DIFF Is for Kids
The bond between animals and humans is celebrated in three family-friendly films at the 2013 Dallas International Film Festival. With wagging tails and fluttering wings, Charlie: A Toy Story (playing April 7 and 13), Wings of Life (playing April 7 and 8) and Champion (playing April 13) are inspirational films that highlight man’s best friend and our relationship to Mother Earth.
Charlie: A Toy Story is the story of a young boy named Caden and his golden retriever, Charlie. Their inseparable bond is like that of any child who has ever watched a puppy grow into a faithful best friend.
Caden’s father, Jack, is a zany, yet highly imaginative, toy maker, who has had his share of misfires at his failed toy business. With the encouragement of his son, Jack reveals the “Wondermation,” a toy so magnificent that it can become any toy at all. All you have to do is use your imagination!
Charlie: A Toy Story is a wonderful reminder that, before today’s advanced gaming systems, a great imagination is all you needed to discover the endless possibilities of a toy.
But trouble arises when two bullies, Scooter and Robbie, make a plan to steal the toy. Then, it’s up to Caden and Charlie to keep his father’s invention safe. Charlie: A Toy Story is a wonderful reminder that, before today’s advanced gaming systems, a great imagination is all you needed to discover the endless possibilities of a toy.
"Charlie is my way of giving back to a business that has been good to me," says director Garry A. Brown. "I wanted to make a film that inspires kids and their parents to keep their relationship strong."
Wings of Life is a breathtaking documentary, narrated by Meryl Streep, that tells the story of pollination from the perspective of a flower. Director Louis Schwartzberg highlights this beautiful, delicate and life-essential process that feeds our earth. Hummingbirds in the rainforests, bats in the desert and Monarch butterflies are all characters in this real-life process.
Most important, the film focuses on the hardworking acts of bees and discusses how our everyday human routines are causing their decline.
"I wanted to tell the story in a poetic way, to form an emotional connection with the audience and a reminder that, without flowers, humans might not survive," Schwartzberg says. "They are more important than we know."
Complete with awe-inspiring beautiful cinematic images (you will literally say “aww”), this film can encourage children, adults and everyone to keep the natural process strong.
Meanwhile, Champion takes you on an enjoyable adventure from the city to the country with Maddy, a teenage girl who is completely self-involved with her friends, her iPhone and iPad. When the Army deploys her mom out of the country for a few months, Maddy is left with no choice but to stay with her grandfather, Billy, who is comparable to a stranger in her life.
As she starts to adjust to her new life, she bonds with Scout, a lonely, somber cattle dog. Their bond becomes even stronger when Maddy meets Eli, a cute country boy neighbor. Maddy and Eli develop a friendship, and together she decides to enter Scout into the agility contest.
Maddy’s love for Scout heals her spirit, and Scout helps Maddy discover her own potential and find joy in a simple life. Husband and wife directors Kevin and Robin Nations took their inspiration for this film from their children and three Border Collies.