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  • It's rather a good surprise :it's roughly based on the very first book of Enid Blyton 's famous saga,for George /Georgina did not know her cousins before and the famous dog had not been adopted by her family yet .

    It's faithful to Blyton's spirit ,by and large ,although it has been modernized with computers and an ecological subject (it's a German movie and it shows because the Germans were perhaps the most active people in the environment protection in Europa.)

    As Blyton 's books are thoroughly implausible (like many books aimed at the children market ) ,the screenwriters treated her story as a farce ,almost a spoof ....George's mom is a fine cook (actually ,she 's even got a cook ,if my memory serves me well),but here her guests do not seem to appreciate the dish she serves ;the villain and her two henchmen(do not go by appearances )do not really frighten :towards the end ,they look like Cruella De Vil and her two accomplices .

    I find both girls more faithful to their models:Ann is the feminine fearful girlie and George is the tomboy whose best reward is to be called so (and not Georgina) by her sentimental (and scientist) dad.One of the boys' pedantry and long hair ,on the other hand, gets in the way sometimes.The island is just as you imagine it when you are a child .Wrong tracks abound ;the police are not very reliable ,but fortunately the famous five are here (to stay).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As this year, already the fourth "Fünf Freunde" movie hits cinemas, I would like to review the very first from the bunch. It is directed by Mike Marzuk and written by Klehmet and Wehling based on the Enyd Blyton books. All this also applies to films 2-4, in between there was always only roughly a one year break. Seems like they want to rush as many films as possible. And for good reason as the films steadily grew in audience numbers. 3 was more successful than 2 and 2 was more successful than 1. We will see if the newest film can top the third movie in terms of box office again as well. The director and writer duo all returned to work together on these movies and same goes for the kids. Eisenbart ("The Door", "Wickie") had the most acting experience from the quartet before the film. Oettl and Schlingensiepen had some experience too, also already appeared in the same film before this franchise and only Nickel was a complete newcomer to acting roles.

    Now, maybe you recognized I only mentioned 4, but the titles says five friends. That is right. Number 5 is their dog Timmy. This first film is about Eisenbart's character becoming friends with the other three, her cousins. She initially is not interested in them at all, but they grow closer quickly as they go on an adventure together. Initially, only Timmy is a friend to George. What I did like was that it was very easy to quickly make a connection with each of the kids. It also helped a lot that it was not difficult at all to keep them apart and see who is who, not only because of their looks but also because of their behavior. A crucial difference in this film compared to the other movies is how we do not know who the antagonist is until very late. In the other films, it's clear right away, but here it could be a special agent, wildlife cameramen (M'Barek and Höfels reunited in "Fack ju Göhte") or even police officers and my guess that it would be Anatole Taubman's character was very wrong. I liked that inclusion of suspicion.

    And of course, there is also a story on friendship. The next films are about a new kid bonding with the 4 other kids and here this new kid is Eisenbart's character. There are only very few things that I did not like, for example how the dog immediately listens to all of the kids although it knows all except George only for a very short time. But these are just minor flaws and it's nonetheless great to watch this beautiful dog help the gang. The music and songs did not really impress me either. There was two interesting scenes which depicted that George is really not a usual girl like Anne. When Anne gets her hand on a gun she quickly throws it out of a window, but when George gets it, she points it right at the bad guys like a boy would. Fearlessly.

    All in all, I recommend this film. I liked it more than the second film and about as much as the third film which is also pretty good. Children films from Germany (usually based on novels) are really booming in Germany right now and "Fünf Freunde" is a good watch for everybody still young at heart.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Don't mention the war, and don't let the German language and accents distract you from this German production of the English classic Famous Five. This may sound a bit politically incorrect, but I found it a bit disconcerting at first seeing my favorite British characters speaking German, but then again maybe in an alternative universe post WWII if you know what I mean.

    Then again, all the Nazis in Valkyrie had British and American accents so we got used to that cultural appropriation of a Nazi plot to bring down Hitler. I wonder if John Cleese should have been an executive producer for this rendition of Famous Five?