When a lighthouse keeper takes in a seal in need and gives to his children to look after, the whole family is drawn into the shadowy world of illegal seal poaching. The family then finds ...
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When a lighthouse keeper takes in a seal in need and gives to his children to look after, the whole family is drawn into the shadowy world of illegal seal poaching. The family then finds themselves leading the fight to rid their coastal town of the criminals and save the seals. Written by
A gentle introduction to a vile and gruesome reality
This is the kind of film I wish I could show my 3-year-old nephew. Unfortunately his parents are more of the close-minded sort who fear and ridicule anything they consider to be "liberal". They won't even let him watch the Teletubbies because they think Tinky Winky is gay. *smacks forehead*
Much like the Disney classic "The Fox and the Hound" which is a gentle introduction to the horrific sport of fox mutilation & disembowelment--er... whoops I meant "fox hunting"--told in a cute and inoffensive way, "Sandy the Seal" approaches the truth about our world where seals are shot and/or skinned alive by profiteering humans. But rest easy, you don't see any blood or any wounded animals. All the violence is left to your imagination. You see gunshots and later you see seal skins (clean & dried), and you're left to surmise how they got from point 'A' to point 'B'. In that respect, the naïve kids can enjoy it as a cute story whilst the worldly grownups can appreciate it for its powerful message.
I wish I were raised on this sort of movie when I was a kid. It would have made the transition from sheltered-life to reality much more gradual and painless. Unfortunately, I, like my poor nephew, was kept oblivious until late in life at which point the truth hit me hard and brutally. If you've got a tot, please show her/him films like this, like "The Fox and the Hound", "Charlotte's Web" or (if you can find a copy) "Maumy (Hearty Paws)", a wonderful 2006 movie about a stray dog in Korea. These films teach youngsters that the world can be bad, but there is always a positive way of dealing with it.
"Sandy the Seal" has a few weaknesses. It features a lot of "seal-doing tricks" scenes, and at one point you wonder if this is a promo for Sea World in Orlando. Dialogue is minimal, and the kids' acting is... well... like *kids* (often being melodramatic, looking at the camera/director, or one funny goof where we see the girl quietly rehearsing her line before she says it). So don't expect Amadeus. Remember this is a kiddie film.
And now a word about the quality of the DVD since the only other reviewer seemed intent on trashing this movie because of it. Sure, the copy I purchased has bad video, but I got it as part of the "100 Family Classics" collection which is bad overall. Crikey, what do you expect when you pay 35 bucks for 100 movies crammed onto 24 discs? Still it's watchable, sort of like an old VCR tape. I enjoyed it. I watched it with my dog, and she seemed to enjoy it. That ought to be good enough for anyone.
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