Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days – eighty-two minutes of joyful escapism

Le tour du monde en 80 jours


Around the World in 80 Days is playing in cinemas now.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Those of you of a certain age will remember an animated TV adventure series shown on Children’s BBC in the early 1990s. The show had a catchy theme tune and a colourful collection of characters. No, it wasn’t Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds; it was the other one, Around the World in 80 Days with Willy Fog. In Willy Fog’s epic animated tale, the classic Jules Verne novel found a unique voice as a lion and cat took the lead roles in a Spanish/Japanese co-production dubbed into English. Of course, this was not the first animated adaptation of Verne’s novel, but it was rare to have animals as the leading characters of a literary classic. Now we have a new animated adventure that celebrates the animal kingdom again. Here Phileas Fogg is a streetwise frog with a spring in his step, and Passepartout, an eager marmoset, keen to cut the strings of his overbearing mother.

The journey is fun, colourful and engaging, its humour appealing to a cross-section of ages; however, unlike the hand-drawn animation of Willy Fog decades before, Around the World in 80 Days mixes 3D and 2D animation in a slightly uneasy partnership that only occasionally strikes gold. However, despite a few shakey moments, this French-Belgium production is beautifully light and bouncy, with enough warmth to entertain kids and adults alike. While Around the World in 80 Days may not break new ground, it offers eighty-two minutes of joyful escapism and laughter.


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