Imagine an animation that’s a Canadian-South Korean co-production set in the 1950s and you might come up with something as wacky as The Nut Job.
Taglined ‘No nuts. No glory’, it has clearly been influenced by the Ice Age adventures of Scrat and, like Guardians of the Galaxy, features a leading character who is a Raccoon (Liam Neeson).
While everyone else in the park is faced with going hungry, selfish squirrel Surly (voice by Will Arnett) has a string of schemes up his purple-haired arms.
His latest wheeze is to raid his local park’s nut store to enable his friends to survive the cold weather.
“We get a crew, we break in and then stuff ourselves silly all winter,” he says dreaming of endless supplies of tasty almonds, walnuts, pistachios and peanut brittle.
But a gang of bank robbers are planning their own heist – with the aim of leaving bags of nuts in place of the loot.
When human interests are at cross purposes with the rodents’ crazy schemes, the fur is sure to fly...
Red squirrel Andie (Katherine Heigl) is the potential love interest, but Surly isn’t sure he can trust her any more than handsome grey squirrel Grayson (Brendan Fraser).
That leaves Buddy (Robert Tinkler) the gullible rat as the one character that Surly thinks he can rely on.
With Precious (Maya Rudolph) the dog not as fearsome as expected, children under seven will enjoy the slapstick nature of the fun and the irresistible Gangnam Style end credits sequence.
But the patchy script is a long way short of Pixar films like The Incredibles or even the camaraderie of Madagascar.
And parents might question why a film of this nature needs to feature humans using guns.