Film: California: Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Film Festival: 2010

Jared’s Choices: SBIFF 2010

The Mouse That Soared

A mouse looks back on his past, when his parents died of poisoning.  He was taken in by birds who wanted a baby.  They try to get him to fly, with funny flops.  Then it goes back to present and we see that the mouse has found his job – he performs for audiences as a flying mouse.  The Mouse That Soared ends on a funny scene:  the birds are going to try again with their next new baby – a frog. Photo above from the film The Mouse That Soared.


This animated movie is full of despair and gloom, all gray in color.  Varmints shows a made-up creature (maybe a possum) who quietly and sadly lives in a polluted, urban world full of these same creatures.  This main character struggles but fails to keep the planet healthy.  It then tries to save a small tree despite the rest of its species.  Sound familiar?  Is there any hope? 

Last Paradise

This film tells how we are destroying the Earth by looking at areas in New Zealand where a group of friends grew up surfing and doing other sports.

It shows lots of adventure movie footage from the past 40 years, so we can see the changes.  It shows how the friends were devoted to surfing and now are doing things to help the Earth.

The filmmaker was part of this group and he interviewed his friends.

Creatures of the Deep

In Creatures of the Deep, the movie focuses on sea creatures from tropical climates to arctic climates.  It focuses on invertebrates.  I learned how coral reefs are made.  Did you know the biggest living thing on the planet is The Great Barrier Reef?  It is one huge living structure.  There are some creatures who live so deep in the ocean that you could never see them any other way.  The film covers lots of different creatures in the oceans, and at the end we see how the filmmakers created one segment on slow starfish using time-lapse photography. 

Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles and Amphibians shows lots of amazing creatures all over the world.  For example, in South America, two types of frogs (one in the jungle below a waterfall and one on a wet plateau) purposely fall off of things like trees or rocky hills to escape their predators.  They are not hurt at all.  The movie’s opening segment and a long later segment are about Komodo Dragons.  The film ends by showing us how they filmed the Komodo Dragons hunting.  It was fascinating and I learned a lot. 

Disappointment Valley 

Disappointment Valley is about the last wild horses in America.  The film shows us the awesome beauty of these horses, but it also reveals the urgent need to help them.  The Bureau of Land Management has rounded up and plans to round up too many (thousands) of these horses.  They put them in holding pens that were supposed to be temporary but they are still there.  Or worse, some were shipped to Mexico to be slaughtered.   Big Business, like oil companies and cattle ranchers, want more land and think the wild horses are nuisances.  They are getting their way.

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