‘The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow‘ is a South Korean animated feature film from director Hyeong-yoon Jang and producer Young-kag Cho. It hit theaters in Asia in 2014 before arriving in the United States in 2018 where GKids provided an English version for local audiences.
KITSAT-1 (Ryan Bartley) is a satellite adrift in orbit that was scanning the Korean peninsula, slowly “appreciating” humanity as it observes them. After hearing a song from Kyung-chun (Daniel J. Edwards), she decides to leave her orbit. Kyung-chun unfortunately gets his heart broken and is consumed by a mysterious black cloud that turns him into a milk cow. He is pursued by the poacher Mr. Oh (Jimmy Flinders) who wants to steal his liver to sell. They are interrupted by a giant, living incenerator that also wants to devour the milk cow, but he is saved by Merlin (Kirk Thornton) who is trapped in a roll of toiler paper. During the battle, he accidentally hits the passing KITSAT with magic, giving her a human-like appearance. Going by Kat One, she and Merlin agree to help Kyung-chun, who is under constant threat from the poacher and the incenterator, which Merlin explains he is the only one that can stop it.
To start with, there was no “world building” so things just sort of happen with no explanation. Why did the cloud exist? Why does it disappear? Why is the Milk Cow the only animal that can defeat the incenerator? Kat One goes from having almost no emotions to being able to cry. How? There were a lot of threads that never get fully explored or explained.
The animation was competent as one can get, but the editing was a bit rough. There were several scenes where the character’s were saying dialogue, but their lips were did not match. There was also a scene where Kat One uses her arm as a projectile, but the animation showed her arm already launched. It seemed they were trying to duplicate the Studio Ghibli style, but it never got to that level.
With the plot, it was all over the place. There was no consistent way of telling the stories with character’s changing from one perspective to the next with no decent transition. It was also filled with a bunch of side plots that made the runtime seem way longer than it actually was. There were some whimsical and charming moments, but they were drowned out by the wild way the story was told.
Despite all of this, I laughed all the way through it. The film was one that was “so bad, it was good.” It came off very goofy and I have a feeling it will develop a cult following.
Bottom line, The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow is a movie that did not live up to its expectations as an animated film.
PS: I do not discourage the filmmakers from animation. Keep it up. Sure, this movie did not live up to standards, but it had a lot of good things and with some polishing, it could have been much better. Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes because I genuinely think they could bring us a decent animation feature.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Rude humor, Scary images
FAVORITE QUOTE: The coward became a cow.
Check out the trailer below:
This article is based on the English dub.
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