A true Hungarian goulash, this low-grade, dispiritingly-animated kiddie "treat" was dubbed into English and unleashed onto home-video in 1995.
Ruling the peasantry through firepower, Lord Blackheart hunts for sport. When he takes aim at the beloved pet of Matt the Gooseboy, the bullying noble is outraged that the lad objects, and dismisses Matt's claims of ownership with 25 lashes. Ridiculing the rebellious boy's vow to return and avenge
himself threefold, the despot supervises the halting construction of his palace. An Italian architect convinces Blackheart to order his troops away for sturdier timber. Then, tying the unguarded ruler to a tree, Matt the Gooseboy whips off his Italian camouflage and administers his first pay-back
with a bumbershoot. Dismayed by the limitations of court quacks tending his wounds, Blackheart demands the services of a country doctor. Sending the potentate's soldiers on a wild goose chase for curative herbs, the rural medic reveals himself to be Matt, who now scores two out of three. On Fair
Day, castle minions are alerted to check for impostors rather than an actual gooseboy. With the aid of a sympathetic lord, Matt employs a look-alike to decoy away the royal horsemen, then whacks the easily-duped Blackheart for a third time. A boy and his goose beat the tyrannical system.
Why should squirming, media-wise youngsters be plunked down in front of what amounts to a sub-Hanna Barbera fairy tale with a foreign accent? Gilded with heavy-handed strains of classical music, this lugubrious morality play boasts an exotic coloring style and deliberately spare cel technique in
service of a fable that may as well have been presented in Budapest dialect. Lumpen and unamusing, the GOOSEBOY experience will seem primitive to kids weaned on Disney, and may send xenophobic grade-schoolers right back to the familiar company of Aladdin, Simba, Bart Simpson and the Flintstones.
Whether to broaden the American child's multicultural horizons or simply to crank out kidvid at minimal cost, certain video distributors released various unheralded East European and Japanese cartoon features in the 1980s and 90s, unflatteringly reminiscent of those supposed-to-be-good-for-you
dubbed kidflicks that low-budget entrepeneurs like K. Gordon Murray would import from Mexico or Lower Slobovia for yesteryear's movie-house matinees. THE ADVENTURES OF MATT THE GOOSEBOY has the same hollow ambiance.
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: NR
- Review: A true Hungarian goulash, this low-grade, dispiritingly-animated kiddie "treat" was dubbed into English and unleashed onto home-video in 1995. Ruling the peasantry through firepower, Lord Blackheart hunts for sport. When he takes aim at the beloved pet of… (more)