Writer: Jonathan Sullivan
Original Post Date: 9/13/2009
As a popcorn jockey, I watch a lot of kid films come and go, in and out, every year. Everything from book adaptations to talking animal CGI films rolls into my neck of the woods and proceeds to dumb down the American population with its unfunny jokes and uninspired ideas. Not to sound old or full of nostalgia, but when I was growing up the kids movies at my viewing disposal had character, they had heart, and most importantly, they did not treat the audience like they were braindead idiots. There's a reason someone can watch "Flight of the Navigator" past the age of 10: it's a legitimate GOOD movie. I'm not going to get into that film however; today, my "Watch This!" pick is a Canadian film entitled The Peanut Butter Solution.
The film is about Michael, an 11 year old who one day wanders into a recently burned down house. In there, he sees two ghosts and he gets so scared he catches "The Fright". Because of The Fright, Michael ends up losing his hair. One night, the two ghosts from the house give him a recipe to make his hair grow back, with the main ingredient being Peanut Butter. They warn him, though: use too much peanut butter, and it will be disastrous.

Michael, being a kid, and to a lesser extent Canadian (bah bah bah I'm here all night folks), decides to add too much anyway and when his hair grows back, he cannot stop it. It just does not stop growing. Meanwhile, the Signor, an art teacher recently fired from the local school, starts kidnapping kids to make paint brushes in a random factory. He kidnaps Michael, who's hair not only makes a good paintbrush, but results in a painting that comes to life and you can walk in. When Michael goes missing, it's up to his best friend Connie (the kid who played Yick Yu on Degrassi Junior High) and his sister. Kid power!

This movie is absolutely insane on almost every level you can imagine. We got ghosts, peanut butter hair growth solutions, magic human hair paintbrushes, and a villain who is so scary he gave me nightmares growing up. I will admit, the movie barely makes no sense, but the cheesy 80's feel to it will let you forgive the film for its flaws (like we all forgave The Dark Knight). As previously said, The Signor is absolutely FRIGHTENING. He's got a thick accent, has a creepy beard, beady eyes, he's the perfect kid's movie villain. And unlike current kids films, he's actually EVIL: kidnapping kids to make paintbrushes for him is not a tame thing to do. That's jail time stuff.

I love the fact that this movie has the balls to get gritty, and to be scary when so many movies (Madagascar, Ice Age, etc.) are so scared to offend anyone that they play it tame and unfunny. Peanut Butter Solution comes from a time where parents did not shelter their kids or think they were stupid.

When you have kids, along with the Pixar collection, pick up a copy of The Peanut Butter Solution. It is scary, but it's also a great movie with decent acting and an unintelligible but still pretty original plot.
 





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