The Legend of Johnny Lingo
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The Legend of Johnny Lingo moves at a leisurely place as an outcast boy finds his place in the world with a little help from some new friends. It starts out somewhat predictable (but what Disney movie isn't?), then we learn what the Legend actually is in a surprise half-way through. And the boy-goes-back-for-the-girl ending is very well done with a little twist of its own to keep it interesting.
Not enough movement to keep smaller kids interested and probably too uncool for older kids, it is a perfect fit for families with children in the 6-14 age group.
The scenery is breathtaking. And the soundtrack, which consists of traditional and contemporary Polynesian themes, is fabulous; the music is well selected.
Family movies run the risk of being pretty low quality knowing that there are so few movies out they'll have some minimum audience no matter what. This is not one of those movies. While shot on an indy budget (I would guess), the production values and editing really bring out the story in an entertaining way. It is charming little movie.
I enjoyed this retelling with one exception. The Tahitian Noni company (one of the sponsors) shamelessly plugged the noni fruit and its juice. I admit that noni, despite their taste, have wonderful healing powers, but this propoganda belongs in a commercial, not a movie.
The most shameless example of self-promotion was when Tama was threatened with death because spilling noni juice displeased the gods. None of the gold or silver with Johnny would appease the gods' anger over the spilt nectar.
I recognized a lot of the cast from "The Other Side of Heaven", and their acting did not disappoint. The lush valleys of New Zealand were also impressive.
If you are a "Utah Mormon" you may want to buy the LdS Collection 2-disc edition from Deseret Book. This edition includes the BYU classic, the feature film, and some bonus material. Again, the LdS edition is labeled "NOT FOR SALE OVER THE INTERNET", so you have to go to Deseret Book.
This is a more modern interpretation of the legend, and it boasts with a number of famous Pacific Islands & New Zealand Maori actors like Rawiri Paratene (Whale Rider), which are of course mostly unknown to the US and European audience. The film was shot at various locations, mainly in NZ and Rarotonga and Aitutaki (the two latter both belong to the Cook Islands) and the beauty of the locations is breathtaking.
The story is quite simple: orphant boy leaves his home island but vows to return one day to marry the daughter of his foster father, boy meets the famous and benevolent trader Johnny Lingo who later makes the boy to take his name, and finally returns as the (new) Johnny Lingo to get his bride who has been patiently waiting for him all these years. However, this seemingly plain story is witty with some very nice twists and contains lots of humour. The film music is by the famous group "Te Vaka" from Tuvalu and supports and enhances the story, adding to the typical South Seas touch.
As I have lived in the Cooks Islands for some years I have particularly enjoyed recognizing some of the places I know. But even without this personal interest of mine this film is great family entertainment and will be enjoyed both by young and old (5+ years).
The film was sponsored by the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) and a Tahitian company that exports Noni juice. Whilst I could not detect any mormon-specific preaching or message in the film (in fact, there are no biblical or church themes in the film at all), the Noni juice is quite prominently mentioned throughout the film, probably due to this sponsorship.Read more ›
Not every movie (even "kid-friendly") needs CGI gimmicks, sexed up women, idiotic quips, or bogeymen jumping out of bushes to capture interest and hold attention. With reviewer opinions like Croatto's, it's no wonder studios now make movies devoid of emotional inspiration, have flat characters, and droll storylines. Movies today are made for drooling buffoons with short attention spans. If a car doesn't go boom or someone doesn't get shot within the first 15 seconds, the movie is a failure. So when faced with a movie like Johnny Lingo--one that is based around characters and real emotions not booming parlor tricks--like a monkey with a computer, most don't know what to make of it. They shake it. When it doesn't make noise, they lose interest and throw it against the wall then lumber off.
The cover shot and title are misleading in marketing the movie. The crux of Johnny Lingo is about love and commitment, which may be beyond the depth of most youngster these days. There's no real "legend" to speak of; that is a misnomer. No swashbuckling journey or legendary adventure. The legend angle was nonexistent and had no meaningful part in story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The reason I don't "love" this is because it is a longer version remake of the original "Johnny Lingo" movie & I like the shorter original much better.Published 4 months ago by Peggy Spencer
Got this video as described. It's an LDS/Mormon classic. A great addition to the library.Published 4 months ago by I Love Gadgets!
good, clean, entertaining message with good ending. Great song -Tamahana!Published 5 months ago by Ronald Rangel-Scott
cute movie and creative back story for the classic Johnny Lingo. Must watch if you ever saw the original.Published 12 months ago by TOTO
Good wholesome family movie, though may hear people call others stupid at times thus parents may want to explain it is not a nice thing to do.Published 12 months ago by Becca