On children

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Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 10, 2015

What a precious film! It bucks convention in two ways: the soundtrack leads, and the kids are the centre. The first of these things is paradoxically freeing. The (animated) picture track subordinates itself to the recorded voices, but also partakes of their freedom. Those pictures register for the kids, but they’re also very adventurous, exploring the interesting tension that rises when you try to illustrate real objects as abstractly as you can. How far can you go without going too far? Pretty, it would appear.

As for the Hubley boys, they’re so untrammeled as to leap off the developmental rails. In real life we aspire toward coherence and eventual adulthood, but the kindly meanderings that we’re privileged to witness here are positively Edenic. For plot and conflict you need a Fall. Why look for such a painful thing? Suffer the little children … It would seem that we’ve got a three and a six or seven year old here. Just like Totoro, the other sweetest movie in the world. This one is that dear!

What does the bird mean? Their fantasy, maybe, or a bit of structure to shape the character stuff with. Maybe it’s the mythology of the innocent heathen, which—God honours any sincere belief—ends up in the right, protective spot anyway.

Tweet Review:

Saw #Moonbird. Visuals are very much of their time, & they look great. The soundtrack, …

… the recording of these dear little boys’ voices, & of their dear little interactions, is for the ages.