Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Tiger’s Apprentice review – comfort-food fantasy animation is all about Team Cat

Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Sandra Oh are among the all-star voices in this likable but generic story of a San Francisco teen and a posse of animal shapeshifters

This perky, likable but profoundly derivative animated feature arrives just in time for both lunar new year and the February half-term school holidays. Like a shop-bought char siu bao, it’s over-sweetened but moreish: Chinese-flavoured comfort food in cinematic form. The story, based on a novel by Laurence Yep, revolves around teenage Tom (voiced by Brandon Soo Hoo) who lives in San Francisco with Amah (which means “grandmother”), voiced by Tan Kheng Hua; the latter is an eccentric old dear who insists on slathering their 19th-century house in so many good luck charms that people leave oranges on the doorstep thinking it’s one big shrine.

It turns out that Amah is the guardian of a purple stone that can be turned into a phoenix; it is your basic magical MacGuffin that the film’s shapeshifting villain Loo (Michelle Yeoh) is after to do something nefarious. Luckily, Amah is tight with an Avengers-style posse of animal-people-zodiac entities, characters who zap back and forth from human shapes to talking animals at will. Chief among them is Hu (Henry Golding), the tiger of the title, a hunky, bearded daddy type when in his human form. But with such a strong-willed, independent-minded feline disposition, Hu must learn how to be a better teacher for Tom, his new apprentice, so they can foil Loo’s evil plans. Clearly, this has been made by people who are all Team Cat.

Continue reading…

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply