Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage


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The Velveteen Rabbit

The Advocate

The Velveteen Rabbit

Reviewed by Melissa J. Carswell

"With a dance between real life and animation, The Velveteen Rabbit offers the best of both worlds in this movie for children and parents alike - - real life actors and delightful animated characters."

The Velveteen Rabbit, directed by Michael Landon, Jr. and put out by Feature Films for Families, deviates from the beloved tale that I grew up with. Because of that, I had a hard time getting into the film in the opening moments. My daughter, on the other hand did not, and was mesmerized from the first moment on.

Toby is a little boy, dropped off at his grandmother's by his grieving father who can’t cope with the reminder of his dead wife when he looks in Toby’s face. Grandmother seems to have no more love for her grandson than her son has for him, and Toby finds himself lost in a world of make-believe to cope with these gaping vacancies in his life. In his make-believe world he is joined by a horse, a goose, and of course, a little rabbit who has big dreams of becoming real.

The story line seems predictable. A grieving father, a harsh grandmother, and a hurting little boy. Grandmother’s heart begins to melt as the movie progresses and the needed crisis for Toby’s father to come around comes in the form of Toby’s near death experience with scarlet fever.

Yet, despite the movies’ predictability, the presentation is so enchanting, even I, as an adult was caught up in it. With a dance between real life and animation, The Velveteen Rabbit offers the best of both worlds in this movie for children and parents alike - - real life actors and delightful animated characters. Although the animation isn’t say, Disney quality, the charming quality of the story causes the viewer to not even notice.

My daughter is not quite two years old and yet she sat and watched this entire film on my lap in one sitting. Up until now, not even her favorite cartoon characters have held her interest in that way. To me, this is a testament of the talent, and heart, that went into the making of this film.

“All you need to do is believe”. This is the tagline for the movie and even the most logical among us will find ourselves doing just that, as we watch this movie with our children. It just has that magical quality about it, that helps that happen.

Melissa J. CarswellMelissa J. Carswell: Melissa is a Board Certified Christian Counselor. However, due to the appearance of a little bundle of Miracle in the past year, the counseling practice is now on indefinite hold. Instead, Melissa has entered the world of freelance writing from home. She is currently one of the content writers for TotallyHer.com (to be launched in September of 2008). Melissa has a passion for mentoring teen girls and young women and does so whenever possible. Her heart longing, along with her husband, is to use her education and credentials someday to have a home full of abandoned, abused, and terminally ill childen. They are still waiting for God's hand to unfold that particular chapter of their lives. When Melissa isn't changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking meals, mentoring the afore-mentioned young women, tending to her garden, being her husband's biggest fan, and soaking in every cuddly moment with her daughter, she reads and she writes. It is not unusual to see 2-3 books laying around the house at any given time and the hard drive to her computer houses several partially-written manuscripts to the secret dreamed-of-published books Melissa hopes for in the future. You can check out A Weak Rose here.