Nim's Island—with a tagline for everyone, "Be the hero of your own story!"
You can read about principals and producers on the website and check out the narrative on Wikipedia and other locations, so I'll highlight Selkie the sea lion, whose name suggests mythic Celtic and Scandinavian shape-shifting seals, the pelican named Galileo for free-flying conveniently natural GPS wherever you are (even on a remote island in the South Pacific whose inhabitants aspire to not being found by anyone ever), and Freddie the bearded dragon.
Wendy Orr wrote the book and she's on blogspot with at least six blogs! Here's her Nim's Island blog.
Especially as an artist and dweller in a coastal desert I love the tertiary color palette of the film – but what else would you find in an island setting? – along with relatively sparse though essential special effects. Patrick Doyle's wistfully fresh music fits perfectly. Concerning becoming the hero of our own stories, in Nim's Island literally Berkeley-bound by agoraphobia Alexandra Rover (think about the implications of possessing a name like "Rover"), Jack Rusoe the dad, and Nim his daughter all deal rather predictably with their own stuff as circumstances, the needs of others and more than a hint of irresistible grace push them into new dimensions. All three principal characters are tightly caught in their own self-defined world (since the dad in the story was wearing a wedding ring, I assume he'd been widowed) and for sure every one of us is most of the time, but how do those liminal, transitional moments marked by vestiges of what was and hints of not-yets and months full of fear, promise and future happen if by grace someone or something other than ourselves doesn't push us out of where we are?
Playing along with the closing credits is U2's
The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town
You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere
You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace
It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away...
You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you...
Take me to that other place
I know I'm not a hopeless case...
my amazon review: risk and redemption