Nim's Island Reviews
I feel that it's only fair to take into consideration a film's target audience when judging it and this is most important with regards to children's films. Indeed, the true greats from The Wizard of Oz to Toy Story hold up in anyone's eyes but most films in this genre aren't so lucky.
Bearing this in mind, I think that Nim's Island pretty much achieves what it sets out to do- it's an enjoyable kid's film with an interesting idea here or there to make it all feel like less of a mission for the older members of the audience.
While it does retain much of the downsides from other films of the genre- simplistic characters, nonsense storylines, etc., it also has a nice feel to it and a story with enough going on that one could become emotionally invested in it- certainly younger viewers anyway.
It's a good looking film (unnecessary CGI aside) and the acting is fine (though no one is at their best with Breslin seeming to come out on top) but it's the story that makes this one work. It's predictable and far from complex but I think it may have some interesting elements from the eyes of a child.
Connecting with fantasy for example is a theme that is covered well here from various angles and the use of Butler's Alex Rover as a character that both of the heroines imagine in their own way, is pretty well-done and certainly would have kept me engaged as a kid. It also covers emotions without feeling overly-manipulative (again- for a kid's film anyway). It also succeeds in having a storyline told from the perspective of an adult at the forefront as well as one with a child which is important because too many kid's films are told solely from a kid's perspective or adult character's and dumbed down to the point that they may as well not be in there. Foster's Alex Rover and her battle with agoraphobia makes for a good adult-based element to the film. Sure, it wouldn't hold up outside of the context and it's still simplistic and humour-based but kids are still gonna like it more than if Rover's thoughts were just extensions of Nim's. Here we get that through Nim's expectations but we also get into Rover's head through her own self-doubt and it flows.
Most kid's aren't likely to question how silly the film is or how basic its elements are- they are surely gonna look for something relatable, interesting, exciting and memorable and I think this film offers that. The adults probably won't fancy watching it on DVD wit them very often though...
5 out of 10