The songs are memorable, the actors are classic, and who can forget the
dancing penguins? This film is as cheery a blend of animated and real,
of cartoon-style and emotional depth, as anyone has ever put together.
The children are naughty, but so are the parents, and the only perfect
person is Mary herself. (Well, maybe Bert, too. He's not quite the
prude Mary is ...) Suitable for all ages, although the 4-6 year old
crowd may become frightened at the scene when the children cause a run
on the bank and then get lost in London.
The Red Balloon
A boy and a helium balloon fall in love with each other and explore
Paris together. The tragedy at the end is mitigated by the love and
support of all the balloons in the city.
Il Postino (The Postman)
I never thought to see poetry filmed. Pablo Neruda becomes friends with
a semi-literate postman and teaches the man to see poetry in everything
around him. The words of the film, many of which are straight from
Neruda's poems, are the touch that make this inherently excellent film a
classic. Or maybe it's the ideas that do the trick, and they in turn
lend power to mere words.
You have to appreciate Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase to like the film. It
features The Mikado, slapstick comedy, the interior of the
Pasadena public library (where I grew up), and one of the best car chase
scenes in all of cinema. Not deep, but a good time. This film is a
classic in its genre.