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The Independent Critic

STARRING
David L. Burke, Jenn Reese, Amelia Olson, Mendel Tropper, Shuee Tropper, Yehuda Youkhehpaz
DIRECTED BY
Mendel Tropper
SCREENPLAY
David L. Burke, Jenn Reese
MPAA RATING
NR (Equiv. to "G")
RUNNING TIME
43 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
THK Media
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 "Celebrate the World - The "Hey Wordy!" Movie" Set for Festival Circuit 

Created by David L. Burke, The Hey Wordy! series has as its stated purpose to create global "Kidizens" by introducing children to foreign cultures and languages. A multilingual author, musician, and voice artist, Burke has created this delightfully entertaining and educational movie-length collection of 10 different segments all centered around the character of Wordy (voiced by Jenn Reese) and simple, understandable and memorable lessons all tied together by a loose yet surprisingly cohesive narrative starring a live-action Burke, an animated Wordy, and a host of other imaginative characters. 

The action is guided by Wordy, a young dictionary who embarks on a round-the-world journey via songs, vibrant graphics, and lighthearted stories acted out by Burke and his cast of characters including Cloudy, Gizma, Blink, Crash, and Blue Cat. Kicking off in France, Burke takes Wordy through a relentlessly delightful back-and-forth lesson through basic French that also imparts lessons in manners before traveling through Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Italian with the Chinese segment, in particular, also being quite memorable and beautifully realized. 

Hey Wordy! is an endlessly infectious and spirited collection that does a wonderful job of educating children without talking down to them, while also bringing to life surprisingly complex yet accessible songs that will likely have your children singing a variety of songs around the house in languages that will leave you shaking your head going "How did they know that?" 

Trust me, they'll remember it. I'm sitting here having to re-edit myself because I keep singing the songs myself. 

Seriously. 

As a host, Burke is an absolute joy. He's clearly lived in this character for a while, because his entire being comes to life with the music and the ways in which he sways with the animation. The film won a Parents' Choice Award in 2017 and is just getting started on the film fest circuit before looking at distribution options. It's a collection that should certainly have no problem finding a home on the indie fest circuit, especially those seeking family films, and it's hard to picture a distributor not snapping up this kid affirming, globally aware film that is beautifully animated, wonderfully acted and featuring songs that every kid and parent will love. 

For more information on Hey Wordy!, visit the film's website linked to in the credits. You'll definitely be glad you did.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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