Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for the 'Feature film' Category

Rise * Heartwarming, Inspirational Story About Family, Sacrifice, Love And Basketball

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Audiences have never seen a story like that of the Antetokounmpos. After emigrating from Nigeria to Greece, Charles and Vera Antetokounmpo (Dayo Okeniyi and Yetide Badaki, respectively) struggled to survive and provide for their five children, while living under the daily threat of deportation. With their oldest son still in Nigeria with relatives, the couple was desperate to obtain Greek citizenship but found themselves undermined by a system that blocked them at every turn. When they weren’t selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, the brothers– Giannis and Thanasis — would play basketball with a local youth team. Latecomers to the sport, they discovered their great abilities on the basketball court and worked hard to become world class athletes, along with brother, Kostas. With the help of an agent, Giannis entered the NBA Draft in 2013 in a long shot prospect that would change not only his life but the life of his entire family. And last season, Giannis and Thanasis helped bring the Milwaukee Bucks their first championship ring in 50 years, while Kostas played for the previous season champs, the Los Angeles Lakers.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “All rise for the heartwarming, inspirational biographical story of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family!  Rise is a story of family, sacrifice, love, and basketball. Perfect for the entire family, the Antetokounmpos’ story is sure to score in the hearts of viewers.” See her full review below.

Rise
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

(L-R): Ral Agada as Thanasis and Uche Agada as Giannis in Disney’s live-action RISE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All rise for the heartwarming, inspirational biographical story of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family!  Rise is a story of family, sacrifice, love, and basketball. Perfect for the entire family, the Antetokounmpos’ story is sure to score in the hearts of viewers. 

Rise follows parents, Charles (Dayo Okeniyi) and Veronica (Yetide Badaki) Antetokounmpo, as they leave their home, and oldest son, in Nigeria due to immigration laws and head to Greece. There the couple struggles to find work and raise their children, Thanasis (Ral Agada), Giannis (Uche Agada), Kostas (Jaden Osimuwa), and Alexandros (Elijah Shomanke). Even though they are struggling to survive and dodging immigration, Giannis and Thanasis take up basketball for a local youth team. They find a passion for the sport and eventually are noticed by scouts, which starts their quest for the NBA … but not without still playing defense against deportation, racism, and laws preventing them from getting work permits.

Yetide Badaki as Vera, Ral Agada as Thanasis, Elijah Sholanke as Alexandros, Uche Agada as Giannis, Dayo Okeniyi as Charles, and Jaden Osimuwa as Kostas in RISE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Patrick Redmond. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

While the movie focuses on the rise of the Antetokounmpo brothers, the entire family is the star of this film. Everyone makes sacrifices in order for Giannis to get drafted into the NBA, which opened doors for his brothers. Every day leading up to the 2013 NBA draft is a challenge to avoid deportation. One wrong move can expose them and send everyone back to Nigeria. The film is an emotional rollercoaster as you follow the Antetokounmpos’ journey from Nigeria to Greece to the NBA. My favorite aspect of the movie is seeing all the sacrifices each family member made for the overall goal. I enjoyed the old-school and hip-hop songs, which will draw in audiences of all ages. The camera angles also help engage viewers and give a close up understanding of the family.

(L-R): Yetide Badaki as Vera and Dayo Okeniyi as Charles in Disney’s live-action RISE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rise is all about family and sacrifice. The family shows what you can accomplish when everyone sticks together. Throughout the film, we see how Charles Antetokounmpo constantly reminds his children that “if one scores, then they all score.” He instills in them the value of family and how they can’t make it by themselves. Considering that Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas became the first trio of brothers to win championships in NBA league history, I would say they understood the assignment.  

Rise is not just for basketball fans … it’s the perfect family movie that is just the inspiration we all need to keep pushing forward. I give Rise 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Rise tips off on Disney+, June 24, 2022.

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Dinosaur Cove * An Enthralling Adventure Film With A Simple, Yet Sweet Plot And High-Quality Cinematography

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Dinosaur Cove is a family adventure film about a boy who discovers dinosaur eggs and must protect them from a crazy scientist.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Dinosaur Cove is an enthralling adventure film with a simple, yet sweet plot and high-quality cinematography. It’s a superb family-friendly film and will certainly entertain dinosaur-lovers!” Maica N. adds, “Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur story? Dinosaur Cove is here to entertain you and widen your imagination. With a fun mystery, interesting characters, and a surprising twist, this movie will have you wondering… could dinosaurs still exist?”

Kendall B. wraps it up with, “Something about this film that really sticks out is the songs. I love their poetic lyrics and the melodies are great too. The scenery and cinematography is really beautiful, specifically the shots of ocean. I love the scene when the dad is driving his boat, because the water looks amazing.” See their full reviews below.

Dinosaur Cove
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Dinosaur Cove is an enthralling adventure film with a simple, yet sweet plot and high-quality cinematography. It’s a superb family-friendly film and will certainly entertain dinosaur-lovers!

The film follows Riley Harrison (Brayden Eaton), an adventurous young boy. Riley discovers pteranodon eggs in the town where his grandfather lives, aptly named Dinosaur Cove. With the help of Dr. Theresa Starr (Holly Houk), he must protect them from a mad scientist named Dr. Victor Vandersaurian (James Pilachowski) and get them to safety. Throughout his journey, he strengthens old bonds, especially with his writer father Wyatt Harrison (Jared Withrow), whom he has grown distant from after his mother’s passing.

Director Daniel Knudsen hits another home run with Dinosaur Cove. It’s evident he’s coached the talented actors very well — they deliver dialogues naturally and emote organically. The script by Derrick Steele is also wonderful; there are no stilted scenes where dialogue feels unnatural. I also love Knudsen’s cameo in the film as egg expert Terrance Walker. The cinematography is incredible and I especially love the ending shot of pteranodons flying across the horizon at sunset. It’s easy for a romantic subplot to be underdeveloped in an indie film, but the subtle romance between Wyatt Harrison and Dr. Theresa Starr is one of the most heartwarming parts of the film and provides for superb character development, especially in the case of Wyatt, who is recovering from the loss of his wife just a year ago. Jared Withrow and Holly Houk do justice to their roles.

Dinosaur Cove promotes always doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. It also emphasizes teamwork and protecting the vulnerable. It truly is a film with great, family-friendly messages.

I give Dinosaur Cove 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8-125, plus adults. Dinosaur Cove released on June 1, 2022 on digital.

Dinosaur Cove
Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur story? Dinosaur Cove is here to entertain you and widen your imagination. With a fun mystery, interesting characters, and a surprising twist, this movie will have you wondering… could dinosaurs still exist?

Dinosaur Cove is about a young boy named Riley (Brayden Eaton) who moves with his dad Jared (Wyatt Harrison) to his grandfather’s house after his mom passes away. While they are there, Jared is busy working on a book and Riley is running into trouble. After seeing something that he thinks is a dinosaur, he has to prove that what he saw was real, and then protect it from an evil scientist.

Although the CGI isn’t the best, it really helps enhance the plot of the movie. The images of the dinosaurs and the eggs allow the viewers to visualize what it would be like to live amongst dinosaurs. There aren’t many dinosaur movies aimed at younger children being released, so Dinosaur Cove is really refreshing. It’s a clean and entertaining movie that kids can enjoy. However, although its focus is younger children, there is a deeper meaning and a thicker storyline as Jared is grieving the loss of his wife and Riley’s mom. It also shows the process of moving on, and how resilience is a key part of life. This creates a part of the story that older audiences may relate to. At some points of the film, the audio track is uneven, which can be distracting. Nevertheless, Dinosaur Cove is a humorous and action packed movie that will be enjoyed by kids and families.

The message of Dinosaur Cove is that being open-minded can lead you to something amazing. If you rule something out too quickly, you could be missing out on a significant opportunity.

I rate Dinosaur Cove 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 11. Dinosaur Cove is available now on Digital, so make sure you check it out!

Dinosaur Cove
By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Dinosaur Cove is an exhilarating and fun new film that younger children will love! It has great characters and a story that is equally fun. The dinosaurs add the perfect amount of fantasy to the story.

The storyline follows Riley (Brayden Eaton), his dad and his grandpa who have just moved to Dinosaur Cove! As soon as he arrives he finds a creature (a dinosaur) obviously. But the problem is, nobody except for his best friend, Savannah (Addilyn Houk), believes him. Little does he know there’s an evil scientist that wants to capture the dinosaur. Can Riley keep his new friend safe?

Something about this film that really sticks out is the songs. I love their poetic lyrics and the melodies are great too. The scenery and cinematography is really beautiful, specifically the shots of ocean. I love the scene when the dad is driving his boat, because the water looks amazing. But by far my favorite scene is earlier in the film, when one of Riley’s new friends hits a golf ball into a man’s window, hands the golf club to Riley and runs away.

The message of Dinosaur Cove is that teamwork is great. The kids work together in many different situations, but it’s not just the kids. The adults also help out in some circumstances. One thing to be aware of is the use of a tranquilizer gun and the fact that the kids go exploring a lot without telling their parents and, in a few cases, end up in dangerous situations as a result.

I give Dinosaur Cove 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Dinosaur Cove is available now on digital platforms.

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Brian and Charles * All The Quintessential Elements Of A Perfect Friendship Film

Saturday, June 25th, 2022

Brian And Charles follows Brian, a lonely inventor in rural Wales, who spends his days building quirky, unconventional contraptions that seldom work. Undeterred by his lack of success, Brian attempts his biggest project yet. Three days, a washing machine, and various spare parts later, he’s invented Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and has an obsession with cabbages. What follows is a humorous and entirely heartwarming story about friendship, family, finding love, and letting go.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Hanadie K., comments, “Brian and Charles has all the quintessential elements of a perfect friendship film. Jim Archer makes his directorial feature debut in this quirky British comedy in which an eclectic cast does a spectacular job demonstrating the very real ebbs and flows of true companionship.” See her full review below.  

Brian and Charles
By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Brian and Charles has all the quintessential elements of a perfect friendship film. Jim Archer makes his directorial feature debut in this quirky British comedy in which an eclectic cast does a spectacular job demonstrating the very real ebbs and flows of true companionship. Despite some significantly low moments in their friendship, including an explosive argument, Brian and Charles remind us that true friendship never dies; it only strengthens through adversity.

Brian and Charles’ friendship has an unconventional origin. Brian (David Earl) is an isolated inventor in Wales who specializes in weird inventions. Despite his passion, his interventions often flop. Driven by depression and loneliness, Brian builds a robot using a washing machine and spare parts lying around his home. Charles is clunky yet charming. He is obsessed with cabbage, uses the dictionary to learn English, and loves socializing, dancing, and adventures.

Actor Chris Hayward plays Charles on the set of director Jim Archer’s BRIAN AND CHARLES, a Focus Features release. Credit: Will Davies / Focus Features

In this film, Brian, played by David Earl, has finally invented the cure for his loneliness. What he doesn’t anticipate is that Charles, played by Chris Hayward, is much more of a free spirit than he is. Despite their dance parties, pillow fights, and mutual love for cabbage, Charles deeply desires to see the world, while Charles is content with a quaint and straightforward life in Wales.

One of my favorite parts of the film was watching Charles dance in a hula skirt and beg to go to Honolulu. Their competing wishes ultimately become the source of tension in their friendship. While the film centers on Brian and Charles, Louise Brealey’s performance as Hazel, Brian’s love interest, is worth mentioning. Their awkward yet sweet interactions between her and Brian give the film comedic relief.

(L to R) David Earl stars as Brian and Chris Hayward stars as Charles in director Jim Archer’s BRIAN AND CHARLES, a Focus Features release. Credit Courtesy of Focus Features

Brian and Charles reminds us that sometimes “friend” is actually another word for family, and sometimes loving someone means letting them go. Brian and Charles’ friendship survived heated disagreements, conflicting visions, and even a kidnapping. But, ultimately, they proved that the love would never fade no matter the distance between them.

I give Brian and Charles 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to18, plus adults. Brian and Charles  releases in theaters June 17, 2022.

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Legend of Oro Arrowhead * A Balance Of Mystery, Suspense And Action, This Film Is A Must-See For All Action-Film Lovers

Friday, June 24th, 2022

Ancient folklore speaks of a shaman who was given a golden arrowhead with the magical gift of truth and vitality. Deemed too dangerous by the tribe elders, it was hidden away for all time. Now, a power – hungry small-town mayor is bent on unearthing the arrowhead at all costs and a Ranger and a daughter of the Cherokee tribe are all that stand in her way.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Get ready for the adventure of your life when you experience Legend of Oro Arrowhead! A balance of mystery, suspense and action, this film is a must-see for all action-film lovers. The acting and storyline bring out the best of each of these elements.”  Ashleigh C. adds, “Legend of Oro Arrowhead is an adventurous film that reminds me of classic Indiana Jones movies. I love movies that have you asking so many questions; it adds to the mystery of the film. My favorite scenes are with Gola (Vanessa Ore).” Mikella G. wraps it up with, “Legend of Oro Arrowhead is an intense attention-grabbing film. It’s action-packed and filled with suspense. Plus, it’s historically informative.” See their full reviews below.

Legend of Oro Arrowhead
By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Get ready for the adventure of your life when you experience Legend of Oro Arrowhead! A balance of mystery, suspense and action, this film is a must-see for all action-film lovers. The acting and storyline bring out the best of each of these elements.

Jim Powell (Stephen Thompson) visits his childhood house when his father dies to spend some time with his father’s friends. When he arrives, however, he finds some strange objects throughout the house that lead him to believe his father’s death might have been more than a heart attack. He digs deeper and deeper, despite receiving many warnings to stop the pursuit, eventually realizing there’s no way to back out. And now he’s in just as much danger as his father was.

Legend of Oro Arrowhead has an excellent plot. The storyline is filled with unexpected twists and turns, with the suspense keeping you on the edge of your seat. Even friends and family that seem like allies are suspect, because the enemy has eyes everywhere. With every break in suspense, friendships and romance are developed even further. Stephen Thompson as Jim and Vanessa Ore as Gola pull this off exceptionally well. They’re awkwardly in love at the same time they’re dealing with perilous missions to save themselves and others. In addition, the actors who play the antagonists stand out. Robbie Dernehl as Sable Fade, the cruel, rich woman who will do anything to get her hands on the fabled, powerful arrowhead, excels in her role. Her air of superiority and impatience perfectly combines with her truly evil inner self. While Jim and Gola journey through the woods to find the arrowhead, there are stunning birds-eye views of the forest:  A beautiful clearing, a magnificent waterfall and hundreds of towering trees are just a few of the mind-blowingly gorgeous landscape shots.

The message of Legend of Oro Arrowhead is first and foremost to listen to people you trust. Many family friends warn Jim to mind his business and stay out of the forest, but Jim doesn’t listen—this end up endangering not only him, but also anyone related to him. The film also expresses ideas of friendship, wisdom and bravery. There is a lot of gun violence, and there are some extremely intense scenes.

I give Legend of Oro Arrowhead 4.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Legend of Oro Arrowhead will be available on all major streaming and cable platforms on June 7, 2022.

Legend of Oro Arrowhead 
By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18 

Action and mystery never looked so good! Legend of Oro Arrowhead has an intriguing plot that keeps you on your toes throughout the entire film. 

Legend of Oro Arrowhead follows Jim Powell (Stephen Thompson) who returns to his small hometown after his father dies. After interacting with some of the townspeople he becomes suspicious about how his dad died and why anyone would target him. After some digging for the truth, he unearths his father’s past passion for finding a Native American Arrowhead that foretells the future. However, Jim is not the only one looking for it. Will he be able to find it and avenge his father? 

Legend of Oro Arrowhead is an adventurous film that reminds me of classic Indiana Jones movies. I love movies that have you asking so many questions; it adds to the mystery of the film. My favorite scenes are with Gola (Vanessa Ore). Gola is a strong female character with a stubborn personality and wit. What I found interesting is that there are a lot of learning elements about Native Americans and their history. It always makes a movie more interesting when you can take some new information. The setting of the small town feels welcoming and familiar at first then it becomes the opposite — almost eerie and creepy once the secrets are revealed. Another compelling aspect is that the antagonists are not your typical villains. They seem like just normal people, which is brilliant in my book. The suspense in this film is unmatched; the direction left no plot holes.  The cinematography is clear and has an HD effect. While I love the action in this film, the execution falls a bit short. Some of the stunts are done poorly as well as some of the special effects. This brings down the quality of the rising action. While the plot, story line and characters are great, the cinematography and stunt work fall short.  

The message of Legend of Oro Arrowhead is to stay true to who you are. This film promotes some positive behavior, but it does contain violence and smoking. 

I give Legend of Oro Arrowhead 4 out 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available now on Digital and DVD.

Legend of Oro Arrowhead
By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 16

Legend of Oro Arrowhead is an intense attention-grabbing film. It’s action-packed and filled with suspense. Plus, it’s historically informative.

The storyline starts off as an innocent story about Jim (Stephen Thompson) looking back on the life of his father, who recently passed away. However, as Jim starts to question the cause of his dad’s death, he realizes that there’s a lot more to him than Jim thought. While trying to discover more about his mysterious father, Jim uncovers a whole other side of his dad’s life, and soon finds himself getting roped up into a mess. In this new journey that Jim has entered, he discovers the value of a historic Native American arrowhead, and learns the true meaning of respecting others.

I really enjoyed this film’s storyline, which was intriguing and attention grabbing. All of the running through the woods and fast car escapes are extremely suspenseful and captivating. Furthermore, the structure of the film is really terrific. The way that they incorporate action packed scenes, while still having an intense murder mystery aspect, is really cool. Another thing that stands out to me is the way that Native American history is incorporated into the storyline. The movie really gives insight into the indigenous culture, and why some things are so important. This is informative to me because, although this may be a fictional story, the history taught in the film is based on real facts. Lastly, all the sets and locations are top-notch. Every time the characters are in the forest or woods it feels very realistic, and I feel as if I’m actually there with them. Plus, the use of lighting and sound is great, giving it a feeling of being there.

The message of Legend of Arrowhead is to always respect the lives of others, no matter the cost. This film does have some violent scenes, including the use of guns, knives and harsh weapons.

I give Legend of Arrowhead 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It is available now on streaming networks and DVD.

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On * Handles Life’s Mysteries, Dangers, Grief And Friendships With Wisdom, Grace And Humor

Friday, June 24th, 2022

Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an innovative and extremely moving new film. The importance of inspiring kids to make their voices heard has increased recently and nothing could do a better job of capturing this vital theme than Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”  Madeleine H. adds, “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is a sweet, moving and loving journey into the life of an instantly lovable seashell named Marcel (Jenny Slate). I love how this stop-motion animated film, presented as a documentary, handles life’s mysteries, dangers, grief and friendships with wisdom, grace and humor.” Mikella G. wraps it up with, “The way that Jenny Slate conveys human emotions through voicing a small shell is really outstanding. Although he is tiny, Marcel has so many different layers, and I definitely got chills throughout the film.” See their full reviews below.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
By Kyla C., Age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an innovative and extremely moving new film. The importance of inspiring kids to make their voices heard has increased recently and nothing could do a better job of capturing this vital theme than Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has a simple yet passionate plot following Marcel (Jenny Slate), a shell. Years ago, he and his grandmother, Connie (Isabella Rossellini), were the lone survivors of an unknown disaster. Now, after being discovered as one-inch shells by Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp), his interviews are being viewed by millions of people around the world. Dean makes a documentary about Marcel: how he’s made a life for himself using tennis balls to get around and by living in dollhouses. With this many people behind them, Marcel and Dean set out to find his family.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is everything a great movie should be: emotional, entertaining, funny and suspenseful at times. The primary focus of the film is clearly its emotional impact. Marcel is the perfect character to capture the positive point of view on everything. He makes light of bad times and comedy out of devastation. It’s no wonder he’s a YouTube star! Jenny Slate is a good match for the role in portraying the well-balanced character. The comedic elements go hand in hand with the fantastic acting and entertaining storyline to create the meaningful characters and conflicts. Marcel contributes a lot to the overall entertainment of the movie. The sets, cinematography and lighting do a lot to push the film to its best. Everything matches the mood and tone, creating the perfect atmosphere for the characters. One example of this is when Marcel is hopeful, the set is lit naturally and bright.

The message of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is to cherish family and friends, because in the blink of an eye they could be gone. The film also supports the idea that we should speak up for ourselves and support one another. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On includes many important themes that are passionately expressed throughout. This film does have scenes with fairly intense moments of sadness, but it is definitely a kid- and family-friendly film.

I give Marcel the Shell with Shoes On 4 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. You can view this film in theaters beginning June 24, 2022 and on some streaming platforms beginning June 23, 2022.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On
By Madeleine H. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is a sweet, moving and loving journey into the life of an instantly lovable seashell named Marcel (Jenny Slate). I love how this stop-motion animated film, presented as a documentary, handles life’s mysteries, dangers, grief and friendships with wisdom, grace and humor.

Marcel and his sassy grandmother Connie (Isabella Rossellini) share a big home used as an AirBnB that was once full of friends who have mysteriously disappeared. When a new guest, Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp) arrives, he sets out to document Marcel and help discover what happened to the missing friends.  Dean films the inventive and clever ways that Marcel and Connie go about their lives as shells, from gathering food, traveling about and taking care of each other.  Marcel persuades Dean to share the mysterious loss of his community, which leads to an interview on 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl.  All the attention and celebrity fuss prove to be too much for the aging grandmother as she does her best to convince Marcel she is healthy.  I love how Marcel takes care of Connie. 

Marcel is sweet and caring with a practical approach to solving problems.  He is inventive and optimistic.  And he has a fuzzy pet lint named Alan!  His grandmother, Connie, is at once amused and annoyed by Marcel’s overprotectiveness. They share a unique bond.  The stop-motion animation brings to life these characters in a wonderful, believable way.  They become your friends you care about quickly.  My favorite part is how Marcel travels around the big house with speed and efficiency— in a tennis ball!

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On addresses a variety of life’s challenges with gentle wisdom, quiet grace, and sly humor.  Marcel and Connie learn to adjust to the mysterious disappearance of their community, a house full of friends.  They persevere and seek help from Dean to help solve the mystery while dealing with the new found ”celebrity” attention and the disruption to their peaceful existence.  Marcel is stoic and brave in the face of loss and grateful and welcoming at the sound of emergency.  We would all benefit from walking in Marcel’s shoes!

I give Marcel The Shell With Shoes On 5 out of 5 star and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults.  It opens in theaters June 23, 2022.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On
By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 16

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is a unique, yet emotional film. It creates a whole new perspective on life, while having a very intriguing, yet entertaining feel to it.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On follows a tiny one-inch shell, Marcel (Jenny Slate), who lives in an Airbnb with his Nana (Isabella Rossellini). When a new renter Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp) moves in, he starts a documentary series on YouTube about Marcel’s life. Soon enough, Marcel finds himself gaining millions of views, and he tries to hopefully use this new gained fame to find his lost family.

Something that I really enjoyed about this film is its simplicity. To explain, the structure of the movie purely focuses on Marcel and his way of life. There are no crazy action scenes or extensive sets, yet it is still entertaining and lovely to watch. Another thing that stands out is the picture quality. Everything is very clear and, although Marcel is animated, he feels very life-like in a world filled with live humans. Marcel reminds me of a real-life moving toy, rather than an animated character. That’s how realistic he is. Finally, the way that Jenny Slate conveys human emotions through voicing a small shell is really outstanding. Although he is tiny, Marcel has so many different layers, and I definitely got chills throughout the film.

The message of Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is to always stay true to yourself, and to care for those who care for you.

I give Marcel The Shell With Shoes On 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It release in theaters June 24, 2021.

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