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Children’s Stories

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Paddle to the Sea (1969) by Bill Mason

Bill Mason was a Canadian naturalist, author, artist, filmmaker and conversationist. He is noted primarily for his canoeing books, films and art as well as his documentaries on wolves.

I think I like this film more now after I’ve watched it as opposed to while I was watching it. The main appeal of this film was how the director followed the wooden Indian around without getting involved or moving it along in the direction to the sea. I’m sure if Paddle got caught in something, whoever was filming would surely pull him out but only to let him continue on the journey “by himself.” I’ll be honest, it was kind of boring to watch. It was a carved piece of wood, made out into an Indian in a canoe. The Indian traveled through many bodies of water, it seemed, and whenever encountered by another human was put back in consideration to the message that the paddle had at the bottom of him. I could only appreciate the actual challenges of creating the film until after watching it because as it was playing, I was more into the things and people Paddle to the Sea came across. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the actual filming of the movie was probably a huge challenge but was successfully done in the finished product. I think this film would be a great movie to show to younger kids because it’s fun and has the idea of imagination and easily puts you in the position of the young boy who carved Paddle and hoped and imagined he’d be at sea one day.

The Red Balloon (1956) by Albert Lamorisse

Albert Lamorisse was a French filmmaker, film producer and writer. Fun fact: As well as making movies, producing them and writing, Lamorisse also invented the boardgame, Risk in 1957, a year after The Red Balloon came out.

I loved this film. This is definitely one of my favourites that we’ve watched in class so far. I thought it was very sweet and whimsical for a children’s story. Imagination is such a huge part of a child’s life and while Paddle to the Sea evoked that extremely well, this movie had an easier subject matter to relate to. Both movies do bring that sense of objects having a personality and how important they are to children, mostly.

This film, in particular, really portrayed that sense of creating your own personality for objects that are very close to you. The little boy making the balloon his own was very familiar, almost. I remember how much I used to love balloons when I was younger and how I never wanted it to leave my side. This particular red balloon didn’t leave the boy’s side and its almost as if he became his best friend. This film, and Paddle to the Sea just reminded me of the personalities that I used to give the objects that I cherished when I was younger, and maybe even some today that I have. This is definitely a film that I would think a child should see just in terms of relating to imagination from different levels.

I also really enjoyed the colours of the film. The setting seemed very dreary and grey, while the balloon was always the brightest object throughout the whole film. Having barely any dialogue actually really helped the film as well. I think the balloon and the boy’s interaction with one another spoke just enough to make the film enjoyable without a dialogue.

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Written by madieshortfilm

March 1, 2011 at 7:31 am

Posted in Children's

Tagged with ,