Wylie Writes @ TIFF KIDS 2014: Knight Rusty


By: Addison Wylie

Knight Rusty is a terribly hard movie to warm up to.  Mostly because it comes across as a padded-out episode of a television cartoon that would barely have enough steam to punch out at 22 minutes.  What’s worse is that Knight Rusty plays as one of the weaker adventures during one of the final seasons when the creators have started recycling ideas and effort.

Right off the bat, moviegoers are thrown into this world of nuts and bolts with director Thomas Bodenstein and screenwriters Jörg Hilbert and Felix Janosa assuming everyone will be familiar with Rusty and the gang.

Knight Rusty originates from Germany, so maybe the characters have more relevance there.  But if you have no idea who these cartoons are going into Knight Rusty, you’ll be unamused by the lack of introductions and Bodenstein’s family flick will hardly offer anything worth writing home about.

If the film hits any achievement, it lies within the animation.  The visuals have a cutout sharpness and sheen that’s attractive.  It’s a mixture between a pop-up book and surrealistic mechanics.  It’s flare the film shines with, and Bodenstein has had a lot of fun incorporating machines in the everyday environment.  My personal favourites were the storm clouds that ran on predetermined tracks.

Unique animation can only carry a film so far, however.  It can’t mask just how obnoxious Rusty is, and how confusing it is to be rooting for a clumsy delinquent who lacks any sort of sweetness.  Everytime Rusty was a robotic klutz, I kept thinking about how Arthur Christmas was able to smitten me with similar flubs from a lead goofball who was sincere with every action.  Rusty’s dimwitted pompousness isn’t enamouring in the slightest.

The story involving Rusty, a stolen royal engine, and trying to earn respect as a knight is not appealing because the audience hasn’t been given enough reason to be interested.  Even youngsters will be shrugging at the alleged plot.

Knight Rusty is an irritating film that screeches and clangs through every scene.  Kids may be entertained by some of the action pieces, but the schtick will soon have them restless.  The jokes fall flat and the physical comedy wears thin.

If the film wasn’t directed at very young children, I could feel more distain towards it.  It’ll be an innocuous, colourful ride to that undemanding audience, but parents may find  Knight Rusty to be the cinematic equivalent to wearing a pail over your head and having people take swings at it.


Catch Knight Rusty at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox on:

Tuesday, April 8 at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday, April 13 at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m.

Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

Visit the official TIFF Kids International Film Festival webpage here!

Visit the official TIFF webpage here!

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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