Review by Camden Ferrell
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is a new film for Disney+. This movie is based on the popular children’s books, and it is written and directed by Academy award winner Tom McCarthy. While it tries its best to be a quirky adaptation for families, it is often too offbeat and monotonous for its own good.
This movie follows the titular character as he runs his detective agency with his imaginary polar bear. This is a premise that is quirky and exciting that could have made for some fresh and original family fun. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t utilize the film’s strongest attributes and mostly wastes its source material’s potential.
McCarthy’s script suffers from the flaw of being pretentious but not self-aware. He’s trying to craft a family film that plays out like an overly intelligent comedy, and it doesn’t work. Movies like Fantastic Mr. Fox have enough self-awareness to make this work really well, but this film doesn’t do the same. McCarthy is typically a strong director, but the execution of this film leaves a lot to be desired.
The cast is led by Winslow Fegley as Timmy Failure. He wasn’t given the greatest material, but he doesn’t quite nail the comic deadpan the movie desperately aims to achieve. The performance isn’t bad, but it isn’t really the most entertaining. The supporting cast including Wallace Shawn and Craig Robinson are decent in their performances, but they also don’t really add much to the film’s quality.
One of this movie’s few virtues is its exploration of childhood. It subtly deals with serious issues that many kids face, and it inspires a healthy outlet for their emotions. This movie teaches its audience about the importance of creativity, originality, and friendship. They are common themes, but they are always needed by many kids today.
However, even if the intent of this film is noble, a lot of its charm is lost in translation to the big screen. The movie is more uncomfortable than awkwardly charming, and there are some scenes which drag significantly. It’s a rather short film, but it’s one that feels a lot longer than it is. While some may like its narrative jumps, it’s more frustrating than anything.
This movie is cute in very small doses, but as a whole it becomes a tad insufferable. There were a lot of directions in which this movie could have gone, but it made a lot of questionable decisions which ultimately bogged down the final product. It’s admirable that they tried to create a new type of family film, but it didn’t work out very well.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made may be suitable for families to watch together, but Disney+ has a library of much better material. Some may be enamored by its offbeat attempts at humor, but the movie is more boring than not.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is now streaming on Disney+.