SLIFF/Kids – Children’s Film Festival Continues This Weekend in St. Louis
I took the wife and kids to two of the FREE events last weekend and we had a blast!
Cinema St. Louis’ SLIFF/Kids, the First Annual St. Louis International Children’s Film Festival presented by PNC Arts Alive continues this weekend.
Michael Sporn: Personal Best
Animator Michael Sporn selects a collection of personal favorites from his large and impressive filmography:
- The Hunting of the Snark (1989, 19 min.), an adaptation of the Lewis Carroll poem.
- Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (1987, 26 mi.), an adaptation of the Bernard Waber book.
- The Man Who Walked Between Towers (2005, 12 min.), an adaptation of the Mordicai Gerstein book.
- The Marzipan Pig (1990, 26 min.), an adaptation of the Russell Hoban book.
- Mona, Mon Amour (2001, 8 min.), an original animated story.
Michael Sporn introduces the program and participates in a post-screening Q&A. Recommended for all ages
Disney’s Planes in 3D
From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing – and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. The talented voice cast also includes Val Kilmer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Garrett, Stacy Keach, Anthony Edwards, John Cleese, and St. Louis’ own Cedric the Entertainer. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9 and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
Attendees for this show should go to the Ronnies box office when they arrive at the theater to obtain complimentary tickets. Rated G. Recommended for all ages
Return to Oz
Dorothy makes another trip to the Emerald City in “Return to Oz,” Disney’s under-seen 1985 “Wizard of Oz” quasi-sequel. Based on L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” books, the film takes Dorothy (played by Fairuza Balk) back to the land of her dreams, where she makes both delightful new friends (like Tik Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the Gump) and dangerous new enemies (the creepy Wheelers, the head-hunting Princess Mombi, and the evil Nome King). New surprises await Dorothy and her pals – including a new take on the classic trio of the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow – around every turn in the Yellow Brick Road. A darker, scarier work than the much-loved MGM musical, “Return to Oz” is more faithful to the spirit of Baum’s books and has gained a deserved reputation as a classic in its own right.
The program includes a selection of shorts created during SLIFF/Kids’ Filmmaking Camps. Recommended for ages 10 and older
A Letter to Momo
“A Letter to Momo” is a wonderfully expressive and beautifully hand-drawn tale that combines bursts of whimsy and kinetic humor with deep felt emotion and drama. The last time Momo saw her father they had a fight – and now all she has left to remember him by is an incomplete letter that he had started to write her, a piece of paper with the words “Dear Momo” but nothing more. Moving with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio, Momo soon discovers three goblins living in her attic, a trio of mischievous spirit creatures who have been assigned to watch over her and that only she can see. The goblins are also perpetually famished, and they begin to wreak havoc on the formerly tranquil island, ransacking pantries and ravaging orchards. But these funny monsters also have a serious side, and they may hold the key to helping Momo understand what her father had been trying to tell her.
Recommended for ages 9 and older
Animator Michael Sporn chooses a half-dozen of his adaptations of classic children’s books:
- Abel’s Island (1988, 26 min.), an Emmy-nominated adaptation of the William Steig book.
- Doctor De Soto (1984, 10 min.), an Oscar®-nominated adaptation of the William Steig book.
- Monty (1992, 8 min.), an adaptation of the James Stevenson book.
- Morris’s Disappearing Bag (1982, 8 min.), an adaptation of the Rosemary Wells book.
- The Red Shoes (1990, 26 min.), an adaptation of the H.C. Andersen tale.
- What’s Under My Bed? (1989, 8 min.), an adaptation of the James Stevenson book.
Michael Sporn introduces the program and participates in a post-screening Q&A. Recommended for all ages.
The Netherlands’ official entry for the Oscars® and winner of the Best First Feature Award at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, “Kauwboy” is a tender portrait of a boy struggling to come to terms with a family that’s not what it once was. With his country-singer mother absent, Jojo lives alone with his security-guard father, a man of few words, who is quick to anger and has seemingly no affection for his 10-year-old son. Left to his own devices, Jojo discovers an abandoned baby crow in the woods near their house and finds solace in caring for this small creature, who is even more alone and vulnerable than he is. Bringing the crow home, Jojo strives to hide the bird from his dad to avoid the inevitable outburst that would attend its discovery. But what really drives the drama is the questionable whereabouts of Jojo’s mother, who seems never to return from tour. “Kauwboy” is a beautifully cinematic, bittersweet film that explores issues of loss and sorrow, while painting a joyfully upbeat picture of acceptance and love.
Recommended for ages 10 and older
Based on “Goat Island,” the classic young adult novel by Brock Cole, “Standing Up” is an adventure about resilience and friendship. Twelve-year-old Grace and Howie, shy and awkward, become the victims of a cruel prank at summer camp. Stranded by their fellow campers on a wooded island without their clothes, the two are expected to be found, tearful and scared, the next morning. But from the moment they meet each other, Grace and Howie decide not to become the “goats” of Camp Tall Pines, and they surprise everyone with their actions. With nerve and ingenuity, the two youngsters team up and go on the run for three days of freedom, friendship, and growing up.
Production executive Jere Hausfater, a St. Louis native, introduces the program and participates in a post-screening Q&A. Recommended for ages 10 and older.