Earlier this month, PBS Distribution partnered with Magic Light pictures to release a small screen adaptation of yet another of author Julia Donaldson’s books in the form of Stick Man. The latest of Magic Light’s adaptations of Donaldson’s books, this feature stands out quite a bit from its predecessors. That is due in part to the story at the center of the feature. That will be discussed shortly. The feature’s companion bonus material is important to the feature just as much as its story. That will be discussed later. The animation that is used for the feature rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right, obviously. All things considered, Stick Man proves in the end to be one of this year’s most intriguing family flicks.
Magic Light Pictures’ small screen adaptation of author Julia Donaldson’s book Stick Man is one of this year’s most intriguing family flicks. That is due in part to the story at the feature’s center. The story, believe it or not, is technically not one for the whole family. As one individual notes in the feature’s bonus material, it can be easily compared to the story in the timeless Greek myth, The Odyssey. It is a very heavy story that finds its title character trying so hard to get back to his family. It’s not an easy journey either. Stick Man has to face children who use him as a bat, a boomerang and even a bag holder, as well as a swan who uses him for her nest, and even gets swept out to sea along the way. The whole time, the story transitions back to Stick man’s wife and young sons who keep vigil for him. Their deep emotion is painful to see and might be a bit too intense for some younger audiences. The same applies with seeing Stick Man’s reactions to his situations. It stands out clearly from Donaldson’s previously adapted books because the only points at which it really has any light heartedness is at the story’s opening and in its closing. Throughout the rest of the story, it tends to be emotionally heavy. So again, it is not necessarily a work that is recommended for the whole family. That doesn’t disqualify it from being worth the watch, though. The fact that Donaldson could craft such a grown up story and that Magic Light Pictures would once again stay true to the source material makes it well worth the watch. Keeping all of this in mind, it is clear why the story at the center of Stick Man is so important to its overall presentation.
The story at the center of Stick Man is a hugely important part of the recently released small screen adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s book. That is because her approach to this story is such a stark departure from her previous stories. It is much more emotionally heavy than those stories, making it a work that some younger viewers might have trouble handling. While the feature’s story is an important part of its presentation, it is not the feature’s only important element. The bonus material that is included with the feature is just as important to its presentation as its story. The bonus material is just as in-depth as that presented in Magic Light Pictures’ previous Donaldson adaptations. Those behind the feature’s creation discuss (along with Donaldson) the importance of the story staying true to its source material included in the bonus material. There is also a discussion on making sure the feature, despite being crafted primarily via CG, still maintained a look just like that of its previous Donaldson adaptations and as far away from so many other CG flicks as possible. If that isn’t enough, there are also discussions comparing the feature’s story, as previously noted, to the likes of The Odyssey along with so much more. It is all so enlightening, and adds so much more depth to the feature in whole. When it is partnered with the feature’s central story, the two elements make even clearer why this feature stands out. They show why it stands out both among Magic Pictures’ Donaldson adaptations and among this year’s crop of holiday movies. In reality, one could argue (on a side note) that it is less a holiday story than a story about family.
The story at the center of Stick Man and its companion bonus material are both central to the feature’s overall presentation. The story is a stark departure from those presented in Donaldson’s other works in so many ways. The bonus material that is included with the story adds even more depth to the feature’s overall presentation. While both elements do so much to flesh out the feature’s presentation, they are not its only important elements. The feature’s animation approach is just as important to note in examining the feature’s presentation as the feature’s story and its bonus material. Audiences familiar with Magic Light Pictures’ adaptation of Donaldson’s books will be pleased to see that (as discussed previously) this feature looks just like the company’s previous adaptations of her books. It is clear that it was made on computer. The thing is that while it maintains the company’s trademark look of its Donaldson adaptations, that look also maintains a distinct identity totally separate from that of every other animation studios’ offerings. Using such approach presents a certain comfort for audiences. For audiences not so familiar to Magic Light Pictures’ offerings, it will be an especially welcome introduction and change of pace from all of those cookie cutter stylistic approaches. In other words, it makes the feature all the more engaging and entertaining for audiences. Considering this and the other discussed elements, it becomes wholly clear why Stick Man—while perhaps not for the whole family—is still an intriguing family flick from Magic Light Pictures. It is in fact one of this year’s most intriguing family flicks.
Stick Man is one of this year’s most intriguing new family flicks. It is a work that is a stark departure from author Julia Donaldson’s previous books. That Magic Light Pictures once again stayed true to Donaldson’s source material in its source material makes the story all the more engaging. Again, not every younger viewer will be able to handle the story because it is so emotionally heavy. But that also makes it so interesting to watch, considering how much it stands out from Donaldson’s other previously adapted stories. The bonus material that is included in the feature adds to the depth of its overall presentation. The animation approach that is used in the feature’s presentation rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the feature’s overall presentation. All things considered, Stick Man proves in the end to be one of this year’s most intriguing family flicks, regardless of whether audiences consider it a holiday flick or a family flick in general. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.
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