Albert: Up, Up and Away!

Albert: Up, Up and Away! 80 min. Dist. by Shout! Kids Factory. 2016. $14.98. UPCN 826663166118.
K-Gr 3—Inspired by the children's book by Danish writer Ole Lund Kirkegaard, this computer-animated film features a young boy who accidentally destroys the statue of the local town hero, a famous hot-air balloon captain named Leopoldus. Years after gaining a reputation as the town prankster and troublemaker, Arthur is bound and determined to make up for his mistake by becoming a real hot-air balloon captain, and he hatches a plan to venture out into the world to make that happen. When his best friend, Egon, decides being pirates would be much more fun and refuses to help, Arthur kidnaps him in the middle of the night and the two set off on an adventure. They meet a band of scoundrels who trick the two unsuspecting friends into helping them steal the world's biggest diamond. With the assistance of a young girl they meet along the way, the three friends are able to return the diamond and unexpectedly find a way to help Albert fulfill his dream as well.
VERDICT This wonderfully fun and heartwarming tale of friendship, adventure, and learning to make wise choices will resonate with viewers of all ages. Recommended for public libraries.

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