Paper Planes is a new Australian movie for kids. It is the story of 12 year old Dylan Webber who discovers at school one day that he has a knack for making paper aeroplanes . As he tries to deal with the recent death of his mother and his grieving father, he gets drawn in to the world of competitive paper-plane making.
The movie is set in the West Australian outback and features a fantastic cast including Ed Oxenbould as Dylan, Sam Worthington as Dylan's father, Deborah Mailman, David Wenham and Peter Rowsthorn.
Written by Robert Connolly and Steve Worland, the inspiration for the movie was the story of Dylan Parker, an Australian man who came third in the Paper Plane World Championships in 2009 in Austria.
The movie is a refreshing change from the usual kids animated blockbusters and the associated merchandising inflicted upon us. As with all good Australian films, Paper Planes includes plenty of laid back Aussie humour in the form of Dylan's irreverent grandfather, played by Terry Norris and his quirky school teacher Mr Hickenlooper, played by Peters Rowsthorn. I also enjoyed the warm & enthusiastic performance from Deb Mailman as the competition official, Maureen . Sam Worthington is totally convincing as the grieving father who can not face the world since his wife's death in a car accident.
But the heroes of the film are definitely Dylan and his Japanese friend, Kimi, played by Ena Imai, who learn that winning isn't everything.
The simple act of making a paper plane is something everyone can relate to, and kids will respond to the basic themes in the story of friendship, rivalry and the importance of family.
My kids aged 8 and 11 enjoyed watching this movie, cheering through the highs and shedding a few tears at the lows.
Who knows, it may even inspire them to try some paper folding of their own?
Paper Planes is rated G and is in cinemas from January 15, 2015.