Home Dreambuilders

Dreambuilders (U)

Cast: Tom Hale, Karen Ardiff, Luke Griffin, Emma Jenkins, Robyn Dempsey
Genre: Family
Author(s): Soren Grinderslev Hansen
Director: Kim Hagen Jensen, Tonni Zinck
Release Date: 17/07/2020 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 77mins
Country: Den
Year: 2020

Minna is a caring and sensitive girl, who shares a close relationship with her single father John. Their bond is threatened by the arrival of John;s new partner Helene and her selfish, social media-obsessed daughter Jenny. During one of her slumbers, Minna meets Gaff, an employee of the dream factory that has been creating the little girl's night-time fantasies since she was born. Minna learns how to control dreams and she resolves to teach Jenny a lesson.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Dreambuilders (U)

A resourceful girl abuses the power to shape her night-time imaginings in a colourful Danish computer-animated adventure co-directed by Kim Hagen Jensen and Tonni Zinck. Dubbed into English language for its cinema release, Dreambuilders teaches wholesome messages of sisterhood, compassion and compromise, laced with sticky sentiment. A linear script visualises our dream states as prop-filled wooden theatre stages, suspended in mid-air on long metal chains, which are accessed by mine carts on rollercoaster tracks. It’s a neat concept, providing Jensen and Zinck’s picture with a couple of vertiginous set-pieces as cutesy characters careen along the undulating metal pathway at dizzying speed, slaloming above and below myriad fantastical dream performances…

Repeatedly, the film encourages young viewers to let their imaginations run amok when they snuggle down quietly in bed but Dreambuilders doesn’t always heed its own excellent advice, following a linear narrative trajectory with minimum emotional distress. Vocal performances are solid but instantly forgettable and there’s a discernible lack of humour to prevent parents from enjoying a cheeky visit to their own dream stages during the undemanding 77 minutes.

Minna (voiced by Robyn Dempsey) is a caring and sensitive girl, who shares a seemingly unbreakable bond with her father, John (Tom Hale). They are a close-knit unit, taking on the world side by side after Minna’s mother, celebrated singer Karen Mitchles (Alberte Winding), abandons them to chase her musical dreams. The relationship is threatened by the arrival of John’s new partner Helene (Karen Ardiff) and her selfish, social media-obsessed daughter Jenny (Emma Jenkins). John attempts to allay his daughter’s fears, asking tenderly “Don’t you want to be a real family again?”

Determined to make her father happy, Minna puts on “her happy hat” but spiteful Jenny makes everyone’s lives a misery and threatens to have Minna’s beloved pet hamster Viggo Mortensen sent to an animal shelter. That night, Minna escapes harsh reality in her sleep and the girl discovers that her slumbering fantasies are created on a hand-built and painted set each night by a dreambuilder called Gaff (Luke Griffin) and his army of dream-bots. Minna learns she can gatecrash other dreams and the girl resolves to teach selfie-snapping arch-nemesis Jenny a lesson. “Disturbing other people’s dreams can have catastrophic consequences,” warns Gaff, who fears the wrath of the Inspector (Brendan McDonald) if Minna enacts her plan, codenamed Fix Jenny.

Dreambuilders makes light work of its central moral dilemma, quickly resolving differences with minimum character development. Jensen and co-director Zinck distil key plot points in dialogue, clearly signposting their humble intentions. A nightmare sequence involving hordes of clockwork spiders shouldn’t inspire sleepless nights.

– Jo Planter

 


London Cinemas Showing Dreambuilders


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