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Dallas KidFilm Festival ready to start

The USA Film Festival announces
21st Annual KidFilm® Festival – January 22-23, 2005

The USA Film Festival’s 21st annual KidFilm® Festival announces the schedule of events from the festival taking place Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23, 2005 at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.


Animation Extravaganza
This year’s diverse showcase offers something for audiences of ALL AGES where many favorite books are brought to life.

Part 1 – Meet author/illustrator Trevor Romain. Trevor will introduce his book-based film Bullies Can Be a Pain in the Brain and distribute free books to our young viewers.

Part 2 – From Scholastic and Weston Woods, KidFilm proudly presents terrific new adaptations of The Dot, I Lost My Bear, The Wheels on the Bus (featuring music from The Bacon Brothers), The Elves and the Shoemaker and This is the House that Jack Built.

Part 3 – From the National Film Board of Canada comes Circuit Marine, a bawdy, witty look at the food chain on board a pirate ship. And from Aardman Animations, new works including Cats or Dogs? where cats and dogs hilariously weigh in on the subject of which pet is best, and ten new Wallace and Gromit episodes of "Cracking Contraptions.” Total program length: 104 min. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Barbie Fairytopia
Something funny’s going on in the Magic Meadow, home of Elina (Barbie) the wingless fairy who longs to fly like the other fairies. Suddenly her fairy friends are mysteriously going missing and are unable to fly, threatening all of Fairytopia. Elina must find the courage to embark on a fantastic journey to challenge the evil Laverna to save their home, and along the way learns the true value of friendship in this enchanting original fairy tale. 70 minutes. Recommended for ages 4-10. (All of the KidFilm young audience members will receive a special Elina Barbie™ compliments of Mattel.)

Because of Winn-Dixie
Ten-year-old Opal Buloni and her father have moved to small town Naomi, Florida where she is friendless and lonely. Much to her father’s dismay, Opal brings home a bedraggled stray dog whom she names Winn-Dixie after the supermarket where she found him. The two become fast friends and together they explore their new town and the secrets of its eccentric residents, proving along the way that some of life’s best lessons come via our four-legged friends. Director Wayne Wang and a first-rate cast including Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Dave Matthews and Eva Marie Saint, bring Kate DiCamillo’s best-selling book to lively life. Executive producer Ralph Singleton and screenwriter Joan Singleton and daughters Lizzy Singleton and Kate Singleton in attendance. Also in attendance: Singer/songwriter Leigh Nash, a contributor to the film’s original soundtrack, will perform after the film. 104 minutes. Rated PG. [Additional guests pending.]

The Cat Returns
Acclaimed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s (Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke) modern classic follows Haru, a gawky schoolgirl who doesn’t feel that she fits in anywhere. One day, Haru saves the life of a careless cat about to be run over in the street. After that, her world is turned upside down as cats everywhere try to reward her for her good deed with dead mice and even begin to speak to her! Haru is horrified and just wants to be left alone but the cats have other plans. Soon she is transported to the "Kingdom of Cats" where she is to receive the ultimate honor -- marriage to the Cat Prince. While she appeals her case, she realizes that the longer she remains in the Kingdom, she is being transformed from girl into cat, and the only thing that can change her fate is finding the courage to believe in herself. Anne Hathaway, Peter Boyle, Elliot Gould, and Tim Curry provide the outstanding English voice work on this newly dubbed version. 75 minutes. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Five Children and It
What would you do if you could have a new wish granted every day? Five children in war-time London find out when they are uprooted to the countryside to stay with their eccentric uncle (Kenneth Branaugh) where they discover an ancient Psammead – or Sand-fairy – which they dub "It," with the ability to grant wishes. But having your wishes come true isn’t as easy as they imagine and a series of misadventures ensue at the hands of the grouchy, rather wicked Sand-fairy (voiced by Eddy Izzard) resulting in some very good – if hard-learned -- lessons indeed. Based on the century-old novel by E. Nesbit and produced by The Jim Henson Company, the delightful production also stars Zoe Wannamaker and Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland). 89 min. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Director John Stephenson in attendance.

British nine- and seven-year-old brothers Anthony and Damian and their father have just moved to a new home in the suburbs following the untimely death of their mother. While playing in a nearby field, they discover a suitcase full of money that seems to have fallen from the sky – a discovery the boys decide to keep secret. Anthony wants to spend the money on family and friends, while Damian believes its arrival to be a miracle and wants to give it away to those less fortunate. Their hilarious disagreements and attempts to anonymously spend the money are further complicated by the upcoming "E Day" when, in one week’s time, all British money must be converted to Euros. After that, their suitcase of loot will become worthless. This completely unique and charming film from writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and director Danny Boyle brilliantly explores the lessons we teach kids and what is truly valuable. 97 minutes. Rated PG.

Mulan II
In this new music-filled, animated adventure, Mulan gets the surprise of her young life when her sweetheart, General Shang, asks for her hand in marriage. Before the wedding, however, China is threatened by a mongol invasion, and the Emperor calls upon Mulan, Shang and their three loveable friends – Yao, Ling and Chien-Po – to escort his daughters to arranged marriages with vital allies to prevent war. The future of China hangs in balance when Mulan and Shang clash over their duties, and everyone involved will have their honor tested. Along for the adventure is the wise-cracking little dragon Mushu, who just wants to keep his job as Mulan’s faithful guardian. Featuring the voices of Ming-Na, Lucy Lui, Olympic skating champion Michelle Kwan, B.D. Wong, Pat Morita and Harvey Fierstein. 79 minutes. Recommended for ages 4-12.

Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Roo are back in a delightful new tale based on the beloved characters from A.A. Milne’s cherished "Winnie the Pooh" books. Awakened by a rumbling that could only be made by the much-feared Heffalump, the friends set out on a dangerous expedition to capture the creature once and for all. What they find is not at all what they expect and they learn to respect and accept others’ differences. Featuring four original songs from singer/songwriter Carly Simon. Preceded by two new short animated films The Monkey and the Bananas and HIT Entertainment’s Pingu’s Bouncy Fun. Total program length: 78 minutes. Recommended for audiences of all ages.

Uncle Nino
Meet the Micelli’s – an all too typical modern American family. Teenaged son Bobby is a budding hooligan, and pre-teen daughter Gina (played by Joe Mantegna’s real-life daughter Gina) is miserable because her parents repeatedly deny her the dog she desperately wants. Wife and mom Marie (Anne Archer) feels disconnected from her family, including husband Robert (Joe Mantegna) who works all the time. An unexpected visit from long-lost elderly Italian relative Uncle Nino (who has never been to the U.S.) will bring the already stressed household to the breaking point. Writer/director Bob Shallcross’ hilarious, wise and touching film dares to truthfully examine today’s busy, modern family with all its flaws and reminds us to never underestimate the older generation -- as Uncle Nino rocks with Bobby’s high school battle of the bands, helps Gina get her dog, and helps the whole family to reconnect with each other and a more authentic way of life. 104 minutes. Rated PG. Director Bob Shallcross, Joe Mantegna and Gina Mantegna in attendance.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Presented for the first time ever in a special Sing-a-long version!
It’s Wonka-mania! We’re not sure why this timeless classic needs to be remade (a Tim Burton version is due out this summer), but it provides a great opportunity to revisit the original – on the BIG SCREEN – in all its musical glory. Come and sing-a-long with the Oompa Loompas (We’re putting the lyrics on the screen for those who don’t know them by heart) and enjoy watching the odious Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Augustus Gloop and Mike TeeVee all get their just desserts -- literally! With its perfect blend of sweet and sour, Academy Award-nominated Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley lyrics and music, and the incomparable Gene Wilder in a performance to savor, it’s no wonder that audiences of all ages want to enjoy this classic over and over again. "Doompa de do!" 100 minutes. Rated G.

The Wizard of Oz
Back by popular demand – one of the greatest films of all time! If you’ve only seen this true American classic on a TV screen, then you haven’t REALLY seen The Wizard of Oz (and every generation should!). Bring the whole family for a BIG SCREEN adventure over the rainbow where Glinda’s dress is 20 feet wide (!) and Dorothy and Toto skip down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion! Winner of two Academy Awards for its unforgettable song and score. Kids are encouraged to come in costume as their favorite character! 101 minutes. Recommended for audiences of all ages.

Wondrous Oblivion
British twelve-year-old David Wiseman lives for the game of cricket. Problem is, he has all of the passion, but none of the skill, making him a laughing stock among his teammates at school. So when a Jamaican family moves in next door and builds a cricket batting net in their back garden, David is captivated. In their 1960 working class London neighborhood, David’s parents know what it is to be outsiders (his father is Jewish and his mother is German), and as such, they caution David to keep a polite distance from the new neighbors – the first black family in the neighborhood. But David cannot resist the neighbor’s shared love of his favorite sport and he soon secretly crosses the fence to become friends with their daughter Judy and her father Dennis (Delroy Lindo) who coaches David with considerable success. As prejudice and intolerance escalate into an act of violence against the Jamaican family, the entire community is changed in this magical coming of age story. 106 minutes. Recommended for ages 10 and up.


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