Making the Grades
From the Loch Ness monster of Scotland to Ogopogo of Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, stories have surfaced about sighting strange sea creatures. Whether fact or fiction, the idea of illusive aquatic animals has obviously captured the imagination of the creative team behind Mee-Shee: The Water Giant.
Set in a remote corner of Canada, the residents of the northern community are happy to indulge the Indian myth about a Water Giant, nicknamed Mee-Shee, as long as it brings in a few tourist dollars. Not many of them actually believe in the beast's existence, and the handful that does are described as a little crazy.
But it's not the native folklore that attracts ten-year-old Mac Cambell (Daniel Magder) to the small town. Nor is this isolated destination his first vacation choice. The truth is, he's only there because his father (Bruce Greenwood) got a last minute call about a work crisis and had to bail out of their original plans to holiday in Florida. Although allowed to accompany his Dad on the business trip, the boy feels little consolation as he watches the workaholic dive into the job of recovering a valuable piece of equipment lost at the bottom of the lake. With time to kill and little supervision, the neglected child decides to test the validity of the local legend.
As Mac explores the shoreline searching for evidence, Mr. Cambell climbs into a mini-submarine to comb the crevasses of the lakebed looking for the missing machinery. Meanwhile, a pair of mysterious men with mysterious motives uncrates their own underwater craft. All three groups are completely submerged in their seemingly independent quests, until one rather large specter swims across their paths.
For a film that enjoyed only limited theatrical exposure, Mee-Shee: The Water Giant offers great production values, convincing computer graphics and beautiful cinematography. Aimed at an audience roughly the same age as the main character, the plot involves some violence, villains and moments of peril likely to frighten small viewers.
However, the story also includes positive messages about environmental issues and the importance of families. It may be just the kettle of fish for those old enough to want adventure (such as exploding aircraft, spectacular crashes, hand-to-hand confrontations and expeditions into the unknown), but still young enough to embrace the script's magical premise.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Mee-shee The Water Giant.
Did you enjoy the beautiful Canadian scenery in this movie? If so, you might be surprised to learn the film was actually shot in New Zealand. How do filmmakers use their own bag of illusions to bring a story to life? What other tricks of the trade can you identify that were used in this production?