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Another charming adventure from the Children's Film Foundation. This time a gang of kids is out to foil the plans of a sinister oil 'baron' and his goons, who they discover have kidnapped Prof. Picton PhD, the slick-haired inventor of an ingenious and much prized oil-detector device. The baron himself is of the old school, with his cut glass accent and manor house bedecked with suits of armour and oak panelled walls hiding secret doors - just the place for good old fashioned skullduggery!
Like other films from the Foundation this a ripping yarn told well, with great performances from the child leads. It's not a tale with much emotional power-unlike for example 'Johnny on the Run', another CFF film made 3 years prior-but it skips along at a jaunty pace with the kids getting into all sorts of amusing scrapes and taking every opportunity to tussle with the baddies. All in all a slight and enjoyable tale of kids (hooray!) defeating the baddies (boo!), with only a little help from the mostly dithering adults. Special mention too for Geoffrey Wright's playful score which adds much to the gentle silliness of this warm hearted film.
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