The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew doesn't always have curriculum to review~ we've seen some games, music, and household/beauty products come along, and occasionally some movies.
This time around, FishFlix.com (which offers a huge inventory of Faith and Family Friendly movies) had a few movies for members of the crew to review. I was sent the movie Little Boy.
Other titles that were reviewed by TOS Crew Members were
Do You Believe?, Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans of the Earth,
Faith of Our Fathers, and When Calls the Heart, Heart of the Family
Little Boy takes place during World War II. "Little Boy" is the nickname of a young boy, Pepper Busbee, who lives somewhere on the west coast.
Pepper's brother London wants to enlist, but is refused because of his flat feet, and their father determines that it is his duty to go to war in his son's place. This hits Pepper particularly hard, as he is something of an outcast, due in good part to his diminutive stature. His father appears to have spent a good deal of time on imaginary adventures with Pepper (Pepper's motto came from the frequent refrain of his father "Do you believe you can do this?" when facing a danger in their game), so he is losing not only his parent, but also his playmate to the war.
One of Pepper's "heros" is a magician Ben Eagle, who comes to visit the town. Pepper is called up on the stage, and appears to move a bottle from one end of a table to the other, simply because he believed he could do it. This begins Pepper's conviction that he can bring his father home from the war.
When one of the local priests gives a sermon on faith the size of a mustard seed, Pepper goes looking for answers. The older priest in town takes this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, as it were. This introduces the secondary story line (And to me, personally, the more interesting story line) of an elderly Japanese gentleman (also an outcast) who returned to his home, after being released from one of the Japanese interment camps.
The priest finds a way to bring the two together, in the hopes that they will be able to help one another...
I won't tell you the rest of the story~ if you're intrigued you'll have to check it out for yourself. I *will* however, give you my impressions of the movie.
I watched it with a friend and my Eldest. I took seriously, and agree with, the PG13 rating. My Middlest kept Youngest occupied elsewhere while we watched (and DH watched football, but I think he would have enjoyed watching with us if the circumstances were different... ;) ).
Right off the bat we were struck with the beauty and quality of both the music and cinematography. It really felt as if you were being pulled into a Norman Rockwell painting. Well Done! The acting went right along with that. I particularly enjoyed the Japanese character, Mr. Hashimoto.
As a general movie, I thought it was well done, and something that I could enjoy watching with appropriately aged friends and family~ no objectionable language, gratuitous violence, etc...
As a "Christian" film, I felt a bit of a "twinge" in the emphasis on an individual's faith "Do you believe you can do this?" vs placing that faith in God~ however, it opens up the opportunity to discuss real faith, vs an almost "Works-based" faith. Not a major criticism, but definitely worth keeping in mind, as you watch with your own worldview in mind. ;)
I will mention again the secondary story line that brought to light the discrimination shown towards Japanese-Americans during that time period. Not something that is mentioned quite as frequently as other acts of discrimination in our nation's history, which made it especially powerful.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie-watching experience, and would recommend this film to families with 13+ children, with the suggestion to enjoy it as a story, and then discuss it afterwards.
Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about Little Boy, and the other films that were reviewed. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.