The Little Vampire 3D
The Little Vampire is an animated movie aimed at pre-teens which follows Rudolph, a teenage vampire whose clan is threatened by a notorious hunter.
The Little Vampire's story will be familiar to many, with Angela Sommer-Bodenburg's popular book series adapted for TV in the 1980s and for the big screen in 2000.
Now, the narrative has received its third iteration, as a CG-animated film directed by Richard Claus and Karsten Kiilerich.
Closely-based on the characters in the original novels, The Little Vampire tells of a 13-year-old vampire named Rudolph Sackville-Bagg, as voiced by Rasmus Hardiker, whose whole clan is threatened with extinction by notorious vampire hunter Rookery (Jim Carter).
With the mean Rookery on their coattails, Rudolph and his family are forbidden to leave their lair, though the young bloodsucker can't help but follow his brother Gregory (also voiced by Hardiker) when he escapes in an attempt to "grow up" and be a "real vampire".
Gregory is attacked by Rookery and his sidekick Maney (Joseph Kloska), and on his mission to get his sibling back to safety, Rudolph comes across an American family holidaying in Europe who become stranded in the Black Forest region after their car breaks down.
An unlikely friendship forms between Rudolph and Tony Thompson (Amy Saville), a mortal of the same age, who is fascinated by old castles, graveyards and, of course, vampires.
Once Rudolph manages to convince him that not all vampires are bloodsuckers, and that his family only drink blood from cows, the two decide to go on an adventure to Transylvania which sees them pull off a number of stunts, such as sliding down castle rooftops, flying through forests and coming up with cunning plans to outwit their adversaries.
Adventure sequences are the highlight of this film, with the plot serving up multiple chase scenes and a pretty humorous storyline involving a flying cow.
The screenwriters do a decent job of winding together a number of different themes, including sibling rivalry, family dynamics and prejudices towards the "other".
However, it is likely that child viewers will only recall the poop jokes in this flick.
The voice actors give acceptable performances, with appearances from Alice Krige, Miriam Margolyes and the late Tim Pigott-Smith welcomed.
Fans of animated hits such as Toy Story 3, Moana and Coco, may feel a little underwhelmed by the general tone of The Little Vampire, as the tale fails to pack a punch when it comes to evoking emotions from the viewer, and the animations, although well rendered, seem a bit outdated.
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