A construction worker studying archaeology named Tad Jones is hopelessly besotted with Sara, a world famous archaeologist and explorer. When Sara invites Tad, who is an old friend, to a presentation of her latest research, he jumps at the opportunity. Sara’s research confirms the existence and whereabouts of King Midas’ necklace, which gives its wearer God-like powers, but at the exposition, Sara is kidnapped. The only way that Tad can save her is to team up with her scholar, Tiffany, dog Jeff, Sara’s parrot Belzoni, and Mummy (an actual mummy) to find Sara and the pieces that make up Midas’ necklace.
Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas starts off awfully confusingly to say the least, as it presents little to no explanation of how Sara and Tad know one another and how they’ve come to know this Mummy character. Indeed, where Mummy comes from is barely established and why his annoying, neurotic tendencies are put up with is a mystery. Only upon reading about the movie’s background does one learn that the film is actually a sequel to the Spanish animation Tad the Lost Explorer, which explains the ridiculously long movie title, and which was a big hit six years ago when it made €45 million in the box office against a €8 million budget.
Once you get past the lack of context, the characters are pretty by-the-numbers and plot is simple and concise enough to follow. Overall though, the film’s frivolous, cartoony nature, whereby it is full of plot holes and questionable logic (yes, even by an animation's standard), is more irksome than winsome. Children should find it amusing enough, but there is little appeal for adults here, and its jokes tend to fall flat given they mostly derive from the annoying, nonsensical character that is Mummy.
The animation quality is a major improvement on its 2012 prequel, so kudos to the movie for that, and its colourful, multinational set pieces and characters should appeal to little ones. Overall though, the film is largely forgettable and uninspired, and while it’s always admirable to see studios aside from Disney and Dreamworks produce animated content, there’s just nothing particularly new, interesting or captivating about Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas.