In Opal Dream, Kellyanne Williamson is a young girl with a vivid imagination living with her family in an opal mining town in South Australia. When her two imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan, go missing, the mysterious sickness that she soon suffers has her older brother Ashmol on a search to find the invisible pair for her.
At the same time, Kellyanne and Ashmol's dad is chasing dreams of hitting it big in the opal mines. He is caught accidentally straying onto another miner's turf and assumed to be "ratting," looking for opals on another's territory. Thereafter the family faces harassment over it in their small town.
Based on the Ben Rice novella Pobby and Dingan, this bittersweet family film has a simple fable-like quality, the story an allegory for the loss of childhood. It also grants an interesting view of Australian life in the mining region. Might be a bit too sweet for some (as in more jaded older teens?). Good for 10+ or so.
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Rating: PG (some occasional language and tense moments of bullying.)
Themes: siblings, bullying, imagination, compassion, faith, family loyalty, other cultures
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
Available on iTunes to rent or buy
Interesting tidbit: the original movie had a different ending; a last-minute cut was made against the wishes of the director because the financiers thought it would have better success at the box office with a different ending.