Movie Review:  "Little Red Wagon" Movie Review:  "Little Red Wagon"
Movie Review:  "Little Red Wagon"

Movie Review: "Little Red Wagon"

Movie Review:  "Little Red Wagon"

by Steve Eastman, Faith Issues

Zach Bonner is a very unusual little boy.  He’s not like most of the kids you meet or see on TV or in the movies.  This eight year-old has a tender heart.  

Hurricane Charley has just changed course, failing to hit the Tampa area.  But it’s a different story for Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.  Zach is touched by the TV accounts of destruction to his south.  His mom has collected some emergency supplies they no longer need, so he asks why not send help?  

Zach starts small, dropping off leaflets around his neighborhood to let folks know he’s collecting.  Then he returns with his wagon and takes the donations home to the garage.  Before we know it, Zach is responsible for three truck-loads of help reaching the needy.

His sister, Kelley, is another matter.  The 16 year-old is self-obsessed and only helps Zach reluctantly.  The gap between them widens.  

Zach identifies with a little girl living in a box in a homeless shelter and camps out in a box in his own backyard.  Throughout the movie His mom tries to encourage him, but also attempts to be realistic.

While we watch Zach living out his mission, we see another family that doesn’t know where to turn.  Margaret Craig wasn’t always downwardly mobile.  When we meet Margaret, her husband has recently died, and she is in the process of moving from a large house into a small apartment.  Then she loses her job.  Her son, who is about Zach’s age, balks at selling his computer.  Little does he know that worse is yet to come.  His mom ends up stealing from a grocery store to feed him.  You can’t help but wonder how that may keep him from becoming like Zach in the future.

There’s another interesting contrast in the film.  A faded TV star makes an appearance at a donation center where she has an exchange with Zach at a photo op.

The story of “Little Red Wagon” seems so unlikely that the movie would never have been made as a work of fiction.  In fact, it is true.  Zach Bonner really is the youngest person to start a 501-c-3 non-profit.  It benefits homeless kids. He and his Mom did walk the 250 or so miles from Tampa to Tallahassee to raise awareness through a blistering Florida summer, learning lessons along the way more important than the ones Dorothy learned on her fictional walk to Oz.

© 2012 Faith Issues

The movie comes out on DVD on Tuesday, January 8th.
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