Michael Blowhard points out that Duma--Carroll Ballard's new film--is getting a very limited theatrical release.
I saw Duma at the Tribeca film festival, and I thought it was pretty great--not quite as good as The Black Stallion, but close. It's a beautiful, old-fashioned kid-with-an-animal movie--the animal, in this case, being a cheetah. The "performances" from the cheetahs are amazing in their own right: they're a lot more expressive--not to mention funnier--than most non-dog animal acting. And it's refreshing to see an animal movie that has almost zero CGI.
However, I understand why Warner Bros. may not have wanted to give the movie a big release: the children in the audience had absolutely no capacity to watch it--they were bored and were talking up a storm within minutes. I think kids today are too used to movies like Finding Nemo which are bright and flashy and have something new to look at every single second. Compared to Finding Nemo and other animated kids' features, Duma is paced like a Wener Herzog movie.
A related, although slightly off-topic issue: when did parents stop teaching their kids how to behave at the movies? My parents started bringing me to the movies regularly when I was around 4 (when I saw E.T.). But they let me know that if I wanted to stay and watch the movie, I had to keep quiet. If I didn't, well, that meant no more movies for a long time. But the kids at the "Duma" screening just kept talking and talking, and the parents didn't even try to shush them. I can understand that kids who are used to watching DVDs at home might have trouble adjusting to watching movies in public, but I have a hard time believing that their parents don't know the difference.