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Sam, the 12 year old son of a famous missing polar explorer, has despaired. His mother has married again and moved with him and her new husband to the wasteland of Canada. He doesn't like him, the place, and has problems finding new friends. One day he meets a wild dog which one looks like the leader of his father's sled dogs. With him and the two family dogs he plans to compete in this year's sled dog race. He is getting closer to the neighbour's daughter who is able to build the sled. But her father wants to kill all wild dogs...Written by
Soeren Ney <SoerenNey@AOL.COM>
Accidentally I saw two films that could be similar one after another. They were both "family" (kids) movies about children and animals. They could have look alike, but they didn't. At all.
First was Andre, a story about a family with a seal (I wrote a review so I won't repeat it here), the second was Kayla. Andre isn't a boring movie but it is a cliché-puzzle with Disney-like rhythm of funny and melodramatic moments. Kayla is much coherent movie with incomparably better characters (even supporting), plot that doesn't look too original (but, after all, there have been made so many movies about kids&animals, so it's really hard to be completely original), but with many refreshing situations, and firmly developing through the movie. Though we can predict the ending, certain situations appear as something new and keep our attention till the end. (In fact, last few minutes - the race - is the worst part, obviously it had to be made that way not to disappoint children audience, but still not a quarter as irritating as girl-rescue in Andre.) Maybe photography isn't as attractive as could be considering the location - how can anybody beat Disney at this segment (but compare also for instance Ronja Rövardotter, Malá morská víla /Little Mermaid - Czech/ or Krol sokolu)...
I like Arctic, I like dogs, but I like seals too, so it's not the reason why I give Kayla so many marks more than Andre. Simply, Kayla is a whole-family movie about kids and animals, and one of best of that kind. And if you like Kayla too, and if you are lucky to find it, give a chance to an old Croatian movie "Vuk samotnjak" - a boy, a wild dog, snow, mountains... Different from most Croatian movies which deal with local events in a local manner, hardly understood to foreigners, this one can be understandable worldwide (apart general knowledge about WWII there's nothing you're expected to know before it starts).
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