Amazing Panda Adventure (the)
With cuddly creatures, majestic scenery, and traditional values, "The Amazing Panda Adventure" offers many pleasures. Set in the bamboo forests of a Himalayan preserve, this delightful children's drama chronicles how Ryan Tyler (Slater), a 10-year-old American, helps a Chinese girl, Ling (Ding), rescue a baby panda from poachers.
Ryan lives in the U.S.A. with his mother, then arrives in China to visit his father, Michael (Lang), a naturalist specializing in the conservation of giant pandas. His father is often too busy to spend much time with him, but Ryan insists on going with him, Ling, and her grandfather into the mountains to check on the animals in the preserve. They learn that a mother panda with a new cub has been trapped by poachers, who wound Michael and escape with the baby bear deep into the forest.
When Ryan and Ling try to find the poachers and their roly-poly hostage, they get separated from the adults. Not only do they overcome many obstacles, but they also become true friends. Ryan, an ugly little American when he begins his adventure, becomes an enlightened young man, and offers to take Ling to a mall if she visits the United States.
Director Christopher Cain, whose eclectic, youth-oriented filmography includes everything from the Brat Pack western "Young Guns" to the wild-child fantasy "Where the River Runs Black," maintains a taut pace and just enough suspense to keep children interested.
Ryan Slater, Yi Ding, Stephen Lang
Giant pandas; China; conservation
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