The Queen’s Corgi Movie Review: Endearing and predictable in equal measure
A 50-50 sort of animated film that has enough within it to warrant a watch
The famous pet of Buckingham Palace gets an animated film in its honour. Corgis have long been a favourite of the British monarchy, and this part-endearing, part-predictable effort by Ben Stassen and Vincent Kesteloot shines a fictional light on just how much these brown and white, short-legged, pointy-eared, fluffy dogs fit into the royal consciousness. And while The Queen’s Corgi has its engaging moments that are sure to make you sigh and go “aww”, it isn’t particularly novel. Similar tropes and devices witnessed in prior projects make their way to the fore in this one as well. Comedy often sets one animation film apart from another, and though there are many attempts to elicit laughter in the story, only a handful stand out. The savage takedowns of Donald Trump and Melania, and their fictional Corgi, Mitzi, form some of its comedic highpoints.
Director: Ben Stassen, Vincent Kesteloot
Cast: Jack Whitehall, Julie Walters, Matt Lucas, Sheridan Smith, Tom Courtenay
As the palace gears up for a visit by the US President and the First Lady, no stone is left unturned: a cola bottle (resembling Coke) with “Covfefe” plastered on it is kept on display, knights’ armour across the halls are adorned with hats bearing the Stars and Stripes, and so on. Rex, an adolescent Corgi gifted to the Queen as a pup by Prince Philip, is the monarch’s new favourite (and Top Dog) despite the existing presence of three senior Corgis in the royal premises. He revels in the adulation of his famous mistress, alienating his older companions in the bargain. But things are about to go drastically wrong in this spoiled pooch’s life. Queen Elizabeth II proposes a match for Mitzi. Much to Rex’s dismay, she chooses him as her mate.
Donald Trump’s infamous catchphrases are turned on their head for effect. As his Corgi is about to choose her mate at the behest of the Queen, he yells, “grab the puppy.” Even at the lavish evening meal, the US President’s boorish behaviour is not spared (and rightfully so). With Rex fleeing from the clutches of Mitzi, he ends up under the dinner table with his tail swishing over Trump’s feet – to which the latter turns to the woman next to him, and exclaims, “Ooh, footsy!” Let’s not forget his ‘royal selfie’ moments with the Queen and her guards, either. These unrelenting barbs that allude to the man’s despicable conduct over the years are as satisfying to watch as they are wickedly ironical.
Other instances of laughter (though few and far between) include Rex entering his caged cell at the shelter. In response to his regal lineage (by Rex’s own admission, no doubt), the Jack Russel Terrier says, “If you’re who you say you are, I’m Napoleon and he’s Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.” Yes, not particularly original, but quite funny, all the same. The film’s numerous references to pop culture, such as the rules of Fight Club, work in its favour too.
The Queen’s Corgi disappoints when it comes to the predictability of its supposed twists, though. Rex’s initial betrayal can be seen approaching from a mile away. Despite some of the clear misfires in the plot and otherwise, it is not altogether unwatchable. Children have a higher chance of being engaged through the entire run of this 50-50 film. The animation and voice-acting in The Queen’s Corgi cannot be faulted, really. On the one hand, there is the average story and not-so-impressive writing to contend with, and on the other, there’s a tale about a cute dog who loses his way. What’s the worst that can happen?