Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : DVDs : Home Video
The Trumpet of the Swan

The Trumpet of the Swan

Spring 2001 Home Video
Ages: 5 - 15 yrs.
Rating: G
VHS Price: $14.95
DVD Price: $24.95
Louis, a "defective" trumpeter swan born mute, finds his voice through the written word, a jazz trumpet and a human boy named Sam in E.B. White's third children's novel (written many years after "Stuart Little" and "Charlotte's Web"). This "based-on" colorfully animated version of the off-beat classic is worthwhile viewing overall, despite a dubious effort to up the emotional ante by adding an unpleasant romantic rival and some name-calling-in White's book, no one dismisses Louis as "creep," "worm-eater" or "feather-breath," and no one calls Sam's interest in swans "pathetic." The tale's messages, however, are clearly and thoughtfully presented: the power of love, overcoming adversity, following one's dream, and living with honor and honesty-Louis' father stole the trumpet to give his son a voice; Louis' musical career comes about because he's determined to earn enough money to repay the music store and restore his father's honor. Composer Marcus Miller's jazz score is first-rate and so is the voice cast: Jason Alexander Reese Witherspoon, Carol Burnett, Mary Steenburgen, Joe Montegna, Seth Green and, singing the theme song, Little Richard.
Lynne Heffley   ©2001 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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