When "The Loud House" debut on Nickelodeon in 2016, no one expected it to become one of Nickelodeon's biggest cartoons. Since its debut, the show about a young boy named Lincoln Loud living in a family with his ten unique sisters ended up winning the hearts of many fans and has even gotten to the point where it's become of the networks biggest shows alongside "SpongeBob SquarePants", has gotten a spinoff show called "The Casagrandes", and now has a feature-length film on Netflix entitled "The Loud House Movie". Compared to other animated films based on TV shows, it's not a film I would call anything huge as it doesn't have the strength like "The Simpsons Movie" or even Nickelodeon's own "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus" and I certainly don't think it's going to appeal to any non-fans of the show, but as someone who was an old fan of the show and has had some fun memories with this family, I did find myself enjoying it most of the time. It's not perfect, but for a wholesome family film, it does get the job done and I found it fun at times.
In the Michigan town of Royal Woods, eleven-year-old Lincoln Loud (Asher Bishop) has been feeling he's been in the shadow of his ten sisters including the golf-pro Lori (Catherine Taber), fashionista Leni (Lilliana Mumy), rock star Luna (Nika Futterman), comedian Luan (Cristina Pucelli), sports star Lynn (Jessica DiCicco), gloomy goth Lucy (also DiCicco), tomboy Lana (Grey Griffin), her twin pageant queen Lola (also Griffin), child prodigy scientist Lisa (Lara Jill Miller), and baby sister Lily (also Griffin). Wondering where to get inspiration to show what he's worth, he asks his parents Rita (Jill Talley) and Lynn Sr. (Brian Stepanek) where they might be from for the family to discover their ancestors are from Scotland. The family then packs their bags and heads off for Scotland and ends up in the town of Loch Loud where they find out from royal groundskeeper Angus (David Tennant) that they are descended from a royal family who is almost exactly like them. With the crazy family staying in the castle, the caretaker Morag (Michelle Gomez) becomes frustrated with the family as she wants peace and quiet and starts planning a scheme to get rid of the family once and for all.
I'm well aware that this film is probably not going to appeal to everyone. Throughout the last few years, the show has become quite divisive with some questioning whether or not the show truly lives up to the hype built around it for the past five years and some have outright hated it. As someone who was an old fan of the cartoon, when going into this film, I decided to look at how it lives up to the show as well as how it stands on its own as a feature-length film. Overall, I think it does well in both aspects. As I stated previously, this is a film that's probably more for the fans of the show than the non-fans but it still works well for those that haven't seen the show and are curious enough to check it out. The story for the film isn't the most original story I've seen though I do think it does fit well with the show. The film isn't as ambitious as other plots for films based on animated TV shows and does feel a bit restrained at times especially since I've seen the story of a character wanting to shine brightly and prove himself to his friends and or family before and while this film doesn't really do anything new or unique with the formula, I think it does its job well enough that it lends for a good time. There's a lot of charm throughout the film where you see the characters interacting with one another and doing some silly things and it's enough to make a Loud House family happy. Plus, it does lead to a fun and silly climax with a dragon and there's also a good message for younger children to appreciate that helps elevate it. There are also some fun little set pieces with the characters including one where Lucy decides to summon the ancestors and ends up summoning the ghost of her ancestral counterpart Lucille (Katie Townsend). That got a chuckle out of me.
There's also a couple of jokes that made me smile and laugh and I was relieved that the film didn't overdo it with stereotypical Scottish jokes like I was afraid as was the case for other animated films set in the UK like "Minions" and "America: The Motion Picture". As far as the animation goes, it's decent though it definitely has a fair share of problems. This film was initially scheduled for a theatrical release by Paramount to be released last year but early in 2019, they sold the film to Netflix and I think that probably caused Nickelodeon to bump down the budget. The film was also animated by a different studio than the studio that provided animation for the show as Jam City was overbooked with projects and didn't have time to do the film. Given those two factors, I'm not surprised that there are moments where the animation is a bit wonky with characters moving a little oddly and some rather strange moments that stood out. With that said, I do think the animators did the best job they could and I do commend them for stepping up the animation from the show. The backgrounds in particular are a real highlight as they have really good detail and line work put into them as well as unique shading techniques that aren't from the show. There's also a lot of fun uses of color, particularly to highlight moments where the sisters have moments to shine. Speaking of the sisters, I guess that should bring us down to the characters. The main character Lincoln is given some silly moments and while he does act overly cocky and selfish at times, he doesn't come off too unlikable considering he does care about his family and his ten sisters and doesn't want to hurt them and he does have boost confidence by the end. I also thought his sisters had chances to shine and had some funny moments due to how unique they were, but I do wish the film gave them a bit more as I didn't see a lot of them as I think I wish I could. Then there are the new characters for this film. Morag makes for a fun villain with Michelle Gomez clearly having a fun time in the role even if her motivation isn't anything original and David Tennant providing a goofy charm to Angus who's still kind and caring to the family despite their mistake. Overall, it just led to a fun time.
And I think I'll describe "The Loud House Movie" as a fun time. It's not gonna appeal to everyone especially people who have no interest in the show whatsoever, but for those that did like the cartoon, I think it'll appeal to them with its silly story and memorable characters. It's probably not among my favorite animated films based on a television show, but there's enough Loud charm that kept me smiling, and that was enough for me.