“CHILD’S PLAY”— When Kids Play

“CHILD’S PLAY”

When Kids Play

Amos Lassen

Margaret Thomson’s “Child’s Play” shows us what happens when a group of English children manage to split the atom with the help of a child’s atomic research kit and a rock from Krakatoa. They then use the knowledge to create a new type of popcorn called Bangcorn.

This is a fast-moving comedy with many funny lines, and a satiric undercurrent that will win over the toughest of critics. The science fiction content is of course the miniature atomic reactor/bangcorn machine built by the kids; however, even within the context of the story itself, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt as it is told to us by the child with the reputation for lying and exaggerating.

Mischief soon follows when their little enterprise goes global, despite the interference of a suspicious local detective. The amazing cast t includes early appearances by future stars including Mona Washbourne (My Fair Lady), Ballard Berkeley (“Faulty Towers”) and Peter Sallis who would go on to be the voice of “Wallace” in the Award winning “Wallace and Gromit” shorts and films!

There’s a bit of satire about atomic research and official secrets but it’s mostly about the gang of kids in a small English village and their atomic popcorn. It has a silly and confusing air, told as it is, by the leader of the gang, Christopher Beeny. With some silly moments and a fine, performance by Mona Washbourne as the children’s collaborator and saleswoman, the film is a lot of fun and I generally do not care for films about children.

 

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