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The Trip to Panama More at IMDbPro »Oh, wie schön ist Panama (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great learning tool.

9/10
Author: dfroburg from United States
24 December 2006

This movie is a good tool for learning German. I came across it in a university class, and in keeping with typical children's literature, the reading is slow and clear, so that you catch every word, and there is enough context to guess the word you don't know, and the plot is simple enough that even if you don't speak German, you know what is going on. The moral is in line with "the grass is always greener", but woven into the story in an interesting fashion so kids wont think they are learning. My girlfriend loves the pictures, they are pretty conductive to impressing girlfriends of German students. The voices are super exaggeratively expressive, so its hard not to laugh during the movie. If you are taking intermediate German at the university level, or have a girlfriend or both, you need to see this. I remember that this came out in the 1970's on a similar type of show to Reading Rainbow, which makes sense. The movie wasn't animated, but rather a kind of setup where they only show the page from the book, while the narrator tells what they are saying ans such.

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Not bad, but really only for children

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
15 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You could probably call this an animated road movie. It runs for 70 minutes only and is almost 10 years old. Tiger and Bear decide to go on a journey to Panama. Actually, they like where they live now, their juicy green home, but Panama has to be even better. They meet all kinds of other animal friends on their trip and, in the end, with some help reach their destination, or do they? The cast is pretty good for a children's film. Til Schweiger, Dietmar Bär (fittingly voices the bear), Anke Engelke, Ralf Schmitz, Mirco Nontschew and Santiago Ziesmer (the German voice of Spongebob and Steve Urkel) are featured here. The two directors are Martin Otevrel and Irina Probost. The latter has worked on several other Janosch (famous German children's book author) works as well.

The center of the film is probably the friendship between the two protagonists. The only fairly dramatic scene is when they get into a heated argument and fight each other. (They have enough of only eating bananas and want their mushrooms again.) But they quickly make up in the next scene already, so you see this is a really harmony-oriented film. The ending is okay as well, but the whole thing is so simple and lacks depth so much that I would only really recommend it to very young audiences and maybe grown-up who grew up with the stories of Janosch. Schweiger made another kids-oriented animation movie a couple years later together with his daughter, a spin-off from "Keinohrhasen" and I have to say I liked that one a bit more.

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