What My Kids Thought of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Popular request: Movie review post with spoilers for new movies that might have some scary parts for younger kids. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of those movies that has people wondering what agee it’s good for. Hopefully this updated review helps! Want a spoiler-free Shang-Chi review with my thoughts? Check this post out first. 

shang-chi review

I loved Shang-Chi so much that I bought tickets to take the whole fam (minus Lee Lee) to see it opening week during a matinee (perks of homeschooling!). As I suspected, the kids also enjoyed it, but a few recurring comments stood out. 

‘Shang-Chi’ Review

1. Subtitles

Needing to help read the subtitles for kiddos with a learning difference. Both of our kids had a little trouble keeping up with the words so each of us had to help fill in the gaps. For the most part they were still able to keep up with the plot. This said, I loved all of the Mandarin used in the film and in a Marvel press conference, creators explained how intentional the different accents were, as well as their use of “speaking ABC.”

“They called it out and ABC, of course, means American born Chinese,” Simu Liu explained. “But it’s just this-this-the first time that you really see in a movie. Someone just calling out, you know, a lived experience.”

Shang-chi review from a kids perspective
Katy (Awkwafina) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

2. Sisu

My 8-year-old son IMMEDIATELY recognized Katy’s (Awkwafina) voice as “Sisu” and would not let that go the entire movie. 

3. “Just friends” 

Jayda, my 11-year-old daughter, loved Katy’s character, and at the end had the same appreciation and curiosity about her relationship with Shang-Chi. Are they just friends, or could there be more? 

“Callahan, and I were creating this relationship, we actually have a lot of friends who are not the same gender as us,” Director, Destin Daniel Cretton said. “It is strictly platonic, but also very intimate, caring, and we haven’t seen a lot of that on screen, and-and we’re really excited to-to create that relationship between Shang-Chi and Katy. It also just naturally felt like the only way to go with this movie because Shang-Chi is so deep in his own inner struggle.”

We loved the strong women characters in this film and seeing Katy as a friend who could hold her own vs a romantic interest (or just comic relief) was refreshing. 

Alright, enough analyzing, here’s more on what my kids thought of the movie straight from their mouths. Any minor spoilers will be noted. 

A Shang-Chi Review from a Kid’s Perspective

What did you think of the movie?

J: I liked it. I would give it 3 stars out of five. And it’s my new favorite Marvel movie. 

T: I liked it. I told you. 


T: [spoiler] Because there was a big dragon! Well, not only because of that. Because there’s some Avengers in it. 

J: Because it’s a different feel of a Marvel movie. It doesn’t seem like a Marvel movie but I think they changed it for the better. Because I don’t like the stabbing and the gun shootings, and this didn’t have as much of that, so that’s why I like it. 

What was the funniest part to you? 

J: I liked when they were in the arena fighting place and his friend bet against him. And I like when the sister complimented her pants. 

T: Sisu’s voice. I realized that at the beginning.

Is Shang-chi scary for kids
Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Would you recommend it to your friends? 

J: My friends who like Marvel movies a lot, probably. I wouldn’t be telling everyone to go see it but I’d ask my friends if they’ve seen it and say that it’s really good.

T: Yes!! I would recommend this to my friends. 

What lesson did you learn? What message was the movie trying to get across?

J: Don’t choose power over family.  

T: No. 

Who was your favorite character?

J: My favorite character Katy. 

T: The giant good dragon that looks like the Wish Dragon. 

Do you think it’s for other kids? 

J: I feel like the age group would be like 7 and up. Anyone can watch it depends on who you are. 

T: Older obviously. One, if little kids watch it, they’ll get scared of their sister turning evil. Two, if you hear a voice it’s bad. Cause the monster is tricking him to free him. Anyone older than 5 can watch it. 

Did you think it was scary?

J: No 

T: No! I’m not scared of big big monsters because I know they’re not real. 

Would you want to watch it again? 

J: Yea. 

T: YES!! 

How would you rank it compared to other Marvel movies? 

J: It’s my favorite because it doesn’t have that much shooting and stabbing. My favorite before that would be the Spider-Man movies. 

T: That did not seem like a Marvel movie. They usually don’t have big monsters they have Thanos and other bad guys. It was about a guy who met that girl and they got married and have kids. It was like a family story. I liked it more than Dr. Strange. I didn’t like it more than Iron Man One. I liked Shang-Chi more than Spider-Man. Not more than Black Panther. 

What was your favorite part? 

J: [spoiler] I really like when Katy was about to fall but his sister saved her. 

T: [spoiler] When the good dragon fought the bad one. 

What would you rank it out of 10?

J: A 7

T: A 6

Is it worth going to the movies to see/picking it for movie night/paying $30?

J: Yes, you should totally watch in the theaters. I would recommend watching it in the theater. That’s the true experience. 

T: Yes, we should have watched it even earlier. 

Anything else you’d like to add in your Shang-Chi review?

T: It didn’t seem like a Marvel movie. But I liked it. 

J: For me, I don’t like stabbing, bow and arrow, shooting people and stuff like that. For people who don’t like martial arts or kung fu fighting with fists, just be prepared and know it has some of that. I don’t want people to miss out, but I want to warn them.  

I also liked that Katy was also the voice of Sisu. 

Heading to Theaters or Waiting for ‘Shang-Chi’ to be on Disney Plus?

Whether you take the family to see it in theaters (I heard it’s awesome in 3D), or you’re waiting for Shang-Chi to be on Disney Plus, this is definitely one to watch. I imagine Disney will let the Marvel film run in theaters for a month or so then announce when it’ll be coming to Disney Plus, possibly with Premiere Access first. I’ll update this post when I know more.

Did you watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? What did you think?

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