Little Fugitive, is a charming cinematic fable that uses a young boywho ran away from home after shooting his elder brother who is ofcourse faking, to capture and bring back memories of the wonders andjoys of childhood (Phil 11). The junior lad takes refuge in ConeyIsland and makes money in a crowded beach resort by collecting sodapop bottles and returning them in order to get their deposits.
The main characters in this film are Lenny and Joey. These two arebrothers and with their father in Jail and mother on a trip to visita friend, Lenny the elder brother at the age of 11 is leftresponsible of his younger brother Joey, who is seven years old.Richie Andrusco takes the role of Joey Norton, and Richard Brewsteracts as Lennie Norton. General characteristics seen on the two maincharacters are intellectual traits, social traits and self-concept.Intellectual characteristics can be seen through the character Joey,who logically thinks that the right thing to do after shooting hisbrother is to run away from home in order to escape punishment. Asocial trait is seen in both Lenny and Joey whereby Joey wants to beaccepted in his elder brother peer group. However, the older brotherand his peers are not willing to accept him. Lastly, the self-conceptis another trait seen in the film. Joey proves his competent when hefinds means to survive on the beach by collecting deposits for thebottles left lying on the beach.
Anyone who watched this film will agree with me that it is practicalbecause it’s a normal thing for children in middle childhood to runaway from home when things get bad. The way Lenny is portrayed as aresponsible brother and at the same time, his attitude toward hisyounger brother is also realistic. I can very well relate to Lennyand understand the reason he did not want to go play with his youngerbrother. When growing up our next-door neighbor daughter of threeyears could follow me to everywhere I went. At first, it was fun, butit became more of babysitting than having fun, occasionally I had tocut short on a game with my peers to either take her for lunch, shortcall or long call. When it became unbearable, I started avoiding herat all cost.
The two development aspects I have chosen to discuss are socialdevelopment and cognitive development. The age the two maincharacters are at is the middle childhood and at this stage, a lot ofchild development takes place. This is because at this age, the childlearns how to be independent of the parent, gets regular contact withthe external world and places more importance on friendship. Middlechildhood is a critical stage and children at this stage show greatcognitive development changes as well as social changes (Collins 4).They pay more attention to teamwork and friendship and are eager tobe accepted. In addition, there is rapid mental development at thisage. Focusing on our film the “Little Fugitive” cognitivedevelopment can be seen when Joey decides to run away from home toescape punishment. Another instance is when his brother stays at homeand waits for his younger brother or a call from someone telling himwhere he is. Social development is also seen through character Joey,who feels bad that his brother and friends do not want to play withhim, the issue here is peer acceptance.
I have learnt a lot about the middle childhood. Kids at this ageundergo emotional and dramatic social changes. At this age, childrenare more confident and competent making parents place trust in them.We see this when Lenny is left in command by his mother even afterdriving his brother away he still looks for him and finds him.
Collins, W A. Development During Middle Childhood: The Years fromSix to Twelve. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press, 1984.Print.
Phil Hall. Independent Film Distribution. Michael WieseProductions. 2006. Prints