2005 Melbourne International Film Festival : McDull Prince de la Bun (2004)

26th July 2005

Director: Toe Yuen
Voices by: Lam Yat-fun, Sandra Ng, Andy Lau

Tagline: “Creative Pissing”

In this sequel to the delightful ‘My Life as McDull’, we follow the story of McDull (Lam Yat-fun) at a kindergarten in Hong Kong and his mother Mrs McBing (Sandra Ng) who only wants the best for him, but can be a bit annoying at times.

What makes this movie so charming is that all the main characters are baby animals and even the humans are drawn in very cute style. This is a perfect movie for kids to watch because of this, but it is also great for adults as there are references to the Hong Kong housing bubble bursting and urban redevelopment in the city.

As in the first film, the movie is animated with 2D characters on a 3D computer animated background with photo textures pasted on. These make it more strangely realistic at times and added to this are the sequences where the city becomes a fantasy world with apartment blocks turning into castles and the city of ‘Porttown’ where everything is made of shipping containers. I also liked the synchronised construction cranes that showed the pace of development in Hong Kong.

One day on a trip to her future gravesite, Mrs McBing tells McDull the story of the “Prince de la Bun” the moronic prince whose mother sends him out into the world.

McDull says he wants to hear Harry Potter instead, but his mother continues the story regardless.

We follow the Prince, until he grows up and ends up meeting the young Ms McBing and we find out the story is actually about how McDull’s father (Andy Lau) met her and how he left before McDull was born. Just describing the story doesn’t really do it justice however, as there are many funny characters and incidents along the way such as “Harry Pizza”, a cupboard with “Time Machine – It works!” written on it and even the giant robot of ‘Urban Renewal’.

My favourite scene isn’t part of the Prince storyline however. It is when Mrs McBing takes McDull to the doctor. She is concerned about his leg shaking all the time.

The doctor then argues with her and goes over the things he treats in rapid order, with Mrs McBing repeating them as well and they all end up jiggling along with McDull. If you have seen the first movie, it is quite similar to the “Mrs McBing Can Cook” sequence in that film.

I would have no trouble recommending this movie to anyone who likes animation or just a good story with enjoyable characters. Everything seems to fit into place, including the music that is a mix of classical and perfectly matched contemporary music that follows the story so well you don’t notice it most of the time.

Normally I wouldn’t buy such cutesy merchandise, but I liked the character designs in this film so much that I would actually consider buying them. I am sure there will be a sequel to this film also, as the main character is still in kindergarten and can always have more adventures.

As with the first film, I thought it was strange that the characters innocently referred to food that was actually made from their own kind. The ‘Prince de la Bun’ is probably a BBQ Pork Bun and ‘Harry Pizza’ gives the Prince parts of himself to eat.

Something that was also funny is that it actually managed to make toilet humour cute with its references to ‘creative pissing’ and the fact that everything is super-stylised so it looks cute by default.

I realise for some people, watching this movie would be worse than drinking an entire can of chocolate sweetened-condensed milk in the one sitting as it is so cute. I would instead recommend ‘Tamla 2010: A Punk Cat in Space’ as it is a lot more adult in nature, but still has some great character designs and excellent animation. If you are in the mood for it however, this movie is really fun and is also a great film to use for a ‘date’ film as there is nothing nasty about it.

Rating: 8/10

 


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