Now my baby is seven and she loves to watch movies. In fact, if I let her eat popcorn in the living room while watching a DVD, I’ve elevated the event to something special. She still likes animated films, but I especially enjoy a movie that entertains us both. (You know—one with actors, not cartoons). That’s why I’m writing about “DUMA.”
Duma is the name of a cheetah that wanders into the road in South Africa where a father and son find him. (All we ever find in the road where I live are squirrels and skunks!) Since the cub is orphaned, the family takes him home to their farm miles away. The gentle squeak that comes out of that cheetah’s mouth is not what you expect. Soon the cat grows bigger than the boy and proves to be better than a watchdog. Unfortunately, the father dies and the boy, his mother, and Duma must leave the farm. (Be aware that the sad parts of the movie are off-screen. We do not see how the father dies, which works well for my sensitive daughter and me.)
Before the dad died, he told his son, Xan, that Duma needed to return to the wild. (What a great name! I think I'll name my next kid Xan, although he'll probably have to explain to everyone that it's pronounced Zan.) Xan decides to fulfill his dad’s wishes and runs away with the cheetah. African deserts, lions, crocodiles and a suspicious stranger provide plenty of obstacles for the twelve-year-old boy to overcome. He is amazingly resourceful, reading a compass and making a canoe out of sticks. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have fared nearly as well as he did, but I guess it is fiction. There was drama, but no tears until the very end when Duma finally remembers what it means to be wild.
This film would entertain children from ages seven on up and I highly recommend it!
What’s your favorite family film? I'd love to know, so I can watch it! Would you like "Movies you Might've Missed" to become a regular feature?
If you're looking for a "sweet read with depth" after the kids go to bed, check out my 99 cent novella, Made for Two.