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Delgo
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2008
Many will complain about the lack of originality in "Delgo." Indeed, it's an archetypal fantasy story about a young, reckless hero, a wise elder, a damsel in distress, a wicked conqueror, and above all, a battle between good and evil. The only thing about this film that's original is the look, with typically medieval settings pushed aside in favor of a completely fictional, computer-generated alien planet called Jhamora. The characters are anything but human; they're divided into the amphibious Lokni people, the winged Nohrins, and an assortment of other strange beings that would pass for animals on our world. The pallet reminded me of the colors you'd see swirling on the surface of a soap bubble, bold shades of purple and green and blue with hints of red and orange. The visuals of this movie are so thoroughly extra-terrestrial that I find it hard to criticize them. I thought they were great to look at.

As for the story, yes, it follows a very well established formula to a tee. But did anyone complain about the lack of originality in "Star Wars," which was also about a young, reckless hero, a wise elder, and everything else I listed earlier? What about the "Lord of the Rings" saga? Or "The Chronicles of Narnia"? Or "Beowulf"? Poking holes in an archetypal story is pointless, in my opinion. If you don't agree, then you probably never liked such stories to begin with. All I know is that "Delgo" achieves exactly what it wanted to achieve, and because of that, I was able to look past its shortcomings and just enjoy it for what it was. The only thing I wondered about was how long ago it was made; it features a vocal performance by Anne Bancroft, who died in 2005. It seems a little odd that this movie was delayed for so long.

The setup: Long ago, when Nohirn lands became inhospitable, King Zahn (voiced by Louis Gossett, Jr.) made an agreement to share land with the Loknis. It wasn't long before tensions grew, the Nohrins claiming more land than was necessary. Then Zahn's power-hungry sister, Sedessa (voiced by Bancroft), launched an unnecessary attack against the Loknis, many of which were slaughtered. She then planned the murder of Zahn, his wife, and his infant daughter; she was caught before she could finish the job, which led to her being banished and having her wings cut off. The Loknis and the Nohrins formed a very shaky truce after that, forming a border that neither species is allowed to cross over.

The story proper: We meet a teenage Lokni named Delgo (voiced by Freddy Prinze, Jr.), whose parents died when Sedessa attacked his village many years ago. Ever since then, he's been living with Elder Marley (voiced by Michael Clark Duncan), a Zen-like master with mystical powers whose speaks almost entirely in proverbs. As hard as he tries to train Delgo with mind exercises, Delgo is stubborn, careless, and intolerant of the Nohrins. One day, while spending time near the border, he meets the headstrong Princess Kyla (voiced by Jennifer Love Hewitt). While there's an immediate attraction, there's also hostility, and it's made worse when Kyla's escorts--Raius (voiced by Malcolm McDowell) and Bogardus (voiced by Val Kilmer), both in Zahn's army--attack Delgo for making a wrong move.

Raius is secretly in cahoots with Sedessa, who's plotting to steal the throne away from her brother. This involves kidnapping Kyla and blaming Delgo for it, which in turn will start a war between the Nohrins and the Loknis. In order to save both Kyla and their peoples, Delgo and Bogardus reluctantly form an alliance; hopefully, they can put aside their differences long enough to stop Sedessa and prevent Zahn from launching the first attack.

No archetypal story would be complete without some comedy relief. On the Lokni side, there's Delgo's best friend, Filo (voiced by Chris Kattan), who sounds like a tweaker on a bad amphetamine high. On the Nohrin side, there's Sedessa's servant, Spig (voiced by Eric Idle), a bumbling dragon-like creature. Neither one adds much to the story, but then again, that's not what comedy relief is for. Filo and Spig provide the audience with a break from the action, and nothing more.

If what I've said hasn't piqued your interest, then it's probably best you avoid this movie. As I've already said, "Delgo" gives us nothing new in the way of story or character; with the exception of the visuals, it's about as formulaic as it gets. I'm recommending it mostly because it delivers at a basic level--you want a tried and true fantasy, you've got a tried and true fantasy. Some may not appreciate the animation, and I agree that it wasn't as polished as it could have been. Still, I've seen worse-looking CGI characters ("Star Wars: The Clone Wars" comes to mind). Ultimately, you'd be doing yourself a great disservice by expecting anything more from "Delgo" than what it promises. It functions in much the same way as a children's bedtime story: It's enjoyable even though it's been told to us time and time again. Consistency is always more comforting than originality. There may come a time when we will want a new story, but until then, we have movies like "Delgo" to keep us entertained.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 28, 2010
Format: DVD
This movie might almost be called "Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope (1977 & 2004 Versions, 2-Disc Widescreen Edition) in all-digital form;" as other reviewers have pointed out, it has many of the latter's elements--a naive and reckless young hero, a wise mentor, a mystical system of beliefs and battle skills, a traitor, and a far-distant setting. The planet Jhamora is inhabited by two races, the "barbarian" Lochni and the highly civilized, four-winged Nohrin, who uneasily share what's left of its space after the Nohrins' original country became uninhabitable some 20 years ago. A Lochni youth, Delgo (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), unexpectedly meets the Nohrin princess, Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt), and is drawn into a plot by her exiled aunt Sedessa (Anne Bancroft) to seize the throne from her father, King Zahn (Louis Gossett, Jr.), and destroy the Lochni once and for all. To thwart her, Delgo and his friend Filo (Chris Kattan) must free Kyla from her aunt's clutches, expose Sedssa's connection to the king's trusted General Raius (Malcolm McDowell), win over the loyalist Gen. Bogardus (Val Kilmer) to their side, and cope with the hazards endemic to their world, and Delgo must master the mystical training he's been getting ever since his parents were killed in the last Lochni-Nohrin war and he was taken in by Elder Marley (Michael Clarke Duncan).

Created totally by computer, the movie's best part is the sheer strangeness of the world it portrays, a strangeness leavened by the humanoid appearance of the Lochni and the Nohrin and by many of their artifacts (Nohrin architecture has a decidedly Art Nouveau look about it). The plants and animals are wonderfully imagined and the battle scenes suitably impressive. Of course it's not quite as convincing as live action might have been, but at least its creators should be given points for doing as well as they did, allowing for the ever-changing capabilities of computer technology, and for sticking to the project for the decade it took them to finish it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
As other reviewers have said, Delgo is a nice fantasy - princess/hero/villain - you write the rest. What makes this worth buying is the art work, the color and the precision of the graphics, especially the battle scenes. I watched it once for the story and immediately a second time to enjoy the art. On blu-ray with a 46" screen it was spectacular and I know I will watch it again. With the vocal talents of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Anne Bancroft, Val Kilmer, etc., you are drawn immediately to all the characters (except Filo whose humor has little that is original) and you hate all the villains. This is not going to be the best blu you have in your collection as far as story, but it is well worth the price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2010
Format: DVD
My daughter found this movie while looking for movies here on Amazon. She researched it and decided that it looked interesting and would be nice for the whole family. It is a wonderful movie. They love the animation and how it is different than most animations that they have seen. I love the story line. I did think that it could have had a different ending. All-in-all, it is a good movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was really disappointed that this movie was not better advertised when it came out at the theaters. I would have loved to have taken my kids and grand kids to see this. This is great fair. It has a very good story. Great animation and imagination. Get this for yourself or for your family. You won't be disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 16, 2010
Format: DVD
Boy this is a tough one to review. I went into it with low expectations (there are many critiques out there and none too shy about bashing it), came away mildly amused, and now in recollection, can't really determine just whom this film is designed to reach. But before I get into the pros and cons of the picture itself, let's take a moment to talk about how it came into being.

The film was the product of Fathom Studios, a subsidiary of Macquarium. Headquartered in Atlanta Georgia, Macquarium is an internet solutions consultancy company. So in other words, this is a motion picture that bypasses traditional Hollywood studio backing/ financing. The DVD is actually distributed by powerhouse 20th Century Fox but the film itself is essentially an indie project through and through.

The story, which could be easily be classified as high fantasy along the lines of say Lord of the Rings or Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal tells of two races who inhabit a vividly colorful realm: The Lokni and the Nohrin.

The Lokni are ground dwelling greenish humanoids (of which title character Delgo (Freddie Prinz Jr.) happens to be) while the Nohrin are a bit more fairy-esque with clear wings and a bit of a penchant for conflict.

It turns out the lands that the Nohrin come from have become increasingly inhospitable and the King Zahn (Louis Gossett Jr.) was able to make a deal with the Lokni to settle in their crowded land.

Tensions rise to the point of war between the two races and Delgo, an adventurous dreamer but naive teenager, finds himself in a position of having to prove to his people that peace can prevail amidst the feuding.

Suffice to say, my summary of the events taking place in this film is about as simplified as I can possibly make it considering the abundance of narration over exposition contained here. In that sense it's a bit like Star Wars Episode I in that the plot itself really isn't anything too original or deep but the cobbled nature in which the material is presented makes it appear more complex than it really is.

A lot of people seem to complain about the animation/ character rendering and in all honesty, it may be in a tier below the visual feasts we've come to expect from studios like Pixar and DreamWorks, it's certainly passable and at times, pretty engrossing.

It's the script and the characters that begin to unravel what could have been a pretty decent contender in the CG game. Freddy Prinz Jr.'s performance in the lead is okay, Val Kilmer does a nice job as the rogue, and even Burt Reynolds manages to deliver but Chris Kattan's rambunctious performance as Delgo's sidekick Filo is enough to drive anyone over the age of three absolutely bonkers! Yes it's clear the character was incorporated for comic relief much in the way Jar Jar Binks was integrated into Episode: 1. In both instances- fail! Annoying and funny are quite different after a certain age.

I suspect the biggest flaw here though is that the computer generated animated feature films simply must understand its intended audience every step of the way. It's young kids who line up to see these flicks and until young kids are allowed to drive by themselves, it's parents and guardians who will be paying for the ticket and sitting next to them.

Disney gets this, DreamWorks gets this and so do Pixar, Blue Sky, Sony Imageworks and the like. Delgo, however, seems to be quite unsure of who this film will appeal to. It's PG rating is well deserved as characters die, are murdered and so on. The plot is far too complicated and slowly paced to keep the attention of real little ones but the attempts at humor are far too over-the-top to appeal to anyone old enough to make sense of the story.

It's a shame really that I can't rate this higher than average because I'm a subscriber to the theory that computer generated features are the great equalizer in the film industry. There are literally tools used by the pros available freely to the public... A good story and some artistic skill could turn any aspiring animator into an internet sensation (whereas years ago when hand-drawn 2D was the epitome, very few had access to the tools).

Even still Delgo is an entirely middle of the road effort with a surprisingly impressive voice cast. I am sure it would have faired better if, like other indie projects Happily N'ever After and Hoodwinked, it put more emphasis on being funny and charming rather than aiming to be a modern epic.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2009
Format: DVD
I am truly disappointed in the lack of marketing for this movie. Yes the plot is very similar to many other movies, however the characters are so fantastical and the graphics are so beautiful it is truly a pleasure to watch! We purchased this as a family movie to watch with our 5 year old son and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!! Really wish there was better marketing, it really deserves much better than it got!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
Format: DVD
I wasn't sure of what I was getting into with Delgo when I was getting ready to watch it. Despite the fact that customers on this site praise this film, this film on every other site I've seen has been savagely torn apart by critics and moviegoers alike (27 out of 100 on Metacritic and a 13% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). I was pleasantly surprised with Delgo, and I actually got a decent film out of it. It's most certainly not the greatest animated film I've ever seen, and it will never make any "Best" lists, but it's still worth a look.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The film starts off by telling us of a war between two races, and a power struggle between a royal family. An evil woman named Sedessa tries to take over more of the enemy's territory, and when she is banished from the royal family, she then kills the king's wife and then loses her wings and is banished to a faraway land where years later she attempts to start war again. We are then introduced to our hero, Delgo whose parents were killed in the war years ago, his friend Filo, and then a girl from the other race named Kyla who is the daughter of the king. Together the group (Along with some other friends) must stop Sedessa from taking over the land and murdering the king.
MUSIC: The music is actually pretty good and it fits the mood quite well. I was never bored with it and it always flowed well with the film.
ACTING: They managed to get some pretty good actors to play in this film, and for the most part the actors were actually pretty good. I don't who the voice-actor for the character Filo was, but he annoyed the ever-loving crap out of me. I was just rooting for the bad guys in this film to kill him off, but sadly it never came. If you thought the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks was the most annoying character ever, think again there are much worse as proven by this character Filo. However, the rest of the voice-acting was good, even there were moments of cheesy dialogue.
ACTION: This film's biggest flaw is the lack of originality in, well, everything to be precise. None of these characters felt original, and seemed to be the usual stereotypical fantasy heroes we're accustomed to. There wasn't really anything that made me care about these characters and there was just no real way to relate to them. This film does however, feature some pretty good action sequences that can be rather explosive at times and really fun to watch. However, there's always that nagging feeling in the back of your head because you've already seen this before in other (Superior) films. While the CGI animation looks pretty, it's definitely not the best-looking CGI film I've ever seen (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is the best-looking of them all, and I recommend you see it).
OVERALL: While Delgo is most likely not going to wow you, it offers a good time that's worth the money despite the lack of originality. It offers enough good times that should keep the family entertained and there's enough humor to keep things flowing as well. However, you have other options at hand. Still, it won't hurt to try this film.
THE GOOD: Good CGI animation, good music, good acting, cool action scenes.
THE BAD: Nothing really feels original, some animation is stilted and awkward, and I despise the voice-acting of Filo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
This is a film for 9-10 year old. It is not exactly a love story, although people of opposite races fall in love and are separated by the feud/war between them. There are no complicated plot twist, nor those adult double entendres parents laugh it and later have to explain to their kids. It is a tolerable watch for adults. The movie is love, fantasy, and adventure. It copies scenes from other successful movies, such as the swinging cage from Time Bandits, and Gandolf's escape from the Tower. Yes, it has all been done before, but if you can do it well, why mess with a successful formula?
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2009
Format: DVD
Quite a Epic of a movie for a animated one. The graphics are pretty good, the
characters are plenty, and its good for the whole family. A familiar story of
Good against evil brings us to this world where they are trying to live in peace
but there's always someone's who wants WAR for their profits.
Love the scenes where we see both armies...the computer animation is always
improving. Im sure some will not like it...as in all movies, but for the ones
that like these kind of movies, i dont think you will be let down by this adventure.
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