Inspector Sun (2022) 

A spider inspector, on his way to a vacation, ends up on a plane where a murder takes place, and he must investigate. 

Written by Toby Davies, David Freedman, and Rocco Pucillo, and directed by Julio Soto Gurpide, Inspector Sun is one of those films definitely made for kids, but with some surprising violence to it. The story here is mostly that of a police procedural, but written for kids, yet there is a murder and a few bits of extra violence that feel like the material is looking for older audiences. Yes, the look and feel of the film is very much that of a children’s movie, but it seems like it wants to be more. However, while trying to be more, it loses the audience no matter the age. The story here has adult themes (murder, Black Widow, etc), yet it’s most definitely aimed at children, making a difficult to review film.  

In terms of style and quality, the film is decent. This is not top shelf animation, but it’s a whole lot better than a lot of other animated films released on the cheap lately. This one is clearly done with some love, but does have the look of a slightly rushed animated film. The style of animation feels a bit generic, possibly all computer generated, but it’s not terrible. The work here is not bad, not great, it just kind of is. It’s middle of the road, something to put on for undiscerning kids who won’t have an issue with the murder and a few other scenes that feel a bit too old for a kids’ film. Basically, it’s decent animation and not much more. 

The English voice cast here is good enough, decent even, but not exactly a cast to write home about. Much like the story, the direction, and the animation, the voice cast is decent, but not a whole lot more. This fits with the film and is unfortunate at the same time as a truly stellar voice cast can make all the difference on a middle ground animation film. 

Normally, a review would now go into cinematography, editing, and special effects, but this is animation, so it’s all a part of the above. It’s good, it’s decent, it’s not exactly memorable. 

Which is the overall feeling of this film. It’s good enough, it’s decent enough, it’s not something you’ll remember watching in about a week. That is unless you have to explain murder and why a dog was sprayed in a his kennel in a plane. The film just is. And that’s something that feels like a bit of a letdown when animation can give us, the audience, so much more and does so regularly on the big screen, in direct to VOD films, and even in short form. Given what we have all be spoiled by in the last few years, seeing something this middle of the road makes it feel oddly off. This film is one of those that could have been so much better and kids deserve so much better in their cinema.