2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Fires of London! Err, no, Pontypandy!,
This review is from: Fireman Sam - The Great Fire Of Pontypandy [DVD]  (DVD)
Fireman Sam has been offered a huge promotion.. to go and be Station Officer in Newtown's fire station, but that means leaving behind all his friends in Pontypandy. However, before he makes the decision, there are more urgent matters to attend to! Trevor has taken Norman, his cousin Derek, and Dilys camping into the forest as the Pontypandy Pioneers, but as usual, Norman can't do as he's told. He starts a small campfire with Derek but soon abandons it, leaving the fire unattended which then spreads quickly to a forest fire. Is the fire going to prove too much for Sam and his fellow firefighters to put out, and will they have to leave behind their beloved Pontypandy once and for all?
I have to say straight off, I think it is a great movie for children, and especially if they are big Fireman Sam fans like Harry as well. It features all of the characters that we know and love, from all the firefighters, to the residents of Pontypandy such as Dilys, Trevor and the Flood family, but also introduces a new one in the form of Chief Fire Officer Boyce, the man who comes to poach Fireman Sam away from Pontypandy! He's a good character, and fits in nicely into the film which is good, and Harry liked him too which is good.
The animation is really good. As I said, I am still a massive fan of the classic series I used to watch when I was little, and the middle series isn't too bad either, but the computer animation is so different to either of these. Sam's voice is very different to the previous shows, but as I say, children don't seem too bothered by the change and I don't think Harry has ever mentioned noticing much of a difference between the few versions out there. The animation in this film is really clear, the characters are required to do a lot of movement in this film and the movement is seamless, and the fire itself is well animated as well.
The story moves at a good pace. Obviously, because it is a film aimed at children, events happen fairly slowly, and things unravel at a good speed, enough for a child to keep up and understand what is going on, without flooding them with too much action all at once. Harry seemed to grasp the plot very well, only occasionally asking me a questions such as "who is Chief Fire Officer Boyce" and "what's a promotion" so the film does prompt a few good questions. We also sat and talked about fires and forests afterwards, and I think it's a good thing to talk to children about and make them aware of the dangers.
For a children's movie, I found this quite entertaining as well so while it certainly appeals to its core market of around 3-7 years, an adult can sit and be entertained while this is on as well. Yes, after around 20 viewings the magic is wearing off for me but Harry is happy to watch it again and again, the sign of a well thought out and created film to keep his interest over and over! It's an exciting story that keeps children gripped until the end, the action is present all the way through and it is thoroughly entertaining. I think this would make a great Christmas present for any Fireman Sam fan, and I'm pleased they've made a movie out of such a popular character. Finally, as with all Fireman Sam cartoons, it has a good moral at the heart of it, and that's important too!