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Animated 'Hedgehogs' fails the cute test

Animating the most adorable creatures — puppies, kittens, bunnies, etc. — usually results in an even cuter cartoon creation. However, “Hedgehogs’” first sin of many is the disservice it does to its titular animals. In this animated movie, the normally Instagram-worthy darlings are reduced to bland characters unlikely to elicit an “aww” or even vague interest by the audience.

Bobby the hedgehog (voiced by Anthony Padilla) is the bravest and boldest of his kind, but when he is injured in a fight, he loses his memory. Befriended by a pigeon named Hubert (Jon Heder), he embarks on an adventure and may rediscover his identity along the way. Meanwhile, a virus threatens the nearby human population, and an evil scientist (Chevy Chase) blames animals for its spread and is capturing them and destroying their homes.

“Hedgehogs” is a Chinese production directed by Jianming Huang, and the English-language track suffers from the bad dubbing that plagued ’70s kung fu movies. That problem could be overlooked if the movie had any narrative clarity, but this family film feels episodic and entirely aimless. Set pieces that could have been fun feel rushed, and it’s unclear whether the problem originates with moments that weren’t animated or if connecting scenes and shots were cut in post-production. Viewers will have to fill in the lost bits with their imagination, but “Hedgehogs” does little to inspire the extra effort.

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‘Hedgehogs’

Rated: PG, for action and some mild rude humor

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Playing: AMC Orange 30

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