Opening 13 Mar 2014
Pettersson lives in a small red house surrounded by nature in full bloom. His chickens run wild both inside the house and outside. Besides caring for them, he attempts to make new inventions and occasionally he argues with neighbor Gustavsson. Gustavsson has an uncontrollable dog, which is always causing trouble. Gustavsson’s rooster is headed for a fate in the soup pot, if it doesn’t stop its mind-curdling crowing. Their mutual friend is Beda Andersson who only wants everyone to be happy. Beda, perceiving that Pettersson might be a bit lonely, gives him a kitten, which he names Findus. Findus grows up and the two are inseparable, especially because Findus can talk! He never stops talking, in fact, and is full of well-meaning suggestions. Beda next moves the ill-fated rooster over to Pettersson who already has a house full of hens, so why not a rooster to make them happy? And thrilled they are; the rooster is suddenly the main attraction and Findus must take second place, something he doesn’t plan to accept without a huge explosion of fireworks.
This children’s film is recommended even for very small children. The children in my audience laughed the loudest when the humans were caught looking silly after being tricked by the animals. The only animated character is Findus, a cat who walks on two hind legs and wears overalls. Otherwise, the film is “real.” The series of ten Pettersson and Findus books by Swedish author Sven Nordqvist first appeared in 1984 and is immensely popular in Germany; Pettersson in his big floppy hat is well known in animated films, TV films, puppet and marionette shows, song books, a cook book, even a musical. This is the first Pettersson and Findus film which features real actors. It is warm and truly friendly with comments like “friendship is bread dough; it grows when you knead it” or “take care of yourself; even better take care of someone else.” A fine film for the whole family. (Becky Tan)