Los Angeles

The Painting - Stewart Smith's Review

Reviewer Stewart Smith is 14 years old and a student at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies.

The Painting is an animated independent film made in France in 2011. Telling a story of life in an unfinished painting, it tells a Shakespeare-esque story of a world plagued by racism in which a band of sketches and paintings search for their painter to ask him to return and fix their world.

Rich with color and liveliness, it covers a lot of recurring themes in modern life, such as tension between completed and unfinished characters. The biggest theme, however, seems to be the use of religious metaphor. The characters feel abandoned by the painter, search for the painter, have faith in the painter, and pray for the painter. While the story itself is a nice change from the modern clichés you find in blockbusters, one can’t help but notice a few discrepancies, including a couple of plot lines which are more or less abandoned as the film goes on. Some of the dialog and flow of the movie also felt a little clunky, and some of the characters seemed a bit empty.

The key aspect of the film’s allure is, quite obviously, its artistic style. Presented in a beautifully painted format with impressive color choice and form, it is a remarkable example of human expressionism.

The movie has a little bit of nudity, which may cause some giggles upon less mature audiences, but rest assured that it is all in the interest of recreating the feel of a painting, and that it’s generally no worse than that of Titanic.

All in all, the movie presents a moderately structured story with creative religious undertones in a style which breaks the modern cultural trend of paintings and turns the movie into less of a blockbuster and more of, well, a work of art.

The Painting plays May 5, 2013, at 11am at The Aero Theatre. Buy tickets in advance through this link to make a donation to the school of your choice.

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The Painting - Ava Mae Leslie's Review

Reviewer Ava Mae Leslie is 8 years old and a student at Marquez Charter School.

I think that you should see this movie when you are the age of 7 and up. In the movie, paintings come to life, and in one of the paintings, a lady is naked and you can see her big boobs. Some kids were laughing, and some adults were embarrassed. The painting was kind of inappropriate for 6-year-olds and down.

The other characters in the movie had different color skins (for example, one boy had blue skin). There were “Sketchies,” “Halfies,” and “All Dones.” The All Dones were being mean to the Sketchies and the Halfies. They were not letting them be in the castle with them and would step on the Sketchies and break them in half. There is a little romance in this movie so don’t be creeped out… kissy, kissy! They kissed away on the lips. Claire and the boy with blue skin were in romance together. My favorite character was Claire because she has a beautiful dress. My least favorite character is the Skull guy with the bloody ax. I did not like him because he gave me the creeps.

My favorite part of the movie was when they found the real painter. I liked it because Lola asked the painter who he got painted from, but he was a human. Laugh, laugh, laugh. The story was about a bunch of different paintings that the painter made, and three people are trying to get the painter back to finish the rest of the characters. If I could change one thing about the movie, I would change the Skull guy into a nice cheetah, and the cheetah would give them a ride to find the painter. I thought some parts were very, very, very hilarious!

I hope you all have a good time watching the movie.

The Painting plays May 5, 2013, at 11am at The Aero Theatre. Buy tickets in advance through this link to make a donation to the school of your choice.

Was this review helpful? Please scroll down to leave a comment below! And check out our other Kid Critic reviews.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Butterflies, Chumash & Kites, April 13 - 14

This weekend, there are two types of people: Folks who’ve finished their taxes and are free to party like it’s April 16,  and folks who are filling out forms down to the wire. (Perhaps we should make a third category for the LaLaLa-I-can’t-hear-you April 15 denialists.) Regardless of which camp you fall into, you're sure to appreciate the Tax Day Freebies we've found.

For those of you with an open calendar, there's plenty to find cheer in this weekend. The butterflies are returning to the Natural History Museum, the Chumash are returning to Malibu, old friends are returning to Disneyland, my tax return is due AAACK. Happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. Free Cinnabon. Aaah.

If your tax bill has been a burden, maybe it’s time put your kids to work. We’re looking for a few good critics to review the short films of the Los Angeles Children's Film Festival.  No experience needed, just an interesting point of view.

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend, and to find out about the freebies.

The Painting - Maia G's Review

Reviewer Maia G is 9 years old.

I thought this movie was exciting at times, but sad at times too. This is an animation fantasy film. If I was in the story I would think it would be exciting because they go on an adventure.

There are three different painting styles: "Sketchies" are sketches, and there are half finished paintings, and there are "All done" paintings. The story line is: The "Sketchies" want to be painted, too, so they go to find the painter who abandoned them.

The theme of the movie is: Even though you are different colors you are still the same on the inside. The artwork is awesome! The music fit perfectly when it played.

The main character was a girl who was adventurous. She went with a "sketchy" and a finished painting; she is an unfinished painting. The movie inspired me to paint.

The kind of people who would like this movie are 4 to 10 year-olds. You would like this movie if you like painting and art. 

The Painting plays May 5, 2013, at 11am at The Aero Theatre. Buy tickets in advance through this link to make a donation to the school of your choice.

Was this review helpful? Please scroll down to leave a comment below! And check out our other Kid Critic reviews.

Release Your Kid's Inner Movie Critic at the LA Children's Film Festival

It's a kid's dream come true: we want to hear everything your kids have to say about a movie!

In fact, we want to do more than that: we want to invite your kids to see a couple of kids' films for free and THEN tell us what they think about them. And we want to publish their very important opinions right here on this website for other kids and adults to see. In short, we want to turn your kids into film critics for the  Los Angeles Children's Film Festival in Santa Monica this month.

We are recruiting our team of critics by the end of day on Thursday, April 11, so that we can invite them to their special preview screenings on Saturday, April 13, at either 10am or 11:45am.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Ren Faire, Burbank Parade & Puppet Festival, April 6 - 7

Thumbs Up at the Fowler? I give it two thumbs up!
The Alvin Ailey celebration at the Music Center?  It's got a good beat; you can dance to it!
Kids Run the Bases at Dodger Stadium? An out-of-the-park home run!

What? You think you can do better?  Sigh. Everyone's a critic. No really,  I mean that. Everyone's a critic. Especially kids. (If you doubt that, ask mine for a review of my cooking prowess).  (Double sigh.) If you think your kid has what it takes to be the next Siskel & Ebert / Leonard Maltin/ Pauline Kael, you should check out our Kid Critic opportunity. We're looking for a few kids who call 'em as they see 'em, to review short films that are being shown at the the Los Angeles Children's Film Festival. Fame and fortune (or at least a free seat at the movies) could be theirs.

Now give us your opinion of this weekend's highlights...

Hikes with Kids: Topanga State Park's Santa Ynez Canyon

Sometimes there is nothing better than a nice family-friendly canyon hike, whether it is a hot summer day or a chilly December weekend. Topanga State Park's Santa Ynez Canyon offers a shady, easy-to-follow, and relatively flat trail along Santa Ynez Creek, with the option to go all the way to the park's main parking lot and activity center at Trippet Ranch. This is a great hike for kids, though a baby must be in a carrier, as much of the trail is single track—but LA is full of stroller-friendly hikes if that's what you need.

(For more hike ideas, check out our family hiking guide!)

12 Parks for Bounce House Birthday Parties in LA

Sometimes we want our kids to have birthday parties teeming with enriching activities and professional party entertainment from start to finish. Other times, we just want them to go outside and jump somewhere far away from the sofa. Families with sprawling back yards might be fortunate enough not to need the information below, but for the many, many LA families raising kids in smaller homes than they ever imagined they would, our wonderful city parks are our life support system; the parks that allow bounce houses can be even more so. Check out 12 great parks we love that let kids enjoy bouncers at their birthday parties.

Fun & Free Things to Do with LA Kids this Weekend: Cherry Blossoms, Teaching Zoo, and Swallows Day Parade, March 23 - 24

Ah, Spring has sprung in the City of Angels. This season always fills me with a sense of anticipation: for the flowers that will bloom, the longer days and sweeter weather, and the hours that will need to be filled while school is on break. Luckily, Mommy Poppins has you covered, whether you're looking for some awesome spring break camps, or for fun activities you can do as a family.

Why is next week different from all other weeks? Well, for one thing, Passover starts on Monday.  We've got some fun ideas for Passover activities including the latest exhibit at the Skirball, which allows visitors to (literally!) walk in the footsteps  of the historical characters in the Exodus tale.  On a journey that long you're gonna need snacks; our Passover Bakery guide will lead you to some of the tastiest unleavened treats in Los Angeles. (As a bonus, did you know that many Passover treats are gluten-free?)

But one hour this weekend is going to be the most different of all. Saturday at 8:30pm is Earth Hour, a world-wide event in which we are encouraged to turn off our lights to draw attention to climate change and our need to protect our planet.  Sounds like a good time to go outside and look at the stars! (Camping, anyone?)

Read on for our favorite picks for this weekend …

Exodus Steps at the Skirball Center and Other Passover Fun

The spring holidays are upon us, and kids who were spoiled for choice at Christmastime are glutted once again, this time with opportunities to see the Easter Bunny and hunt for eggs. Families who were vying for equal menorah time back in December, however, may be having a tough time now finding fun family activities for Passover. Apart from coming up with unleavened baked goods, there are generally precious few activities to prepare us for one of the biggest holidays on the Jewish calendar. The good news is that there are a few - and we've found some fun ones!


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