Kid's Korner - Paper Planes - An Australian story that will lift your spirits - 3.5 stars

Paper planes, Australian landscapes and a cheeky grandpa, sounds like fun.  

Popcorn and a large drink... roll the film...
An Australian film about a paper planes contest? Cool, an original concept, but will the story get any lift or will it take a nose dive?  

  Kid's Korner rating: 3 stars
Parent's Rating: 3.5 stars
      One of the biggest challenges of teaching 12 year old students is keeping them interested and engaged. A similar challenge for the director of a children's film targeted at a modern audience. Dylan () comes into a class that is full of classmates who are focused on the latest technology and do not interact with one another. When his teacher asks for all of their phones and devices, then introduces a student teacher who challenges the class to fly paper planes. There is a tenuous moment of consideration by the class, but they take up the challenge with enthusiasm and a competitive spirit. After winning the class challenge, Dylan gets ready for the next levels of competition in the region and around the country. He is encouraged by his friends and teacher to learn about effective flying of paper planes and how to win the future competitions. Dylan must work through the recent loss of his mother and the inevitable mourning of his father (). As the multiple layers of this stationary aviation tale unfold, the competitions are merely a backdrop to this unique and heartfelt film. 
       It may seem like an odd premise for a big budget film, but Paper Planes is a wonderful, laugh-out-loud film directed by Australian . The Australian cast is a who's who of modern cinema, but the film was masterfully carried by Oxenbould. The light-hearted story has its share of plot holes, but the family centric adventure was a joy to experience. The strength of the story makes up for some of the less than believable components. Connolly puts forward a seemingly breezy theme that opens the door to an unexpectedly mature backstory of life and death. He fortunately manages to skirt past the after school special story line. Even with the Willy Wonka-type beginning, the stereotypical bully, the chubby friend and the cool grandpa, the well paced layering of the story allows for an unexpected depth to the film. Connolly's film should be a joy for the younger and the older audience members. It is interesting that the parents gave it a higher rating than the kids, but all enjoyed Paper Planes.

Dad asked the question on the ride home, 'What did we think of the film?' 
Simple story, but it was fun to the end. The bittersweet father/son relationship unfolds in a timely manner and does not get boring. It made us want to go out and buy a paper plane book and travel out to the country side of our beautiful homeland. Australia is beautiful and the film was pretty good, too. 

Reel Dialogue: What are the bigger questions to consider from this film? 
1. What does the Bible say about death of a loved one? (Psalm 34:18, Revelation 21:4)
2. Why is family important? (Nehemiah 4:14, Ephesians 5:25)

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Kid's Korner are shorter reviews written by Russell Matthews' kid's perspective and based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews