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Little Red Wagon (2012)

 -  Drama
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 231 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 6 critic

With nothing more than a blazing spirit of philanthropy and his beat-up red wagon, Zach sets out to help homeless children in America. In the process, he sweeps his fractured family - and ultimately the entire country - along with him.



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Title: Little Red Wagon (2012)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurie Bonner
Margaret Craig
Kelley Bonner
Kristy Kilgo
Ashley Lagare
Nana Galloway
Elizabeth Powell ...
Softball Girl
Dana Philp
Receiving Nurse
Ms. Tucker


Carrot-topped 8-year-old Zach Bonner lives in Tampa with his realtor mom Laurie and teenage sister Kelley. In 2004, in the wake of Hurricane Charley, Zach uses his beat-up toy wagon to collect water, food and clothing for families left homeless by the storm. Emboldened by his success and the attention he is receiving from the local media, Zach battles bureaucratic hurdles to start his own charity, the Little Red Wagon Foundation, to produce and distribute "Zach Packs", backpacks filled with life's bare essentials, plus a toy. Zach's life intersects with that of newly widowed Margaret Craig and her young son Jim, whose hardships spiral out of control and land them in a series of homeless shelters. Suddenly, Zach gets the idea to walk from Tampa to the state capital, Tallahassee, to bring attention to the plight of homeless youth. His mother is against it; and his sister feels increasingly resentful of Zach and the attention he's getting. Zach's walk begins amid great fanfare: a rousing... Written by Philanthropy Project/Zach Movie, LLC. (info@giveandglow)

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »


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Little Red Wagon  »

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Party Up Boys
composed and produced by Edgard Jaude
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User Reviews

The Message More than the Medium
19 January 2013 | by (Parksville, BC Canada) – See all my reviews

My husband and I watched this docu-drama the other night and certainly we were moved to tears at times, to tenderness, admiration for the real-life Zach who has made it his life's work to end homelessness and judging by determination and compassion, he might just do that.

I worried that the parallel story of the mother and child spiralling downward in society would detract from Zach's but it didn't. Certainly it was painful to witness but there's the object lesson that it could happen to any normal, seemingly comfortable middle-class family, that it could happen to one's neighbour or friend and would we step in to help?

The conflicts within Zach's family were real and sibling rivalry sometimes takes precedence even over a giant philanthropic project like his. From my initial perspective Zach's sister was a royal pain in the butt, self-centred and more childish than her little brother whose vision was more like Mother Theresa and personality more like one of heaven's angels. But over time I began to see where she was coming from and forced my judgement to the background.

The dialogue within the family especially with the mother was amazing and that's when you step outside the action and think, 'wow that screenwriter did a really great job!' Other than that you are with Zach all the way and with his wonderfully supportive mother.

I could say that it doesn't matter how this was directed or acted, that the true story and the message was the thing but truly if it weren't for such great acting by the three main characters, the directing and natural, emotive dialogue, the message would have difficulty getting through.

But the message, oh the message... That this amazing young human being can show the way for all of us, show us that we are all connected, that everyone's 'fall' matters and this done without any didactic intent is so impressive. We did not feel shamed but inspired. (Though I do hope that those who are hiding their billions in off-shore accounts might get the hint and like Zach, roll up their sleeves and pitch in...) So the generated feelings (of inspiration not shame) represents a plus for the production. You never get the sense someone was up there in a pulpit preaching to the masses. Instead there was Zach and his all-too-human family taking one step at a time to make a difference one heart at a time.

His life teaches us that it's not easy, there's not always instant rewards but it's the doing, like the journey, that is more gratifying than the actual end result/destination.

Zach you are my forever hero!

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