Watch Kids' Reviews of
POOF!

What to know:
POOF! is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 5-12
96 minutes
Screenplay
WAYNE BALTZ
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POOF! cover image
There is so much to love about this script; it's worth letting it expand to its full potential. The presence of magic unleashes kids' ability to see beyond their world. It expands their perception of what's possible. For adults it does the same but it also carries the burden of hope, a hope beyond hope that transcends their life experience of constraint and limitation. A screenplay about magic needs to blow out those walls that keep us from believing. To do that, a writer can't let life limit him or her. This is drama. This is fantasy. A screenwriter has got to be unafraid of elevating the emotion that will capture the audience and make the story transcend the normal. This means the storyteller should almost have a presence. The narrator should find the situations Casey encounters just as amazing as she does. There should be more magic, more enthusiasm, in the narrative voice - not a wide-eyed magical tone but more anticipation. - a tone that sets up important scenes with greater tension.

And pictures. Tell us the story in pictures. Ramp the tension with settings that feel uneasy. Make the lurking SUV scarier - even appearing in the background in scenes where it currently isn't included. Give us Casey's face at the beginning, enraptured by her TV screen; the stuttering blue light flashing on her wide eyes - maybe with spooky music - as the shadowy figure comes up the stairs. Again, look at the pictures Spielberg uses to set a scene before we even know what it's going to be about.

Casey's arc. And at the end, Casey should finish her arc by being a changed person - someone different than the Casey who started. To a very great degree you have accomplished this. When Terence is in his shop, Casey does show us how magic has become a part of her understanding of life - that dreams do come true. It just needs to be a higher ending - more emotional. Of course, Terence, the Leprechaun has made everything work, but Casey and our understanding of how things work in life is altered - more inclusive of the possibility of magic. And we all need the possibility of magic in our lives.

I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Juror #12, KIDS FIRST!

There is so much to love about this script; it's worth letting it expand to its full potential. The presence of magic unleashes kids' ability to see beyond their world. It expands their perception of what's possible. For adults it does the same but it also carries the burden of hope, a hope beyond hope that transcends their life experience of constraint and limitation. A screenplay about magic needs to blow out those walls that keep us from believing. To do that, a writer can't let life limit him or her. This is drama. This is fantasy. A screenwriter has got to be unafraid of elevating the emotion that will capture the audience and make the story transcend the normal. This means the storyteller should almost have a presence. The narrator should find the situations Casey encounters just as amazing as she does. There should be more magic, more enthusiasm, in the narrative voice - not a wide-eyed magical tone but more anticipation. - a tone that sets up important scenes with greater tension.

And pictures. Tell us the story in pictures. Ramp the tension with settings that feel uneasy. Make the lurking SUV scarier - even appearing in the background in scenes where it currently isn't included. Give us Casey's face at the beginning, enraptured by her TV screen; the stuttering blue light flashing on her wide eyes - maybe with spooky music - as the shadowy figure comes up the stairs. Again, look at the pictures Spielberg uses to set a scene before we even know what it's going to be about.

Casey's arc. And at the end, Casey should finish her arc by being a changed person - someone different than the Casey who started. To a very great degree you have accomplished this. When Terence is in his shop, Casey does show us how magic has become a part of her understanding of life - that dreams do come true. It just needs to be a higher ending - more emotional. Of course, Terence, the Leprechaun has made everything work, but Casey and our understanding of how things work in life is altered - more inclusive of the possibility of magic. And we all need the possibility of magic in our lives.

I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Juror #12, KIDS FIRST!

POOF! is an imaginative, kids-scaled fantasy/adventure with splashes of comedy and drama throughout. Told from a kid's-eye-view, it takes place "in the neighborhood," and the only special effect is invisibility. This script is adapted from the 1st book of our published 3-title "Invisible Kid" book series (we own all rights) that we've been taking to elementary & middle schools for some years. Very popular with the 80,000 kids we've visited with! And at every appearance the most common, breathless question we hear is, "Are you going to make a movie of this?!" This live-action feature stands alone as a complete and satisfying story or, like our books, can be the 1st of a series of 3.
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