The Magic Ferret (film review)
The Magic Ferret (2013)
Hijinx Entertainment & Pacific Backlot Services
11 mins. 39 seconds
Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Beverly Elliott, Lisa Durupt, Fred Ewanuick and Falcor the Ferret
Directed by: Alison Parker
MPAA Rating: NR
Genre: Short Film/Children’s Fable
Critic’s rating: *** stars (out of 4 stars)
Filmmaker Alison Parker’s short film ‘The Magic Ferret’ is a quaint, sweet and inspirational kiddie tale about one youngster’s expectations for acceptance in the embracing arms of caring adoptive parents. Imaginative and amiable, Parker delivers an infectious narrative that gives hope, faith and adventure to children in search for emotional fulfillment. ‘The Magic Ferret’ should be a delightfully bouncy fable for the crafty tykes out there filling their quiet despair with creativity.
‘The Magic Ferret’ features a charming six year-old orphan named Sam (Jacob Tremblay) and his trusty pet ferret Booger (Falcor the Ferret) whose mission is to find adoptive parents that can finally give him a stable home. Sam yearns for somebody to take him away from the loneliness of the orphanage walls. Caseworker Mrs. Rassenti (Beverley Elliott) reassures Sam that by being true to himself and remaining positive that the right family may possibly come along and realize how really special he will be to them.
The cute tandem of Sam and Booger do have something going for them in their favour, they are cohorts in the field of magic. As an aspiring magician, Sam expresses his artistry of hocus pocus with sheer enthusiasm…probably the only genuine source of escapism that keeps the boy positive and highly spirited. Can Sam and his best buddy, Booger, use their magic tricks to win over their prospective parents?
When Mrs. Rassenti informs Sam that married couple the Parkers (Lisa Durupt and Fred Ewanuick) are scheduled to meet with him, this allows the kid to prepare for his magic act in anticipation of impressing them and finally gaining his one-way ticket out of the orphanage. Armed with his partner-in-crime Booger and a bag of a few tricks Sam or ‘the Great Sambini’ put on an impish-minded show for Mrs. Rassenti and the Parkers. Unfortunately, one particular magic gig goes awry. Does this mean another rejection for Sam to finally get adopted? Will Sam and Booger retreat back to their isolated bedroom and continue to feel unwanted?
One cannot help but cater to the feel-good breeziness of ‘The Magic Ferret’.Parker’s care-free direction and screenwriters Scott and Paula Merrow’s engaging script deems this cheeky fable a formidable vehicle for reinforcing the encouragement and motivation in youngsters that dare to believe in their self-worth. The movie’s jumpy and reflective soundtrack featuring Cat Thomson’s ‘This House’ and Selena Gomez’s inventive version of the tune ‘Magic’ fuels the poignant energy in ‘The Magic Ferret’ giving this shortened exposition its appealing personality.
Tremblay is quite resourceful as the wide-eyed Sam, as you feel for the little guy’s quest to be wanted and loved by somebody…anybody! If you were not a ferret-loving individual before then meeting the on-screen presence of cute critter Booger/Falcor should instantly change your mind.
For youngsters and oldsters alike, ‘The Magic Ferret’ is an endearing and uplifting project that astutely tap dances on the soft side of youth-oriented alienation.
NOTE: Focus of New York film critic Frank Ochieng is a member of: