in the right direction. So much for instincts. They are, however, going to help Samson and Benny get into the cave unseen.
Inside the cave, Nigel is playing up his part and I LOVE IT! Until the gazelles want to cook the three captured animals. But fear not because Samson Inc. is there to free them, It all works splendidly for a while until their cover is blown. Dad and son still reunite and then comes the BIG FIGHT!
Ryan finds his roar just when he really, really has to. Because that’s always the way it goes. The volcano explodes and somehow all the animals are back on the boat and heading home. How, I have no idea.
Bridget gives in to Benny and it’s fantastic. They all dance together and it’s the end.
Now, this maybe wasn’t the most thought out movie or original one, but I still laughed a fair bit and enjoyed sassy Nigel to no end so I can’t quite see why the critics disliked this one so much. Considering some other terrible ones that got great reviews. But then again, taste varies.