“If this is some kind of lame attempt to sell me on a group Halloween costume, I told you I’m going as a zombie cheerleader.”
Not to be confused with the 1997 movie of the same name which also deals with mummies, Under Wraps is an inoffensive quick little bit of animation definitely skewered towards the younger end of the viewing spectrum as a way to introduce young ones to the concept of movie monsters.
Danny’s (Drake Bell, Drake and Josh) family is on an archaeological dig in Egypt when Danny disobeys his parents (Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon; and Matthew Lillard, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed) and enters a pharaoh’s tomb. While there, he steals an artifact which inadvertently causes his parents to become cursed into mummies. Now Danny and his sister Eleanor (Kazumi Evans) only have until sundown to reverse the curse.
The strongest element Under Wraps has going for it is its extremely fast pace. At just slightly over 45 minutes, there isn’t enough time to dwell on portions of the story which could have gotten bogged down in needless exposition or too many sight gags. Not to say there aren’t either of those elements; they’re both just kept to a bare minimum, allowing the story to unfold at a rate perfect for a younger crowd who doesn’t have the attention span to focus that long anyway. It’s definitely played for laughs more than fright and is packed with lessons about what family means and how you fit into your own.
There are two different types of animation featured — one during the flashback section and one which takes us through the rest of the story. The flashback animation has more of a hand drawn feel to it, though both are CGI. The lighting is probably the best part of the 1.78:1 video transfer, offering up some unexpectedly lovely shading work, especially inside the tombs. The audio track is a Dolby Digital 5.1 and doesn’t draw attention to itself, acting as a quite serviceable track for the film.
The bonus features include a trailer as well as a digital copy of the film.
Under Wraps is quick and harmless. Only the very youngest viewers will find any scares; most will discover a few chuckles along the way.