Watch Kids' Reviews of
LITTLE COWBOY, THE

What to know: A quirky coming of age short that audiences of all ages will relate to.
LITTLE COWBOY, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 6-12
27 minutes
VIDEO
TOBIAS GRUBER
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LITTLE COWBOY, THE cover image
The Little Cowboy is a quirky coming of age short film that audiences of all ages will relate to. Everyone has felt like an outcast in some way or another, and this film tells a narrative in a way that is both natural and magical all at once. It deals with serious topics while feeling lighthearted and sweet.

The storyline follows Valentin, only 10 years old, but teeming with ambition to become a writer. These ambitions, it seems, are crushed when he is unable to speak because of his stutter. Bullied and cast off by his classmates, he finds himself in the world of a mysterious cowboy who takes him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

The plot is clich� at times - run-of-the-mill backstory and predictable. There is the element of magical realism and a quirky side character to contrast. It would seem that these elements should not mesh, but they do. The story is tried and true, and the director's artistic take makes it that much better. It does feel that it might fare better as a full-length feature.

The cinematography is astounding. The camera quality is rich and the shots feel intentional. The scene where Billy the Cowboy is first introduced has a dream-like quality to it. The scene where Valentin is walking toward the stage at the end of the film brings you with him so that the audience feels all of his anxieties. Visually, the film is outstanding. The costumes fine a rare balance of intention and realism. Valentin's glasses, the teacher's red lipstick, the bully's headband, Billy's rustic hat. Every small detail adds dimension to the character without overdoing it. Location wise, the film fares above average, but not outstanding. The barn stands out as the best scene location out of the film. The background music is one of the short film's weaknesses. The background sounds are unnoticeable the way they should be. However, the background music, particularly when Valentin faces difficulty, is off-putting and distracting. On the other hand, the Western music during the cowboy scenes is very fitting. The cinematographer and Billy stand out in their performances. The camerawork shows a person who knows their craft. Billy plays his role in a way that is not over-the-top, a threshold easily broken when playing a role such as a cowboy. My favorite part of the film is the scene in the barn when we are introduced to Billy. I did not know that hay could translate so beautifully on film. It is immersive and magical, but also subtle. It is the perfect transition to the second act of the film and keeps the film feeling light and airy.

The Little Cowboy clearly shows its audience the value of trusting oneself despite the difficulties faced in life. Just as Valentin is optimistic in the face of troubles, the film is lighthearted throughout - a valuable attribute of a coming of age film for young viewers.

I give The Little Cowboy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST!

The Little Cowboy is a quirky coming of age short film that audiences of all ages will relate to. Everyone has felt like an outcast in some way or another, and this film tells a narrative in a way that is both natural and magical all at once. It deals with serious topics while feeling lighthearted and sweet.

The storyline follows Valentin, only 10 years old, but teeming with ambition to become a writer. These ambitions, it seems, are crushed when he is unable to speak because of his stutter. Bullied and cast off by his classmates, he finds himself in the world of a mysterious cowboy who takes him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

The plot is clich� at times - run-of-the-mill backstory and predictable. There is the element of magical realism and a quirky side character to contrast. It would seem that these elements should not mesh, but they do. The story is tried and true, and the director's artistic take makes it that much better. It does feel that it might fare better as a full-length feature.

The cinematography is astounding. The camera quality is rich and the shots feel intentional. The scene where Billy the Cowboy is first introduced has a dream-like quality to it. The scene where Valentin is walking toward the stage at the end of the film brings you with him so that the audience feels all of his anxieties. Visually, the film is outstanding. The costumes fine a rare balance of intention and realism. Valentin's glasses, the teacher's red lipstick, the bully's headband, Billy's rustic hat. Every small detail adds dimension to the character without overdoing it. Location wise, the film fares above average, but not outstanding. The barn stands out as the best scene location out of the film. The background music is one of the short film's weaknesses. The background sounds are unnoticeable the way they should be. However, the background music, particularly when Valentin faces difficulty, is off-putting and distracting. On the other hand, the Western music during the cowboy scenes is very fitting. The cinematographer and Billy stand out in their performances. The camerawork shows a person who knows their craft. Billy plays his role in a way that is not over-the-top, a threshold easily broken when playing a role such as a cowboy. My favorite part of the film is the scene in the barn when we are introduced to Billy. I did not know that hay could translate so beautifully on film. It is immersive and magical, but also subtle. It is the perfect transition to the second act of the film and keeps the film feeling light and airy.

The Little Cowboy clearly shows its audience the value of trusting oneself despite the difficulties faced in life. Just as Valentin is optimistic in the face of troubles, the film is lighthearted throughout - a valuable attribute of a coming of age film for young viewers.

I give The Little Cowboy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST!

The 10-year-old Valentin wants to become an author. Although he writes great essays, he always stutters while reading and is bullied by his schoolmates. But when cowboy Billy suddenly shows up and decides to take Valentin on a trip, big changes are coming up.
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