A Netflix special. So there is this area in the Sahara desert where two different factions of snakes coexist with each other, but keep to themselves. When two snakes fall for each other much like Montagues and Capulets, it becomes a giant adventure rescue mission when they become torn apart. This is currently available for streaming as a Netflix original, and being that it has a 2017 release date, it caught my eye. Well, the real reason that this got my attention is because my wife and I have an inside joke about cobras, but that’s a story for another day (I will say that it originated in a Nancy Drew video game to keep inquiring minds at bay). There is a very good reason why Sahara did not have a theatrical release, and it won’t take you long to recognize it.
Guess we’re just going to have to continue to wait for that great animated snake movie.
It probably won’t take you a whole lot of research to figure out that this was done on the cheap. Even if you don’t watch a ton of animated films, it does not take a discerning eye to see that this could have had about four more passes in the rendering department to make it look polished. But why would you is the question you would raise, and there isn’t a real good reason to. This is a movie that doesn’t have a whole lot going on for it, especially with the dialogue. For example, one of these snakes has a defining characteristic in that he is obsessed with pollen, which apparently gets snakes high. It is just an excuse to have a stoner character in a kid’s movie, and he has nothing on Crush from Finding Nemo. In fact, the one thing that this movie does well is making you comprehend why Disney is the juggernaut that it is in the animated industry. There is just skill, talent and a system of checks and balances in quality control that keeps them head, shoulders and torso above the competitors, even though I seriously doubt the creators of Sahara even begin to consider themselves to be in the same business.
Just doing a little bit of searching online yields concept art that was way better drawn than the finished product.
I do have a respect for Sahara knowing what it is and choosing to go straight to Netflix. There is nothing more embarrassing than something like Rock Dog having the misplaced desire to think that it is something that needs to be released in a theater. I will say that there were two scenes in this that felt like that belonged in a different movie, and they both revolve around dancing. One shifts the artwork completely, and it is a welcome breath of fresh air, and the other is a break dancing competition sequence that is just so bizarre, you’re not going to know what to do with it when you see it. Overall, this is an 80-minute feature that feels like it is two hours, and there is no real reason to watch it or subject your kids to it.
Sahara (2017) **
– Critic for Hire