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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gooby DVD Review

Gooby - An E1 Films Release


On DVD: August 4th, 2009

Rated G

Running time: 99 minutes

Wilson Coneybeare (dir.)

Wilson Coneybeare (writer)

Kevin Lau (music)

Ronald Royer (music)

Robbie Coltrane as Gooby (voice)

Derek Scott as Gooby (acting)

Matthew Knight as Willy

Eugene Levy as Mr. Nerdlinger

David James Elliott as Jack Dandridge

Ingrid Kavelaars as Elize

Gooby, (Voiced by Robbie Coltrane), trekking through the woods - Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Our reviews below:


Gooby DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Gooby is the story of Willy (Matthew Knight), an 11 year-old boy, who is worried that his new house might be infested with Hoonies (evil, two-headed space aliens). At some points I wasn’t sure whether to dismiss it as an over-active imagination, or if he was hallucinating. When his teddy bear, Gooby (voiced by Robbie Coltrane), comes to life, Willy is able to let go of his fears and make new friends. It’s a somewhat standard storyline, but is made original by the fact that it’s a giant teddy bear by his side, and not a stray dog.

The film stars Matthew Knight, who also starred in the near-terrible Finn on The Fly. Needless to say, this is a much much better live-action, Canadian family/kids film.

Gooby is probably the weirdest, trippiest kids film I have ever seen, but it’s also, as far as live-action kids films go, somewhat of a small gem. I felt a little silly liking it as much as I did, but the storyline is sweet, and the antics of the lovable Gooby are truly funny. It’s great for kids of all ages, and has enough manic appeal to keep everyone, including adults, entertained.

The DVD includes games, a music video and and some fun facts.


Gooby DVD Review By Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

Gooby is about a boy named Willy, who is unsure about moving to a new house, since there might be evil space aliens there. His mother thinks that his teddy bear, Gooby, would help him, but he dismisses him as just a kid’s toy. Of course, soon enough, Gooby comes to life.

Surprisingly, this tale of a 11 year old boy’s old teddy bear come to life is actually pretty good. Gooby is voiced by Robbie Coltrane, and Derek Scott - the man inside the bear suit - does a great job with the physical acting while as a ‘mascot’. It actually follows a good enough storyline - that pretty much makes sense - and keeps you entertained to the end. Granted, Gooby will definitely be enjoyed more by a younger, maybe 5-12 year old crowd, but this being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this film.


Gooby DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4) (**** for it’s intended audience of ages 6 to 10)

When I first saw the trailer for Gooby, I thought it would be mediocre at best. I was pleasantly surprised however, to discover a fun, lighthearted family comedy about friendship. Gooby tells the story of a ten year old boy, Willy, who is moving to a new home. He doesn’t want to leave his old home, and is afraid that his new house has imaginary two-headed aliens living in it. But when Willy moves into the new home, he finds not aliens, but a big, lovable, muppetlike, Sasquatch type creature. The friendly ursine is none other than his teddy bear, Gooby, come to life. Gooby and Willy help each other get over their fears. These adventures ultimately bring Willy closer to his father.

Gooby is a lot of fun. The acting is good, and the casting is perfect. Robbie Coltrane works as the voice of Gooby, and Eugene Levy is hilarious as Willy’s teacher. The storyline is sweet, and the score by Ronald Royer and Kevin Lou has just the right amount of suspense.

This film has no objectionable material, and has a lovely message about family. What works about Gooby is that the movie never gets cloying, and is quirky enough to appeal to adults. An added bonus is that this movie is Canadian. Gooby is a fun movie that the whole family can enjoy.


Gooby DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Gooby is great! This movie took me by surprise. I found it oddly appealing and really sweet. The storyline itself is not very original with the new kid at school, Will (Matthew Knight) having trouble fitting in and making friends. The twist in this story is having Willy’s old teddy bear, Gooby magically come to life and help Willy face his fears and learn about friendship.

What makes this movie work is Gooby himself. This man-sized, awkward and anxious teddy bear is funny, believable and completely likable. Robbie Coltrane, (better known as Hagrid from the Harry Potter movie) voices Gooby in a low-key, unassuming manner that works really well. I really liked the scenes with Gooby. One of my favorite scenes is the segment in the grocery store with Willy and Gooby. The low-key comedy in these scenes was fun to watch.

Another fun element in Gooby is Eugene Levy’s performance as Willy’s teacher who keeps trying unsuccessfully to get a picture of Gooby. The acting in Gooby is good all around and never goes over the top with silliness or slapstick humour. Matthew Knight as Willy gives a believable performance. This is a better movie than his recent other Canadian kid’s movie, Finn on the Fly.

Overall Gooby is definitely worth a rental. The whole family can watch this one without worrying about content or language. This is a solid Canadian family comedy/adventure movie.


Gooby DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Willy (Matthew Knight) is scared to move into a big new house surrounded by lots of land where aliens may be lurking. Since his hard-working parents are not there enough for him, his old teddy bear Gooby (Derek Scott in the bear suit, voiced by Robbie Coltrane with his native Scottish accent) comes to life to help him work through his anxieties and ultimately forge a bond with his father. Despite being almost two metres tall with a voracious appetite for cookies, Willy tries to keep Gooby hidden, except on Halloween when he passes him off as his father. Having felt alienated by peers at his new school, Willy suddenly gets their respect in the mall when Gooby lets out a roar that leaves the school bully in a yellow puddle and then gets them into a 14A horror movie under his supervision. Eugene Levy pops up repeatedly as an annoyingly eccentric substitute teacher obsessed with the chance to gain fame by taking Gooby’s picture, particularly in a supermarket where the film takes on a farcical stop-action quality reminiscent of A Hard Day’s Night.

Given an unimpressive trailer and the dreadful Finn on the Fly (starring the same kid) fresh in our memories, we did not have great hopes for Gooby. Its true that Gooby also has a low-budget feel to it, with shameless product placement from a cereal company named for a founding Pennsylvania sect and large Canadian grocery and home improvement chains. However, with its well-acted, charming and gentle story it turned out to be much more watchable than the previous film and will no doubt delight children.


Consensus: Coming Soon! *** (Out of 4)

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