Starring: Alec Baldwin, Tara Strong, Grey Griffin
Director: Butch Hartman
Running Time: 73 mins
The Fairly OddParents: Channel Chasers is an American film about Timmy Turner, who decides to run away from his parents and his evil babysitter Vicky into the world of television, along with his fairy godparents Cosmo and Wanda.
I absolutely loved The Fairly OddParents when I was a kid – and it was always an extra-special treat when Nickelodeon showed Channel Chasers. While I’m almost certainly a little blinded by nostalgia, watching this film for the first time in years I still had an absolute whale of a time, as it reminded me of just how sharp and fun-loving this classic of TV animation was.
Released at what was arguably the peak in quality of The Fairly OddParents, Channel Chasers takes the typical ten-minute episode format and impressively stretches it to over an hour, with an exciting, high-stakes story that lacks none of the energy and humour which made the show such a great watch week in and week out.
On the one hand, this feature-length film feels familiar in structure and style to a normal episode, but on the other, there’s a lot more going on here, and that helps it to remain a thoroughly entertaining watch over 72 minutes, with more than just Timmy Turner’s channel surfing at stake.
The film takes the show’s always-evil villain in Vicky the babysitter to new, properly terrifying extremes, with Timmy’s frustration boiling over to the point that this duel with her feels like it actually matters, with the film even introducing some captivating emotional notes towards the brilliant finale.
While it starts off fairly light-hearted and easy-going, Channel Chasers develops into a really touching watch by the end, with a little bit of coming-of-age drama that makes it more than just an extended Fairly OddParents episode, and which keeps you captivated right to the end.
But all this seems like a little bit of over-analysis for what is at heart a fun, action-packed and brilliantly imaginative feature-length adventure. Building upon the ever-lively dynamic between the trio of Timmy and his fairy godparents Cosmo and Wanda, Channel Chasers is full of laughs, and a story that takes every opportunity it gets to do something fun and a little bit out-there.
That includes the countless TV show parodies that Timmy walks through as he explores the world inside the television, not only hilarious because they’re so deliberately blatant, but really fun to watch as the film pays homage to each show by trying a range of animation styles, and poking fun at the shows in question with clever references and sharp wit throughout.
For a film that runs for just over an hour, there’s a whole lot to love about Channel Chasers, a film that not only impressively extends the format of The Fairly OddParents to feature length, but manages to do something different with imaginative storytelling, more sharp comedy and touching emotional depth towards the end. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7 overall.