Capture the Flag (3D) (PG)

two stars

Dir: Enrique Gato

Voices: Lorraine Pilkington, Philippa Alexander

Runtime: 94 minutes

WHAT a curious but good-looking guddle this animated space adventure is.

It is a Spanish production, which perhaps accounts for the mismatch between words and lip shapes in the English language version. But it also an all-American tale about Nasa and the moon landings. While at heart it is a simple father-son-grandfather yarn, its depictions of life out in the big blue yonder are anything but basic. A hit and miss affair, then, but if you have any budding astronauts in the family they will likely love this.

The hero is a boy who dreams, like his father and grandfather, of venturing into space. When some blonde, blowhard businessman (see if he reminds you of anyone …) says the moon landings were faked and launches a new space race with his billions, the White House responds by sending another rocket up. But who will get a golden ticket to ride?

More than a few parts of the film are a let down. There’s the regulation, annoying, comedy sidekick character and the story takes a while to get going. But the scenes in space achieve lift off, with the film capturing the silence, expanse, and sheer hard work it takes to boldly go, etc. While not quite Gravity, it is a lot more sophisticated than one might expect from a children’s animation.