Watch Kids' Reviews of
AMERICAN GIRL, AN: MCKENNA SHOOTS FOR THE STARS

What to know: American Girl McKenna comes to life in this modern-day adventure about a determined gymnast who must focus on her strengths to overcome challenges and find a way to believe in herself again.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 5-18
95 minutes
DVD
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
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AMERICAN GIRL, AN: MCKENNA SHOOTS FOR THE STARS cover image Click to play video trailer
I really like this movie because it's a story about friendship and working hard to achieve your dreams. This film is an adaptation of the American Girl "McKenna" stories by Mary Casanova and is about a girl named McKenna Brooks, played by Jade Pettyjohn, who is trying to balance the pressures of her life: family, friends, school, and gymnastics. McKenna's favorite gymnastics event is the balance beam, and the balance beam is a metaphor for the balance we all try to find in our lives. McKenna has many setbacks while working hard to qualify for the regional competitive gymnastics team. She has trouble in school and has to be tutored. She's very embarrassed by her tutor, Josie, played by Kerris Dorsey, and doesn't want her friends to find out. She also struggles with her friendship with her best friend, Toulane, played by Ysa Penarejo, and doesn't always want to listen to her gymnastics coach. Coach Isabelle is played by Cathy Rigby, the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in gymnastics. McKenna's parents, played by Ian Ziering and Nia Vardalos, and teacher, Mr. Wu, played by George Chiang, are very supportive of her. McKenna has difficult choices to make, but chooses to support her friends and her friends support and inspire her as well. She learns many lessons in this film. She learns that it's OK to ask for help when she needs it, to accept others despite their differences, and to overcome her fears and work toward her dream one step at a time. My favorite scene in this film is when Toulane is sleuthing around to see what McKenna is really up to, leaving class early and going to the library. I really like this scene because it's funny and Toulane incorporates gymnastics into her sleuthing. My favorite character in this film is Josie. I like Josie because she really believes in McKenna during their tutoring sessions and is also very kind to her. This movie was filmed in Winnipeg, Canada and the screenplay was written by Jessica O'Toole and Amy Rardin. Vince Marcello directed "McKenna Shoots for the Stars" and Steven Brown, Deborah Martin Chase, and Gaylyn Fraiche produced this film. The music in this movie was very catchy and had me singing along! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because overall it's very well done and has positive messages. I recommend this film for girls ages five through twelve. Reviewed by Camille Bajema (age 10), KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
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American Girl McKenna comes to life in this modern-day adventure about a determined gymnast who must focus on her strengths to overcome challenges and find a way to believe in herself again.
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Kid Critic video review by
CAMILLE BAJEMA
Kid Critic video review by
CAMILLE BAJEMA

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