Let your children discover the animated film “Calamity, a childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” by Rémi Chayé, an “emancipation western” for young audiences available on myCANAL.
As a reminder, very young children must spend a maximum of 1 hour per day in front of a screen.
Recommended from 6 years old
• Once upon a time : 1863, United States of America. In a convoy moving west with the hope of a better life, Martha Jane’s father is injured. She is the one who has to drive the family cart and look after the horses.
Learning is tough and yet Martha Jane has never felt so free. And since it’s more practical for horseback riding, she doesn’t hesitate to put on pants. This is too much daring for Abraham, the leader of the convoy.
Accused of theft, Martha is forced to flee. Dressed as a boy, in search of proof of her innocence, she discovers a world under construction where her unique personality will assert itself. An adventure full of dangers and rich in encounters which, step by step, will reveal the mythical Calamity Jane.
• What they will love: Calamity is human, protects his brother and sister, and takes the place of the father by necessity. Its evolution is logical and well done and there is no doubt that Calamity seeks only to obtain equality and not to go against the conveniences of the time for the sake of upsetting everything.
She is in her right, the young spectator will be on her side. Girls and boys alike will identify with his struggles and older ones will take a different look at what is considered “the established norm”. The film also teaches us some clever things about the time of the conquest of the West, which is a definitely welcome addition.
• What may worry them: Calamity sweeps away any dangers that stand in its way and is a reassuring figure. However, the film tackles the theme of mourning (the loss of the mother) and the father almost dying, leaving a time in doubt that Martha Jane will have to take on the role of parent for her brother and sister (she does it for a while).
In addition, Calamity comes up against injustice and contempt, as well as some violence (jostling, brawling, mockery) which will perhaps be less well experienced by the youngest spectators. Likewise, the emphasis is on the harshness of the life of the pioneers and the ups and downs of such a journey, but fortunately, mutual aid overcomes the worst trials!
• What they will keep inside: No matter the universe in which you evolve, you have to be yourself as long as you respect others and even if that means displeasing some people who do not accept it. You can fight harassment by asserting your rights and understanding the other.
Calamity, a childhood of Martha Jane Cannary is one of those pearls of animation which, in addition to being visually sublime, reminds us of our dear darlings. A progressive, humanist film and an “emancipation western” to put in front of all eyes.
“Calamity, a childhood of Martha Jane Cannary”, currently in theaters: