If the name Mr Percival means anything to you then you probably know the story of Storm Boy growing up. The original 1964 South Australian Novel by Colin Thiele was a staple in most Australians Primary School fiction reading lists and even received a film adaption in 1976. Now in 2019 Storm Boy has returned with a new adaption for the big screen, so how does it hold up to your childhood memories?
For anyone not familiar Storm Boy was a tale of a young boy living on the South Australian Coastline who found an adopted a baby Pelican after it’s mother was shot (yes like Bambi). Adopting 3 Pelican chicks named Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival, Storm Boy is a little more than Bambi’s story with it being a tale teaching about the cycle of birth to death. A little heavy when you were a child but definitely not like being traumatised by Watership Down.
In the updated 2019 version the tale remains the same however the message is a little different with the tale of Storm Boy being told by himself as a grown-up Mike (Geoffrey Rush) to his granddaughter.
In the past we follow Mr Percival’s life as he is rescued from hunters by the young mike, living in a small beachside shack with his Dad Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) in the 1960s. While in the present we follow Mike and his granddaughter debating an issue with his company board. The story jumps back and forth between the periods as Mike retells his story before it blends together.
So should you go see it? While the flashback style storytelling was not part of the book nor was any of the ‘current’ time plot (there was no heavy environmental message or opening with climate change protests in the 1976 version either), this is a very faithful and loving adaption of the original tale to stay true to the book.
While at its heart still a story about birth, life and death and you should be prepared for some serious feels, there is no ruining of your childhood here, rather something for you to fondly remember it.
Storm Boy is in cinemas across Australia from January 10.