NYICFF Movie Spotlight - Magic Light Celebration: Zog and the Flying Doctors / The Snail and the Whale

New York International Children's Film Festival highlighted two films from Magic Light Productions - Zog and the Flying Doctors and The Snail and the Whale.  The press information shared prior to the festival mentioned Magic Light as being longstanding festival favorites so I knew I wanted to check out these movies.  Both are shorter films - but not quite short enough to be "shorts."  Clocking in at just under 30 minutes each, both movies shared some similarities that make them appealing to young viewers.  What surprised me though was how much I genuinely enjoyed both of these as an adult.

Magic Light Productions - Zog and the Flying Doctors

Image from New York International Children's Film Festival

Zog and the Flying Doctors follows a princess who becomes a doctor (maybe really more of a vet because she's traveling the country treating animals mostly, but anyway. . .) and her friends on medical adventures.  The king is none to pleased though that Princess Pearl has become a doctor even making the ridiculous comment "Princesses can't be doctors silly girl."  I mean, I can hear girls and women everywhere wanting to throw things through their screens.  Princess Pearl is locked up in a tower, but when the king becomes ill and no doctor can seem to find the cure, will Princess Pearl save the day and change his mind?

The film's look at the "expectations" of girls hit hard. . .especially as I watched it on International Day of the Woman.  It's a powerful film for even the youngest viewers to remind girls that there may be times in life when people say what you can or can't be, but you don't have to fit their mold.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone!

About Zog and the Flying Doctors (From NYICFF)

Zog and the Flying Doctors picks up where Zog left off, as Princess Pearl achieves her dreams of being a doctor. Together with Zog the dragon and Sir Gadabout, the flying trio criss-cross the kingdom giving vaccinations to creatures of all stripes. But Pearl’s uncle, the orange-faced King, is doubtful and disapproving, and ends up sick. Will he learn to trust in Pearl, and science, and rethink what it means to be royal? 

Magic Light Productions - The Snail and the Whale

Image from New York International Children's Film Festival

The Snail and the Whale is an encore presentation from a previous NYICFF.  In this story, we follow a small snail who gets to see the world thanks to the kindness of a whale.  But when his friend who has helped him on this great adventure ends up in trouble of his own, can the small snail live up to a big task of saving the whale?  

Then animation in this movie is nothing short of stunning.  As the snail and the whale travel the world, the way that animators brought to life the sea creatures, animals, and natural scenery is beautiful.  You really feel like you're "right there" which is very immersive for everyone, but especially your youngest viewers.  The rhyming scheme is also simple to follow and creates an a rhythm to the movie that feels familiar even the first time you watch it.  It's a great tale of friendship and seeing the world.  Another home run choice!

About The Snail and the Whale (From NYICFF)

When a tiny snail (charmingly voiced by Sally Hawkins) longs to see the world, it hitches a ride onto a great big, grey-blue humpback whale. Together they go on an amazing, gloriously animated journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and marvel at the vast wonders of the world, and size seems like strength to the snail. But when the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail who just might save the day.

Catch all of my New York International Children's Film Festival coverage here!

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