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10 year old Lea Clark (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) loves his brother Zac. He comes home for a visit with his new girlfriend Paula Ferreira. He is going back to Brazil to pursue poachers. He doesn't tell anyone except Lea. When he goes missing, Lea and her mother go down to Brazil to search for him. Lea drags Paula to follow Zac's trail into the jungle where they are helped by native girl Aki and her tribe.
This seems to be a mishmash of shooting locations. Some of the exterior actually looks like Brazil although apparently, it's mostly shot in South Africa. It simply looks fake a lot of the times. Authenticity is a big problem for this movie. Aki is oddly racially insensitive and I really don't know about the tribe. It feels too much like dress up. The movie could have added authenticity with more Portuguese but I can understand that this doesn't want too much subtitle. It would have made more sense to rewrite the thing for South Africa if that's where it's filmed. It's not like it's Shakespeare. Lea could have gone on a safari. Lea is too brash and Paula is too high maintenance. The combination is supposed to be humorous. None of this is actually funny unless pineapples get funnier. There is some allowance to be made since this is a kiddie movie although it has pretentions of being serious like many of the American Girl movies. There is much too much conveniences in the plot. When the mom hangs up on Lea, there's no reason why Lea wouldn't call her back. The writing is not thought all the way through. It gets a bit too dangerous for a kiddie story. The production is not good and the movie struggles.
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