Disney family offering that was(if I am correct)Jodie Foster's first featurefilm appearance. Plot concerns Napoleon(Johnny Whittaker)who flees to thehills with his pet lion Major and friend Samantha(Foster)after hisgrandfather dies, assisted by college-dropout-turned-shepherd MichaelDouglas. The drama comes from Napoleon and Samantha encountering variousdangers in the hills of the Rockies, including the expected wild animals anda run-in with a dangerous pedophile(euphemistically referred to as a"psycho" in the film). A little unusual, for the film's dealings withdeath(the only human death I can recall in a Disney live-action film)and theabove-mentioned child molestor, and not a little moving.
Determined boy runs away from his rural community rather than riskbeing placed in an orphanage, taking along his pet lion and littlegirlfriend for a journey through rugged terrain. Family film fromDisney with nature-adventure asides never really gets going--mostly dueto that sleepy lion, ambling through the picture as if drugged. Thekids (talented Johnny Whitaker from "Family Affair" and wise-talkingJodie Foster in her first film role) are both good, even though theyoccasionally struggle with their delivery. Michael Douglas has fine, ifcolorless, supporting role as a well-meaning hippie-type who comes totheir rescue. Younger children might enjoy it. ** from ****
Michael is extraordinary in this film as he guides two children to copingwith their grandad's death and teaches them the meaning of life. Too badKirk didn't play the grandpa, that would have been awesome. Look forMichael Clarke Duncan in his first starring role as thelion!
Napoleon gets into mischief with his friend Samantha (Jodie Foster). They steal empty bottles and resell them to the store owner for candy. He lives with his grandpa. Her parents are away and she lives with Gertrude. Napoleon and grandpa encounter Dimetri the Clown with Major the Lion. Dimetri is going home to Europe and has to leave Major behind. The lion is old with bad teeth and can only drink milk. Napoleon and grandpa adopt Major putting him in with the chickens. Grandpa passes away. Danny (Michael Douglas) is a student traveling through the area looking for work. Napoleon hires him to bury grandpa. Napoleon claims to be waiting for his uncle while Danny sets off for a goat herding job. Fearing the orphanage, Napoleon sets off with Major to find and stay with Danny. Samantha joins him with her prized rooster. When the kids get there, Danny goes back to tell Gertrude and she promptly has him arrested. At the police station, he sees that he left the kids with Mark Pierson who is actually a wanted criminal.I checked this out for Jodie Foster and Michael Douglas. Damn, Jodie was just a kid and it's sad to read that she was mauled by one of the lions. The kids are cute and charming. There are a lot of darker elements in this kids movie. The locals are a little too much of bumpkins. The most compelling aspect is the two kids on the journey with the lion. That's a small part of the movie. It's an odd little Disney adventure.
Michael is extraordinary in this film as he guides two children to coping with their grandad's death and teaches them the meaning of life. Too bad Kirk didn't play the grandpa, that would have been awesome. Look for Michael Clarke Duncan in his first starring role as the lion!