Yes, it’s a kids film. No, I don’t care.
MK (Mary Katherine) has just moved in with her father after a family tragedy and finds herself feeling ignored and isolated by her father, who is obsessed over the idea that little people live in the forest and keep it green and alive. She soon learns that it is all true when she finds the queen of the Leafmen dying and is entrusted with a flower pod to protect and to return to her people so that a new queen maybe named. However, this is not as easy as it sounds as there is an opposing force in the forest who want the pod for themselves…
The film is a rather simplistic in it’s story, with a good vs. evil plot line and is definitely for kids but I do like that there is a (very mild) environmentalist. I also like that the love story between MK and Nod is only there in the background and is not overpowering. There is also parallel story lines about familial love between a (surrogate) father and child (Nod and Ronin, MK and her father). I found this very appealing and enjoyed seeing it as I don’t think I have come across that before in other films or books I have read (whether for adults or children).
There is a lot of fighting in this film but none of it is over the top and the death of the queen is very well handled and I don’t believe this film would cause any nightmares for children.
What also appealed to me was the visual look of the film. I saw this film in 2D and have heard reports that it looks brilliant in 3D but going on what I saw today, everything was so detailed and amazing. The flying sequences, whilst not on the same level as the ones from How To Train Your Dragon (2010), made you believe that you were flying with them but didn’t quite have the same effect as HTTYD. It had the shiny look to be expected from an animated film for kids but the visuals, combined with everything else, drew me in and I found myself believing everything I was seeing. It even made me stop, for a short time, analysing the film and it’s writing just to enjoy it (which can be very difficult to do).
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, despite it very much being a kids film, but the family love story, the (again, very mild) environmentalist story, the visuals and the fighting sequences all combine to create a fun and enjoyable film for adults as well as children.