10 Lives (2024) Movie Review – Fun but furr-gettable animation for youngsters

Fun but furr-gettable animation for youngsters

Do cats really have 9 lives? Probably not but that’s the basis for this animated tale from Duck Duck Goose director Christopher Jenkins which features a lazy and overweight cat protagonist named Beckett (UK comedian Mo Gilligan).

After nearly losing one of his lives at the start of the movie when he is almost run over by a car, he is adopted by the car’s driver Rose (Simone Ashley), a young scientist who is trying to find a way to save the dwindling bee population.

Rose manages to formulate a serum to save our honey-loving friends but she is unable to save Beckett, who loses his 9th life after being flattened beneath a van. Following his demise, Beckett ascends to the gates of pet heaven, where he is given another chance at an earthly existence by the God that rules the animal afterlife.

However, there’s a catch. When Beckett is sent down to earth with a new batch of lives, he does not return as a cat. Instead, he starts his life anew as a badger before being transformed into other creatures, including a parrot, cockroach, and a dog, after being careless with the lives he has been given.

Coming back to earth as various wildlife isn’t Beckett’s only problem. As Rose no longer recognizes him, he finds himself without a home. It’s up to the unfortunate feline to somehow let Rose know that he is still alive while simultaneously trying to save her reputation from being ruined by a rival scientist named Professor Craven (Bill Nighy) who, after an unfortunate incident with a bee when he was younger, wants to rid the world of these flying insects. 

Younger kids will enjoy Beckett’s adventures as he morphs into creatures both large and small but grown-ups spoiled by the clever animation techniques used in such movies as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will be less than impressed by the simplistic animation used in 10 Lives. This isn’t to say the movie is never pleasant to look at but with its dated computer-generated imagery, it doesn’t contain the wow factor that modern audiences are used to. 

The movie contains plentiful moments of slapstick comedy and toilet humour that is bound to please its junior audience. But as the target demographic seems to be the under-7s, it seems odd that there are also a lot of gags that only their parents will understand. These include references to Robert De Niro’s character from Taxi Driver and a joke relating to the physical appearance of late singer David Bowie, which will fly over the heads of most children. 

Younger viewers might also be nonplussed by some of the movie’s dialogue. While the overall story is easy to follow, the writers occasionally throw in words like “visceral” which are hardly likely to be on the English curriculum for most young children. 

These niggles aside, the movie is certainly not the worst animated feature your children will watch this year. It has an excellent voice cast, including the aforementioned Mo Gilligan and Bill Nighy, as well as British singer Zayn Malick as a pair of dimwitted henchmen and Sophie Okenedo (The Wheel of Time) as the angel that greets Beckett every time he ascends up to heaven.

The movie also has some important messages to convey to your kids about appreciating home and caring for others, so has far more to say than such farcical movies as Minions that offer decent eye candy but little in the way of substance and morally appropriate life lessons. 

Ultimately, 10 Lives is a fun but forgettable movie that will keep most young children entertained during its runtime. It’s unlikely to gain many extra lives after its initial streaming debut but as a one-time watch, it should please all but the most demanding members of its junior audience. 


Read More: 10 Lives Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 6/10

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