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ADVENTURES OF ZACK AND MOLLY, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 10-18
10 minutes
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Wow! Great film! The Gulf of Mexico is such a hotspot of biochemical activity. Many species of fish and plants live near the floor of the Gulf and are a vital source of energy for our planet.

Molly, the octopus protagonist in this animated film, proves that animals are often wiser than humans. Molly takes her somewhat lazy friend, Zack on a tour of her home, which is the Gulf of Mexico. She explains how this ecosystem works and how it contributes in positive ways to the local economy. Zack is usually too busy looking at his cell phone to notice these ancient wonders of the world.

The screenwriting is quite sophisticated in this film. It touches upon fairly complex technical and scientific issues, such as energy production, oil exploration and underwater drilling. This film is actually a compilation of three 3-4 minutes shorts that were intended to be watched together. Programmers may want to only screen one or two of them, not all three, if time is a consideration. I love how two protagonists (Molly and her human roommate Zack) sometimes disappear from a room in a puff of smoke, only to reappear somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Molly's personality is quite anthropomorphic. She is an extremely informative teacher regarding marine environments.

My favorite part is the segment on bioluminescence in certain fish and other organisms. They dwell in the pitch black of the deep ocean, a mile or more below the surface.

The message is to respect our environment, both the visible and invisible parts. Underwater trash accumulation is a big problem facing our oceans today and it is a tragic conflict between nature and humanity. I give this wonderful short 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. Film programmers looking for an inspiring and extremely well produced films about oceans and ecology will love this one! Kudos to Jim Toomey for creating such wonderful work. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

Zack is more interested in the small world of his smart phone than the larger world around him. His online request for a roommate is answered by Molly, a tech-savvy dumbo octopus on a mission to tell the world about the importance of the deep ocean. Molly wants to use Zack's apartment for her global communications headquarters, but Zack is skeptical. To win Zack over, Molly takes him to her deep ocean home in the Gulf of Mexico to see its unique features and diverse marine life, and to help him understand how human activities threaten its health.
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