I love my job as an animation critic. I've been doing this job now for almost four years and I've had the pleasure of watching many animated movies over the years from many different studios. Some of the animated movies I have reviewed I found fantastic, but some I found were just not fantastic. If there's one animated film that doesn't deserve to be called fantastic though, it's easily "Delgo". It doesn't even deserve to be in the same sentence as fantastic. I have thought about this for a very long time and I think it's time I said it. This is the worst animated movie I have ever seen in my entire life so far. Worse than "Alpha and Omega", worse than "Norm of the North", and yes, even worse than "Duck Duck Goose". It really is that bad.
In a fantasy kingdom, a group of winged fairy-like creatures known as the Nohrin settle in the same land as the Lokni, a group of creatures that look like humanoid amphibians. However, the sister of the king of the Lokni, Sedessa (Anne Bancroft), feels the Lokni are evil and tries to take over the land herself by killing them only to be stopped by her brother, King Zahn (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who disowns her as his sister. Angered, Sedessa murders the queen and ends up being sentenced to exile and having her wings chopped off. Mad at her brother, she vows revenge by taking over the throne and turning the Nohrin on the Lokni. Meanwhile, two lokni boys named Delgo (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Filo (Chris Kattan) meet the princess of the Nohrin, Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and her and Delgo begin a secret relationship. However, she gets captured by Sedessa and her army and it's up to Delgo to rescue her. That's the short version of the story and the best I could do to explain in because this film is simply an absolute, utter mess.
This is a film that is a lot more infamous for its poor box office receipts than the film itself. The film which had started production in 1999, lost two of its actors who passed away during production, also lost MGM as a distributor, and ended up costing $40 million but didn't even make $1 million back. It became the worst opening for a box office film at that time and ended up becoming the lowest-grossing computer-animated movie ever made. There's a good reason why audiences stayed away from this film though because it is terrible. The story is a complete disaster. It's such a bland fantasy that barely had any originality to it and felt stale and tiresome. It also was extremely poorly told. The film's scenes felt very rushed and gave us little time to process events that just happened and also had some of the worst transitions I've ever seen in any film. I felt like the people working on this story had no idea how to properly tie the threads together. It was almost like watching a badly sewn together quilt come apart right before your eyes. It was simply embarrassing to watch. As far as the animation goes, it's hideous. This is one of the ugliest looking animated movies I have seen in quite some time. For animated movies that came out in 2008, this is embarrassing as it looks like a PlayStation 2 video game from 2002 and a really bad PlayStation video game at that. The backgrounds looked nicely detailed and rendered, but they contrast with the character models that look like clay and feel very outdated. It's also amazingly lazy as well. We don't get shots of characters reacting to certain events that happen as there's no animation to provide the reactions like a scene where Filo is trying to distract Sedessa with a gong. After the gong rings, we don't see her reaction to it being rung. She looks mad and tells the guards to get them after a few reaction shots between Delgo and Filo. It's amazingly lazy. I also hated just how hideous the character designs of this film were. Everyone in this film looked ugly and gross including the characters we're supposed to like. It just made the film an eyesore. As for the characters, every single one of them is awful. Delgo is a terrible protagonist as he doesn't evolve throughout the film. He just starts as whiny and cocky and stays that way throughout the entire film. Kyla was an extremely weak character as well as she does absolutely nothing throughout the whole film. Sedessa was also a terrible villain who was bland and boring since her evil plan is to take over the kingdom because she got angry at her brother. Also knowing this Anne Bancroft's final performance as she died before the film came out makes this sting for me. Bless her heart, she tried but there was no working around this awful script. Though the character that got under my skin was Filo. He was so annoying in this film and Chris Kattan's voice seriously got under my skin. Speaking of the voices, I have to talk about the audio quality for this film. It has one of the worst sound mixings I have ever heard for a film. The sound effects and the music often drowned out the voice acting at times and it got so bad that I had to put on subtitles and watch the rest of the film with them. That is inexcusable.
Honestly, I don't know what else to say about "Delgo". It's just terrible. The story is badly constructed and unoriginal, the animation is ugly and hideous, and the characters are all awful and unlikeable. I have no idea how this film ended up in theaters in the state that it did. It really is the worst animated movie I have ever seen up to this point. I don't know what else to say. I just ask of you to avoid this movie at all costs. It's not worth watching in any fashion whatsoever. There are better things to do with your time than watching this. It's just an awful animated movie.