Growing up is a common theme in films. On the one hand, we have a story of adults who never grow up. In Jamie Brindle’s Street Ships, he goes the other way with the theme of holding on to your childhood.
Street Ships is about two childhood neighbors, Alex and Jenna. As small children, Alex’s father opens their young imaginations by introducing them to toy blocks and castles. And in a brief montage, we see the two growing in age and in imagination, leaning toward the pirate world. As older teens, they build a pirate ship out of an old car and “sail” off for adventure.
“As older teens, they build a pirate ship out of an old car and “sail” off for adventure.“
Cut to today, Alex is just out of college (just guessing) and his father is dead (again, I’m just guessing). Walking down the driveway of his childhood him, Alex sees his old car still made up to look like a pirate ship. Looking over his should he sees Jenna in her pirate outfit leading a full pirate crew on her ship/car. The car’s exhaust creates an ocean mist. With a little pirate taunting, she goads Alex into assembling his own crew.
Imagination abounds as we gaze on an animated armada on the open seas, intercut with dozens of pirate cars driving through the town square. Ship against ship. Car against car. All this leads to a sword fight between captains Alex and Jenna.
At 17 minutes, Street Ships beautifully captures the childlike imagination we still hold inside as adults and the joyful whimsy of friendship and rivalry. The best part is just how cool it was to see an entire town square filled with pirate ships and to wonder how no one is getting injured in this battle. And for just a few seconds, I thought the CG-animation was real. It ends with a button about passing on imagination to the next generation.
Street Ships (2019) Directed by Jamie Brindle. Written by John O.S. Houston. Starring Stephen Todt, Kanani Rose, Mike McKee. Street Ships made its World Premiere at the 2019 Dances With Films.
8 out of 10 stars