The Willoughbys

Director: Kris Pearn, Cory Evans and Rob Lodermeier
Year Released: 2020
Rating: 1.0

Born to cruel and neglectful parents who refuse to feed them, the Willoughby kids - Tim (voiced by Will Forte), Jane (singer Alessia Cara) and twins Barnaby A and B (Seán Cullen) - want to be orphans, but when they're all separated from each other they figure it was better when they had their parents back.  I know it's a movie made for kids, but there is simply too much going on: it's painfully derivative (Pixar, Roald Dahl, Tim Burton, Lemony Snicket, Wes Anderson, etc. are 'borrowed' from), it tries too hard to be frantic and jaded and none of the characters except for the cat (Ricky Gervais) and maybe the nanny (Maya Rudolph) - who has a sad past of her own - are even semi-likeable.  I realize there's a message in there about "making your own family" - and not being 'tied down' to biological relatives who don't have your best interests at heart - but it could have used a more unique approach (although some of the digital effects, like making the characters' hair look like yarn, is neat).