“Storm Boy” brought me to tears more than any other movie I have seen so far this year.
The new family-friendly drama is an incredibly touching motion picture, weaving a thought-provoking ecological yarn while generating genuine emotions through its portrayal of the relationship between a young boy and his pet pelican. This is a must-see movie for animal lovers and one that is sure to delight audiences of all ages.
Geoffery Rush plays a successful retired businessman and grandfather named Michael Kingley. When Michael starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood—growing up on an isolated coastline with his father (Jai Courtney). He recounts the story to his granddaughter (Morgana Davies).
As a boy, Micheal is portrayed by Finn Little. As he witnesses the murder of many pelicans near his home, he rescues and raises three orphans—one of which remains with him throughout his childhood. He names the extraordinary pelican Mr. Percival and shares many remarkable adventures with him, building a very special bond along the way.
A sort of sequel and updated version of a 1976 Australian film based on author Colin Thiele’s 1964 children’s book, Storm Boy may prove to be somewhat of a challenge for the the youngest of children to endure. This is not a movie about cartoonish action or goofy comedy. It is instead an authentically moving drama designed for families. That is to say adults will appreciate its mature themes while kids old enough to value the true storytelling capabilities of movies will be plenty entertained.
After all, who could resist the cuteness factor of a young boy playing hide and seek with a pelican—that actually looks for and finds him? There are plenty of such rewarding moments in the film, which is jam-packed with themes that give both your brain and your heart a workout. Loss, grief, separation, survival and above all love are all examples of the subjects touched open over the course of the story.
As someone who has been the proud papa of a diaper-wearing Indian Runner duck for more than 7 years now, I found myself traversing a variety of emotions while watching Storm Boy. Sure, its emotional moments likely hit me harder than they will most other moviegoers, but at the end of the day this is a story about nurturing—a boy’s nurturing of an animal and a father’s nurturing of his son. And it represents the topic tremendously well with the added bonuses of cultural significance and ecological importance.
“Storm Boy” harkens back to a simpler time in cinema, when movies like “Old Yeller,” “Shiloh” and “My Dog Skip” taught younger audiences valuable, life-affirming lessons while spinning yarns that were emotionally rewarding to older audiences. The film does not feature any superheroes defeating a galactic overlord or any vehicles morphing into all-powerful robots. Instead, it simply shows how a young boy discovers life’s joys and trials through his relationship with a living creature. And our hearts are fuller because if it.