Albertine Cinémathèque’s April Recommendations for Young Cinephiles

Cousteau on a boat

Becoming Cousteau (National Geographic)

By Nathalie Charles, Program manager, CinéSchool
When it comes to finding French films or TV shows for kids to watch, the number of programs available on streaming platforms in the US can be overwhelming. That's why, each month, CinéSchool program manager and all-around film expert Nathalie Charles puts together a list of the top French content for kids and teens that is available online. While some films or series are pure entertainment, others are designed to share useful educational concepts, and more still are great for the whole family to enjoy! So, what's on this month as we celebrate Earth Day and our beautiful planet?
Girl jumping with a cat in Paris

April and the Extraordinary World (Gkids)

April and the Extraordinary World (Avril et le monde truqué)
Directed by Franck Ekinci and Christian Desmares, 2015, 1h45, PG / recommended for ages 9+

Paris, 1941. A family of scientists is on the brink of discovering a powerful longevity serum when, all of a sudden, a mysterious force abducts them, leaving their young daughter April behind. Ten years later, April lives alone with her dear cat, Darwin, and carries on her family’s research in secret. But she soon finds herself at the center of a shadowy and far-reaching conspiracy and on the run from government agents, bicycle-powered dirigibles, and cyborg rat spies. Undaunted, she continues her quest to find her parents and discover the truth behind their disappearance. 

Available on iTunes | GooglePlay | AmazonPrime | Vudu | YouTube | Redbox | Microsoft

animals in classroom

Ozie Boo! Save The Planet (Cyber Group Studios)

Ozie Boo! Save The Planet (Ozie Boo ! Protège ta planète)
Preschool TV show / Recommended for ages 2+

A soft and entertaining introduction to ecology for preschoolers with an optimistic touch and high-quality, real world images. The Ozie Boo Team goes to school like all children around of the world… but their school is the Nature School. The “Ozie School,” built completely out of ice and ice cubes, with frozen benches and pristine desks, is the North Pole school where Nelly, Ned, Fred, Ted, and Ed, our energetic and curious little penguins, ask the same questions all children ask, with four major themes: pollution, natural resources and the climate, species in danger, and protection of the planet.

Available on AmazonPrime | Roku Channel | YouTube Channel | Tivi5 Monde

Becoming Cousteau

Becoming Cousteau (National Geographic)

Becoming Cousteau
By Liz Garbus, Documentary, 2021, 1h34, PG-13 / Recommended for ages 14+ (brief strong language, some disturbing images)

Adventurer, filmmaker, inventor, author, unlikely celebrity and conservationist: For over four decades, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his explorations under the ocean became synonymous with a love of science and the natural world. As he learned to protect the environment, he brought the whole world with him, sounding alarms more than 50 years ago about the warming seas and our planet’s vulnerability.

Available on Disney+ 

reindeers in snow

Aïlo: Une odyssée en Laponie

A Reindeer’s Journey (Aïlo : Une odyssée en Laponie)
Directed by Guillaume Maidatchevsky, 2018, 1h20, PG / recommended for ages 8+

Meet Ailo, a newborn reindeer who embarks on an incredible odyssey with the help of his mother. Narrated by Donald Sutherland and set against the frozen majesty of northern Finland, their journey is an uplifting story for the whole family.

Available on Vudu | TubiGooglePlay | AmazonPrime | iTunesMicrosoft | FuboTV | Crackle | Plex | Redbox

A red turtle in the sea closed to a man

The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle (La Tortue rouge)
Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, 2016, 1h20, PG, Belgium-France-Japan / recommended for ages 9+

This masterfully animated fantasy film tells the story of a man, shipwrecked at sea, who becomes stranded on a beautiful but desolate island. He learns to live in isolation, seemingly tormented in his efforts to escape the island by a giant red turtle. Miraculously, he soon comes upon a young woman also lost at sea and they create a family together.

Available on Vudu | GooglePlay | AmazonPrimeYouTube | Microsoft | iTunes | Spectrum

a ladybug and black ant

Minuscule, Valley of the Lost Ants (Futurikon)

Minuscule, Valley of the Lost Ants (Minuscule – La vallée des fourmis perdues)
Directed by Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo, 2013, 1h29, France-Belgium / Recommended for all ages

In a peaceful little valley, the remains of an abandoned picnic sparks warfare between two tribes of rival ants. At stake: a box of sugar. So when a bold young ladybug finds herself caught in the middle of the battle, she befriends one the black ants, Mandible, whom together must protect the anthill from the encroaching red ant warriors, led by the fearful Butor.

Available on iTunes | AmazonPrime | YouTube | Microsoft | Vudu | GooglePlay