Children’s Film Features Kids Who Roam Unsupervised, Trespass, Get Dirty.

Based on our enjoyment of Ponyo, Netflix thought that our family “might also like”  Kikkerdril, a Dutch film about an adorable little boy named Max who wanders around the Dutch countryside in search of frog’s eggs. 

Now, the original Dutch title translates as “Frog Spawn”, which I guess the American distributors felt wouldn’t go over well here, so they renamed it Max’s Magical Journey.

Whatever.  As a person interested in both nature and children — and in films that present nature to children — I found this film to be delightful.  It’s a refreshingly simple and earnest depiction of a kid discovering nature.  Totally low-budget.  No CGI.  No amazing macro photography.  No underlying environmental message. 

And I love how Max just wanders around with no accompanying adults —  through meadows and woods, riding through town on a bike, sneaking onto a public bus to get back home, encountering strangers with dirty teeth and making friends with them, messing around with irrigation equipment, milking other people’s cows —  all stuff that, if an American parent allowed their kid to do, they’d be investigated by Social Services.  

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