An animated Space Cowboys with kids as unlikely astronauts, opened Dec 4th, 2015, in limited locations *** Three Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2015/12/5 – “Jordi Gasull [one of the producers] had tried for months to convince us to do a movie on astronauts but the idea was a little vague,” says Capture the Flag director Enrique Gato. “Until one day, while hanging out by the stairs at the end of work, we hit on an idea…to have a new space race in the 21st century. The good guys would do it exactly as it was done in 1969 while the bad guys would have the newest technology. One team is for preserving history, represented in the flag, and the other is for erasing it from the universe: That’s how Capture the Flag was born.”
Capture the Flag is Spain’s most popular animated film of the year. The English version is being released here initially only in Los Angeles by Paramount Pictures. The family-oriented film focuses on the space race reminiscent of the 1960 race for the moon. A multi-generational family must learn to work together to accomplish something great. Action, comedy and poignant moments overcome a few flaws with the story. Such as, where did the kids get space suits? Such logical objections fade away as we continue to watch. A great film for the whole family, entertaining for kids and adults. You’ll leave with a feel good feeling.
“Ideas often do come where you least expect it, when you least expect it,” says Gato. “In the middle of 2010, when the end of the journey on Adventures of Tadeo Jones was within sight, the question arose of what to do next. We could have either gone for a safe bet, like making Tadeo 2, or try something new and different that would open up new roads.”
Flag’s voice cast includes Spanish Affair film star Dani Rovira and Spanish TV Isabel series star Michelle Jenner. Spanish boy band phenom performs two of the songs. More at Variety.
“So, there was a powerful story on family reconciliation that took place in a unique environment,” says Gato. “This was a director’s dream, a perfectly balanced mix. On one hand, it was a film that adhered strictly to the data on the history books. But, on the other hand, it was a fantastic super production, and with an intimate story in its core.”
Capture the Flag is the story of Mike Goldwing, a 12 year-old boy who loves to surf and dreams of winning the surfing game Capture the Flag. His father Scott is currently an astronaut. His grandfather Frank was also an astronaut but the two won’t talk to each other. Mike’s mom Samantha wants them to reconcile. Billionaire Richard Carson wants to convince the world believe that the Apollo landing never happened so he can say he’s first to the moon and claim it as private property. The U.S. President reactivates the Apollo program using the remaining rocket that’s at the Smithsonian Museum. Mike’s grandfather and other Apollo are called out of retirement to train Scott how to fly the rocket.
When something goes wrong with the rocket, Mike and smart girlfriend Amy are launched to the moon. Their friend Marty is their own James Bond Q back on Earth helping them. With Carson launching too, it’s a race to capture the flag on the moon.
The movie is on two screens in the Los Angeles area, at Universal Citywalk and the in Arcadia at the Santa Anita 16.
Interview with Enrique Gato provided by Paramount Pictures. Review based on a screening at CityWalk on November 21st. Embargoed until December 4th.