Lester, or Doniel Lesterovirch, is the everyman of Jewish elementary school age kids. He's not looking for trouble but trouble sure finds him - a whole lot of it. While directing his ...
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Lester, or Doniel Lesterovirch, is the everyman of Jewish elementary school age kids. He's not looking for trouble but trouble sure finds him - a whole lot of it. While directing his school's Purim play , Lester gets a knock on the head from a fallen box of puffy paint and falls unconscious - and into another world. Suddenly, he finds himself in the middle of the feast of King Achashverosh, and through a case of 'mistaken' identity, it is Lester who is asked to go summon queen Vashti to the party! Lester is so convincing that Vashti actually decides to go - and by the time Lester realizes what's happened it's too late... a whole new plot has been set in motion. Vashti is not killed, there is no search for a new queen so Esther never comes to the palace, and that leaves nobody to save the Jews from evil Haman! Amidst foot-stomping catchy original songs and a hilarious sub plot involving Bigsan and Seresh's murder schemes, Lester runs all over Shushan trying to stay out of Haman's way ...Written by
... But this has quickly become a Purim classic in our home. Show me another film that does what this one does, in terms of being fun, well-made, and sharing a ton of great messages about Jewish life, and I'd happily share it with my kids. Until then, Lester's all we've got.
This movie features a fairly simple plot - a kid goes back in time and has to put the Purim story back the way it's supposed to be, discovering along the way that Hashem is really the One in charge, and everything will work out according to His plan no matter what we do.
There is an even simpler framing story -- the boys of the local yeshiva high school have to put on a Purim play, or the school risks being shut down by local authorities. I didn't necessarily like the "goyish" characters being cast as enemies, nor do I like the subtext that the authorities are trying to shut down the yeshiva school for lack of "arts" programs -- can't we have a school that excels at Torah AND arts? I feel this dichotomy is too often seen in the Torah world: either our kids get an education that pleases the secular authorities, or they get an education that pleases Hashem. Casting "Haman" as the minister for arts education, or whatever he's called, plays right into this contemporary conflict.
Nonetheless, overlooking those kinds of details, along with the fact that the animation, while great, is nowhere near the level of some of the Pixar or even Veggie Tales movies my kids are used to, there's a ton of fun in this movie, and the songs have become Adar classics around our house.
I seriously wish this team would put out another movie-- not necessarily exactly the same, but something just as fun and creative for another chag. I don't think they have yet, and it's a shame.
Until then -- there's Lester.
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