Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos Review

by Steve Pulaski

Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (“a rooster with many eggs”) opened in three-hundred and ninety-five theaters over the 2015 Labor Day weekend, making it the largest theater-count for a Mexican-animated film in America. If this film winds up experiencing a strong opening weekend, say $3 – 5 million or more, it could be a turning point for Spanish cinema in America. For years, I’ve wondered why Bollywood films are constantly appearing in American theaters and so seldom do we see a Spanish-speaking film in theaters, when Latinos are the most prominent and fastest-growing minority in the United States.

Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos is not an amazingly strong film, but it’s certainly not a bad kickoff for what could be more Spanish-speaking animated films finding a wider, more consistent release in US theaters. The film is another installment in the long-running Huevocartoon Producciones series, a formerly 2D animated film company, which has churned out animated films with lovable characters and slapstick humor for many years. This is the turning point for the company not only because this is the first time one of the films sees a wider release in America, but because the animation style of the series has been upgraded to CGI, giving the characters a more distinctive look than their traditionally animated counterparts. Finally, the screenwriters of the film took a different approach to writing the characters and the film than they have in the past, slightly forgoing the slapstick humor to make the film a bit more racier in its humor (hence the PG-13 rating), and toying with the fun of innuendos and double-entendres.

Un gallo con muchos huevos
Directed by
Gabriel Riva Palacio Alatriste
Cast
Bruno Bichir, Carlos Espejel, Angélica Vale
Release Date
4 September 2015
Steve’s Grade: C+


All these stakes would make one question if the film would collapse under the weight of its greater scope and ambition, but the film works well enough to see that this is the case where everybody, the director, the writers, and the voice actors, seems to be having a good time acting goofy. The film revolves around a timid little rooster named Toto (voiced by Bruno Bichir), who is tasked with the challenge of fighting an evil rancher, who threatens to buy and destroy his family’s farm, which has been passed down through generations. In order to keep the farm, Toto must fight Bankivoide (Sergio Sendel), an enormous rooster, in a cockfight with winner-take-all stakes. Already feeling himself crumble under pressure, Toto enlists in the help of his pals, a strip of bacon, a frog, and, yes, muchos huevos, to help him bring down Banki and save his family’s farm.

As stated, much of the film is built of innuendos and slightly more risque humor than your traditional animated feature (even the title can be interpreted two ways). I have no doubt that some of the best jokes get lost in the English translation, but the strength of screenwriters Carlos Zepeda and Javier Calderón comes in the way they can break down those barriers and make a film that has a solid amount of jokes that hit regardless of what language the film is in. With that, the characters, while on the zanier, more ridiculous side, find their own ways to charm, particularly a petulant but well-meaning frog, who helps earn the film some of its biggest laughs.

Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos is charming enough for a family outing; much of its humor is on the milder side and the bright colors and lively characters likely will distract from any racier jokes the film is attempting to get away with. This is on the more popcorn-entertainment side of the spectrum, lacking the narrative heft and longevity most animated films can merit, but the result is endearing, sweet, and surprisingly innocent little outing that could find itself being a pioneer for Spanish cinema in America.