15 October 2016 | stuartwhyte300
very engaging kids film with natural warmth and jeopardy
Our young family watched Phantom Boy today at the London Film Festival and really enjoyed the experience. The film has been dubbed into English and the dialogue runs smoothly - doing most of the story-telling in a nuanced, personable and fluid way.
It unfolds as a, perhaps slightly old fashioned, detective story. Leo's ability to travel out of his body is a very useful device to access remote places and to eavesdrop on others actions to help the story along. This also acts an intermediary or buffer to the film's action, helping to flag up wrong-doing, violence and other risks in a mediated manner, which works well for young viewers.
There are hints of the seriousness of Leo's Illness via the private worries of his parents, some physical violence and threatening use of guns but the emotional challenge is not overwhelming and the narrative pace carries you through.
Both our kids said they would want to see the film again and it will probably become a DVD favourite at home, for some time to come. The animated style is more hand-drawn in appearance and not as glossy or heavily automated as major studio animated films can be. This give a certain lightness of touch and warmth to what would otherwise be rather gritty, noir-ish city backdrops.
My only criticism would be the speed with which the story was established and characters introduced. A few minutes more focusing on Leo's arrival at hospital and the discovery and use of his special powers would have pleased me.