For many, the original Storm Boy film holds a special place in one’s heart. The original was released in 1976, based on a novel by the same name penned by Colin Thiele The film tells the story of Mike and his adopted pelican Mr. Percival, Mike’s relationship with his dad, Hideaway Tom and indigenous friend, Fingerbone Bill. It’s no easy task taking on a film that’s close to many hearts, but over 40 years since the originals release, the reimagining has been handled well and with much respect to its source materials.
Geoffrey Rush stars as Mike Kingsley, the grown up Storm Boy, now a retired businessman and grandfather to Madeline. Whilst in town to vote on a new deal on the board of his company, Madeline urges him to change his mind and vote against her father.
They spend the night together, where Mike reflects on his childhood growing up with his father Hideaway Tom, played by Jai Courtney, in the beautifully picturesque Coorong, South Australia. At the age of 10, Storm Boy takes in a group of orphaned pelicans, Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival when their parents are killed by hunters. He hand raises the birds until his father makes him release them back to the wild when they are old enough to fend for themselves.
A little while in the future, Storm Boy is feeling sad and lonely after releasing his bird friends, one day Mr Percival returns to the shack and Storm Boy is so excited, the pair cannot be separated!
The film is a fantastic re-imagining of the story which has remained true to both the book and original film. This remake is extremely tastefully and I believe that the modern storytelling worked so well. Despite being a remake, the heart and soul of the story is still evident in this modern adaptation. It’s not just about a bird, but is also about love, family and conservation.
I believe that Storm Boy is perfect for young teens and up. From those that may remember the original, to those who would be exposed to this tale for the first time, it is well worth seeing. This film has plenty of laughs, as you could imagine with a boy and his three young mischievous pelicans, but also its sad moments too. This film will move you, so make sure you bring the tissues!