Star Rating:

Riverdance: The Animated Adventure

Streaming On: Watch Riverdance: The Animated Adventure on Sky Watch Riverdance: The Animated Adventure on Now

Director: Dave Rosenbaum

Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Brendan Gleeson, Jermaine Fowler

Release Date: Friday 28th May 2021

Genre(s): Animation, Family, Fantasy

Running time: 90 minutes

After experiencing a loss in the family, an Irish boy named Keegan is whisked away by his friend Moya to the mythical world of the Megaloceros Giganteus. They teach him about the magic of Riverdance, and then Keegan helps save the fantastical place from the clutches of an evil pirate kind of guy voiced by Brendan Gleeson

Like other terrible recent representations of Ireland such as ‘Artemis Fowl’ and, of course, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, ‘Riverdance: An Animated Adventure’ opens with a voiceover monologue that rolls its ‘r’s (didn’t even know we did that…) as a tin whistle plays in the background.

Aisling Bea jumps onto the scene playing a very Aisling Bea type. And then her character just sort of disappears…

Basing a feature length film around a form of dance is surreal in and of itself, especially in a movie that first displays said dance in the aftermath of a funeral.

Keegan expresses being hesitant to continue the tradition so beloved by his grandfather. Next thing you know, the child is getting chased by some sheep, almost off a cliff, and when the sheep fail in their murderous venture, they fart on the little boy (this reviewer pretty much gave up at this stage).

His new friend Moya (who, if she’s not dancing, won't stop singing) then literally dances on a river (it's a riverdance - geddit?). Then you’ve got the deer and stags you’ve been promised from the trailer coming in. And they’re American for some reason?

The boy can’t believe his eyes. He clicks his heels together because he “saw a girl do it in a film once, thought I’d give it a try” (a child not knowing the title of the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ may be a worse sin than the American-Irish deer).

And these aren’t any old stags. They also play hurling. Because they have to stay in shape, they say, for dancing.

Also confusing - they use their antlers to play instead of hurleys, which results in making the game look more like Gaelic football. So you find you're asking, why didn’t they just say they’re playing that…

Brendan Gleeson’s villain is this ridiculous pirate man who looks like the bad guy from ‘Meet the Robinsons’ (another terrible animated movie).

By the film’s conclusion (I’m omitting some parts here since, who knows, someone might actually want to watch this movie), they’re at Giant’s Causeway, because why not, one supposes, make the most of the movie being Oirish.

It all ends in a fireworks frog display (hardly the biggest oddity of the movie) and a big final dance back home, and in case that isn’t enough, you’ve a techno, remix of the Riverdance song playing during the closing credits.

This movie is exhaustingly bad.