Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a review here on KidsFlix. But I’m back now!

I wrote some time ago about another film directed by Carroll Ballard (Duma), and you probably know a couple of others: his film The Black Stallion is beloved, as is Fly Away Home. It’s hard to believe that neither son K nor I have seen either of these, and they’re on my list, but they’re so well known that I tend to skirt around them in favor of lesser-known films. You may want to check them out if you haven’t yet.

Never Cry Wolf is a film taken from the autobiographical book by Canadian writer Farley Mowat, and in Ballard fashion, it’s stunningly gorgeous piece of work. There is much to rave about -- the story itself is an intriguing one, the performance by Charles Martin Smith is pretty much perfection, the scenery is breathtaking and the director wisely lets silence speak in many instances ... oh, and the score by Mark Isham is lovely. Oh! And the performances by Samason Jorah and Zachary Ittimangnaq as local Inuits are also perfect and lovely.

What’s not to like about Never Cry Wolf?

Not a thing. This story about an inexperienced scientist dropping -- literally -- into the middle of the frozen arctic to study wolves has so many important topics woven into it (a number of things worth discussing with the kids afterwards) that you really get two bangs for your buck: a fascinating and visually pleasing story on film, and plenty of food for thought.

(Caveat for the prudish parent: there is a scene -- actually two -- where Smith bares his backside, and one scene is rather lengthy. I don’t want to give anything away, so won’t give details, but Smiths’ character is basically portrayed [very carefully] au naturale for a good five or six minutes. There is also one scene that might be a bit scary for younger kids, where he dreams of a wolf attack.)

This is great family time viewing; add it to your list!

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