After the death of her mother a teenage girl comes to live with her father who is obsessed with finding evidence of the existence of tiny fairy-like leaf people in the forest. Crazy as he seems, it turns out he’s right and the girl is magically transported into this world and given responsibility for a magical bloom that has the power to save the forest. The eponymous battle then ensues between good (the leaf people defenders of the verdant life of the forest) and evil (the Boggins, nasty shark/bug things that spread death and decay).
Ages 8 and up
There is something for both boys and girls here. Fairy-like people of the forest, some with beautiful dresses, a strong heroine, leaf-men Kung Fu swordplay on hummingbirds that sound like teeny-tiny WWII fighters, and two very amusing gastropods. The villainous Boggins are truly threatening and creepy so I would not recommend this for kids under 8 unless they have a fondness for gross and menacing creatures.
The Boggins are evil shark bugs that ride bats and old crows and their arrows spread death and decay. They are fairly unpleasant but not excessively creepy, just mostly creepy. Aside from lots of battling where injury and death are strongly implied by rarely shown onscreen this is a fairly harmless movie for most kids.
Our family was fairly divided on this one. Our son was not interested in seeing it based on the trailers and the movie itself did nothing to change his opinion. He didn’t care for the Boggins, the slug/snail comedy (although he couldn’t help laughing a couple of times – they’re pretty funny), or the heroics of the main characters. To his point I have to say that even though I enjoyed the film overall afterward I was left with a foreboding aftertaste. Hopefully I’m not giving too much away by saying that the good guys in a big summer Hollywood kids movie do ok for themselves in the end but I think that it’s a testament to the filmmakers that the evil forces in the movie were so effectively portrayed that their presence stayed with me more than the warm fuzzies after the movie was over.
My daughter on the other hand, couldn’t disagree more. Admittedly she is a huge fan of fairies and the portrayal of the magical world of the forest, while not technically fairyland, has more than enough wonder and beautiful art direction to satisfy any fairy-loving person. She thought Beyoncé was fabulous and beautiful, the slug and snail were hilarious, and I suspect she related to the main character with the crazy dad.
Do you agree or disagree with my assessment or have something to add?
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Let me know what you think.