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BANGARANG! is a Rufio-Centric HOOK Prequel Short

Almost three decades after Steven Spielberg and Robin Williams brought us a fat, corporate lawyer Peter Pan and a mohawk-rocking Lost Boy leader, the kid who brought Rufio to life has created a short film that explains how Roofus (Sheadan Gabriel) went from scrawny kid to Bangarang-crowing badass.

Co-written and directed by Jonah Feingold (the guy behind the Wes Anderson Force Awakens trailer), Bangarang is a sweet–if not sometimes schmaltzy–prequel to Hook with a lot of love baked into it. Roofus and his friends love to play pirate, but a leather jacket-wearing bully named Sid (Tyler Ross) threatens to kick their butts if they don’t kick themselves off the playground. At home, Roofus has to deal with the looming spectre of foster care, but he’s also got big dreams. In them, he can fly.

Bangarang is the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign led by original Rufio, Dante Basco, who executive produced and also acted in the short. His playing the supportive principal who nurtures Roofus’s big dreams and gives them homework of reading Peter Pan adds a touch of playfulness, not only for nostalgia’s sake, but also to toy with the timeline in a natural, cyclical way. He’s a totally different character, but we get a glimpse at what Rufio would have looked like (and the job he might have had) if he’d grown up.

It’s a worthwhile throwback that lets us see the scared boy hiding his insecurities behind red hair dye and bravado from Hook overcome a bully with a touch of magic and belief.

Would you want to see more?

Image: Feingold Films

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