Gooby (DVD Review)12 Jul, 2009 By: Eui-jo Marquez
Prebook 7/14/09; Street 8/11/09
Box Office $0.003 million
Rated ‘PG’ for some mild rude humor and bullying.
Stars Robbie Coltrane, David James Elliott, Eugene Levy, Matthew Knight.
These days it can be difficult to find a movie that will make everyone in the family happy. Gooby, a coming-of-age story about courage and forgiveness, does the trick.
Matthew Knight plays 11-year-old Willy, who is at the mercy of his overactive imagination. Willy thinks alien monsters are lurking behind every corner, and he has developed a system of drawings and talismans to protect him from evil. Ignoring his wishes, his parents uproot him from his safe place and move to a new house.
Willy is saved by his childhood toy, which has turned into a big, fuzzy, orange monster who is more frightened of aliens than Willy. But Gooby is adventurous, and with him Willy grows up.
The story, which is the best part of the film, is exciting and fast-paced. Willy’s internal monologue is clever and creative and makes him likable. The jokes are clean but funny. And Willy’s imagination gives birth to special effects monsters that are more on par with Labyrinth than “Harry Potter.”
“Harry Potter” fans will recognize Gooby’s voice as Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane). But Coltrane is not actually inside the six-foot-tall suit. In Gooby’s size-30 shoes, Derek Scott, a master of physical comedy, hilariously dances and stumbles, reminiscent of the Muppets.
Gooby and Willy have good chemistry and create a very believable story with the rest of the cast — David James Elliot (“JAG”) as Willy’s Dad, Ingrid Kavelaars as his mom and Eugene Levy (Night at the Museum 2) as his teacher Mr. Nerdlinger.
It is a heartwarming, feel-good movie. Gooby shows Willy’s dad, and the audience, that family is the most important thing.