H20 etc.
Molecules to the Max 3D
Review by Ross Anthony

Wow, Oxygen can sing! This element has some voice! The songs have nice punch, and a bluesy swing. However, despite the cartoony fun, there's a great deal of talking -- especially in the front end. I still think it's a neat production, but some hot action at the outset would have helped to win over little minds.

Basically, you've got a handful of atoms as characters: Carbon, Oxygen, and not surprisingly, a couple of frisky Hydrogens. They're all more or less bouncing balls that talk while zipping around the universe in a space ship looking for "The secret to life." The ship has the ability to get micro-small in order to view molecular structures of things, and then get big again to see the actual object. This is a cool idea, but it could have been realized better. I'm not sure it's clear enough to kids that the ship is "going micro." I would have liked to see the size lever on the control panel be labeled with + and - zoom symbols common on computer applications (most notably maps). Secondly, before ever using this zoom-lever for real, the atoms should play with it slowly, so kids could see the objects slowly getting bigger or smaller. Then they'd get it.

There's a similar problem with the balloon scene. It's a cool idea that our friendly atoms glide into a helium filled balloon. But, I don't think it's clear to kids that that's where we are as viewers (inside the balloon).

Also, when the two hydro's join the silver-throated Oxy -- there needed to be some visual indication that water was formed. Perhaps make that molecule sweaty, droplets falling to the floor -- something.

Technically, the 3-D was tight enough, but not all that spectacular. I was impressed with no visually compelling reason to see it in 3-D. As for the sound, there were times, especially with the Carbon character, when the dialogue became ununderstandable.

Lastly, I'm sure this production will be criticized for inconsistent age level content. The visuals look as though they'd appeal to young kids 4 to 7 or 8. But the dialogue has lots of big words, feels aimed at the older than 9 crowd. This could be a problem. Still, I happen to think challenging kids is a good thing. Yes, they'll miss a lot, but the picture does have it's reoccurring themes: oxygen and hydrogen make water, etc.

Overall, it's a quirky piece with lots of room for improvement. However, I really appreciate the effort and were I teaching third grade science, I'd want my kids to see it. As it is, I'd be very curious to see the stats on classrooms that have seen it. Did the young kids stay engaged? What did they learn? Did old kids tune out because of the kiddy visuals? What did they learn?

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Molecules to the Max 3D. Copyright © 2010.
  • Produced by Nanotoon.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 03-Mar-2010 15:51:26 PST