Excellent rendition of a German children's classic
Michael Ende didn't write as many books as others, but most of his books became instant classics.
The tale of "Jim Knopf und Lukas, der Lokomotivführer" ist his best known, next to "Neverending story", which has become a classic both as a book and a film.
While the latter aims for adults as well as for older kids, "Jim Knopf" is a great children's story - although it contains elements that will ring more with grown ups.
The book is great in it's detail, and the pictures are fantastic on their own account. Then there's the marionette-version, made for TV by the "Augsburger Puppenkiste", in the 1970s.
Now, Jim finally and well deservingly hits the big screen - and the makers did really, really well!
They took lots of inspiration from the beloved TV-Version and didn't change a lot of the story:
Jim being brought to the island of Lummerland with only a few habitants and a train engine as a baby, later sailing away (on the engine!) with his fatherly friend Lukas, to explore the secret of his heritage, trying to save princess Li Si from the dragon's city on the way, meeting lots of curious people on their journey...
The director tells the story very straight, the action is well paced, and there are hardly any important parts missing.
The visuals are fine, except for Nepomuk, the half dragon, who REALLY looks animated! No 3D, thankfully!
The actors are doing a great job, especially both leads, but also all the secondary characters.
A minor annoyance to me was the unnecessary change of the fact that Jim can't read or write at the beginning. That's why he has to DRAW a letter to Mrs. Waas when he's leaving. They kept the drawings in the movie but ADDED additional writing!
Apart from that there's hardly anything to criticise. I rate this fantastic adaption 9/10 and look forward to the sequel "Die Wilde 13"!
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