The magic of the 2008 blockbuster hit “Nim’s Island” is back in its sequel, aptly named, “Return to Nim’s Island.” The film is made up of a completely different cast, but the charm, quirkiness and the aura of excitement makes the island an endearing getaway for the adventurous child that lives in all of our hearts.
Nim (Bindi Irwin), a precocious 14-year-old, still has a gift of immersing herself in nature. She lives on a tropical island with her scientist father Jack (Matthew Lillard) and her animal friends. When a boy named Edmund (Toby Wallace) shows up to explore the island, a wild series of events unravel. Nim, Edmund, and Jack must fight to defend their island and its abundant animal ecosystems from developers and poachers.
Directed by Brendan Maher, the film opens up with amazing underwater cinematography, capturing my attention from the start. The shots of exotic creatures of all shapes and sizes are simply breathtaking. There is, of course, the environmental message behind the storyline. Not only will kids love the fun antics of Selkie the sea lion, but families will also be inspired to learn more about endangered animals and their habitats.
I love the film’s new cast. Bindi Irwin, daughter of the Crocodile Hunter star Steven Irwin, is perfectly cast as Nim because of her experience with nature and animals. Her portrayal of Nim takes the character to a whole new level. Nim has transformed into a tough, determined, feisty young lady who will do anything it takes to protect her human and animal friends. Toby Wallace’s performance as Edmund is flawless – he has the good looks, the comic charisma, and the right amount of shyness around Nim. I love seeing Nim and Edmund bonding as friends. Their chemistry on screen is completely believable. Also, John Waters is certainly menacing as the antagonistic poacher.
“Return to Nim’s Island” will take families on a spectacular expedition underwater, into dark mysterious caves, and up awfully steep cliffs. The dialogue is hilarious and will make viewers laugh out loud throughout the movie. The music score truly captures the spirit of adventure. The wind instruments give the film a wild, natural down-to-earth feel. The movie has no profanity or slapstick humor – the lighthearted, clean quality carries the film on its own. I wish I could live on Nim’s island and embrace the nature. It’s a relief to see a movie with teenagers exploring the wild instead of being glued to their electronics. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for all ages!