THE CHILDREN’S FILM FOUNDATION COLLECTION – OUTER SPACE

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DVD REVIEW: THE CHILDREN’S FILM FOUNDATION COLLECTION – OUTER SPACE / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: VARIOUS / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: BILL OWEN, BEN BUCKTON / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Those of us old enough to remember Saturday matinees at the local cinema will certainly have fond memories of The Children’s Film Foundation who, for thirty years, provided wholesome films that we youngsters devoured with glee.

The British Film Institute has now gathered some of these features from the vault and lovingly restored them to a picture quality never before seen and have released them on DVD. Make no mistake about it, these transfers are absolutely awesome.

The bad thing about the package is that charming though these movies are, other than having a historic and nostalgic value, the films themselves are very much a product of their far simpler times, and were aimed toward a far less sophisticated and demanding audience than any similar film would be today, rendering them a bit obsolete.

There are three films on the disc:

Supersonic Saucer (1956) involves a puppet creature who can transform himself into a flying saucer, and assists a gang of children who have to stay at their boarding school over the holidays in their adventure to thwart a gang of criminals. It’s as though Enid Blyton took a stab at writing science fiction.

Kadoyng (1972) is the story of an alien (wearing, incidentally an interesting and unmistakable hand-me-down - one of the alien space suits from Gerry Anderson’s UFO series) who helps the intrepid kids prevent the levelling of their village by a corrupt developer who wants to build one of those new-fangled motorways through it.

The last feature is Glitterball (1977), where an alien galactic silver ball who’s just trying to get back to his mothership, filled with other silver balls, helps two boys (complete with a tree house with Mr Spock posters on the wall and issues of ‘TV Sci-Fi’ strewn around) to thwart a devious, but hopelessly inept, petty crook.

Nostalgia really isn’t what it used to be, I’m afraid.


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