Winter is coming to Oakton, the fictional city circa 1959 at the center of the new 3-D animated film "The Nut Job." Unfortunately, the critters who occupy Liberty Park haven't been able to store enough food to survive the season. That's of no concern to the aptly named Surly (
When Surly discovers a stash of snacks in a closed nut shop, he makes a deal with peacekeeper Andie (
Based on a 2005 short by director Peter Lepeniotis, "The Nut Job" features decent CG animation, especially of animals, but the writing isn't particularly clever, relying on obvious puns and slapstick humor. Moreover, in a bid to raise the stakes, the plot consists of double-crosses upon double-crosses upon double-crosses that kids may not be able to follow.
By far the nuttiest element is the inexplicable incorporation of an animated version of Korean pop star
"The Nut Job." MPAA rating: PG for mild action and rude humor. Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes. In general release.