Something may have been lost in the translation.

"Yellowbird" is a French animated film in which the voices are too often out-of-sync with the mouths, er, beaks that are speaking.

Not that this will matter all that much to the 4-7 year old set who are the film's obvious target audience. But anybody older is probably going to notice. They're probably also going to notice this is no "Frozen."

Seth Green dubs in the title character, a frightened, tiny yellow bird whose best friend is a ladybug (Yvette Nicole Brown) who encourages him to be adventurous. But the first time he wanders outside his home space, Yellowbird stumbles on the patriarch (Danny Glover) of a bluebird clan who's dying after being attacked by cats.

The bluebird was just about to lead his family on a long migration to Africa. With his dying breaths, he gives Yellowbird the directions and asks him to pass them along to his successor. Inexplicably, when the rest of the bluebirds arrive, Yellowbird claims the patriarch named him their new guide.

The problem is, Yellowbird has no idea how to get to Africa, and consequently leads the bluebirds north, first to Paris and then to Holland. By the time they hit snow, everybody has figured out Yellowbird is a fraud.

The film is filled with cutesy talking animals along the way — mice, an owl, husband and wife sea lions — and the vocal talent (Green, Dakota Fanning, Christine Baranski, Richard Kind) is pretty top notch. But the storyline is pretty thin and elementary. Your kindergartner might like "Yellowbird." You, not so much.



Rated PG for mild peril

Running time: 90 minutes

"Yellowbird" (PG) This animated, re-dubbed French film follows a small yellow bird (Seth Green) leading a migration of blue birds in the wrong direction. For small tykes only. (90 minutes) GRADE: C

Read or Share this story: