I never use box office figures or critical reviews as a reason to watch or not to watch a movie. Most of these movies made back their production costs, but just because they were far, far from being box office hits and/or damned with faint praise by movie critics didn’t mean I didn’t like them … I loved them! Here’s to going against the grain with my favourites.
Igor (2008) | Budget: $25 million. World Box Office: $30.6 million.
The movie that made me look up the definition of schadenfraude and expand my knowledge of the German tongue by word number twenty-five. Eddie Izzard, John Cleese, Jay Leno, James Lipton and a quaint little kingdom called Malaria. Somehow this Tim Burton-esque flick impressed me with its (ever so slightly) twisted society. The “Yes Masters Degree” remark and “Jaclyn and Heidi” duo? Genius!
Happy Feet Two (2011) | Budget: $135 million. World Box Office: $150.4 million.
How could I not love the thought of Mumble as a father of Erik, a penguin who just happens to be the cutest Emperor Penguin in the whole colony and is going through the same struggles as his father did to fit in and find his voice (literally!) Stealing the spotlight from Lovelace and Ramon is spunky Bodicea and Atticus, who remind me of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, respectively; I’m surprised Erik wasn’t given a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead and granny glasses to wear.
Flight of the Navigator (1986) | Budget: $9 million. World Box Office: $18 million.
Imagine being suddenly thrust into the future. Your younger brother, your parents and everyone else you know are eight years older, but you are still twelve and feeling both out of time and place. To make things worse, the government wants to know your secret. Discovering how to get back to when and where is a trip (pun intended) because that’s when the real fun begins. A touching tale that has David flying through the universe, encountering alien lifeforms, and learning why he is so special.
Babe 2: Pig in the City (1998) | Budget: $90 million. World Box Office: $69 million.
I can’t understand why Babe 2 was so negatively received by both critics and moviegoers. It seems that the sequel of a sleeper box office hit is damned to tepid critical reviews and financial failure, whether it’s made on a grander scale or uses the same formula that made its predecessor a hit. To me, Babe 2 still possesses the simple innocence and magic of Babe, albeit it in a different setting, and his story in the big city represents the logical continuation of Babe.