London Childrens' Film Festival 2010

The LCFF juror's have been busy reviewing films- read their thoughts below!

The Great Adventure of Hutch the Honeybee (U)

This is the story of a courageous bee called Hutch who goes on an adventure to find his mum who was captured by the ugly hornets. Along the way he meets many insects and one very special little girl called Ami. Reiss 9 and Leila, 11

The interesting thing about this film is the animating style of mixing normal anime with the moving objects on the storyboard of the film. The animation with colour was quite good as it made the characters stand out. Yann and Noah, 10

The humour was one of the best bits and at the end the army of ants. The way the army moved was impressive, they moved in a very agile way. Our favourite character was Mimmin because he did a wee on the fly. Finn,11, Jasper and Luke, 7

We would recommend this animation to children aged four to six years old because it is more suitable for children at that level. They will enjoy the colourful characters and the fun voices of the insects and the humans. The film is very emotional and easy to follow. We wouldn’t recommend this film to older children because it was quite predictable and you could guess what was going to happen. Poppy,10 and Matilda, 8

Laura’s Star and the Mysterious Dragon Nian (U*)

This film starts in Germany where Laura is practising Chinese before she goes on a trip to China. Laura has a star with magical powers and it touches Laura’s soft toys and they become magical. On the flight to China Laura loses her star and a girl called Ling Ling who lives in China finds it. The star then makes a dragon called Nian come to life. The film is about how light defeats darkness and then its spring. Finn, 11 and Jasper and Luke, 7

This film was well made for younger children because the music is lively and the animation is colourful. I think the music was good because it was interesting and different and not the same sort of plinky, plonky kind of music. Professional pianist Lang Lang plays the music which is repeated throughout the film. The animation was good because it was bright and sparkly. Poppy, 10 and Matilda, 8

Laura’s Star has strong characters and a magical storyline. My favourite characters were the phantom toys who brought magic to the film. Leila, 11

My favourite were characters were Nian and Star because Nian is the sunniest character and I like Star because he looked beautiful. Reiss, 9

I would recommend this film for 3-7 years because it is very simple to follow and will enchant younger children, the animating style is quite colourful and will impress younger children. Yann and Noah, 10

The Indian (PG*)

The Indian is about a boy called Koos who was adopted from Peru. He loves riding motorbikes and hates swimming. All is well until his mum gets news which will change the way he thinks about himself forever. In a daring quest to become a true Indian, Koos learns more and more about himself, his family and also what his real name is. Poppy, 10 and Matilda, 8

In this film the music put together with the action created a very touching atmosphere. Set in the Netherlands, this film has beautiful backgrounds and classic costumes. Some of the scenes are highly tense leaving you waiting to see what happens next. The best scene was when Koos is being taught how to be an Indian, which is really interesting. Leila, 11

I thought this film was well made because it was funny and had lots of action. The funniest part of that movie was when Koos had a slingshot and he hit a window and the man went mad! Reiss, 9

My favourite character is the grandad because he was very kind and gentle. I liked it when he was meditating because it was very funny as he kept opening his eyes to see if Koos was bored yet. Noah, 10

My favourite scenes are when Koos learns about the the traditions of Peru because it was teaching me about the culture of that place. Yann, 10

I would recommend this to ages 9 and above because younger children might not understand this film like the part about him being adopted. Older children will like this amazing live action film, with its great settings and story. Finn, 11, Jasper and Luke, 7

Little Nicholas (U)

Nicholas is an ordinary French boy in a class of very unusual children. Nicholas does not want a sibling so he starts to worry when he thinks his parents are having a baby because they start to behave strangely. Then his dad’s commitment to getting a promotion, starts an unusual chain of events which will turn the family’s life upside down. Yann and Noah, 10

Little Nicholas is quite a well made film, with sudden and surprising slapstick comedy which really makes you laugh. The story was well put together and there were some good ideas like when the boys made the Asterix, strength potion which was very funny. Finn, 11, Jasper and Luke, 7

My favourite character was Chotaire because he was a funny, dumb character who was in some of the best scenes like the one when he was asleep at the back of the classroom and then he gets woken up and just goes straight into the corner. Matilda, 8

Every part of the film was funny; it was hard to choose favourites although I have to say that some scenes had more humour than others. For example the scene in which Nicholas’ dad is imagining being the boss and where he was flirting with his secretary. The characters were all played very well despite the fact that they all have extremely different personalities. Poppy, 10

I would recommend people see Little Nicholas because it was very funny film; it has lots of comedy in all the fantastic scenes. For example when Nicholas went to buy a rose for his mum and the shop assistant fell into the cactuses! Reiss, 9

I would recommend this film for six years and up. It has everything a film needs; it is funny and sometimes set in the characters’ minds as well. This film veers from everyday things to gambling, feeding people poison, stealing a car and handling your garbage bag to your husband’s boss’ wife – most times leaving you howling with laughter! If you are looking for a film to stretch your smiling muscles, this is the one! Leila, 11

I am Kalam (PG)

Chtou has grown up in a poor family and for as long as he can remember he’s wanted to go to school but instead he has to work in a cafe. Chtou seizes the chance to work as he hopes that he can save the money he earns to pay for his education. I am Kalam is a sad but at times amusing story of betrayal, love and comedy. Leila, 11 and Reiss, 9

The thing we liked best about it was the performance given by the actor that played Chtou because of his wonderful smile and his portrayal of his emotions. We also liked the way it looked into Indian culture. Yann and Noah, 10

My favourite character was Chtou’s friend, the Prince, because he acted well and I liked his personality. Luke, 7

My favourite character was Chtou because he was always happy. My favourite scene was when they started playing Indian music in the garden. Finn, 11

I liked the part when Chtou rode around on the camel selling tea to tourists through their bedroom windows! Jasper, 7

I would recommend this film because it was a little bit funny and a little bit sad and I liked the mixture of sadness and happiness. Matilda, 8

I would recommend this beautiful Indian film for children above the age of nine because it may be hard for anybody younger than that to understand it. The film is live action and shows you what it might be like for some children who live in poverty and have to work when they should be learning in school. Poppy 10 

Magic Silver (U)

Magic Silver is a Norwegian film about these blue gnomes that are in a blue mountain and there’s something called Magic Silver. When they pour the Magic Silver the mountain opens and it turns into the Magic Hour. The main character is a young blue gnome princess called Bluerose who is desperate to save her father from death. On her journey she discovers the comic red gnomes who live on a farm. The farmer who lives there discovers somebody is stealing from him and eventually manages to drive them away. This causes Bluerose to break the most important rule of her people: Never bring strangers into Blue Mountain! Matilda, 8 and Poppy, 10

Magic Silver is a well made film with a beautiful setting that was a very happy place. The special effects were good when the Magic Silver sparkled. They were also pretty good at the beginning and the end of the film when one gnome disappeared when the mountain closed and  another got looked in the eye by a human. Finn, 11 and Luke, 8

I thought this film was very predictable like a book when you know what is going to happen from the first page. Jasper, 7

My favourite character was the old gnome who liked porridge because he was a funny and strange character that always got in the way. My favourite scene was when Bluerose was riding on the sleigh because I thought it was very exciting. Noah and Yann, 10

I would recommend Magic Silver to three to seven year olds because it is a fantasy film and children this age like fantasy films. Reiss, 9

This film is strange and beautiful and I highly recommend it for all ages. The story is of a race of blue gnomes who guard a magical secret, but most of all love is what matters most in this enchanting tale. It brought a tear to my eye as the story took an exciting turn for the worse. Leila, 11

Monster Mutt

Monster Mutt is an American film about a family of three and their dog called Max. Max gets kidnapped by a scientist working for a man who runs an evil company. The scientist is forced to test the energy drink he has created on him and the story begins.....This film is very predictable but is at times also very amusing. Poppy, 10 and Leila, 11

This film didn’t have good special effects, when the dog was made into a monster he looked really bad and fake, like a giant puppet! The acting was very far from believable and there was no real suspense due to the predictability of the plot. Yann and Noah, 10

I did not have any ‘favourites’ for this film. The girl was too cute, the bad guy was too bossy and the dog was too unreal. The acting was terrible, like when the dog was wrecking the house and the girl was trying to talk to her dad on the phone like everything was normal – it was too forced. Luke, 8 and Finn, 11

I would not recommend Monster Mutt because it wasn’t realistic or exciting. It was just silly and also the dog didn’t look like a real dog, it just looked plastic. The evil characters looked exactly as you would expect evil characters to look and the good characters were obviously trying to be too good. Matilda, 8

I would recommend this film because it was funny. At the same time though I wouldn’t recommend it because it was predictable and the mutt looked fake. Reiss, 9