When a highly successful retired businessman, Michael Kingley, starts to see things he at first can’t explain, his life takes a dramatic turn. And when his grand-daughter rebels against her father, he is forced to re-evaluate his life and to act to prevent her from going down a similar path to one he took years before. He tells her his story, when as a boy he lived a lonely existence with his father, Hideaway Tom, on an isolated coastline and how a bond with an orphaned pelican, Mr. Percival, changed his life forever.
This new telling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian story is beautifully shot and told using a flashback structure that works quite well. Geoffrey Rush and David Gulpilil are both very good as Mike ‘Storm Boy’ Kingley and Father of Fingerbone Bill, respectively. But it is Finn Little as the younger Storm Boy and Morgana Davies as Madeline, Mike Kingley’s granddaughter, that are truly outstanding. They both express deep emotions in very mature performances. The story, of course, is a wholesome one with strong environmental themes as well as exploring issues of the ways in which the past can impact on the present and the responsibilities of older generations thinking about the future world their children will inherit. There are some great set pieces, especially one in which Storm Boy’s dad is rescued from a storm by Percival. There are a few times it comes across a bit too preachy and obvious with its core message, but, overall, it’s a delightful movie for the whole family.