Saturday, September 3, 2022

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

For the most part, I’m typically in the mood for a film studded with animal characters, I found out about this animated film earlier this year, and decided to give it a watch when it appeared on Paramount+. The subtitular protagonist is a dog who finds himself a prisoner in a country where cats rule and canines are forbidden and he's appointed as samurai by a warmongering official of a town to offend its people in hopes of driving them out in order to expand his palace. Hank ultimately becomes the pupil of an ex-samurai who ruined a shogun’s birthday party years ago.

The film is basically Blazing Saddles with animals and an oriental setting (with Mel Brooks voicing the feline shogun and having some involvement with the story, along with plenty of allusion to Brooks’ early American Western parody), and Samuel L. Jackson nicely voices the ex-samurai Jimbo. The script does at times feel immature, and I don’t particularly care for toilet humor (except for the main villain’s oversized emerald latrine dubbed the “super bowl”), but it’s far from Nickelodeon’s worst movie and has a few good laughs and decent opening/ending songs.

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