Opening November 3, 2016
Directed by: Ali Samadi Ahadi
Writing credits: Thomas Springer
Principal actors: Animation with Stefan Kurt, Marianne Sägebrecht, Max Herbrechter
I was enchanted by this little children’s film. Constructed around Swedish cult author Sven Nordqvist’s illustrated children’s classic Morgen, Findus, wird’s was geben, many children are probably already familiar with the book. This is the second full-length film in the Pettersson und Findus series; the first was Kleiner Quälgeist, grosse Freundschaft in 2012, also directed by Ahadi.
Pettersson (Kurt) is a solitary and shy old man with a beard who lives in an isolated log cabin with his talking cat Findus. And here the Christmas magic begins: the log cabin, the hills and pond outside the house, the snowflakes on the window panes and in the pine forest- all done down to the last floor nail using the studio green screen. And there is such wondrous detail to be discovered: the log cabin is a creative Christmas workshop for carpenters and bakers and builders, and under the floorboards is yet another world of mouse Christmas, miniature tree and all.
Pettersson is too shy to ask his neighbors Gustavsson (Herbrechter) and Beda (Sägebrecht) for help on Christmas Eve when he sprains his ankle and cannot buy any food at all for the holidays. The cupboards are bare, catastrophe. Findus, clever cat that he is, finds a way to bring everyone together and celebrate the most wonderful Christmas of all.
This film sends out all the right signals: for empathy, neighborly help, solving problems together, and the beauty of friendship. And the happiness of a good party in good company. All the things children should be learning. I went right out and bought the book for my grandchildren. (Ann G.-T.)