Technically and artistically flawless children's story
This is an absolutely enchanting, instantly appealing story to anyone who remembers being young: a 5 kids steal an airship from a county fair and embark on various adventures. Karel Zeman captures the adventure of being young without getting sentimental or turning the story into a Dennis the Menace episode. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this movie is the cinematography, designed to look like moving woodcut pictures from old children's books. It looks and "works" much better than you'd expect it to. The backgrounds are stylized mattes, the foregrounds are painted to look crosshatched, and stop motion paper cutouts are used to depict objects in a stylized yet consistent way. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
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