Sunday, August 26, 2007


When I was a kid, I was a fan of boy-and-his-animal yarns, like the horse books by Walter Farley, dog books by Jim Kjelgaard, and even, yes, OLD YELLER. The movie DUMA is clearly in that tradition. Set in Africa and based on actual events, it’s the story of young Xan, who adopts an orphaned cheetah cub and raises it. The usual sort of complications that crop up in these stories cause Xan and the now full-grown cheetah, Duma, to find themselves on their own in the wilderness, trying to get back to the area where Duma was born.

Along the way they encounter various dangers from animals and the elements, as well as a mysterious wanderer who may or may not have their best interests at heart. It’s an adventurous tale with a pace that seldom slows down for very long, and I enjoyed it. While the plot was somewhat predictable, I was never sure how things were going to turn out, and that’s always a plus. Also, the movie is beautifully photographed, which is no surprise considering that it was directed by Carroll Ballard, the director of the well-regarded THE BLACK STALLION (speaking of Walter Farley). DUMA is a very likable, family-friendly film and well worth watching.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Love the unpredictability of what book or movie will turn up on your blog. Thanks.

Charles Gramlich said...

When you start mentioning Farly and Kjelgaard you're "barking" up my tree. Loved all those books so much. My favorite was Kjelgaard's "Desert Dog," and Farley' "the Island Stallion"

James Reasoner said...

THE ISLAND STALLION is my favorite Farley novel. I liked it better than the much more well-known Black Stallion books. I don't recall any specific Kjelgaard titles, but I know I read everything of his I could get my hands on. I was surprised years later when I discovered that he wrote for the pulps, too.

I've always been the type to read/watch/listen to a little bit of everything. I wouldn't want to read the same type of books all the time, and I can't even begin to comprehend people who read only ONE author. (Like the fellow who once said to me, "I only read Louis L'Amour books, and when I finish all of them, I just start over again.")