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The SnowRaven Chronicles: The Treasure of Ockra-Bane

average rating is 1 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Jun 23, 2023

Film Reviews
The SnowRaven Chronicles: The Treasure of Ockra-Bane
Directed by:
AJ Spencer
Written by:
AJ Spencer

Many of us will have had fun in the past, perhaps in our collective youths, making some whacko nonsense on our parents computer. Something which at the time will have seemed like a masterpiece, but to anyone with even a remotely developed brain is dull, nonsensical and plainly bad. ‘The SnowRaven Chronicles: The Treasure of Ockra-Bane’ is what happens when one of those films is presented as a film rather than as just a child messing around creatively. It is, quite simply, unwatchable for the entirety of its eleven minute runtime, and you have to wonder who on earth thought any of it was a good idea.


The story - though calling it that may be a stretch - involves the heroic, eponymous Lady SnowRaven (what a dreadful name!) and her quest to claim the fabled treasure of Ockra-bane, which is supposedly hidden within the ancient remnants of a long forgotten civilisation deep in the mountains of Andorra. Unfortunately for Lady SnowRaven, and for everyone watching, the film doesn’t end there, and she must fend off a series of monsters, including a swam of vengeful Vosharian (what a Vosharian is I could not tell you), before the film can finally conclude after eleven minutes that feel like an eternity.


The film is animated in a style not seen since bad video games in the early 2000s, with the archaic, computer generated images used in this film not used in nearly twenty years, and for good reason. The animation style - particularly in a world in which ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ has recently been released, ‘Toy Story’ is nearly thirty years old, and ‘Steamboat Willie’ is almost one-hundred - lacks the humanity that people have imbued into animation since the practice began. Each movement feels robotic, and each character is plainly unrealistic despite obvious attempts to make them appear real. There’s a reason this kind of animation is no longer used, and that’s because technology has progressed, hell, it had already progressed thirty years ago, and it is now almost obsolete, save for a few games, and animation tools used to teach kids.


The animation style is ugly and off-putting, to say the least, but even then it is far from the worst thing about this film. No, for some inexplicable reason, ‘The SnowRaven Chronicles: The Treasure of Ockra-Bane’ is voiced not by humans, but by the cold, robotic voice of a computer. A human voice, even one completely ill-suited to the film, would have served better. The A.I. cannot form a sentence without pausing at the worst times, failing to speak a single sentence clearly, as its monotonous tone guides us through the film. A further reason to reconsider the life choices that led you to watching this film is that the computer reads out the whole screenplay, and not just the dialogue, so as an animated woman with clown paint on her face and dressed only in a loose fitting overcoat and black thong does battle with a monster we are given a step-by-step narration as to the whole process. It is abysmal viewing, and, far from merely outlining the abject quality of the screenplay, elevates the coldness surrounding the film, and reinforces the sense that it lacks a human touch.


‘The SnowRaven Chronicles: The Treasure of Ockra-Bane’ is perhaps one of the worst films this critic has ever seen. It is a total failure in creativity - with the animation so inhuman and computerised that it sinks the film to beyond woeful. It is almost as though it were made entirely by A.I., and if that’s what we’ve got to look forward to in that regard then the future of cinema is looking bleaker than we all thought.

NOTE FROM FILMMAKER: There are 3 versions of this short film. One is music only (no dialogue). One is dialogue & sound fx only. And one is a mix of both styles *the first 2 versions are available on Facebook/Youtube together with an invitation to "VOTE" for a preferred version with likes/comments. *The 3rd version is currently on the film festival circuit. There are 4 SnowRaven Audio Books (and Graphic Novel Adaptions). This short film is based on the 2nd book in the series (The Vosharian figure prominently in all of them).

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Animation, Short Film
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