Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Zip and Zap in a submarine

The fact that I found Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island to be not only utterly delightful but also exciting and funny is of only partial use to you, as I, dear reader, am but a mom, not a kid. And do not let the fact that the movie is partly about how even though parents kind of suck in a lot of ways, we do in fact provide the public service of saying no from time to time to prevent you from growing up to be a megalomaniacal tyrant who, say, captures families and turns the parents into children and then chases them with an octopus-shaped submarine, to choose a random example, make you think I’m biased. I think we can all agree that movies with that message usually suck worse than parents.

But since my word is of dubious value on this matter, allow me to bring in a guest writer: my 10-year-old son. Son, take it away.


Come follow two mischievous kids, Zip and Zap on a magical and funny adventure. It all starts when the two kids accidentally burn down a toy shop. Zip and Zap think it’s no big deal. The parents, on the other hand, are furious, and they decide to give punishments by taking away Christmas.

Their parents take them to a mysterious island for the dad’s publisher to look over his work when a rain storm hits! They find an orphanage, and the butler invites them in to stay for the night. This orphanage is no regular orphanage. It has a red carpet staircase and ivy walls with a painting of book characters and the big dining hall of a rich family. Miss Pam, a joyful, playful woman, doing things like dancing down the red staircase and booping parents on the nose, is the head of all the orphanage. The kids don’t have to obey any rules. Zip and Zap think that this is how it should be. The parents, however, dislike this place. They think it’s crazy that the kids should be doing whatever they want.

In the morning, Zip and Zap wake up to an unpleasant surprise. Their parents have left them! Miss Pam claims that the children weren’t being good enough and they just couldn’t take it. Zip and Zap are mad and indignant that their parents would have left them, but they are amazed that they get to stay in this orphanage of wonders. But within a day, Zip and Zap are suspicious of the orphanage. After that, there’s a series of small fun adventures, each one seeming more exciting and thrilling than the last, with little key details like a nun who seems unbelievably sweet until you cross with her, and then you might as well kiss your guitar goodbye, or a hunter who will stop at nothing to get a mysterious gorilla, as well as secret adventures to get keys, find boats, and to get their parents back. This is nothing but a great movie.

{Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island screens at SIFF Saturday, June 3 at 1:00 PM at Ark Lodge Cinemas}