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Labou - family and children's DVD / action adventure / fantasy DVD review
LABOU Rated G by the MPAA curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Bryan James Kitto, Darnell Hamilton, Marissa Cuevas, Earl Scioneaux, Chris Violette
Director: Greg Aronowitz Distributor: MGM Video & DVD
DVD release: 19 March 2009 Runtime: 95 min.
(1 disc)
Format: Aspect ratio 1.85:1, AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), Subtitles (English), Audio commentary (dir./writer Greg Aronowitz, prod. Sheri Bryant, actor Chris Violette), Building Labou, The Casting Process, The Making of Labou: Part One and Part Two, The Music of Labou, Special Effects, New Orleans: Points of Interest

Deep in the Louisiana bayou lies a lost treasure of great proportions, hidden from all who have ever gone looking for it. Captain LeRouge came into port centuries earlier after reclaiming his family's great wealth and treasure, but the townsfolk were not eager to allow him to leave with the treasure still on board his ship. Somehow, he and his crew managed to escape the port with the treasure, but the Louisiana coast held onto them as a hurricane sunk the ship, the treasure, and all the pirates aboard.

Gavin is new to town and hears of the ghost of Captain LeRouge from the "Toddster". While Gavin doesn't believe in ghosts, he is joined by Emily in a desire to prove the "Toddster" a liar. As they embark on their journey into the bayou, two money-hungry oil tycoons are also looking to find their way into the haunted bayou for a very big payday. Luck seems to be on the side of the "Toddster" as he and his friends come face to face with the ghost of Captain LeRouge himself, but running from him in fright gets them lost deep within the bayou. With night heavy around them and the nonexistent cell phone service keeping them from calling for help, the sounds and creatures of the Louisiana Bayou come alive. One particular magical swamp creature is unlike anything Gavin, Emily, or the "Toddster" has ever seen before.a Labou.

As the tycoons make their way into the swamps, the purpose of their visit is made clear: an oil refinery to be built in place of the bayou. If they succeed in their mission, Labou and all his family will be without a home and possibly become extinct. The three children, Labou, and Captain LeRouge join forces to scare off the tycoons, but will their efforts be good enough to save all that is unique and special about the bayou?

Labou is an Official Selection Kids First! Film and Video Festival in addition to being designated Family Approved. The G-rated feature runs at 95 minutes in length. The animatronic character Labou plays only a small part in the grand scheme of the movie. The ghost of Captain LeRouge is haloed by a green hue around him and exhibits a minimal level of transparency - nothing visual here is scary (or even borderline) for younger viewers. Compared to many movies today whose G rating parents question, Labou is spot on and has some endearing lessons about friendship that aren't difficult for any viewer to catch on to. The only drawback to this film is its capability to satisfy everyone for family viewing purposes. Labou really does aim to please its target audience of 12 and below, which leaves any older viewers sometimes struggling to maintain interest.
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reviewed by Sonia R. Polinsky
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