Back in 2008, George Lucas produced a feature length animation set between Episode II: Attack Of The Clones and Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. The Clone Wars was released in cinemas and would kick-start an animated series on Cartoon Network.
While the film earned a very healthy amount at the box-office, it was pretty much critically panned. The animation style not exactly wowing critics who were expecting something a little more big-screen friendly instead of what was essentially just a TV pilot. The 3D animation in question certainly didn't go for a realistic take on the characters who all look like wooden caricatures, their hair never flowing in the wind, their faces not that expressive. It takes a little time to get used to and one could see how a critic expecting Pixar would leave the cinema slightly disappointed but on the small screen it's definitely easier to accept. It helps that the backgrounds and the action sequences look great. The animation may have been criticised for taking shortcuts with the character design but it's hard to deny that a lot of effort went into bringing this whole world to life.
The plot sees Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter) take on a Padawan protégé called Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) before setting off on a mission with her to recover Jabba The Hutt's (Kevin Michael Richardson) son who was kidnapped by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) fights off a whole bunch of droids and baddies. Other than Lee, the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Daniels lend their voices to Windu and C-3PO respectively. It's a solid cast and although the script was also criticised, there's in fact very little wrong with it. The story does stand up as a convincing mission which could have potentially happened in between films and some elements which didn't quite work in live-action (those silly-sounding droids, Kenobi's corny one-liners) actually make more sense in an animation and young Star Wars fans will have a good time with it.
Maybe as a big-screen feature The Clone Wars was not quite cinematic enough but as a pilot episode of a cartoon series, it's pretty darn entertaining and well put together. Some will be off-put by the animation style no doubt but those who had fun with the prequels should find plenty to enjoy here.
One for fans but definitely worth a watch.