This kids movie from 2003 is based on an Erich Kästner novel and yet they had four writers adapting it for the screen. The outcome is quite a disappointment as this is a prime example of too many cooks spoiling the broth. The cast is decent: Noethen, Koch, Kling and a very young Frederick Lau (he reunited with Ferkic for "Die Welle") are in here and so is a personal favorite: Piet Klocke. His classroom scene with the boy in the garbage bin was probably the funny highlight of the movie. The movie won many awards, but I cannot really see why. none of the kids were truly good actors and the story was weak too. i cannot say how much they changed from Kästner's original, but the script is definitely not a strength of this film. By the way, it runs for 110 minutes, really long for a children's film. most of these do not even come close to the 100-minute mark, at least these from Germany. In a couple days, I will watch the 1950s version, so make sure to check out my review there and see if I deem it more worth watching than this one here. I am fairly certain it will not have these woeful rap music sequences on so many occasions. Probably not even on one. Apart from Lau, one or two of the kids actors still have acting careers, but most of them went back to normal lives quickly.
The best thing about this film was maybe the soundtrack, at least the main tune that also plays in the very end. However, the kids rapping was just horrible and the other singing parts (mostly choir) were not too memorable either. The two groups of kids fighting was nothing special and I never felt particularly like cheering for one side. It's a bit of a shame Vilsmaier is not acting anymore either. She had decent talent and screen presence, maybe the most from the younger actors here. Initially, I thought Sebastian Koch was evil, but I was wrong in the end. When he climbed up to the kids, he seemed somewhat like a villain. Also, I have to say I did not really think the title fits the film well. The Flying Classroom is mentioned so late into the movie that you keep asking yourself for over an hour why is this film named like that. I doubt, it gets mentioned equally late in Kästner's novel. Anyway, there are many great kids movies from Germany out tight now, many of them based on literature. This one is not among them. Not recommended.