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MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN stars 13-year-old Eccles as a young man who admires Henry David Thoreau. Emulating his hero, Sam runs away to live in the Canadian woodlands, leaving a note telling his parents that he will return in one year. Taking some equipment and his pet raccoon, Gus, he makes
himself a home in a hollow tree, learns various survival methods, and teaches himself about falconry. He also meets a wandering folk singer (delightfully played by Theodore Bikel) who teaches the boy more woodland lore. In the process of learning about life in the wilderness, he also learns much
about himself and his relationship with his family. The film is both entertaining and educational; Sam's day-to-day life in the woods, inventiveness, and pluck are nicely portrayed and completely believable. Bikel and Wiggins lend good support, although the raccoon definitely steals the show.
Intelligently made, with respect for its subject, MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN is good family viewing that will delight kids and interest grown-ups as well.