Starring: Heather Graham, Lang Lang
Directors: Martin Clapp (Stop Motion), Dorota Kobiela (2D Animation) and Geoff Lindsay (Live Action)
Distributed by: Breakthrough Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time 77 minutes
Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars
I am a big fan of fantasy family films. I am also a big fan of music. This film is a mix of both but really feels a light on both areas. The film is being released in 3D and it includes a fun blend of stop-motion, 2D animation and live action. Though I did not have the privileged of viewing this in this 3D format. Since the film was shot mostly on a green screen that the third dimension would have made this film include the added depth it yearned for. Without it, I feel the film is very flat and not very exciting. Also for the first 20-30 minutes, the film is told through music without any talking. This is a brave move but for a kids film, I just keep thinking about how their attention span was gone after five minutes.
Official Premise: The film takes off in London when over-worked single mum, Georgie takes her children, Jane and Fred, to see The Flying Machine, a film being accompanied live by super-star pianist, Lang Lang, playing Frederic Chopin masterpieces. The film, which we get to watch as well, is called “The Magic Piano”. Jane and Fred are enchanted, but as soon as they leave the cinema, their mother Georgie is right back on the phone. When she finishes her call she notices the kids are gone. They were engrossed into the magical world of the Flying Machine that they have flown away with it. Georgie, with a little help from Lang Lang, follows Jane and Fred on their way to Warsaw where Chopin’s is buried. On her way she gets to understand how much was she missing and how much she loves her kids.
Let’s get the acting, boy is it rough. Heather Graham is extremely amazing…at over-acting. I hate to bash her performance since it is a kids film but every time she delivers a line it just hurt my ears. Lang Lang is a fantastic Chinese concert pianist but as an actor…well…let’s just say he should stick to tickling those ole ivories. I really wanted to this film to work since I am My favorite part of this film was the various types of animation but that isn’t enough for me to recommend this to anybody. If you want to see for yourself the film is available now on VOD provides including most Cable Providers and online with Apple iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Video On Demand. But I warned you!