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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear is a Danish movie showcasing cheerful animation and English voices. Owing to some brief perilous sequences, younger or more sensitive kids may find some developments too intense. The crew must travel through the Pitch Dark Sea, where they encounter ghosts and fireworks. Pirates threaten a passing vessel. Although someone saves the crew in a storm, he then seems to want to imprison them forever on his ship, for company. A missile burns down an island and sends those on it into the sea. Someone nearly drowns. It's set in a sunny sea town filled with helpful inhabitants. The look and feel recall Bob the Builder episodes, but at 79 minutes this has the substance of a feature. Positive messages encouraging ingenuity, determination, and overcoming fears are strong and worthwhile.
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What's the story?
In THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF THE GIANT PEAR, Sebastian, a young elephant (voiced by Alfred Bjerre Larsen), lives with his best friend, Mitcho, a little cat (Liva Elvira Magnussen), in the house left him by his seafaring great grandfather. Sebastian is a careful and responsible fellow who might be just a bit reluctant to try new things because of a few fears he harbors. For one thing, he lives in Sunnytown, on the edge of the water, and he can't swim. Mitcho is adventurous, even impetuous, but like many cats, she hates water. After the mayor of their town disappears, they are forced to search for the Mysterious Island that Sebastian's great-grandfather strayed to, in order to save the town from a crazy new mayor. A seed in the ground grows into a pear the size of a house. Professor Glucose (Peter Frodin) uses his scientific genius to turn it into a vessel that can take them to the island. Along the way, they encounter a dip-making ship owner, pernicious pirates, a Pitch Dark patch of sea filled with ghosts, and an island that has not only mysterious but also mechanical properties, all leading to a few scares but a mostly triumphant return to Sunnytown to save the day.
Is it any good?
This is a charming adventure that emphasizes the balance between strengths and weaknesses that exists in all of us. The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear owes an obvious debt to Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, but the downright adult meanness Dahl often wrote about is replaced here with respectful and cooperative adults who even defer to children with good ideas. What's especially fun here is how many adults seem to have retained the curiosity, adventurousness, and flexibility of childhood, which paints them in a positive light for kids and also reassures younger viewers that adulthood won't require that they abandon playfulness as they mature.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how difficult it can be to overcome fears. How do you think Sebastian learns to be less fearful in The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear? Do you think it has to do with wanting to help a friend no matter what?
Sebastian is told that there's always another way to do things. Can you think of an example of this?
This movie is from Denmark. What do you know about that country? How could you learn more?
- In theaters: October 12, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: November 13, 2018
- Cast: Alfred Bjerre Larsen, Liva Elvira Magnussen, Peter Frodin, Henrik Koefoed
- Directors: Amalie Naesby Fick, Jorgen Lerdam, Philip Einstein Lipski
- Studio: Uncork'd Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Character Strengths: Perseverance
- Run time: 79 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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