Film review: Swallows and Amazons (out on 19 August 2016)

Swallows and Amazons is a pleasant upcoming family film for this Summer to add to the list of great great movies released or due to be released soon (Finding Dory & Piper, The Secret Life of Pets ….). The enchanting film will be in cinemas from 19 August. It brings to life the classic novel by Arthur Ransome, telling the tale of the Walker children’s summer holiday in the Lake District, sailing, camping and fishing.

Swallows and Amazons film Boat

The story

Swallows And Amazons follows four children dreaming of escape from the tedium of a summer holiday in the Lake District with their mother. When finally given permission to camp on their own on a remote island in the middle of a vast lake, they are overjoyed. But when they get there they discover they may not be alone… As a desperate battle for ownership of the island ensues, the real dangers of an adult world on the brink of war encroach on their paradise in the form of a mysterious pair of Russian spies hot on the tail of the enigmatic Jim Turner. As the sleepy British summer is turned on its head, the children must learn skills of survival, responsibility, and the all-important value of friendship. Steeped in the wonder of a child’s imagination and set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Lakes, this is an exhilarating adaptation of a treasured classic.


The trailer

London Mums’ rating: 7/10

It’s a good and fun British family film with the right pace throughout. It is engaging both for children as well as parents, filled with lots of realistic adventure and inspiring for modern kids who often think that the best type of entertainment is playing video games. Hopefully films like this will inspire a generation to go outdoor and explore the world in a more adventurous way. What I also enjoyed about this movie is that it’s traditionally shot in 2D with no special effect with maybe one exception (the landing place scene). It was relaxing and refreshing from that point of view. After a year filled with lots of magnificent 3D films full of special effects, seeing a ‘normal’ movie is quite different and enjoyable. Even my 9 year old son loved it and found it relaxing for a change. There should be more family comedies like this which are free from swearwords, sex, drugs and violence.

swallows and amazons film poster

A very British landscape

New research has recently discovered that millions of parents are struggling to find the time to teach their children basic skills including how to boil an egg (24%), tie a tie (26%) or climb a tree (24%). Researchers found that just 1 in 5 have taught their children to put up a tent, 1 in 10 how to fish and only 12% how to repair a puncture – despite the fact that 77% admit their children would like to take part in more outdoor activities.

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Almost half the nation’s mums and dads (44%) are too stretched with punishing work schedules and mounting household chores to make sure their children are being taught essential life skills, with 9% admitting they can only find quality time on the family’s annual holiday. Sadly, this leaves a huge 78% of parents feeling guilty that they do not have the time to teach these bygone skills, particularly fathers (over 4 in 5).

17% of parents are forced to rely on others – teachers, activity groups or grandparents – to teach these skills, with a quarter assuming their child will work it out for themselves and 75% hoping they’ll learn from friends. The study also discovered that 43% had started to teach their children these skills, only to fail to follow it through.


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When it comes to spending time together as a family, 76% of parents feel the family relationship would improve if they did more together. Going for a walk, eating a meal and cosying up to watch a film together were considered the top things to do as a family, compared to surfing the internet and playing computer games which take away from time together.

In response, the upcoming film Swallows and Amazons makers STUDIOCANAL have collaborated with Visit England to create a free activity and adventure tips website for parents.

The new website gives tips on all the activities you see in the film and more – the best places to sail, picnic and camp, where to walk barefoot, climb a tree, build the best sandcastle and even where and how to track wild animals – all the ingredients families need to embark on their own adventure this Summer, inspired by Swallows and Amazons.


Swallows And Amazons will be released in UK cinemas on 19 August 2016.

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