Move over, Lassie, Simba, Black Beauty and Willy – a lovable, clever and comical seal named Andre has arrived. Based on a true story, ANDRE tells the incredible story of a seal that becomes a member of the Whitney family in Rockport, Maine, back in the 1960’s. The Whitneys’ menagerie of pets already includes a dog, a rabbit, a frog, a chicken and any other animal that needs a home. It’s not uncommon for their pets to sit around the dinner table. When Dad (Keith Carradine), the local harbor master, brings home a sick baby seal he has rescued, their lives change. As they nurse Andre back to health, he becomes young Toni’s (Tina Majorina) shadow, mimicking her every move as they play follow the leader. Ed Sullivan even wants them on his television show. Suddenly, tourists flock to Rockport to watch the little girl and her pet seal. Not all goes well, however. Paula (Aidan Pendleton), Toni’s teenage sister, becomes jealous and angry at her father for his preoccupation with the seal. The local fishermen also become concerned that Dad Whitney cares more about the seals than his duty to protect their livelihood. Mom (Chelsea Field) must maintain balance as her family faces abrupt changes brought on by their newest pet. ANDRE has gorgeous scenery, a mischievous seal that watches TV, and an uplifting story told with humor and sensitivity for the whole family. Don’t miss it.
Without the hoopla of LION KING, ANDRE has slipped rather quietly into theaters. Yet, it offers such positive, wholesome entertainment families need to know about it. The Whitney family, though not perfect, is tightly knit and loving. When Paula prepares to run away, her mother calmly helps her pack her bag, listening to her distraught daughter’s comments. The daughter’s need to run away fades quickly. The children idolize their fun-loving father, who encourages them to respect all living creatures. When teenagers are caught smoking in the barn, they are disciplined. Dad also has to learn forgiveness and face up to some weaknesses that threaten his effectiveness as the family breadwinner. Still, the most prevalent themes are experiencing the rewards of letting go and discovering the joy of unconditional love. Never preachy or judgmental, ANDRE reminds us of our responsibility to respect all of God’s creatures. Several mild and moderate rough words account for the PG rating in lieu of a G rating. Please write the distributor, congratulating them on a film well done.