If little boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails, I can be glad that so far there isn’t a movie devoted to puppy dog tails without the actual dogs attached. “Slugterra” is an Canadian/American animated TV series out of Disney Canada XD that was first broadcast in September 2012 and the series upgrades the slugs to cute colorful companions in an underground world called Slugterra.
In its third season, “Slugterra” had been popular enough to warrant the production of action figures and now a movie: “Slugterra: Ghoul from Beyond.”
As with most action series, the lead character is a young man. Here we have Eli Shane (Samuel Vincent) who collects, trains and duels with these colorful slugs, having left the surface world in search of his missing father. With his faithful slug, Burpy, he travels to Slugterra where he collects an assortment of compantions such as an older, boastful Molenoid (think mole man but friendly), Pronto Geronimole (Lee Tockar). Beatrice “Trixie” Sting (Shannon Chan-Kent) is the girl in this guy gang although this series is aimed at an age that probably isn’t interested in romance so this is more of a buddy-buddy thing. They also have a big blue cave troll Kord Zane (Andrew Francis) to provide the muscles.
How slug-slinging works is that this foursome rides vehicles, Mecha Beasts, that can be transformed into animal-like profiles or motorcycles or automobiles. They all have blasters. For ammo, they insert the slugs and the slugs are reusable. Eli Shane considers himself the protector of Slugterra and the 99 caverns where each cavern presents a new adventure.
The slugs have magical powers according to their element (Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Light, Dark, Freak, Metal, Toxic, Ice, Plant and Electrcity) and are brightly colored unless they have been changed into ghouls, usually by the evil Dr. Thaddeus Blakk.
Blakk creates ghoul slugs, but he has been defeated prior to this movie. In this movie Eli meets a strange figure, the Dark Slinger, who shoots ghouled slugs. During the battle, Eli falls unconscious and the ghouled slug attempts to enslave Eli hoping to rid Slugterra of the slugslingers.
There is no sex, but some violence, but no deaths. The moral of the story is the strength of one’s mind and one’s loyalty to one’s friends. Gardeners and good housekeepers everywhere must be frustrated that slugs, snails and even cockroaches are being recruited to be cute companions and sidekicks in animation, but other than promoting the cause of slugs, this animated feature has a lot to recommend for younger children, particularly boys. It has interesting graphics and has created a detailed world in which young minds can delve into. It does bother me that the action figure and hero is male so perhaps you might balance it out with some female action heroes.
Available on DVD June 10th, 2014 from Shout! Factory in collaboration with Nerd Corps Entertainment, this exciting animated movie also includes a bonus ‘slugisode’ and has a suggested retail price of $14.97.