Annie Brocoli dans les fonds marins

In Quebec, Annie Brocoli is the idol of all the little kids, who play her CDs and videos over and over as if in search of hidden messages (“DAED SI ENGAPMAC NEMRAC”) She’s kind of like Barney, but bleached blonde and with eyes and a smile that endear her almost as much to the daddies as to their children. Oh, and she’s not a dinosaur.

This holiday season, Annie is releasing her first big screen adventure, “Annie Brocoli dans les fonds marins”, inspired by her CD of the same name. Directed by Claude Brie from a screenplay by Brocoli herself, the film takes our charming heroine under the sea straight into a world of 3D animation where she goes on a treasure hunt and, of course, sings a lot of songs.

She also meets a lot of oddball characters (all played by Annie in various colorful costumes and make-up): a car-washing squid, synchronized-swimming bananas, a mermaid, lettuce heads, a vegetarian lady frog, a stupid superhero… Most of those are obnoxious, but when she’s “herself” Brocoli is immensely watchable. You have to give it to her, she’s a shamelessly goofy performer and her songs are surprisingly catchy, with beats borrowed from reggae, mambo, disco, even hip-hop!

“Annie Brocoli dans les fonds marins” doesn’t possess half the artistry and wit of the similarly-themed Finding Nemo and grown-up viewers might roll their eyes at the dumb gags and the bulldozer-subtle environmental message, but on its own terms it’s enjoyable enough. You know, for kids!