Blu-ray Review: The Nut Job

The Nut Job Blu-ray review by Yes/No Films

*Disclosure: I received a Blu-ray copy of The Nut Job for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I didn't get a chance to see The Nut Job when it was in theaters, so I was happy to get a chance to review it. However, compared to other animated movies that are in theaters now, it unfortunately pales in comparison.

Synopsis, from IMDb: An incorrigibly self-serving exiled squirrel finds himself helping his former park brethren raid a nut store to survive, that is also the front for a human gang's bank robbery.

In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to see this movie on the same day as a screening of Rio 2 (my review will be up this Friday), which I thoroughly enjoyed. I remember seeing the previews for Nut Job and thinking it looked funny and unique, and for the first ten or fifteen minutes of the movie, it was; however, things soon started to unravel quickly.

First, the pluses:  The animation and graphics were very good here, so younger children might enjoy the film. The first ten minutes involved trying to steal nuts from a nut vendor - the place where the characters live have an NYC or Boston feel to it, though it's a fictional town called Oakton, and the movie takes place in the 1950s era. The attempted heist definitely catches your attention, and is a lot of fun. After that, though, it's easy to lose interest.

Also, the characters have insanely thick Boston accents, which made my mom and I laugh a lot, because we are from there (and she still has a thick accent).

Minuses: The plot is a little complicated and some of the characters are a little boring/naive. The voice cast is great - you have Will Arnett as Surly, who comes to be the hero, Katherine Heigl as the main female squirrel, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson as the evil Raccoon (yes, that was his name - just "Raccoon"), and Maya Rudolph as Precious the dog, among others.

The Nut Job Blu-ray review by Yes/No Films
Raccoon (voiced by Liam Neeson) and his evil henchbird

I also found myself uninterested in the plot. It's been called a bit more "political" than other animated films recently - Raccoon ends up being more like a dictator who tries to starve the citizens of the park so that he can remain in power - and I got a kick out of hearing Liam Neeson's voice coming out of him. But other than him and his henchbird (see pic above), and a bit part by Maya Rudolph as a dog, none of the characters are particularly memorable. To add to the confusion, the humans are trying to rob the same store that the squirrels are targeting, and so the plot is sometimes hard to follow.

I will say that The Nut Job must have done well at the box office, though, as there's already a sequel in the works, planned for 2016.

The Blu-ray version has these special features:
  • Deleted scenes: Scenes removed from the final version of the film.
  • Storyboards: Watch key scenes from the film brought to life from the original sketches.
  • The Great Nut Heist: Will Arnett (Surley the squirrel) discusses the caper story at the heart of the film.
  • Dance-off End Credits: Surly joins his friends and a very special guest for this show-stopping number.

The Nut Job
is rated PG with a runtime of 85 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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