Sincere, but fairly outmoded in presentation, Jon Voight's directorial debut is a brave attempt to update and urbanize a Hans Christian Andersen classic. Despite the background noise of chains and switchblades, this sweetie-pie kids film emerges as a throwback to the saccharine vehicles of
Mickey Rooney and Freddie Bartholomew.
Reeling from his dad's untimely death in a brawl, latchkey child Billy (Trenton Knight) has trouble adapting to his new environment, a violence-laden inner city school in a downwardly mobile neighborhood. While his mother (Ally Sheedy) works as a waitress, Billy resists the seductive patter of
gang recruiters like Clyde (Aeryk Egan). Ups...