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Pony And Birdboy

Original Title: Puluboin ja Ponin Leffa

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Pony and Birdboy tells the story of a spirited seven-year-old girl named Pony, who doesn’t want to go to school. Her imaginary friend Birdboy is there to help get her through the first day and give her lots of fun tips for life. The movie is partly based on Veera Salmi’s children’s book “The Book of Pony and Birdboy” (2012), which became a popular favorite in Finland. Teaser:

Technical Information

2018; Finland; Family; 72 minutes; 1.33:1 (4:3); Original Language: Finnish; Subtitles: English


Mari Rantasila


Hannamaija Matila ja Veera Salmi


Timo Heinänen


Hanna Kuirinlahti


Markku Kanerva


Elina Pohjola


Heidi Laitinen


Aapo Puusti


Jenni Lausi

Mother Maria

Anna-Maija Tuokko

Father Matti

Santtu Karvonen

Principal Teppo

Seppo Halttunen

Therapist Tarja Tuska

Jaana Pesonen


Mari Rantasila is a Finnish film director, actress and singer. Her works include over 50 roles in television and film, eight albums and numerous prizes. Recently she has been focusing more and more on directing. Mari’s latest works as a director include three very popular and successful children films telling the story of a young boy Ricky Rapper.



Oct 24 – Nov 03 (in competition)


Oct 01 – 07 (in competition)

4/5 Sampo Bergman, Film-O-Holic

‘Pony and Birdboy is an energic offering communicating well to its target audience of pre-schoolers. The film speaks understandingly and encouragingly with the voice of the main character and reflects the fears, expectations and doubts of starting school. The familiar subject is given a broader interpretation, with the challenges of growing up set against the limitless world of playing and imagination.



4,5/5 avainta Heli Metsätähti, Koko perheen leffablogi

‘Pony and Birdboy provides excellent peer support for those who are starting school and generally for children both big and small.’

‘Through the film adults can easily empathize with the emotional world of a child.’


Koko perheen leffablogi

4/5 Joonas Tanskanen, Karjalan Heili (print only)

‘The playful rhythm creates a film that is fresh in both its style and execution. Other Finnish films should learn from this attitude. The film speaks for playfulness and a cheerfully anarchistic attitude.’


4,5/5 Jukka L. Savolainen,

‘The funny and thought-provoking story of Salmi gets a lively and sympathetic treatment through Rantasila’s direction.’


4/5 Heikki Ikonen, Hämeen Sanomat (print only)

‘The film heart-warmingly deals with essentially serious topics: growing pains and the challenges of parenting.

‘Jenni Lausi plays a challenging role magnificently, requiring seamless expression of an array of emotions.’


4/5 Sanna Heinonen, Kainuun Sanomat (print only)

‘Pony and Birdboy is moving and makes you laugh. … It’s an ode to playing and imagination.’


4/5 Janne Kaakko, Aamulehti / Satakunnan Kansa / Ilkka / Pohjalainen

‘ … We adults could learn a lot from Pony and Birdboy. Life is much more fun when you loosen up a bit and give yourself a permission to play. On top of that, a couple of buns and aromatic farts and everything will be just fine.’


4/5 Aliisa Ristmeri, HS Lasten Uutiset

‘Pony and Birdboy reminds us that you can have a successful friendship with anyone: you just have to understand and accept the others.’


HS Lasten Uutiset

4/5 Taika Dahlblom, Helsingin sanomat

‘Rantasila’s biggest success in this film is the casting and directing of actors. Aapo Puusti creates his role as Birdboy by moving his body expressively making the fantastic character of ‘Pigeon’ from the books come magically and credibly alive. Other actors also excel in their roles, especially Seppo Halttunen as the grumpy principal. 

‘Pony and Birdboy is an ode to the power of imagination and the use of creativity in everyday situations.’


Helsingin sanomat

5/5 Päivi Valotie, Turun Sanomat (print only)

‘A lively, heart-warming and funny children’s film that reminds the younger and especially older viewers that it’s important to play no matter how old you are. … Aapo Puusti as Birdboy is phenomenal!’