Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Follow Along Edition
Director: William R. Kowalchuk Jr.
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Based on the beloved children's book, this fun-filled animated feature follows a spirited young fruit bat who finds friendship, love and acceptance in the most unexpected places! Brimming with music,laughter, warmth and ex... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Stella Luna Retold by Hollywood--very bad
Pam Tee | 06/07/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this DVD at the library (I check things out there before buying) and mistakenly thought that it was a Scholastic production. Imagine my regret when we got it home and instead of an interesting reading of `Stella Luna' with good animation --you know, where animated drawings *actually* match the artwork in the original book-- we got a lame Hollywood video.
After 3 minutes my son (3) ran off to play with Thomas, and my daughter (5) began asking if the Library had made a mistake and put the wrong DVD in the box. "I thought this was about Stella Luna?" she complained.
And that was their complaints. Mine are even longer. First there are the multitudinous sales pitches for some of their other slocky products at the beginning of the tape. (I guess they couldn't pitch them after anyone had seen the movie!)
Then there is the weird option of turning off the music that goes with the video. Well, at least it seemed weird. After having listened to the music I know why that option is there.
But *Worst of the Worst* must be the misguided rewrite of this well known and well loved story (which some MGM mogul must of thought was a good idea). Out goes the wonderful tale of friendship and tolerance, and in it's place a tale featuring bullying and fear. Stella Luna?
MGM is responsible for this DVD and truly I think it would take a big movie company to ruin such a wonderful book.
If you would like a story about a bat and some birds that is entirely unlike Stella Luna, this would be a good choice. Zero stars."
Enjoy it for what it is: a fine story with embellishments
amanooensis | Flyover Country | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am surprised by all the complaints I see from other reviewers. We bought this in a two-pack with the Miss Spider DVD, because our 4-year-old had enjoyed the Miss Spider TV shows. After watching both of these "movies," he did not want to watch Miss Spider -- but he requested the Stellaluna DVD over and over.
We then got the book from the library, and renewed it for a while because it became a favorite. We also deduced that he might have gotten a look at the book at preschool before we ever heard of it. In any case, our son was perfectly happy with both the book and the DVD versions, and did not have problems with the fact that there were differences between them.
The overall story is the same, but the telling is different -- as it HAS to be, to make a video more than 10 minutes long. That point was proven by the PBS show "Reading Rainbow" which featured the book one day. A professional narrator read the book out loud, and they used its illustrations for the visuals. And it runs about 10 minutes at MOST. The rest of the 25-minute show is filled with related material about bats and so on.
Well, in this DVD version, they've added a rather silly "super-hero" jumping spider character, who provides a couple of pivotal plot points. They also added a couple of birds who attempt a makeover on Stellaluna, which fails but teaches everybody a lesson about getting in touch with the person you are inside. That is, of course, the idea of the book but this simply accentuates it with some singing and some fun. These scenes seem to depart greatly from the tone of the original book -- but they do NOT depart from its message. Our child enjoys them, but more importantly, I feel they help the Stellaluna character develop a clearer sense of her own value.
The rest of the DVD completes the storyline with an ending that one would expect from a "movie" even if it's not exactly the same as the book. It's a happy ending, it leaves the birds and the bats with greater mutual understanding and respect, and -- again -- emphasizes the importance of looking beneath the surface to get to know somebody.
The DVD has extra features, including a detailed examination of bat physiology and living habits, an explanation of the differences between American bats and the African fruitbats featured in the story (something that really DOES need emphasis for an American audience, in my opinion), and the chance for kids to see what real bats look like, compared to the cartoon versions in the book or the DVD.
In summary: this version is great and should be viewed and enjoyed without fretting over its relation to the book. Guaranteed: KIDS will not care nearly as much about the differences as parents do. I mean, let's face it -- your child is going to see/read/hear 5 or 10 versions of Mother Goose Rhymes by the time they go to school, as just one example. Our child has read them in several books, then seen video versions done by the Barney TV show, "Busytown" by Richard Scarry, and more. And it is a great growing experience, a learning experience, when a child sees the same story interpreted more than one way.
I think it's a huge mistake for parents to get hung up on the impossible goal of trying to dictate the "right" version of every story for their kids. Let them see different ones, and decide FOR THEMSELVES which ones appeal to them more. Our child continued to request the book long after seeing two different TV versions, including this one. They can coexist just fine, so give your kids some credit and some leeway, and don't judge things for diverging from your expectations. Being that judgmental of superficial issues runs contrary to the lesson of the book, after all!
It tells the same story as the book, just in a different style, that's all. On its own, or in conjunction with the book, it's a fine DVD, and a perfectly acceptable addition to your home video library. We found it to be a pleasant surprise, and a good deal."
B. Marzolf | Lansing, NY United States | 07/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My 4 year old was introduced to Stellaluna the book through her preschool class. They ended the series on Stellaluna by showing the video. My daughter loved it so much that she asked to borrow it from the classroom. I am so pleased to learn that the video is now available to purchase! The video stresses that differences are ok and the music is very upbeat and fun! I higly reccomend this movie from preschool-early elementary age. My 6 year old going into 1st grade enjoys the movie as well. A good, wholesome choice that you will love as much as your child!"
Child loves it, parents love it not as much
Barton Spencer | Hattiesburg, MS United States | 04/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Our 2-year-old daughter loves the Stellaluna story from the book and has read it more times than we can ever count. I got the stuffed toy for her before I got this DVD. All of these things feed upon each other, by the way.
The first time I showed the DVD to my daughter Sarah she got up and left when the first song came up, sung by Stellaluna. So, after about 10 minutes she was done with it. But then something happened - she got hooked. We had to limit her to one viewing a day because she would rather watch the DVD than eat breakfast.
Understand that she never watches any TV at all, zero. So, this is a huge video treat for her. I will give some credit to the video for the appearance of the parrots, who are more entertaining than most things that appear, and to the general storyline which is kid-friendly. However, the video does hugely divert from the way the book reads, with new characters and new storylines that have been adapted generously from the book. It's not a true rendition of the book at all - but if you know that going into it, the surprise factor goes away.
Back to our daughter - she loves it, even though she knew the book by heart before she ever saw the DVD. She even loves the spider character (not in the book) which I loathe, but to her he is awesome.
There are some lines in song that are pretty horrid. "Gastronomically lame" and feeding bugs "by the pound" come to mind - the "by the pound" statement is forced to find something to rhyme with "upside down" which Stellaluna is, no matter which way she orients herself. Ug - no professionals came up with that song. The Parrots' song is much better, later on.
All in all the video is pretty harmless and any kid that loves the Stellaluna story will probably get a kick out of it. For parents, it is a bit of an adjustment (!) but is certainly not harmful. The fashion makeover that the parrots perform is pretty fun, I must admit.