Faithful to the style of its German source books, this dubbed kids’ film is simply animated and simply told. When her family moves to the city, little Laura is homesick, but finds comfort from a friendly star that falls from the sky. Given that said star is about as big as her head, it’s perfectly easy to conceal it from her parents and use its magic powers to animate her toys and take her on journeys in the sky. Mute and faceless, its potential for anthropomorphism is seriously restricted, so this isn’t exactly the cutest sidekick, working merely as a device to ease Laura into city life and unite her with the boy next door. Children may relate to Laura’s tendency to retreat into a fantasy world in unfamiliar surroundings, and adults may find comfort in her refreshing lack of coyness. But in English, much of the expositionary dialogue sounds clumsy, and while this may please fans of the books, it’s unlikely to win them many new ones.
Friday February 4 2005
Piet de Rycker, Thilo Graf Rothkirch