Kids rule

Adults are all losers in ‘HOOT’

 The much anticipated family movie, "HOOT," based on the Carl Hiaasen book of the same name, is worth a look for families with older kids. But leave the little ones with a sitter—there isn’t much here to keep them engaged.

The movie, which opens nationally on May 5, is the story of Roy, a teen whose family has moved to Florida from Montana, and his new friends, who band together to save a bunch of owls.

You don’t have to have read the book to enjoy this movie—in fact, my 8-year-old daughter, who hasn’t read the book, enjoyed it more than I did.

In her mind, the movie was a winner because the owls are cute, the kids are likeable and, in the end, the kids save the day. But I was torn on this one. I couldn’t stop wondering why all the adults had to be such idiots.

When the movie opens, we see Roy trying to cope with his sixth move in eight years. On his first day at his new school, he is attacked by the school bully. He fights back and breaks the guy’s nose.

That was the moment I began to dislike all the adults in the movie. Roy’s parents have no sympathy for their son. They don’t seem to understand what it is like to be the new kid. They don’t understand why he had to stick up for himself. They make him write a letter of apology and seem to think that will be the end of it.

Then the kids hear about a new pancake house going up in town—on land where the owls nest. The developer is too greedy to care about the owls. The policemen are clueless. The mayor only cares about the 12 new jobs the pancake house will create. Not one of the adults notices that the environmental report has been tampered with.

Despite the clueless adults, the movie ultimately is fun. Good triumphs over evil, the Florida scenery is beautiful and seeing singer Jimmy Buffet on the big screen was, well, a hoot. The music, written for the movie by Buffet, is memorable and fun.

And we learn that owls burrow in nests in the ground and that being environmentally friendly is cool. But most of all, we learn that it is important to stand up for what you believe in.

Sandi Pedersen

Kids Eat Chicago

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