Germany | Switzerland 2017
Opening April 12, 2018
Directed by: Manuel Flurin Hendry
Writing credits: Matthias Pacht, Manuel Flurin Hendry, Jann Preuss
Principal actors: Stefan Kurt, Luna Paiano, Maxwell Mare, Yven Hess, Lou Vogel
Mama Moll goes off for a wellness weekend in Bad Zurzach. Papa Moll is happy to keep watch over the children: Fritz, Evi, and Willy. They plan to go to the circus where the main attraction is Katovi Hundini– a flying dog. Naturally, all plans collapse and there is chaos. First Papa Moll’s boss, Mr. Stuss, gives him extra duty at the chocolate factory during this very weekend. Even worse, the machines begin to fail and there is risk of a chocolate explosion. Then Stuss’ two children, Jackie and Johnny, pop up and, because their father is the boss, they have no inhibitions about fair play and discipline; they begin their evil deeds terrorizing the Moll children. Parallel to these problems Evi discovers that the flying dog is almost a slave to his master, Rasputin, and must be rescued (or perhaps kidnapped as the title indicates).
This is based on a series of comics, the Moll Comics, which first appeared in Switzerland in 1952 and have been continuously popular with German readers over the last six decades. This is the first movie based on the comics. Director Manuel Flurin Hendry said that he was faced with the problem of “how do you change comic strip characters into people of flesh and blood?” He and his crew discussed ways to set the viewers back into the 1950s, into a “retro-fantasy world.” Most impressive are the young actors, who are wonderful and keep the action moving forward as each character attempts to solve problems or, worse, to survive in emergencies. Slowly Papa Moll realizes what is most important in the world and everyone matures a bit. This is a film you can watch with kids more than once. (Becky T.)