A little girl out with her family catches sight of a wondrous toy in the window of a local shop: the world’s bounciest ball. She wants it badly and begs her mom to buy it for her. But like many moms everywhere, her mother tells her it’s too expensive and refuses to get it for her. But then the little girl finds some money on the ground, which gives her an idea — she can buy the ball all by herself.
Undeterred, the little girl comes home and counts the money in her piggy bank. Coming up short, she decides to go through the process of earning money for it, whether it’s washing the car, doing chores or selling lemonade. She also learns the value of saving her own money, and slowly but surely builds up her stash of savings. When she finally raises enough funds, she comes across one more obstacle before her heart’s deepest wish can come true.
Charming, whimsical and yet grounded in real, relatable emotions, directors Rory Lowe and D.C. Barclay have crafted “Bounce” as a lovely everyday fable about the power of persistence and the value of hard work, rendered with bright, cheerful colors and a buoyant, quirky rhythm and humor.
The film is clearly for and about children, but the storytelling never condescends to its target audience. Instead it treats the emotional journey of its young heroine with great dignity and clarity, and young performer Mila Mei Lowe plays the little girl with the energy and squirminess that characterizes toddlers and preschoolers everywhere.
There’s no need for a lot of dialogue in the film, especially since the effervescent musical score and sound design carry a lot of emotion and interest for the viewer and keeps the storytelling bubbling along while still making key details clear and easy-to-follow for the little ones.
Heartwarming and adorable, “Bounce” is simply pure innocent fun, and while it’s a children’s story, its fine sense of craft and purity of heart make it enjoyable for adults who haven’t lost their sense of joy. And it’s never too old to be reminded of how good it is to have goals, work hard and learn about the value of tenacity, whether you’re aiming for the stars — or for a magical bouncy ball that brings nothing but delight.