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I just showed this movie to my 5th Grade classes as part of a series of Social Studies lessons on Martin Luther King, Jr. We had just finished reading a book in which many of MLK's accomplishments and honors were explained, so the movie really helped tie it all together for them. They were absolutely entranced by it! (I had to stop 45 minutes into it so we could go to gym class and they were so upset- they almost didn't want to go!) The combination of animation and real footage was very well done. The students also enjoyed the hip music and famous voices.
I adore the movie "Our Friend Martin". It talks about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. (which I think is done extremely well in this movie). It shows a video of when MLK gave his "I have a dream speech". It reviews other parts of Martins life, when he was killed, and when his house burned down etc. I enjoyed watching the cartoon version of this. All of the characters in the movie are cool- Martin Luther King Jr., Miles (who loves baseball), Randy (Miles best friend) Maria (smart kid) and Kyle (bully). Miles, Randy, Maria, and Kyle take an adventure through time to meet Martin Luther King Junior and learn about him and that's when the story is told about Martin Luther King Jr. Another thing that I liked about the movie is that Kyle turned from a bully to a nice kid (probably because he was around Martin Luther King a little bit). If you are racist DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. Other than that I recommend this movie to everyone. It is a great story!!
I think that this video should be used to show elementary school students. The reason why I say that is because it teaches about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. by making a cartoon out of it (that way it would seem less brutal for youngsters when telling about the horrors that African Americans faced). Our Friend, Martin does show some actual scenes taken but it is mainly a cartoon video. I think this video was successful at talking about Martin Luther King Jr. and why he has made a huge difference today. For example, when Miles and Mr. King travel through time to the year 1998, and since Martin has been taken out of the past and into the future, he wasn't there to fight in the past (it erased everything that Martin did in the past). When Miles and Martin arrive in 1998 African Americans were going through the same turmoil as they did before Martin Luther King Jr. could fight for them. This is when you know that Martin Luther King Jr. had a great affect on the relationships of blacks and whites today. I like the movie because like I said it teaches, in a less brutal way, about the horrors faced by African Americans before Martin Luther King Jr. could fight for them. I rate this video ten out of ten and recommend it to everyone.
This may be a "cartoon," but it gets me reaching for the tissue just as
much as It's A Wonderful Life does!!! There's a sort of Bedford Falls
feel to this mini-movie--especially, when you've seen it before--where
you're seeing Miles (a twelve year old boy who would rather be playing
baseball than studying) waking up in his "loaded" room.
His business-owner mother tells him that there won't be any baseball practice until he does his homework--which doesn't set well with him.
She reminds him to take his permission slip in for the field trip, and he mumbles something about going to "that dumb museum." And so his day begins--first with running from Kyle, the local bully. Of course, Miles gets away from him when he hops on the bus going to school, and the bus driver won't let Kyle get on, meaning that he'll be showing up for class late, because his disagreeable dad has to drive him there.
In class, Miles is happy to see his very best friend, Randy and is even more glad when Randy becomes part of his team for reporting on the field trip.
Other members of the team will be Kyle and Maria (a gifted young lady who has gotten into this class by being skipped a couple of grades--and who thinks that she's gotten stuck with three immature boys).
Mrs. Clark, their teacher, takes Miles aside and warns him that he's going to have to repeat a grade if he doesn't bring his grades up--starting with a report on the day's field trip, which is going to a museum about some guy who lived in "prehistoric times" who did some nice things "back then" but didn't have much relevancy in his own life (or so he thinks).
That man, as it turns out, is Martin Luther King, and the museum is the home in which he grew up. Because he sees a ball and bat in there, along with a picture of Martin playing baseball, Miles begins to develop a little interest in him. He and Randy decide to explore the room (which has been roped off), but are caught by the museum director.
But she's nice about it and tells them to go ahead and look around, saying that there's something magic about the room, and that she always likes to wind up this old watch in there for some reason.
In short, Miles and Randy go back in time and get to know Martin in different stages of his life--starting back when he was their age.
Eventually, Kyle and Maria will be sharing part of that journey with them.
I won't spoil this for you except to say that it will remind you of It's A Wonderful Life.
Things about his life that Miles took for granted suddenly become very precious to him, and he realizes how important Martin Luther King, Jr. was way back before he was born in shaping his present day world.
Also, that it's important for him to carry on his dream.
Even Kyle, the former bully, changes for the better by the end of the movie, and Maria (who also owes a lot to Dr. King for where she is today) becomes more tolerant of those "immature" boys.
At only a little over an hour long, it isn't too time consuming--and, if you're like me, you'll want to see it again and again!
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