Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” based on the novel of the same name, is a unique film that is desperately in need of some consistency. At best, the film is entertaining with some unique scenes that will keep audiences on their toes. At worst, it is a scrambled narrative that attempts to teach morality to kids but cannot decide on a singular message. The ultimate shortcoming of the film is its inability to interest older audiences through lack of a meaningful narrative.
The plot of the film starts off slow and it is not until about halfway through the movie that it begins to get interesting.The real high points of the movie happen in the middle with some creative scenes and impressive special effects.
However, this high is short-lived, and a very obvious ending rounds out the film. Overall, the plot seems haphazardly strung together. There is a central goal, but at times it is difficult to see how the actions of the characters are attempting to reach that goal.
The film also attempts to include some moral messages clearly targeted toward children and pre-teens. It covers subject matter such as self-love, bullying and familial love. It has a few points where it successfully delivers a moral message that young kids should be exposed to but falls short by being a little too all over the place/
No theme is really fleshed out; each is sort of bluntly stated by a character. This may be the best way for children to grasp the messages, but it does not make for an interesting movie for all.
The performances in the film are satisfactory. There are no standout children in the cast, but none tarnish the experience with bad acting. The adult cast is the same way, except that Zach Galifianakis delivers a stand-out performance and Reese Witherspoon brings down the overall experience with her sub-par performance.
It is obvious that the film is catered toward a younger audience, and t Witherspoon’s performance really drives home the idea that children should be watching this film.
It could be said that this review is too harsh for a children’s movie. The film offers some nice moral messages that pre-teens or children should hear. However, the idea that a children’s movie should be just for kids is not one I buy into. A truly great children’s movie is one that can be enjoyed by all audiences.
Disney-Pixar typically nails the delicate balance between making something simple and easy to understand for kids but also witty and complex so that adults will enjoy the film as well. “Zootopia” is an excellent example of this. The film succeeds in delivering an important message to young audiences, while at the same time it succeeds in entertaining mature audiences with witty humor and more complex themes.
“A Wrinkle in Time” fails to strike this balance, clearly leaning toward entertaining younger audiences, and is difficult to for older audiences to enjoy.