REVIEW

The Queen's Corgi has a promising premise but is crude and ill-considered

THE QUEEN'S CORGI (PG) 85 minutes.

One star.

Any parent or significant caregiver who has had charge of young kids at some point or other in the past decade has reluctantly put on an animated movie, considering it cheap babysitting so they can concentrate on the washing or work or some other mundane activity, only to find themselves quietly chuckling away in the background at jokes deliberately implanted in the script to amuse parents.

They find themselves drawn into the narrative, silently crying in the kitchen - as I did every time my son watched Toy Story 2 and Jessie the cowgirl recalled getting cast aside by her original human owner.

Rex, voiced by Jack Whitehall, in The Queen's Corgi. Picture: Roadshow

Rex, voiced by Jack Whitehall, in The Queen's Corgi. Picture: Roadshow

They find themselves suggesting the film to their children, actually more for themselves.

My son watched the first Ice Age film possibly 100 times and I could have sat through it a few hundred more.

But he grew up.

The Queen's Corgi is a new animation released in time for the summer school holidays which features some lovely animation and a promising premise.

But it is not one of those aforementioned family classics, destined for repeat viewing.

But it is not one of those aforementioned family classics, destined for repeat viewing. It is, instead, an appalling exercise in misjudgment. Instead of being full of cunning adult subtext, it foregoes the cunning and subtext.

It is, instead, an appalling exercise in misjudgment. Instead of being full of cunning adult subtext, it foregoes the cunning and subtext.

The adult concepts are out there in the open: death, nymphomania, gay and transgender shaming, domestic violence.

And that's from the puppy dogs our kids are supposed to find cute.

The filmmakers behind The Queen's Corgi have completely, anachronistically, missed their decade.

It's like the script was written decades ago, by some Catskills or Blackpool chain-smoking comedian, when these jokes and scenarios were last considered acceptable.

It's like a mid-life crisis uncle bringing his stripper girlfriend to his eight-year-old nephew's birthday party.

Or like potty-mouthed Grandma Ella-Jean getting fully tanked on bourbon and propositioning her grand-daughter's friends at the girl's 16th birthday.

The Queen and pets in The Queen's Corgi. Picture: Roadshow

The Queen and pets in The Queen's Corgi. Picture: Roadshow

Those are two things that really happened in my family.

They're also the last time I can remember mouthing to myself, "This is supposed to be for children?" with the frequency I did during this film.

The film has redeeming features, particularly in its first few minutes, before the dialogue starts, depicting the young Rex (soon to be voiced by Jack Whitehall) growing up adorable, beloved and spoiled in Buckingham Palace.

Her Majesty (Julie Walters) adores him and plans to name him Favourite.

But Rex disgraces himself when the American President, First Lady and First Dog visit, with the Trumps' pet Corgi looking for a mate.

Rex is booted out of the Palace and left for dead by former friend Charlie (Matt Lucas) who covets the position of Queen's favourite Corgi for himself.

Poor Rex finds himself in a stray dogs' home, fighting for his life.

I wanted to like this film much more than I found I was able.

The voice talent for the British release of this Belgian production is impressive, with Whitehall, Walters and Lucas joined by Ray Winstone and Tom Courtenay.

The animation is lovely, but that script by Rob Sprackling and Johnny Smith is just ill-considered.

This story The Queen's Corgi is a royal dog first appeared on The Canberra Times.