This weekend we got our first animated adventure of 2024 as a new film, The Tiger’s Apprentice, dropped on Paramount+. The film, based on the 2003 novel of the same name from Laurence Yep, features an all-star voice cast and a great, colorful look. But is the film worth checking out? Let’s dive in.
The film centers on Tom Lee (Brandon Soo Hoo), a teen who is trying to find his way in the world. That becomes harder when he seems to have some special abilities which make their appearance during a fight at school. Before his grandmother (Kheng Hua Tan) can explain his abilities and his family legacy, they end up in danger. A mysterious sorceress named Loo (Michelle Yeoh) comes to claim the phoenix egg, a sacred object that the Lee family is entrusted to guard.
To help Tom in his journey, his grandmother entrusts him to Mr. Hu (Henry Golding), which is Tom’s tiger guardian. Hu, along with the rest of the Zodiac guardians, help train Tom to reach his full potential so he can achieve his mission to protect the phoenix egg. Can they keep it from falling into Loo’s hands and being used for evil?
Is The Tiger’s Apprentice any good?
This film boasts a strong and deep voice cast. The rest of the cast includes Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Bowen Yang, Gretta Lee and Sherry Cola, among others. All the characters are fun, and the voice cast does a nice job. I also enjoyed the look of the film. The animated style and the bright use of color helps a number of the dynamic sequences pop on the screen as well.
The film moves at a decent pace, too. It clocks in about 84 minutes, making it a short commitment. There are plenty of action sequences and the plot moves at a strong pace as well. However, I would have liked to have some more depth of story and characters. I didn’t get enough about the world and Tom’s unique connection. It felt like more time could have been taken in the adaptation to expand the world and provide some depth of character that would have helped some of the third act hit a bit harder.
Still, I enjoyed the overall look and tone of the film. Fans of the book will be happy to see it come to life, and this is a film that should have some wide appeal, making it good for a wide audience.