Watch Kids' Reviews of
WAMPUS

What to know: A short visit into the magical world of a young girl, exploring the power of a young imagination and seeing how boundless it can be.
WAMPUS is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 5-12
4 minutes
VIDEO
MOLLY E. SMITH
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WAMPUS cover image
Wampus is a short visit in the magical world of a young girl. Without elaborate storytelling or an extended run time, Molly Smith explores the power of the young imagination and demonstrates just how boundless it can be. It is simple. yet whimsical, like childhood should be.

The storyline revolves around a young girl, fully immersed in a world of her own. After tea parties with her toys and stuffed animals, she plans a camping trip in her front yard. All is swell until she learns of the bobcat called Wampus, enough to spook her into spending the night indoors.

While the film captures the magic of imagination, the plot's structure waivers at time. The events are clear and the feelings attempting to be evoked are clear, but motives and conflict are unclear. The cinematography adds to the whimsicality of the film. It is dynamic in a way that does not feel over or under-whelming. The first scene in particular immediately tells the audience that they are about to watch a story of imagination. The simplicity of the sets are what make Wampus so endearing and reminiscent of childhood. From the warm interior lighting to the seemingly endless supply of stuffed toys, Wampus excels in this department. The sound of Wampus is one of its weaker areas, but only in the first scene. Here, the music does not feel complementary. On the other hand, when the young girl meets Wampus, the music complements the scene amazingly. The visual effects are what give this short film its magical essence. In the last scene, the distorted images and fast cuts evoke a sense of fear, thus enhancing the overall plot and the scene's contribution to the film. The two actors have great chemistry. Their mother-daughter relationship is believable and feels natural throughout. The performance that stands out the most is that of the young girl (Lily Jane Chachula) She is a natural and portrays every emotion clearly and confidently. Because folklore is not commonly told in the age of technology, I did not know about the Wampus. It is valuable to pass these tales down, especially in times when oral story telling is a dying art. The dynamic between mother and daughter was beautiful to watch. It does not feel forced and portrays a very healthy relationship. This is very valuable for any audience.

Wampus shows viewers that the untainted imagination has no boundaries. Note that the last scene might be scary to young viewers.

I give Wampus 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. Although it has some pacing problems and the plot is not particularly strong, the feelings Smith is able to communicate are valuable for children, especially in times like these. Oftentimes kids are not told the importance of imagination, but this film encourages that. Reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, Wampus is a story that I feel would charm viewers at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST! Juror

Wampus is a short visit in the magical world of a young girl. Without elaborate storytelling or an extended run time, Molly Smith explores the power of the young imagination and demonstrates just how boundless it can be. It is simple. yet whimsical, like childhood should be.

The storyline revolves around a young girl, fully immersed in a world of her own. After tea parties with her toys and stuffed animals, she plans a camping trip in her front yard. All is swell until she learns of the bobcat called Wampus, enough to spook her into spending the night indoors.

While the film captures the magic of imagination, the plot's structure waivers at time. The events are clear and the feelings attempting to be evoked are clear, but motives and conflict are unclear. The cinematography adds to the whimsicality of the film. It is dynamic in a way that does not feel over or under-whelming. The first scene in particular immediately tells the audience that they are about to watch a story of imagination. The simplicity of the sets are what make Wampus so endearing and reminiscent of childhood. From the warm interior lighting to the seemingly endless supply of stuffed toys, Wampus excels in this department. The sound of Wampus is one of its weaker areas, but only in the first scene. Here, the music does not feel complementary. On the other hand, when the young girl meets Wampus, the music complements the scene amazingly. The visual effects are what give this short film its magical essence. In the last scene, the distorted images and fast cuts evoke a sense of fear, thus enhancing the overall plot and the scene's contribution to the film. The two actors have great chemistry. Their mother-daughter relationship is believable and feels natural throughout. The performance that stands out the most is that of the young girl (Lily Jane Chachula) She is a natural and portrays every emotion clearly and confidently. Because folklore is not commonly told in the age of technology, I did not know about the Wampus. It is valuable to pass these tales down, especially in times when oral story telling is a dying art. The dynamic between mother and daughter was beautiful to watch. It does not feel forced and portrays a very healthy relationship. This is very valuable for any audience.

Wampus shows viewers that the untainted imagination has no boundaries. Note that the last scene might be scary to young viewers.

I give Wampus 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. Although it has some pacing problems and the plot is not particularly strong, the feelings Smith is able to communicate are valuable for children, especially in times like these. Oftentimes kids are not told the importance of imagination, but this film encourages that. Reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, Wampus is a story that I feel would charm viewers at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST! Juror

A young girl's imagination runs wild when her mother tells her of the family legend.
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