Movie Review

Toopy and Binoo: The Unknown Movie of the Summer

Image Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes under fair dealing.

Throughout the summer, so many highly-anticipated movies came out. From Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, to Barbie, to Oppenhiemer, it felt like people were excited about going to the movies. While I was at the theatre watching one of those aforementioned movies, I saw a preview for Toopy and Binoo: The Movie, which was released on August 11, 2023. I was previously unaware that this movie was coming out and although I watched the original animated show as a child, I had barely thought about it in years. Nevertheless, my friend and I went to the theatre in mid-August and watched it.

Note: This will be a spoiler-free review.

The film follows the titular characters on their journey to a magical land called the Lost and Found to retrieve Binoo’s lost stuffed animal, Patchy-Patch. Anyone who’s seen the original Toopy and Binoo show knows that Toopy is the only one of the pair who speaks. However, the film introduced other supporting characters so that Toopy isn’t the only one talking for an hour and a half. These include a genie named Dorothy, bird brothers Jean-Jacques and Jacques-Henri, and the nameless Magnificent Princess. I personally thought that the new additions were good at being entertaining characters that brought something to the story without overshadowing the main duo. The brothers provided comedic relief, while the Princess can come off as annoying at first, but she is the most “adult” character in the movie and ends up growing on the audience by the end.

However, one thing that I did notice was that at times, I found Toopy to be annoying and self-centered. I wondered if he was always like that and I just didn’t notice as a kid, so I found some episodes of the original show on YouTube to watch for a comparison. Of course, I could be biased because I remember watching and enjoying the show as a kid, but I did find this aspect of Toopy to be less apparent in the show (at least in the episodes I watched). Nevertheless, another important aspect to consider when comparing the show and the movie is the run time. Each 24 minute episode of the show is broken up into multiple shorter segments that are about 5 minutes each, while the movie is an hour and 24 minutes long. This means the audience of the movie isn’t used to seeing the characters for that long of a time in the same story, a factor that likely influenced my interpretation of their personalities.

Another thing I have to mention is the animation itself. Since the original show came out in 2005, the movie obviously has a higher animation quality. The larger backgrounds that were needed for the big screen were very well done and detailed. The majority of the movie was very colourful, which makes sense because it’s made for children, and overall felt like a bigger, fresher take of the original animation that didn’t make things look too different.

Overall, being a kid’s movie which I am definitely not the target audience for, the story is cute and emphasizes the main aspect that the original show did, which is Toopy and Binoo’s friendship. Given the short-segmented structure of the show, it’s impressive that they were able to make a decent full-length movie that would keep little kids entertained. While not being exactly the same, it still had enough nostalgia and references to the original show that adults who were fans can appreciate while watching the movie. The little kid sitting behind me in the theatre kept laughing and sounded like they were having a great time, and the adults that were also there (the theatre was mostly adults) seemed to enjoy it too. So if you grew up watching Toopy and Binoo but haven’t thought about it in 15 years, Toopy and Binoo: The Movie won’t disappoint you.

Image Citation

[1] Toupie et Binou, Toopy and Binoo Official Movie Poster. Toupie et Binou, 2023.

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