The Keeper (Anna Torv) is seeking a rare mythical octopus and is currently offering various bandits and bounty hunters a high-paying reward. While the reward is impressive, the only problem is that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to find one! After a brief conversation between The Keeper and Chihoohoo (Tim Minchin), Chihoohoo and his hunters once again set out on the hunt. They return to the planet Peninsula to seek and capture the rare creature once and for all.
On Peninsula is Arkie (Jillian Nguyen), a young girl who adores technology-related matters. Arkie has one eye, and one of her arms is a tentacle. Arkie and her father, Blister (Rob Collins), who is, in fact, a giant octopus, live on the planet Peninsula. Currently, Arkie is seeking a crystal to complete her latest invention- the light beamer- while trying to learn from her father a technique to regenerate plants. Each day, Arkie and Blister are concerned for their world, especially whenever they see a beam of light shooting up into the sky. Blister is confident that someone is destroying life as we know it by draining the sun.
When Arkie mistakenly tests her latest invention, she alerts Chilhoohoo and his crew about their location. At the same time, a pair of bounty hunters named Bunniguru (Remy Hii) and Egg (Kate Murphy) also crash onto the planet not far from Arkie. Soon, Arkie makes a heartbreaking discovery that her father, Blister, has been captured and taken. Arkie and her new friends, Bunniguru and Egg, set out on a rescue mission to the City of Light. For Arkie, who has never set foot outside of the Peninsula, the dangerous journey shocks her as she learns more about her past.
Scarygirl is an animated adventure film based on a popular graphic novel. Carrying strong elements of sci-fi and fantasy along with light-hearted gags, the film introduces a new world that is consistently filled with surprises and wonders. Some characters throughout the film are fun and lively, while others are creepy, dark, and more frightening. Given the sci-fi aspect, the opening scene reminded me of titles like Blade Runner, Mad God, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. It’s also evident that the film is best suited for young teenagers as young children may find some scenes scary.
Throughout the film, there are some wonderful messages suitable for all ages. Some of these include accepting others and yourself, but I also enjoyed hearing messages like there’s always something you can do to improve the world. The animation is filled with stunning creations, and the many characters that appear are highly different and unique from one another. The voice cast is something that cannot be faulted, and again, there’s a great range here. Plot-wise, I must confess that I wasn’t overly invested initially because I was unaware of the graphic novel. Some of the storylines felt out of place, strange and bizarre. Thankfully, as the film progressed and reached the finale with its unexpected reveals and twists, it felt like everything tied in well, and my investment and journey felt rewarding.
Overall, Scarygirl introduces many creative characters and stunningly beautiful worlds. The sci-fi and fantasy aspects reminded me of films such as Mad God and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The voice cast throughout is surprising and terrific, and the animation style, like the characters, is creative and fascinating. I found the start of this film and its story slightly uneven and strange, but as I progressed, I couldn’t help but be drawn in. Arkie’s journey and major reveals in the finale felt unpredictable, leaving me feeling rewarded as the credits rolled.