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You had me at Giant Monsters Fighting

Rumble is Rocky meets Pacific Rim meets Godzilla and for me, that’s the perfect one-two punch that kept me delighted with this animated film aimed at kids.

Rumble is about two kids that have daddy issues. One tries to live up to an almost mythical legacy of success and the other wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps in a sport she loves. I mean who hasn’t dreamed of being a manager to a 50-foot monster? Have you seen WWE? It’s a fun fantasy likely inspired by any number of boxing or other sports movies where the underdog with determination, grit, and belief is triumphant over all adversities. What’s not to love?

I saw a trailer for the film and immediately thought ‘great idea’ I grew up loving Godzilla movies, graduated to Pacific Rim, and (vaguely remember) liking Rocky movies (I’m not a sporty chick).

First off I have to say the animation looks really good! The team behind the visuals really worked on the movements looking natural, how the various creatures would ‘fight’, and how they would look in comparison to humans. I liked the voices most of which I was able to fully meld into the creatures since I didn’t recognize them. Hamish Grieve directed the movie and it felt fairly fresh and new since I had never heard of the graphic novel Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell (2013) that the movie was based on. 

I thought the pacing was pretty solid and kept me entertained especially when it incorporates the citizens of Stoker who get knocked down with the town monster and his coach get lost at sea and the town’s new monster Tentacular (Terry Crews) moves onto bigger pastures and fancier stadium. This leaves the town in a lot of debt and on the verge of bankruptcy where they are forced to make changes to pay the debt back. Into the rescue is Winnie Coyle (Geraldine Viswanathan) who takes her coaching know-how learned from her dad to search for a new monster to bring in the crowds to keep the beloved stadium named after her father and his monster partner opened. After searching high and low she finds a childhood friend Steve (Will Arnett) underground wrestling. Rumble really finds his feet as they both grow and gain confidence trying to save the Stoker Auditorium. 

This is a family movie that kids and adults can enjoy as well as having a clear message about growing out of your parent’s shadow/expectation, adulting and doing for others that can spark a thoughtful conversation. 

It’s not Shakespeare but for an animated movie that doesn’t talk down to kids, I really enjoyed it. I liked all the ‘good’ guys/gals and kind of understood the villain’s selfish motivation of wanting to be their own person and not compared to somebody else and found lacking.

Director: Hamish Grieve
Writers: Hamish Grieve, Matt Lieberman
Stars: Will Arnett, Terry Crews, Geraldine Viswanathan, Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoa’i, Tony Danza, Becky Lynch, Susan Kelechi Watson, Stephen A. Smith, Jimmy Tarto, Ben Schwartz, Michael Buffer

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