Whaddaya know, I actually enjoyed The Clone Wars. This is the computer-animated movie that opened last year as a prelude to the TV show, and I skipped it because I thought it was going to be awful. However, I did think the character designs were pretty sweet, so after accidentally attending a panel at the San Diego ComicCon where the voice talent discussed their work on the show, I decided to give it a try and I rented it.
The story is pretty simple: Anakin Skywalker and his new padawan Ahsoka Tano must find Jabba the Hutt's son and return him to the Hutt crimelord so that the Republic's supply lines can safely be routed through Hutt space. Nothing spectacular, true, and neither is the dialogue, which is serviceable at best (and awfully clichéd at worst). Plus, the time period the action takes place in means nothing to me and I really couldn't care less about what happens. So why did I enjoy the movie? Two reasons, actually.
The first one is, like I said a couple of paragraphs above, the character design. I find the cartoony look the characters have really attractive. Both Obi-Wan's and Count Dooku's faces are very cool, with all those bold planes and sharp edges and daring lines. And Ahsoka is plain cute, with her round face, her big eyes, her multicolored head tentacles, and her matchstick figure. In one word, this whole movie looks super cute, even if the animation feels a bit stiff.
In second place, Ahsoka Tano is a fun character. She is spunky and sassy, an adorable know-it-all, and his interaction with Anakin (who acts better than his human counterpart) is very enjoyable. She actually reminded me of an eighth grader, so I unexpectedly identified with Anakin having to deal with her, teach her, and train her. Which means that if you don't deal with eighth graders on a regular basis, this whole thing might be lost on you.
There you have it. The Clone Wars is cute and somewhat fun and little else, which I know is not a lot, but it is by all means way more than I was expecting. Should you check it out? Probably not. Will I give the follow-up series a try? Well, I just might.