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Animated import 'Deep' sinks under the weight of its recycled materials

Animated import 'Deep' sinks under the weight of its recycled materials
A scene from the animated adventure-comedy "Deep." (The Thinklab Media / The Kraken Films)

Perhaps something got lost in the translation, but "Deep," the English-language version of a Spanish-Belgian animated undersea escapade, possesses precious little depth in its current form as an incessantly shrill and awfully derivative fish-out-of-water tale.

Not to be confused with "Leap!" another computer-generated production relegated to the lower rungs of the summer clearance heap, "Deep" concerns itself with the misadventures of the title character (voiced by Justin Felbinger), a kid squid with a bad case of wanderlust in the Nemo/Ariel/Moana tradition, who inadvertently detonates a long-dormant missile that imperils his marine colony.

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Determined to set things right, Deep, accompanied by a pert shrimp called Alice (Lindsey Alena), not so subtly summoning Ellen DeGeneres' Dory, and Evo, a dim-witted angler fish (Stephen Ezra Hughes making like "SpongeBob's" Patrick), embarks on a quest for help, stopping along the way at the sunken remains of the Titanic and an eerily submerged Manhattan (as if the two locations were a leisurely swim away).

There's obviously some sort of intended ecological message buried somewhere in this shameless Disney knockoff by director co-writer Julio Soto Gúrpide, but scrape away the soggy one-liners, generic CGI and cheesy musical numbers and what remains has all the briny allure of reheated fry oil.

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‘Deep’

Rating: PG for some mild rude humor and action/peril.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Playing: AMC Burbank 16; also on VOD

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