When ’80s babies and the young at heart think back on Steven Spielberg’s wildly inventive 1991 riff on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, “Hook,” there is one character whose tough-guy bravado and eventual softening charm they remember: Rufio. While Robin Williams’ grown-up Peter and Dustin Hoffman’s wily Captain Hook anchored the classic, it was the flame red mohawk and mischievous smile of the young Dante Basco that captured the hearts of burgeoning young movie lovers the world over. With “Bangarang,” the de facto leader of the lost boys gets his very own origin story, and it’s fittingly adorable.
The short film finds young Roofus (Sheaden Gabriel) hassled by a bully and anxious about his mother’s impending departure to the Philippines. Roofus will go into foster care while she is gone, and she has no set return date. Basco plays a concerned principal, who gives Roofus the extra confidence boost he needs to face his demons. When he begins having dreams that he can fly, he must prove his skills to his playground comrades and himself.
“Bangarang” was directed by Jonah Feingold, who co-wrote the script with Jeremy Mittleman. It was executive produced by Basco, who leant his support to a Kickstarter campaign that helped the film find funding. Check it out below: