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Posts Tagged ‘Disney movie reviews’

Incredibles 2 is the most highly anticipated film of 2018.–At least for my family. And last week my son and I finally got a chance to see it. We had to hold our Incredibles 2 review until today to let you know our thoughts. But don’t worry, these will be spoiler-free. We want you to be as surprised as we were.

Normally for Disney movie screenings I bring my daughter. Or if okayed, I bring both of my kids. For Incredibles 2 I had a limit of one guest, so I had the impossible task to choose just one of my kiddos. Since my daughter has come with me to most of these things we thought it would be fair to bring my son for this one.

New Pixar Short Bao Review

Pixar Bao short film review

Before jumping into the movie, we got a warmup with the new Pixar short, Bao. It’s an adorable short film about a mother who’s apparently struggling with her little dumpling er… Son growing up. Several parts that had me laughing out loud then feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I think the message went over my 5-year-old’s head, but he was able to giggle at some parts and follow the humor that’s present for parents and kids alike. Watching the movie as a recovering helicopter parent with my little mamas boy, especially hit home for me. I loved it, but let me know what you think of it!

Incredibles 2 Review: My Thoughts Overall

So while I’ve been waiting 14  years for this sequel, my kids just recently fell in love with the original. If you’ve seen the first Incredibles 50 times in the last month like we have, then this movie will feel like an extension of that. It picks up exactly where the first one left off, replaying a part of the scene in the parking lot after Dash’s track meet when the Underminder comes out of the ground and them relocating to a new home since a jet crash landed on their last one.

5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

There’s a lobby to bring supers back and they want The Incredibles and Frozone to help. The movie is jam packed with lots of action and humor to keep even some of the wiggliest 5-year-old movie-lovers entertained. My son was grinning ear to ear while we watched our favorite super family navigating their new adventures. He seemed to follow along with the storyline and was really rooting for the good guys in the end.

We get a closer look at the entire Incredibles family including Jack Jack who has powers he hasn’t even begun to tame. (Those moments happen to be some of our favorite parts).

If you haven’t seen the first movie (though really–Why not?) you won’t be totally lost. It’s expected you’ll know who the main Characters are–Mr. Incredible, his family, Frozone and Edna (the Super Hero wardrobe designer). Other than that there are several new characters and a couple of old ones you’ll get to know and love.

To say I loved it would be an understatement. Jack Jack steals the show and the family dynamic makes this movie one of my favorite Pixar films to date. It was everything I’d hoped it would be and then some. 

5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

My only gripe about the movie was that I felt I saw the ending a mile away. The storyline seemed a little predictable. Or maybe I’m just constantly guessing those types of things. Or maybe that’s the point and I shouldn’t even brag about it. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment. In fact, I felt a little vindicated watching it play out. My 5-year-old, who hasn’t watched as many action/spy movies as I had was in his own little blissful world just loving all the action.

Classic Incredibles Humor Still Very Present

There’s nothing better than the sound of my kids laughing hysterically during a Disney movie. A close second perhaps are the jokes and humor that obviously go over their head but are for my benefit. This flick has plenty of both. The physical humor is what had my son laughing–Particularly a scene between Jack Jack and a Raccoon. I enjoyed the throwbacks to the original as well as the eerily familiar martial banter.

Is Incredibles 2 Scary for Little Kids?

There weren’t any scenes that had my son covering his eyes or crawling in my lap. That said, this is a kid who wants to go see Jurassic World 2 next week. Still, I don’t think Incredibles 2 is scary for young children. Nor difficult to follow along. There isn’t anything startling like in Zootopia, and the violence was pretty comparable to the first Incredibles. The storyline was a little darker, but there was a lot of upbeat humor and physical comedy to keep things light.

5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

Side note worth mentioning: My son was calling the bad guys “zombies” not because they were, but because some of their motions were robotic or hypnotic. If that sort of thing freaks your kids out then I guess there’s that to be aware of. As always, remember big screens, loud speakers and dark rooms can make movies we know and love feel much more intense.

Incredibles 1 vs 2: Pixar Gets Their Sequels Right

I go into movie screenings with a piece of paper to write down my thoughts, little things I notice about my kids’ reactions and critical points of the film. This was the first time I came out a screening with a near blank sheet of paper. Shortly after it started I was completely engrossed in the movie and enjoying it for what it was. It didn’t feel like a weird spin off of the original, it stayed very true to it’s roots. So much so that it really felt like an extension of the first.

My 5-year-old’s Incredibles 2 Review

5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

Did you like Incredibles 2?: Yea! I want you to put it on the TV. Can we watch it on the TV?

No, not yet. Why did you like it?: Because it was pew in baby Jack Jack eyes. [Laser eyes]

What was your favorite part?: The part when the baby was fighting the… The Squirrel? No, it wasn’t a squirrel. What was the baby fighting mom? A raccoon? Yea! And the part when Dash was running fast. Does he run faster than my dad?

Do you want to see it again? Why? Yea! Because! Because I really liked it.

Should Daddy and [big sister] go see it? Why? You and me, and Dad and [Lil’ J] we’ll all go see it. And when the baby sister comes out. I think [Lil’ J] will like it. She will like when they pew the eyes.

Was the movie scary?: No. When the guy came and turned the movie on it was loud and it scared me.

Which movie did you like more Incredibles Number 1 or 2?: Number 2. Why? Because I hadn’t seen the pewing part.

Cars 3 or Incredibles 2?: BOTH!

So there you have it! Straight from his little mouth. This movie had all of his favorite things: Trains, helicopters, motorcycles, animal battles, jets, boats, laser eyes.

5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

Hopefully you enjoyed our Incredibles 2 review. We may update this post with my 7-year-old daughter’s take after we see it again this weekend.

Yes, see it again! It’s a great way to kick off the summer with a movie the whole family will love. So go see it then come back and let us know what you think!

 

Free Incredibles 2 Coloring Pages

Incredibles 2 free printable coloring pages. 5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

Click here or on the image for free downloadable Incredibles 2 coloring sheets.

Read our other recent kids Disney movie reviews:

Wrinkle in Time kids review

Coco kids review

Cars 3 kids review

Beauty and the Beast live action kids review

Zootopia kids review

Moana kids review

Finding Dory kids review

Pete’s Dragon kids review

5-year-old Incredibles 2 review: Is it scary for little kids? Here's my son's take.

UPDATE: Here’s my 6-year-old daughter’s Beauty and the Beast review! Details on if she thought it was scary and how she liked it compared to the animated version.

I’m about to give a Beauty and the Beast review for people obsessed with the animated version and/or planning to take their kids to see it and looking for more information. Buckle up!

The live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast must be the must anticipated movie since I don’t know what. All of my friends have countdowns set. And 30-something around the world are acting like they’re 7 again.

I’ll admit I was one of them. Though it took me awhile to join the fray and really get excited for it (I really wish we could get more new animated classics versus re-hashing the old ones) once I sat down in the screening room at Walt Disney Studios and the music started, I was 7 again, bouncing up and down in my seat ready for some Disney magic.

Beauty and The Beast Overall thoughts (no spoilers)

Beauty and the Beast was a beautifully updated version of the classic we know and love so well. My favorite lines and parts from the animated version made the cut, but my favorite parts of the movie were the parts where the creators diverted from it.

In more way than one I feel like this movie was made with adults in mind—Specifically my generation. Never before have I watched a brand new movie that I could (and did) quote along with about 70% of it.

That said, I think people new, or less familiar with the animated version will still love it.

It was a musical from the get-go, and with new songs sprinkled through the movie it

It was the first movie I’ve seen in 3D in a long time that had really cool 3D effects.

Compared to the other live-action Disney updates, Maleficent is still my favorite, but I definitely liked Beauty and the Beast WAY more than Cinderella. This movie was beautifully done, and it’s worth seeing it in 3D.

An all-encompassing Beauty and the Beast review. What's up with the gay scene everyone keeps bringing up? Is it scary? Will you like it?

What I LOVED (no spoilers)

1. Progressive: The creators managed to keep the beautiful storyline but make Belle even stronger. There were at least three interracial couples I noticed, and way more diversity.

2. Backstories: All those questions we had about Belle’s mom and The Beasts’ parents get addressed in this movie.

3. A more realistic romance: The Beast likes books too, and their relationship seemingly takes longer to build and has more important moments that bring them together.

4. More character depth: Obviously with Belle, but also with The Beast, and most surprisingly to me… Gaston. He’s even more ruthless.

5. Nostalgia: The score was similar to the animated version through several parts of the movie. The dance gave me chills. (spoiler if you didn’t see the original): As did when he transformed back into himself. I’d love to see the side-by-side because it really felt surreal watching it play back with a different look. It was like they transformed the characters into real life.

6. (Spoiler if you haven’t seen the animated version): The scene when the townspeople attack the castle was my favorite in the 1991 version and it was my favorite part in this movie too.

Ok, now that we got all that out of the way let’s talk about what you need to know when it comes to taking your kids to see Beauty and the Beast.

I’ll be taking Lil’ J to screen it hopefully early next week so I’ll updated this post (or add another) with her full review. But here are my initial thoughts.

Beauty and the Beast: Will kids like it?

I think so. And from what I’ve heard so far from other kids, it’s a resounding “YES”.

My daughter has seen the animated movie a handful of times, so she will likely have a different perspective than me, who has it memorized. There will be more surprises, and there’s a likelihood of young kids falling in love with it, really falling in love with the story for the first time.

When I showed her the trailer of them movie she said “So it’s like Beauty and the Beast but it looks, like, more realer?” Yes, baby girl, it looks more realer.

An all-encompassing Beauty and the Beast review. What's up with the gay scene everyone keeps bringing up? Is it scary? Will you like it?

“Is there a ‘gay scene’”

I’m not quite sure what started this hoopla but after I screened the movie my husband texted me asking for a co-worker if there was a gay scene in Beauty and the Beast. Now I’m not sure exactly what a gay scene is classified as. Like a sex scene? Heavens no! Kissing? Nope. Hugging? I don’t remember that, definitely nothing in a sexual way.

What is there? I watched the two-hour movie expecting something juicy. LeFou, Gaston’s right-hand man and not-so-secret admirer, admiring Gaston as he does in the animated movie. Could people read between the lines and wonder if he’s gay? Sure. Would kids? No. Is it ever stated outright that he is gay? No.

What else is there? (This includes spoilers) Well, you know that scene in the animated version where the Plumette, the
opera-singing armoire jumps/falls on one of the townspeople attacking the castle? In the animated version, the man jumps up, realizes he’s in a dress and runs and screams. In this live-action version, she attacks three men and they come out wearing dresses. Two scream and run away, one more admires his new look, smiles, and struts away. It got a lot of laughter and applause in our little theater.

What else is there? At the end LeFou and the gentleman who liked his new dress (though no longer in his dress) pair up for a waltz in the ballroom with Belle and The Beast. LeFou is dancing with a woman at first but later in the scene swaps and dances with that gentleman. They dance. That is it. Definitely not worth the fuss.

(Side Note)

I love diversity and diversity being represented in movies, books, and on TV. Representation matters. Personally, I think it’s important for my kids to know not all families look the same. My daughter knows blacks and whites didn’t used to be able to get married like her daddy and mommy are and I’m raising them to be accepting. That said, even if I wasn’t I don’t think I’d have a problem with that or letting my kids watch because it’s not blatant.

“Is it scary?

Another thing parents worry about with these updated children’s movies is if they’re too scary. Is Beauty and the Beast scary? Well, not really. Scenes with the wolves chasing Maurice and later Belle were a bit intense. The Beast is mean and loud at first. But again, if you know how the story goes it’s nothing any scarier.

You know your kids best. To a child seeing this movie for the first time, an extra loud and dark theater (plus 3D) makes any movie more intense. I’m bringing my 6-year-old to see it. My 3-year-old loves scary beasts, fight scenes and music so I might bring him too, knowing neither of them will get scared or cry. He’s never sat through a live-action movie though and he’d likely find some scenes (all of the non-violent, non-musical parts) boring.

 

Violence

One last issue I want to touch on for parents is violence. Though subtle for kids used to Marvel movies and Star Wars, if your little ones haven’t seen much other than animated movies there are a few things to take note of.

(Spoilers) There’s a scene where Gaston punches Maurice in the face and I literally gasped. It’s not in the animated version so I know a part of it was my surprise because it was new. But another part because you rarely see that kind of thing in Disney movies.

Also, at the end instead of stabbing the Beast in the side with a knife, Gaston shoots him, several times. I was like “holy crap!”. Again, it could have been the diversion from the animated version that gave that more of a shock factor to me, but I didn’t like the change. Maybe ratings wise shooting is more normalized than stabbing but gun violence is a trigger for me so this was something that bothered me a little. I knew it had a happy ending (though I worried for a second cause dang!) so I was ok.

Hopefully giving you a little warning helps you prepare, or prepare your kids if need be.

An all-encompassing Beauty and the Beast review. What's up with the gay scene everyone keeps bringing up? Is it scary? Will you like it?

Final thoughts

Overall I think kids will be mesmerized by the beauty, the music, and wonderful enchantments that made us 30-somethings fall in love with the movie 26 years ago.

I hope you’ll go see it and let me know what you think!

Ok, so that’s a lot of information. I’ll probably just post Lil’ J’s review in a separate post after she’s watched it since I’ve blabbed here enough.

Are you going to see Beauty and the Beast? Will you take your kids?

UPDATE: Here’s my 6-year-old daughter’s review! Details on if she thought it was scary and how she liked it compared to the animated version. Check out other Disney posts! 

I first saw a trailer for Queen of Katwe months ago on Facebook and knew I’d be going to see it. I didn’t know what it was going to be about but it had me at hello. The beautiful African scenes and the emotion and love between a mother and daughter… Oh, and the fact that it was by Disney.

6-year-old Queen of Katwe review

When I traveled to LA a couple of months ago I got to screen the movie way early, and sadly I’ve had to hold my Queen of Katwe review in until now. But the good news is, I got to bring my daughter to see it this week, so she chimed in with her review too!

First a few things…

You don’t need to enjoy chess to enjoy the movie

Growing up I was obsessed with Searching for Bobby Fischer. Don’t ask me why, I wasn’t a chess player (not a good one at least). But I was captivated by the story of a chess prodigy. I haven’t seen that movie in years so I can’t fairly compare the two, but what I loved about Queen of Katwe was the ability to witness the great leaps and bounds not only Phiona made, but her family and her team. There’s something extra special about the story of someone discovering what they were born to do.

6-year-old Queen of Katwe review

What makes this movie special

There are a lot of feel-good movies about someone who comes from the slums and beats the odds to overcome their situation. However, Disney did a beautiful job with the cast, cinematography and screenwriting. Not only did the characters have a beautiful and true story, but the actors do too. This is Madina Nalwanga’s (who plays Phiona, the main character) first movie. A casting director found her in a community dance class.

Throughout the movie you can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for what you have. Then the inspiring messages woven throughout the movie make you leave feeling so uplifted.

Before seeing the movie with your kids

Watch the previews. Help give your children an idea of what the movie is about before you see it, and ask them to take note of important lessons they learn from the movie.

We also had a lot of fun preparing for it (which I recommend if your kids are young). We’re currently reading two books based in African countries (Morocco and Ghana), this movie was based in a third–Uganda. We found each place on a map, talked about the size, and distance from each other. We also talked about the climates and types of people you might see in each country.

Of course after the movie you will have even more to talk about (here some ideas for conversations you can have) as there’s a beautiful repeating message of perseverance to share.

About going to see it with you kids

I absolutely think you should go and see this movie with your kids. Open their eyes to a different culture and world than their own. You may think that because this movie isn’t a kid’s movie that they wouldn’t enjoy it, but I’d beg to differ.

mommy-and-me-queen-of-katwe

My daughter and her 5-year-old friend sat next to each other, and though they were a little chatty at times, both of them followed the movie very well. But even if they don’t understand it all, that’s ok. They’ll get enough of it and you can discuss it together.

There are a couple of startling scenes, one involving a motorcycle accident, and another briefly startling scene with a flood. But it’s nothing that should be too frightening for kids.

Ok I’ve rambled enough.

Here’s what my 6-year-old says about Queen of Katwe

What was the movie about?
It was about this person who loved Chess.

What did you think about the movie?
It was awesome. I think I want to learn how to play chess too.

What was your favorite part?
When the little girl cried loud and said ‘she took my queen!’

Was it easy for you to understand or hard for you to understand?
It was easy for me to understand.

Did you think it was boring?
Not at all because that was a real story.

What that the United States where they were living?
No. Uganda. Far away from Texas. In Africa.

What are some of the things you noticed about Katwe, Uganda?
That they do stuff differently than us, they had to go get some water and bring the jugs back home. And they didn’t have a refrigerator. It makes my mommy grateful that we can turn on the water in the sink.

Do you think your friends should see it? Why or why not?
Yes. Hmm. Good question. Because it’s really good and I think they might learn a lesson.

What lesson did you learn from the movie?
Never give up. She [Phiona] felt like she had a dirty house and dirty clothes and like she couldn’t have nice things. But then she learned she could. So I learned to never give up.

There you have it, from the mouth of babes!

I’ll leave you with two more awesome aspects of this movie review.

Best inspirational quotes from Queen of Katwe

6-year-old Queen of Katwe review

I made sure to bring a pencil and paper this time to catch these:

“Use your minds. Make a plan. And there you’ll find safety.”

“Do not be quick to tip your king. You must never surrender.”

“Losing doesn’t make you a failure.”

“Loses happen to everyone. But then you reset the pieces and play again.”

“Sometimes the place you’re used to is not the place you belong. You belong where you believe you belong.”

“Losing teaches me how to play better.”

Stay for the ending credits

Not just the beginning credits though those are AMAZING with the actors paired up with their real-life characters. But stay even after that. I don’t want to give away the surprise but trust me, it’ll make you smile.

Let me know if you and your family go to see it and what you think! My husband and I are going to see it together on our next date night. I know this movie will be right up his alley.

Last night my 5-year-old daughter and I screened Finding Dory. This girl was READY. I’m talking countdowns, was dressed in blue when I came home, with her “talk like a whale” pinned to her top. The only movie we’ve been waiting this long for is Moana, and we still have a lot of waiting to go.


She’s watched Finding Nemo on the last week of school with her kindergarten class, so her memory was refreshed of the original. I’d seen it enough times (and watched the musical at Disney World last month) so I felt ready to go as well, though watching Finding Nemo beforehand isn’t needed to understand the second movie, I’d suggest it if it’s been a while, just to understand more of the humor. Now, on to our thoughts.

“Amazing!”

“Two thumbs up!”

“The best movie ever!”

“So so funny!”

I’ll let you guess who said what. When it comes to Pixar sequels, you can expect a much much higher quality than Disney Animated sequels that are mostly direct to DVD. However, with the exception of Toy Story 3, I haven’t been a huge fan of the Pixar sequels. Finding Dory is definitely one of the better ones, if not the best in my opinion. Why?

Without giving anything away (this movie was too good to give spoilers away, you can read those elsewhere, but I’d love you to experience it as I did.):

The search for a family

The strong family storyline, like the first keeps you cheering for Dory and her friends throughout the movie.

Friendship and new clever characters

Should you take your 3 or 4-year-old to see Finding Dory? Here's a 5-year-old's review on Finding Dory.

Dory meets some interesting friends along the way, but everyone is so willing (or slightly unwilling but motivated–I’m looking at you Hank) to help. Such a beautiful message of teamwork. In Finding Nemo the sharks and other characters helping Marlin and Nemo reunite were cute and make us chuckle. In Finding Dory, the whales, birds, and seals had me roaring. Oh but thankfully our favorite sea turtle still makes an appearance.

No “bad guy”

I’m racking my brain to think of the last time we’ve seen a Disney animated movie without an obvious villain… Ok well I guess Inside Out didn’t. But it was so heavy and the depression aspect was over my daughter’s head I’m not really putting it in the same category. Finding Dory was a good funny film and the story was all about a journey with Dory and her band of friends.

Ok now let’s talk about this movie and little kids.

My 5-year-old isn’t a huge laugh out loud kind of girl but there were a few times I caught her giggling during this flick. I laughed a lot more than she did and a lot of the jokes were over her head, though not in an off-color way. Like with most movies, I think the more we see it, the more of the humor she’ll get. I want to bring my 3-year-old to see it but I’m going to wait until a slower matinee morning in case he loses interest. The movie is a little long (1hr 45min runtime). My daughter and I didn’t mind, but I did hear some fussy younger ones by the end of the film.

As far as scary parts, there’s one scary scene near the beginning with a giant glow in the dark squid that almost captures Nemo, but once you move past that, it’s all adventure and laughs.

The ending dragged on a little longer than I felt it needed to, but it kinda wrapped around and tied it back to the beginning.

Should you take your 3 or 4-year-old to see Finding Dory? Here's a 5-year-old's review on Finding Dory.

But enough of my opinion, keeping with the tradition…

Here’s a 5-year-old review of Finding Dory:

Q: What did you think of the movie?
A: It was great! Better than Alice Through the Looking Glass

Because there were funny parts and silly parts. I thought seals were funny, and the cute distracting otters.

Q: Did you think the movie was scary?
A: Not at all.

Q: Should your friends go see it?
A: Yes, because I think they’ll love it.

Q: What was the moral of the story?
A: To always remember your family. And always be kind to your heart (trust yourself). And always be kind to your friends and always help one another and that anything is possible.

Q: Tell be about one of the characters
A: Hank had to learn a lesson. He had to learn to always be kind. Mommy, write this down… My mom’s favorite character was Hank!

Should you take your 3 or 4-year-old to see Finding Dory? Here's a 5-year-old's review on Finding Dory.

Q: What aged kids do you think would like this movie?
A: 5 and 6. Little kids would like the short film (Piper–Which was SO adorable).

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Destiny, because she was funny cool and brave.

Q: Anything else you’d like to say about the movie?
A: Yes! I want to see it again. I liked it more than number 1 (Finding Nemo).

And there you have it! A 5-year-old’s take. Hopefully it helps you decide whether or not to take your kiddos!

Are you planning to see Finding Dory this weekend?

Here are some free Finding Dory coloring sheets you can download for free to get your little ones excited about the movie, or to keep talking about it after! Just click the image to download and print!

Free Finding Dory coloring sheets pages

Like our review? More Mommy/daughter Disney movie reviews:

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Zootopia

Jungle Book

and The Good Dinosaur

*UPDATE*: My 5-year-old saw it!! Here’s her review: 5-year-old Alice Through The Looking Glass Review

I’ve been dying to share my review for this Disney movie because my opinion on it is quite different from any of the others I’ve reviewed in a while.

To be honest I wasn’t even planning to see this movie. I didn’t see the first one, and I’m just not a big Tim Burton fan. Actually, I take that back. I love Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and some of his Batman movies. But Tim Burton’s “kids’” movies just haven’t been my thing.

That said, I got to screen the movie a few weeks back when I was at Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. I’d heard conference attendees got to screen movies and I was really crossing my fingers we’d be seeing Finding Dory or (I knew it was a long shot) Moana. We did see the first 33 minutes of Finding Dory (OMG it was great!) but were told we’d get to see Alice Through the Looking Glass in its entirety.

Is Alice Through the Looking Glass too scary for kids? Especially young ones? Here's a review to read before you take you head to the theater.

At first I was sort of groaning inside, but then I got to hear from one of the creators of the film and see all that went into the making of the movie and it gave me a new appreciate for it. I took this as a challenge to break out of my Disney Animation and Disney Pixar movie reviews and analyze something else.

I had my 10-year-old sister with me on this trip and she’d seen the first live action Alice in Wonderland movie and said it was okay. So I decided I’d go into this film with an open mind and decide if I’d be willing to take Lil’ J to see it, and then write an honest review about whether or not I think it’s too scary for young kids.

I’m going to leave out spoilers but talk a little about the plot a bit to give you an idea if you’d like to take your little ones. The movie is rated PG which means parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be appropriate for children. So is Alice Through the Looking Glass scary for kids? Especially younger ones?

First off, I mean, when you look at the movie poster it’s a little freaky. I mean, really let’s just be honest. The Queen of Hearts has a giant head and if your kid is afraid of clowns it’s just hard not to mistake the Mad Hatter as one. Again, Tim Burton’s adaptations of these movies twist them in a way that isn’t the most little kid-friendly in my opinion. Once you get past that? Well…

The movie opens up with Alice leading her ship crew through a storm. It’s obvious off the bat that this film is going to hold a tone of female empowerment, which I love.

Is Alice Through the Looking Glass too scary for kids? Especially young ones? Here's a review to read before you take you head to the theater.

Alice makes her way back to Wonderland and goes on an adventure to help her sick friend. There’s a lot of action, a frightening dragon, a scary witch (the Queen) whose head grows when she gets angry and in a flashback, when she’s injured. All of these scenes I think are frightening for young kids and would probably scare my daughter, not to mention the frightening appearance of some of the characters loud scenes and startling imagery.

There were other kids in the theater watching the movie, my friend’s 6-year-old daughter did get scared at a few parts but I didn’t see anyone leave or hear any kids crying. Personally I’d recommend this movie to kids 9+, but you know your kids best.

The English accents are a bit thick–similar to those in the live action adaptation of Cinderella. So if your children had a hard time understanding characters in that film, they may face a similar challenge with this one.

There are a ton of funny puns and humor that adults and older children will enjoy, but most of which I think would go over my daughter’s head. UPDATE: It didn’t, here’s what she thought: My daughter’s review.

I told Lil’ J about the movie and she’s said she wants to see it, despite me telling her it’s a little scary. I basically told her the whole movie because I think it’ll help her to be prepared. We’re going to see it tomorrow night together so I’ll come back and update this post with her official reaction to continue in our mother/daughter review tradition.

Is Alice Through the Looking Glass too scary for kids? Especially young ones? Here's a review to read before you take you head to the theater.

Now that all the harsh stuff is out of the way, I must say that I LOVED it. So did my 10-year-old sister. I’m a sucker for a good time-travel plot and this movie did it well. The visual effects are absolutely stunning, and the message of friendship, family and girl power is undeniable. I think I’ll even buy it, which is saying a lot because I don’t buy most of the live action Disney movies (but I own every animated one).

If you haven’t seen the first movie I don’t think that will be a problem as I didn’t and I didn’t feel like I was missing any part of the story. My little sister (and everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen both) said they enjoyed it more than the first movie. So if you hated the first one, maybe it’s worth giving this one a shot. And if you liked the first one, well maybe you’ll love Alice Through the Looking Glass.

It opens in theaters everywhere this Friday May 27th.

Come back Wednesday for Lil’ J’s review! UPDATE: Here’s her review (spoiler alert: she loved it!)

Our other recent Disney Movie Reviews:

The Jungle Book
Zootopia

My 5-year-old and I carried on our tradition in screening the new Disney flick earlier this week, this time watching The Jungle Book. We got dressed in our best animal print and went in ready for anything.

Is jungle book too scary for kids? 5-year-old review

I’m just going to come out and say it: This movie was the most kid-friendly movie we’ve seen from Disney in a while. Here’s why: It was very easy for children to understand and the action scenes were pretty predictable. The animated classic was the last movie Walt Disney oversaw and I think the directors of this movie really wanted to stay true to that, and keep this fun for kids.

You know I’m a huge Disney Animation fan, and I loved Zootopia and it’s message. But the underlying tone about racism, and inspiring message about acceptance seemed more for older kids and adults. I loved The Good Dinosaur (it’s my son’s favorite) but it was pretty intense. Inside Out was deserving of all of those awards, but it was DEEP. The language, humor, even the songs (YES, SONGS, FINALLY!) in The Jungle Book was all for the kids and we loved it!

Is jungle book too scary for kids? 5-year-old review

A lot of people have been asking me the same question: “Is The Jungle Book too scary for kids?” The live action adaptation seems intense from the previews and I even had to prep my daughter to let me know if she thought it was too scary. But I think the fact that the movie loosely follows the Animated original helps.

Sher Khan is a mean tiger, no surprise there. King Louie is a giant orangutan that wants fire from Mowgli and he gets pretty upset when he doesn’t give it to him. We knew that. Without giving too much away, there are some fight scenes between the animals, and a startling moment where where the tiger jumps from the tall grass, but if you’ve seen the previews you’ve seen that moment and to be honest it didn’t surprise me nearly as much as a startling scene in Zootopia. The 3D aspect of the movie does make him seem like he’s jumping AT you, so you may opt for the 2D version if you think that would scare your child.

The fight scene at the end is a similar to the animated movie so you know what happens to Baloo and that could scare your kids.

jungle book poster

When we arrived and sat down the movie poster on the screen showed the main characters from the film, and Lil’ J was a little nervous before it started, but once the movie got going she was fine.

Right from the get go we’re laughing at a silly talking animal in the opening scene and throughout the movie both my daughter and I chuckled at numerous parts, mostly from the silly Baloo. All of the talking animals reminded me so much of my favorite movie, The Lion King, and I couldn’t stop smiling about it.

Maybe we didn’t find it as scary because we were expecting it to be scary. And maybe the animated movies seem extra scary because we’re expecting them to be something off Disney Junior. Either way, I thought it was much more kid-friendly than I expected, but still enjoyable for adults.

That said, you put ANY Disney movie, animated or not, on a huge screen in a dark room, with surround sound and some kids are going to be scared. It’s a completely different ballgame when Scar, or Ursula or Sher Kahn is being seen from a movie theater. So know your kids and how they may react. I didn’t notice any kids in our showing upset or walking out.

jungle book panther

Bill Murray was PERFECT for the role of Baloo. While we’re talking about actors, oh man, I could go on and on. I loved the cast! I fell in love with Bagheera, Sir Ben Kingsley was great as this warm character (I literally told my daughter I wanted a panther on our way home) and over and over I was so impressed by Neel Sethi’s portrayal of Mowgli.

This is the kid’s FIRST movie and he’s out there acting with some green screens and puppets. Not to mention all of the action scenes, running and jumping all over the place. He’s adorable, and though to me he came across a bit over-the-top with some of the lines, I think it made it that much better for my daughter, who acts the exact same way.–Dramatic!

I also loved Lupita Nyong as the motherly Raksha. AH! I could go on and on but here’s a clip highlighting all the awesomeness in the cast:

This live action version of The Jungle Book is similar enough to the original so fans of the classic will appreciate it (THANK YOU DISNEY FOR THE MUSIC!) but different enough for it to be a totally new experience. The movie added a little more depth, and a cute message about being yourself and owning your talents. I also have to add that I think the ending was better!

But enough about my thoughts, here’s my 5-year-old’s Jungle Book review in interview form.

Q: What did you think of The Jungle Book?
A: It was too good… I liked the funny parts. The funny parts were really funny. And I liked it when there was a character who sang. I liked the songs very much.

Q: Do you feel like you understood the movie?
A: Yes, very much. I understood like every word.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Baloo, because he was kind of funny and he makes up a lot of funny parts.

Q: Did you think it was going to be scary?
A: A little.

Q: Would it be too scary for your little brother? (He just turned 3)
A: A little. Because there’s a tiger in it and my brother is scared of tigers. It’s a very mean tiger.

Is jungle book too scary for kids? 5-year-old review

Q: Do you think 5 year olds would be scared of the movie?
A: No not at all, why would they say that? Because I saw it and I wasn’t even scared. 6 year olds will not even think it’s scary a bit!

Q: What about 4-year-olds?
A: A little. But 4 and a half no way Jose!

Q: Which did you think was scarier, The Jungle Book or Zootopia?
A: Zootopia.

Q: Was there any good lesson you learned from the movie?
A: Yes, I learned to be yourself and be creative. And never bring a red fire to a jungle when a tiger is around.

Q: Which Jungle Book did you like more?
A: The new one.
Q: Why?
A: Because there were lots of different parts and I liked it a lot when the funny parts were so funny that they get stuck in my brain.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the movie?
A: Yes, the snake told a story and I liked it.

Q: Would you recommend your friends go and see The Jungle Book?
A: Yes, because it’s a really good movie. Families will have fun together.

So there you have it! An honest take from a 5-year-old and her mama. You know your kids better than I do, so take it as you will. As for her little brother, I think he would enjoy it because all of the animals (he especially loves elephants which make a couple appearances in this film) and the music. I don’t think it would be too scary for him (this is a kid who I caught watching the top 10 death scenes from Jurassic Park on Youtube). But I’ll bring him to see it in 2D just in case. I’ll come back and update this post after we do!

Have you seen the movie yet or are you planning to? What did you think?

If you saw it and loved it, or want yo help your kids get more excited about it, here are a couple of fun activity sheets to help: Jungle book spot the difference game, Jungle book maze.

Like our Jungle Book movie review? Check out our Mommy and Me Zootopia Review, and come back for more Disney movie reviews each month!

zootopia-reviews

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 55th feature, Zootopia hits theaters everywhere tonight! I’ve been so excited for this since they didn’t release a movie all last year! Now we get Zootopia and Moana both in one year! (Excuse my momentary Disney film geek-out).

My mini Disney movie critic, Lil’ J and I screened it last Thursday and as we walked out she told me she wanted to see it again, and that it is her new FAVORITE movie (I’m noticing a trend every time we see a new Disney movie). I feel like I have so many things to say about Zootopia, but don’t worry, I’m leaving out the spoilers.

Mother-daughter Zootopia review

What’s it about in a paragraph? Well, the walking, talking, career-driven and clothed animals replace humans in this story of Zootopia. Rookie officer Judy Hopps is the first bunny to join the police force and she jumps at the chance to crack a case and needs help from a sly fox. The movie gives adults a heavy dose of action and humor, and the kids are laughing right along at some jokes even they understand.

The animals basically act as humans in this movie, a lot like they do in Robin Hood (and Nick Wilde–the fox in this film actually resembles him, right?!).

Zootopia is a compelling movie that both adults and children will love. A lot of the humor (some of it a little off-color) went over my 5-year-old’s head, but there were enough little funny scenes that she still enjoyed and laughed at.

There are a few things I think are important to consider before seeing this movie.

Skip the trailers

I’m noticing Disney is giving away all of the goods in the previews lately. What’s up with that? Remember the trailer for Princess and the Frog? I thought Tiana was going to be a Princess in blue not be a frog for half the movie! Talk about keeping the suspense hidden. They don’t do too much of that anymore.

I was grasping at every new trailer before Inside Out and when I saw that movie I felt like I’d seen all of the funny parts. I purposely skipped the trailers this time so I could go in blind. I did see one with the sloths because it aired before The Good Dinosaur in theaters. It’s still funny (and a little different), I just knew it was coming.

I’ve watched the Zootopia trailers a few times since seeing the movie and the handful of jokes I thought were funniest were all in the trailers. So skip those if you haven’t seen them yet so you can enjoy it and be surprised. If you want another way to build up your excitement with your kids try printing these fun coloring sheets or this activity page.

zootopia review picture

It’s a little scary!

I don’t really know how else to put it. For a little kid’s movie it was pretty darn scary. Or perhaps a better word is startling. I’m trying to think of another animated Disney movie with I can deem in the same category for action, suspense and surprises. Maybe similar to parts of Big Hero 6 or The Good Dinosaur if looking at recent films, or Lady and the Tramp (remember that rat scene?). This is the first Disney Movie where I remember actually being startled, as in jumping in my seat. Lil’ J was too, but she laughed about it. She’s afraid of A LOT but this movie didn’t make her cry or cover her eyes, so I guess that says something; however, that night she did want to sleep in our room because she was afraid of animals jumping out at her.

You’re the best judge for your kids, if they startle easily you may want to prep them, see it first, hold off until DVD, or just email me and I’ll tell you when you can cover their ears/eyes.

Lil’ J wanted me to tell you what she thinks about that: “My brother is 2, and it would be too scary for him. But for me, and other kids that are 5-and-a-half, or 6 it’s not too scary.” So there’s you have it from my proud 5-and-a-half year old.

There’s a strong captivating message

I noticed two strong awesome messages in the movie. One being to not give up on your dreams, and another to not judge a book by it’s cover. Both important takeaways that are great conversation-starters with our kids. I can’t help but feel like Disney animators are trying to change the world with this movie. We’ll MUST discuss this more after you’ve had a chance to see this! Just thinking about it makes me love this movie even more.

Zootopia movie poster

Where does it rank for Disney?

Overall we both loved the movie. We’re going to see it again as a family (well, minus Big T unless he convinces me he can sit still) because I actually think even my husband would get a kick out of it (I mean come on! There’s a bunny cop!).

So where does it rank on my Disney movie list? I’m partial to the movies from Disney Renaissance era and musical features (counting down to Moana!) but Zootopia has a great story. I’d say it could be in my top 15, but once I get over the shock of it not being the cutesy kiddie movie I expected and I’ve seen it a few more times I’ll be able to more accurately place it for what it is.

Regardless, I can’t wait to add it to our collection later this year!

zootopia picture

My 5-year-old’s Zootopia review

What did you think of Zootopia?: “It was SUPERSTAR Awesome!”

What did you like about the movie?: “The fox and the bunny weren’t friends, and then they learned how to be friends.”

What was the message of the movie?: “The bunny dreamed big! Because she always wanted to be a police officer and then she became a police officer, and that was good.”

Anything else you’d like to say about the movie?: “Yea! [SPOILERS]”

Is it too scary for kids?: “No, it’s awesome! So at the beginning [of the post], say it’s superstar and at the end say it’s awesome! I want to see it again and again!”

Recommended ages

I’d recommend it for families with kids ages 7+, but Lil’ J says all of her 5 and 6 year old friends should see it. So take it as you will!

Let me know when you see it! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

If you’re thinking of taking your family to see The Good Dinosaur over Thanksgiving weekend there are a few things you should be aware of first.

Lil’ J and I had the chance to screen it Monday night before it’s officially in theaters everywhere on the 25th. Here’s more info on advanced movie screenings in case you ever want to try to make one of these!

First of all I feel like I need to introduce you to this movie because it hasn’t been nearly as publicized as Pixar’s Inside Out was earlier this year. I’m telling you that merchandise, the previews, the promotions. It was SO hyped up. And I totally bought into it.

The Good Dinosaur 5-year-old review

This movie, on the other hand, I feel like many have hardly heard a peep. I keep my eye on all of the Disney Animation and Pixar films but I worried since Disney seemingly wasn’t spending as much effort promoting this film, that it was going to be a big letdown.

Even the local screening was set for RIGHT before the movie release, versus a week or two before, and I only saw one listed when normally there are at least two, sometimes more. All of these signals to me screamed potential flop.

I didn’t watch the extended trailer. I felt like that was a mistake I made before Inside Out. I’d seen most of the good parts before hitting the theater. What little I did watch before this movie made me think there would be more dinosaurs and more people than we saw.

Lil’ J and I went into this mostly unaware of what to expect. But it was still great!

The Good Dinosaur 5-year-old review

Coming out, I have some questions you should ask yourself in case you’re debating whether or not to take your family.

1. Do you like dinosaurs? If yes, then it’s a no brainer, you must see this movie. It’s lightyears better than the 2000 Disney animated movie ‘Dinosaur’ (which would most definitely be in my top 5 LEAST favorite Disney animated movies). Although the animals looked more realistic in Dinosaur, The Good Dinosaur is much more cuddly, and it should still be appealing to young dinosaur enthusiasts, and definitely not frightening to those who typically have dinosaur aversions. So if your answer is no, there’s a really good chance you’ll still like this movie.

2. Do you like cowboys? Cowboys? I thought this movie was about dinosaurs! Yes, well, if your answer is yes, I have a feeling you will LOVE this movie. Or at least Pixar’s attempt to give some of the characters a wild west flavor.

3. Have you gone to the bathroom recently? You’ll definitely want to make sure you have before sitting down to watch this movie. For one, you don’t want to have to get up and miss any part of this movie! It held my 5-year-old daughter’s attention longer than any movie on the first-run through. I didn’t see her get bored at all (this is rare). And secondly, you are going to laugh so hard you may pee your pants. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I laughed that much in a movie. The best part was my daughter was laughing too! In true Pixar fashion there was plenty of humor for the adults as well as the kids.

4. Do you or your kids startle easily? This movie is pretty intense. There were SEVERAL times I kept saying “ouch!” Maybe it was the fact that we saw it in 3D, and that the images felt so real, but I was literally gasping and clutching at parts. You know your kids best, if they’re extremely sensitive, or startle easily, you may want to watch it first. The scariest part of the whole movie experience for Lil’ J was the short film that aired before The Good Dinosaur. Edited to add (SPOILER skip to #5 if you want to be surprised): There is death involved (not a huge surprise) but some kids could find this really sad, or scary).

5. Does it take much to make you cry? Happy tears, sad tears, you may want a tissue for both. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise when it comes to Disney/ Pixar.

Lil’ J and I just did our top 5 Pixar Picks a few weeks ago. She now claims The Good Dinosaur takes the top spot from Monsters Inc and pushes UP out of her top 5.

It’s always hard for me to try to rank a film after seeing it just once. I have to try it on over and over a few times to see if it still feels good. But as of now I’d say it’s definitely up there, probably knocking Finding Nemo out of my #4 spot.

Speaking of which… Like Finding Nemo, the animation quality of The Good Dinosaur was amazing. Something that–looking back now–I feel like Inside Out was missing a bit of.

All this to say, I feel like this movie was greatly underrated in it’s pre-release stage, and I hope it does well over Thanksgiving weekend. We enjoyed it so much we’re going to see it again tonight with grandma for opening night.

Alright, enough of my opinion. Here’s what Lil’ J has to say.

The Good Dinosaur 5-year-old review

The Good Dinosaur: A 5-year-old’s review:

Q: What did you think of The Good Dinosaur?
A: It’s one of my new favorite Pixar movies because it’s funny, and a rock star movie.
Q: What does a rock star movie mean?
A: That it’s so cool.
Q: Should kids who are afraid of dinosaurs see this movie?
A: Yes, because it’s a nice dinosaur and he won’t scare them.
Q: Advice for people going to see it?
A: When you try a movie you get to decide if you like it or not, and I like this movie.

One word to describe the movie:
Lil’ J: Family
Mom: Adventure

Rating:
Lil’ J: Two thumbs up.
Mom: A+

Will you be going to see The Good Dinosaur this weekend? Or what did you think?

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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