Writer/Director: Tim McCanlies
Alabama Moon directed by Tim McCanlies is an smart and entertaining kids film based off the novel by Watt Key. The film has the spirit of a Huck Finn tale.
Moon (Jimmy Bennett) and his Pap (J.D. Evermore) live as homesteaders in rural Alabama. Pap is a conspiracy theorist that teaches Moon that the Government is a greedy parasite and the only way to be free of them is to live free in the wild. (not completely off the mark although the method may be a little off the mental grid). Moon is raised to never trust or depend on anyone. Then Pap goes and dies on the 11-year-old Moon leaving him to navigate the woods and life on his own. His dad told him before he died to head to Alaska because he could homestead there and not be bothered. Moon sets off on his way but is quickly apprehended by the local constable (Clint Howard) and is delivered to into state custody and a boy’s home at Pinson.
Moon vows to escape and he does, easily hides out in the national forest with new-found friends Hal (Gabriel Basso) and Kit (Uriah Shelton).
This film was wonderfully cast from the adults down to the children. Jimmy Bennett is totally believable as Moon and does a good job of bringing Moon to life on-screen. This is a very smart kids film in that it doesn’t just throw explosion and chase scenes at you and call it day. This is a rich and emotionally charged film that has some comedic relief but Moon’s philosophical plight to understand his life in relationship to his father’s wants becomes paramount. Moon finds that his desires for his life are different from his dead father and he struggles with loss throughout the film.
Yes I cried (a little) and laughed during this film. It’s one to catch if you have the time.