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Life of Pi – A GRAND Story of Hope & Determination

‘Life of Pi’ a Great Story of Hope and Determination

By Ranny Levy, President/Founder of Kids First!

The raves that are greeting Life of Pi are nothing new for the multiple award-winning director Ang Lee, but part of the credit also goes to advances in technology that enable the film’s special effects. Check out KIDS FIRST! critic, Morgan Bertsch’s coverage from the Red Carpet where she interviews Mr. Lee as well as other cast and crew.

This is a film you will surely enjoy with all your grandkids, ages 8 and up. The story is about young Pi who is moving with his family from Indiato Canada, where his father will sell the animals from the zoo they had in India. The boat on which they are traveling is shipwrecked by a violent storm, and the survivors eventually whittle down to just Pi and a Bengaltiger. Says KIDS FIRST! critic Cheyenne Nguyen, age 9, “The special effect of the tiger is the best part. It seems so real, I thought that the tiger is actually in the boat with Pi.”

KIDS FIRST! critic Brianna Hope Beaton, age 13, adds, “The visual effects are amazing.” Brianna also cautions that very young children may be a little frightened at some of the animal scenes. AsCheyennesays, “It’s too hard to watch the survival of the fittest.” But both rate the film highly. “I love the message and the visual effects. This is a great story of hope and determination,” says Brianna.

Life of Pi
Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton(
See her full review on video.)

This is truly an amazing story, with a great adventure that is hard to believe.

Pi (Suraj Sharma), an Indian boy, is on a ship with his family who is moving toCanada. One night, there is a terrible storm that sinks the ship and only Pi, a hyena, zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger whose name is Richard Parker survive. They are all in one of the small lifeboats trying to stay alive. After a while, it becomes only Pi and Richard Parker who are adrift in thePacific Ocean. Pi is now trying to survive, but is in fear of Richard Parker.

Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, this adventure is created in 3-D and is one of my new favorites. The visual effects are amazing and capture the marine life really well, with all its beautiful colors. I like the way this film is set up like someone is telling it as a story; this really keeps my attention. One of my favorite scenes is when a big whale comes out of the ocean; it is so big and pretty to see. It is incredible. I also like the way we learn how the tiger is named Richard Parker. It is somewhat funny and unusual.

I would love to know how director Ang Lee directs all the animals in this film; it is truly amazing how they act. David Magee (screenplay writer) does a remarkable job transforming a great novel into an amazing script. Other members of the cast in Life of Pi include Vibish Sivakumar (Ravi Patel) and Rafe Spall (The Writer).

A big message I found is to never lose hope no matter where you are in life. Pi is in the middle of the ocean for many, many days with a big storm and a tiger, but thru it all he never loses hope to be rescued.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to adults. Younger ages may be a little frightened when they see some of the animal scenes, but other than that, this is a must-see. You can enjoy it with your family and friends.

I give Life of Pi five out of five stars. I love the message and the visual effects. This is a great story of hope and determination.

Believe the unbelievable and see the amazing adventure in Life of Pi. It triumphs into theaters on November 21st.

Life of Pi
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
(See her full review on video.)

Life of Pi is the most amazing 3-D-quality movie that shows underwater footage and sea life.

Life of Pi is based on a popular novel by Yann Martel that sold over 7 million copies. It’s about a boy name Piscine Patel, known as “Pi” (Suraj Sharma). He has a good life growing up in his father’s zoo in Pondicherry, a French colony. Due to hard times, they have to close down the zoo and move some of the animals to Canada with them.

The move toCanada is in a big Japanese cargo ship, and all the animals are at the bottom of the ship. The big storm hits the ship and sinks the ship. The survivors are Pi, the tiger (Richard Parker), zebra, hyena, orangutan and a rat. They are all in a small lifeboat from the cargo ship. After several days, the only two survivors are Pi and Richard Parker. They are afraid of each other but need each other to survive.
There are so many scenes with great cinematography. The most memorable ones are the underwater footage, and the sinking of the cargo ship is so real and clear. The 3-D brings out the glowing of the jelly fish and the blue whale vividly.

The special effect of the tiger is the best part. It seems so real, I thought that the tiger is actually in the boat with Pi.

The part I did not like is when the animals are fighting each other. It’s too hard to watch the survival of the fittest.

The acting in this movie is so great. Suraj shows a lot of emotions with his eyes, and he stays in his character, and the audience can feel his emotions. It’s so amazing to see his weight loss as the days go by at sea.

My favorite character is Richard Parker. He helps Pi survive the shipwreck and at times he seems more human than creature.
The lesson in this movie is anything is possible. Pi survives over seven months in thePacific Ocean with just faith and Richard Parker.

I rank this movie four out of five stars
I give this movie an age range of 8 and up.

Morgan’s Red Carpet coverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcOrtPJLTto

Cheyenne’s review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x17SBulF35E

Brianna’s review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh4ZCTIRFMs


Ranny Levy – Founder and President

KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media https://www.kidsfirst.org Supporting Quality Media for Children Since 1991


KIDS FIRST! Film Festival


Granny Ranny’s Addenda

KIDS FIRST! Travel  https://kidsfirst.agenthub.net/


Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Robert Fulghum


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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