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Unicorn Wars   review by Bobby Blakey

Shout! Factory and GKIDS have teamed up for numerous releases over the years including films like The Secret of Kells, Ernest & Celestine, White Snake and so many more. Their latest is Unicorn Wars from director Alberto Vazquez is yet another from the studios that brings a unique vision to life in the most unexpected way. Could this cute and cuddly tale be something that has the chance of packing a punch or will it be a war not worth being fought?


Unicorn Wars follows teddy bears that have been locked in an ancestral war against their sworn enemy, the unicorns, for ages with the promise that victory will complete the prophecy and usher in a new era. Aggressive, confident teddy bear Bluet and his sensitive, withdrawn brother Tubby could not be more different. As the rigors and humiliation of teddy bear bootcamp turn to the psychedelic horrors of a combat tour in the Magic Forest, their complicated history and increasingly strained relationship will come to determine the fate of the entire war.


I knew nothing about this film going in other than the visual look and idea. I purposely didn’t look into it to see if it was a kids film or more on the adult side because I wanted to see how it played out in real time. First and foremost it is very much not a kids film in anyway. It is filled with violence, gore and even some nudity early on and lets you know without a doubt that it is here to say something.


From the visuals alone I would have never thought that this film was going to be something so deep and violent, but it is all that and then some. Vazquez took inspiration from war films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon and Full Metal Jacket and has infused it with characters out of things like the Care Bears and Bambie. It is the kind of mash-up that

shouldn’t work, but does in every way. It has some funny elements, but overall it is not playing around and is a full on war film dealing with everything that brings.


There are so many things within this story that are relatable to the effects of war and what it does to people as well as the uses of religious beliefs to excel these horrible times. The ongoing ideals of the faith that is leading these two factions to war is sadly too true in the real world and handled here in a way that still has the same impact while being in this sometimes cute and fantastical world. The animation is beautiful and I loved the character designs. It even had elements that made me think of The Last Unicorn that in some ways could have been in the same forest. This was one of those unexpected delights that brought so much violence, beauty in its storytelling and a message in its finale that I hope finds the audience it deserves.  


In addition to the film, this release offers up bonus content a trailer, interviews, and featurettes take you behind bringing this animated film to life. Grab your copy of Unicorn Wars when it hits Blu-ray on May 9th from GKIDS and Shout! Factory.

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