Little Boy DVD (Crew Review)
About Little Boy
Little Boy takes place on the home front during World War II. 7-year old Pepper Busbee is unusually short, and he is looked down on by pretty much everyone in his small town of O’Hare, California. The other kids bully him, and the adults all seem to just ignore him, and everyone calls him by the disparaging nickname “Little Boy.” The one bright spot in his life, however, is his relationship with his father. They call each other “partner,” and his dad continually lifts him up, calling him a hero. They even develop a motto: “Do you believe you can do this?” With his dad’s encouragement, Pepper believes he can do pretty much anything.
When his father leaves to fight in the war, Pepper says a teary good-bye to his only friend. His dad is later reported missing in action, believed to have been taken prisoner. Inspired by his hero, a magician, and a sermon at church on the power of faith, Pepper seeks to “move mountains” to bring his father home. “How can I get bigger faith?” The priest, in response, gives him an ancient list of tasks to complete, including loving his enemy. Pepper reaches out to a Japanese man who has recently been released from an internment camp. He and his brother had formerly been quite hostile and abusive to the man, but eventually he and Pepper become friends. Hashimoto teaches him the story of a samurai who believed that “Nothing was more powerful than the will… the will to face one’s fear and act.” Pepper finally misses his father so much he can’t take it anymore, and his determination and faith do indeed move mountains. (I don’t want to give away the ending, but it’s definitely worth watching!)
Little Boy is rated PG-13, so I watched this film with just my husband. While I will definitely wait until my boys are older, it’s a movie I do want to share with them later on. It could be a great discussion starter on a number of topics: bullying, prejudice, loving your enemy, faith, heroism, World War II, the atomic bomb…
There was no profanity or sexual content aside from some mild flirting, but there were several scenes with violence, both on the battlefield and back at home. The scenes I found most disturbing were those depicting prejudice against Hashimoto. “If I could, I’d smash every Jap with my bare hands!” yells Pepper at one point before the two become friends. His hatred is encouraged by his older brother, and it’s hard to watch such a young boy spewing such vitriol.
Overall, however, I found Pepper’s character endearing, and I found myself in tears several times as my heart ached for him, probably because he’s right around my son Ian’s age and I would hate seeing him face similar trials. The film itself is a well-written, powerful glimpse into the emotions of a young boy facing unusually difficult circumstances. I highly recommend it for families with older children, and I know it’s a film our family will be revisiting in the future as our children mature.
I’m so thankful to FishFlix.com for the opportunity to review Little Boy, and I look forward to checking out some of their other family-friendly DVDs. To read what other Crew Members thought of Little Boy, as well as several other titles, click the banner below to get to their reviews.