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FREE Flicks, June 3rd, 12 noon

Looking for something to do with the kiddies tomorrow, or a way to while away your afternoon? How about going to a Flick-Nic?  The Worldwide Shorts Film Festival (June 5-10) is having a FREE pre-Festival outdoor screening in Dufferin Grove Park at high noon. So grab some lawn chairs, and some snacks, some kids and their friends, or some friends of your own (you don't have to be a shorty to enjoy the flicks) and dig in.

"Could these be the eyes of the big bad mouse?" wonders THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD as she wanders away from her house.  This sequel to THE GRUFALO, last year's festival favourite, is narrated by a mother squirrel (Helena Bonham Carter) trying to keep her children in check. The story takes us on an adventure with the Gruffalo's Child (Shirley Henderson, Harry Potter's Moaning Myrtle) as she defies her father (voiced again by Robbie Coltrane) and sneaks out at night. Accompanied by her favourite toy twig, the Gruffalo's Child plays sleuth in the woods, tracking various footprints left in the snow and interrogating a snake, an owl, and a fox, as she detects her way to the big bad mouse. Her intrepid spirit combined with Bonham Carter's wonderfully voiced narration, and brilliant digital animation is sure to make The Gruffalo's Child a big hit with everyone.

Other films in this outdoor showcase include, the beautiful short Italian short, FOUR, about a little fairy who brightens up the sleeping forest. Light, airy music by Alexandra Harwood is a fine complement to this magical 3-minute short. ACORN BOY (Latvia), touches the heart, and tickles the funny bone as this toddling stray acorn gets deluged with pollen, makes some friends, and finds a home. Based on the books by Marie-Louise Gay, STELLA AND SAM: NIGHT FARIES, takes us into the backyard to "say goodnight to the sun" and wait for the night fairies to appear, so that wishes can be made. The interaction between big sister, Stella and her brother Sam ring true as she introduces him to the night, and Sam braves his fears of not sleeping in his own bed. Their delightful pet dog Fred rounds out this trio. ANIMAL BEATBOX is a 3-minute Australian short that matches images of animated animals with a rhythmic beat. Be prepared for the younger kids to be chanting "dogs and cats and dogs and cats and dogs and cats" for the next few days. SID THE PIKE (Sweden) is  like an underwater peek at a meandering fish. This blend of realism and animation that takes us into Sid's watery world is perhaps a bit too long, but I can hear the questions now about what makes Sid's gills move the way they do, and why does he have speckles. A trip to the Ontario Science Centre might be in your future.

Short for Shorties: Flick-Nic
Dufferin Grove Park (875 Dufferin St.)
Sunday, June 3


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