Watch Kids' Reviews of
HONK

What to know: Incredibly sweet and heartwarming documentary about a woman who befriends a goose during the pandemic and ends up getting over 80K followers on Instagram who follow her tales of "Honk".
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED HONK is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 7-18
46 minutes
VIDEO
VISION FILMS
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Such a wholesome joy of a film is hard to come by. Honk should be required watching for those who feel like they're losing faith in the goodness of humanity and the beauty of companionship. Beautiful, raw emotion is captured in a mix of videos that were either collected from social media or filmed by the camera team, but beyond the technical bits of the film, the plot is what shines through. Especially for animal-lovers, this is a great watch.

Honk is a remarkable tale of unlikely companionship. Dallas native Cheryl Allison inadvertently befriends a loud, chatty goose she names Honk; she realizes he is mourning the loss of a loved one and their bond grows deeper. As the friendship blossoms, Cheryl seeks to find Honk a new home and he becomes a viral sensation across nations. The beautiful relationship between the two (not owner and pet but two equal friends) is wonderful to watch.

The direction and editing by Cheryl Allison are beautifully-executed. What's really nice is that the subject of the documentary is the same person who directs and edits it; this means that she has been able to choose the most moving portions of footage and cut it together. I also love how the choice of music accentuates the mood of the more emotional scenes; the lyrics from the credits -- "think about where we have been, the joy we shared with friends who cared, all the things we've seen" -- were especially touching as they summarized the theme of the film. I like the contrast between the footage taken by the camera team and how formal and traditional it feels compared to the footage taken by Cheryl, which is more fun and informal.

Honk promotes finding those who support you and, in turn, helping others, whether animal or human, in times of difficulty. The compassion exhibited by Cheryl in this film also serves to push the message that we should care for animals, even those we wouldn't consider domesticated or "pets," because they too have highs and lows in their lives like we do.

I give Honk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Honk releases November 15, 2022 on digital and DVD.< p>By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Honk is incredibly sweet and heartwarming documentary. The subjects are interesting and the story is exciting, due to its oddness. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story follows a woman who forms a friendship with a goose during the pandemic and ends up getting over 80K followers on Instagram.

Cheryl's story of meeting this goose during the pandemic is so unexpected and slightly crazy. The idea that she met Honk the good during a time when we were all social distancing and formed a relationship with him is endearing - both of them needed a friend, someone to be with. The cinematography is very good, keeping things exciting while also staying simple. A lot of this film is filmed on a cell phone, which works just fine. I love the locations, especially those at the park. And I like how Cheryl added little hearts on the side of her phone videos - which worked particularly well for attracting attention on social media. Her videos on social media are absolutely adorable. This story is so unusual, and Cheryl's motivations are honest and pure. When someone tells her that he must be a domestic goose, not a wild one, she is concerned about returning him to an appropriate environment and feels that she needs to find his mate. Honk is a character in his own right as well, something not always explored in the usual animal documentaries. Honk is the best "pandemic pal" a girl could ask for. He's safe, he's devoted to her, and he has a charming personality. There are some sad aspects to this documentary, such as when Honk dies two years later which Cheryl tells Honk's social media followers on Instagram, accompanied by sad music and clips of better times.

The message of this film is about the importance of bringing love and hope into people's lives - whether through a human or non-human. If you show love, you get love!

I give Honk 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Bring your tissues because Honk's passing is a reminder to us all how life is eternal. By Sandrine A. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

Honk is a heartwarming documentary that follows the friendship between director and editor, Cheryl Allison, and a lovable goose. She successfully shows viewers how her friendship with a goose impacted her life. At a time when everything was uncertain in the world, this goose was the "honk heard 'round the world." He was able to reach out, in spite of social distancing constraints, and spread happiness to others.

This documentary is set during the COVID pandemic, when social distancing regulations were in effect. While on a walk Cheryl notices a goose approaching her. She names him Honk and they become instant friends. Cheryl decides to record her time with Honk and her videos and posts with him go viral on social media. She receives word from her friend, Mary Beth Purdy that Honk is a domestic goose and is in danger. Now Cheryl is on a mission to help save her goose friend from a harmful environment, predators and the new risks that social media has brought to him.

This documentary is touching and beautiful. My favorite scene is when Cheryl goes back to the pond the day after she first meets Honk and records herself calling to him. Honk immediately recognizes her voice and swims to her. She talks to him and he responds with his honking sounds. This shows how attached Honk was to her from the start. The film is a mix of interviews, zoom meetings and videos of Cheryl with Honk. The added footage of her initial recordings with Honk are delightfully entertaining. It gives viewers a better understanding of Cheryl and Honk's friendship and the bond they create with each other as time progresses. The information about animals in the film, by experts Mary Beth Purdy and Kathy Rogers, is insightful and adds depth to the understanding of caring for these types of animals. In addition, the music at the end of the documentary fits well with the theme.

The message of this film is about love and the connections you make with others. Love and a need for companionship is what drove Honk and Cheryl together. It then drove her to protect him. While watching, we also gain a better understanding of what animals need, the importance of protecting animals, and what we can contribute to help keep these animals safe.

I give Honk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Honk releases November 15, 2022 on digital platforms and DVD.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

The power of love shines in this heartwarming tale of f friendship and inspiration between an unlikely duo. Cheryl inadvertently befriends a mourning goose, Honk, while recycling in the local park. As the budding friendship blossoms and Cheryl seeks Honk a new home, he becomes a viral sensation capturing the hearts and minds of millions.
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