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Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

Alright, continuing in our summer movie series I thought I’d go back a bit to a movie we failed to review when it first his theaters. I’m not sure how we missed this one, but we did get a chance to see the new Dumbo right before it hit the dollar theater. And now that it’s out on video, if you missed it, you can decide if it’s worth buying, renting, or skipping.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about 1941 Dumbo, it’s racist undertones and why that’s problematic. Now let’s move on a bit and discuss the NEW live action version that came out earlier this year. And compare the animated Dumbo vs live action movie.

This 2019 Dumbo was directed by Tim Burton and just came out on DVD a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it yet and you’re debating whether or not to rent, or just buy it, let us give you a little taste of what to expect.

A Quick Dumbo Review

Dumbo has never been one of our favorite movies but as you can probably gather by now, it is one of our favorite rides at Walt Disney World. The ride actually makes more sense with this movie, that has people riding Dumbo.

The story is completely different. I’m not going to go into too much detail but I’ll give ya the scoop. There are no talking animals, and people actually take care of Dumbo instead of Timothy. Those people actually get to ride him too. Dumbo also gets to fly a lot more in this movie as they discover this ability early on. So the movie kinda makes more sense for the Disney World ride.

A woman sit atop Dumbo in the new live action movie. Dumbo review.

I love the fact that they kept some of the key pieces of the story in tact: Mama Jumbo and the song “Baby Mine” are in there. As is a lucky “magic” feather, a quick Timothy cameo, and the pink elephants. (Though they are SO much better in this version and not a result of drunk hallucinations).

This movie is much longer than the original, almost double actually with a runtime of an hour and 52 minutes. Way too long in my opinion.

My kids said they loved it. But I could see them looking around the theater, playing in their seats, and getting distracted.

They never audibly laughed at any parts but my son did get excited about seeing Casey Jr. as well as a cobra.

My son did laugh at some parts of the animated movie when we watched it later. And with a runtime of an hour, it’s better at holding a child’s attention.

Dumbo live action review

I personally enjoyed the message and how the new one features biracial children in their main cast. There’s also a sweet message about being yourself throughout the film with other characters in the movie.

It’s also much more animal friendly and I’m sure PETA is more pleased with this ending.

Lil’ J said she really liked it and that she loved that the kids got to ride on Dumbo.

“I liked it more than the cartoon because it was longer than the other one and it had better parts in the movie,” she said.

“The other movie was kind of creepy in the other movie because they didn’t have faces. I get why they didn’t have all the details because the people weren’t really in it. And they had to draw them but they could have at least have faces and make their skin more brown.”

Mother and daughter Disney bound Dumbo as Timothy Mama Jumbo and Dumbo

She does recommend this new Dumbo movie to other kids and says you should buy the movie. I say rent it first and see what you think. We all agree that this new Dumbo is SUPER cute (I still find the original to be cuter, though a tad racist).

We collect all of the animated Disney movies but we don’t buy all of the live action ones. And since they’re all coming to Disney+ I’m going to be even more picky about which ones we choose to add to our permanent collection. Their answers to my next question is pretty telling.

Favorite live action Disney movie remake?

Lil J:

  1. Aladdin
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Alice in the Looking Glass
  4. The Lion King
  5. Dumbo

Big T:

  1. The Lion King
  2. Aladdin
  3. Jungle Book
  4. Petes Dragon
  5. Dumbo

For me right now it’s Aladdin, Maleficent (excited for the new one this fall!). Then probably Beauty and the Beast, then The Lion King. I could keep going with Petes Dragon and Jungle Book… Sadly I think I’d rank Dumbo my least favorite so far. (Sorry Dumbo, we still love your ride!). As far as remakes go, I think they did a great job, but I didn’t love it.

Have you seen the new Dumbo yet? What did you think?

And if you did love it! Or want some fun activity sheets to work on while you watch, you can download some free Dumbo activity sheets and printables right here.

If there’s any Disney live action remake I’ve been equal parts excited and terrified for it’s The Lion King. The 1994 version is my absolute favorite movie of all time. I just need to get that out there before I dive into this spoiler-free review because yes, it does affect my opinion of the remake. You also may be wondering if the new version of The Lion King is scary.

It’s important I tell parents how to be prepared (see what I did there?) to take their kids to see this movie, because as you can probably expect, this movie is a bit intense. More on that ahead. But first, my completely biased thoughts with no spoilers if you’ve seen the original. If you haven’t seen the original (first of all who are you?) I would proceed with caution but I’ll mark any of those plot points before mentioning it. I’m including a little review from my 6-year-old as well. His kids opinion is entirely different than my own.

The lion king 2019 review

2019 Lion King Review

See, I’ve been so confused at what to call this remake. “Live action” doesn’t feel right because there aren’t any people or real animals in the movie. But there are a couple of non-CGI shots that I guess make it qualify. But really, it’s just another animated movie with a different kind of animation. That animation? STUNNING. We watched in IMAX, and if you have the opportunity to do so I highly recommend it. I also went back to re-watch Aladdin in IMAX and it didn’t fill the whole screen. The Lion King filled the whole dang screen. It was an incredible way to take it all in. I even teared up watching some of the imagery.

Rafiki in the lion king 2019

I loved the new visuals during the songs. Especially I Just Can’t Wait to Be King. I was really excited to see how they’d do that since I could’t imagine them doing a pyramid of animals again.

The hyenas and Timon and Pumba–Especially the latter, really made the entire movie for me.

Of course the story isn’t surprising if you’ve seen the 1994 version. (Spoiler if you haven’t:) My sweet son said he hoped the dad wouldn’t die in this one. Even though you know what’s coming, seeing it this way just breaks your heart all over again. But that is one of my major gripes with the film is that it’s SO much like the first one.

Too Many Similarities

The opening sequence (and a few other parts of the movie) are nearly shot for shot of the original. I tried my best not to watch any trailers so I could be as surprised a possible but I did see a couple play before other movies in theaters and thought “oh they’re just showing us parts we’ve seen before from the other movie.” But there was actually a lot from the original. And friends, I have the original memorized. So there were several parts in the movie where I was quoting along, or 100% knew what line or imagery was coming next. Even my son who had just re-watched the original with me the night before kept saying “he said that in the other one,” and “I know what’s going to happen!”

Is the lion king scary for kids

Where in Aladdin I thought they did a great job of taking the story and re-working the script, keeping just a few token lines we loved from the original, I feel like in this movie they kept a majority of the same script. I even wondered at parts if James Earl Jones re-recorded some of the lines or if they stuck in some of the old ones or outtakes. The soundtrack was similar (though there was a new spin on Be Prepared and I digged it), score music. It was all extremely similar and in my opinion, a little disappointing.

Don’t Re-watch the original first… Or maybe do

Timone and Pumba steal the show in the lion king 2019

After we meet Timon and Pumba the script starts to change up a bit more and there were a few surprises that made me jump, and had me belly laughing. Those moments won me over. Worth the remake after 25 years? Ugh, friends I think that’s debatable. That said, I want to say that maybe if you don’t re-watch the original right before you see this one. Then maybe it won’t bother you as much and you’ll feel more surprised. But I also think that if you have a squirmy kid, or a kid who gets scared at intense movies, it’s better to watch the 1994 version first so they know what to expect.

My son had a lot of questions while we watched the animated version the first time. Mostly “Why did Scar do that? Why is he so bad?” “Where did Mufasa’s dad go?” (granted he always asks a lot of questions). After seeing it a couple of times and then watching the new version he was able to just take the movie in and not be as scared during parts that may have frightened him. I’m so back and forth now on whether or not we should have re-watched the animated version right before seeing this one. Ultimately I think for my son it was a good choice. I love that he was really able to follow along and understand the story. With a two hour runtime I think that’s important. And he didn’t seem the least bit disappointed. And for me, honestly I had the entire movie drilled in my head since childhood so I don’t think it made a difference.

Is the lion king scary for kids? Scar and the hyenas

I think if you haven’t watched the animated version in 25 years and are going by yourself, keep it that way to really enjoy it and not notice all of the similarities. If you have a young child who has never seen it, maybe introduce them to that version first if you’re worried he or she may be scared. Which brings me to my next big point.

Is The Lion King Scary for Kids?

Yes. Well, yes depending on your kid. I mean these looks like real lions going at it. At one point Scar is chowing down on a dead animal (it’s not graphic at all though but there is a little blood on his chin).

There was one scene that wasn’t in the original that had everyone on the edge of their seat. I was thrilled because this was new material. I looked over at my son who was bracing himself and asked if he was scared. “Yes!” he replied with a big grin on his face. We jumped, and there may have been a couple of little screams or gasps but no tears in our theater, and there were little ones there.

I won’t give anything away but if you want more specifics of timing message me or comment and I’ll let you know if you want to warn your kiddos. It’s pretty obvious right away though because the scene is NOT in the original.

Lion king intense for kids

There’s one other part with a startling surprise that wound up literally being my favorite part in the entire movie so I will let you have that experience too. Maybe I’ll write another blog post full of spoilers for people wanting to know specific scary parts beforehand, but I’m sure you can find stuff out there.

Overall, I’d say this is probably up there with Jungle Book on fear factor. The tiger in that movie seemed more scary to me. I asked my son last night if The Lion King was scary and he adamantly said it was not scary. I think for little kids who are unfamiliar with the story it’ll definitely feel intense. Especially in a loud theater on a big screen. Plus the story, I mean come on, we know what happens to Mufasa. But hey, our parents put us through that as kids, maybe we’re better for it. I’ll leave that choice up to you.

If you’re worried I’d suggest you go with a group of friends or date night and have a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Enjoy a movie from your childhood then make a decision about taking your kids. If your kids don’t startle easily, and/or love the original movie I personally don’t think you’ll have any issues.

Important moral lessons

One thing I thought this movie did really well was elaborate during some of the scenes that were a little vague or unclear. For instance, creators addressed Hakuna Matata, and the whole idea of “no worries” and being complacent more in this version. As well as the idea of knowing who you are and your responsibilities. I felt like this version was a little more inspiring and can really kick off some cool conversations with our kids.

Beyoncé

beyonces voice in the lion king

I don’t even know what else to title this header. Here’s the thing. I love her but I couldn’t un-see her face while watching Nala. Yes, it was a lion on the screen but still. Can You Feel the Love Tonight was incredible but lawd they might has well have made it a solo. I loved Donald Glovers voice though. And there’s a new single in the movie called “Sprit” that gave me chills. Jon Favreau (love him!) put in the perfect spot and I’ll let you be surprised and enjoy that as I did!

A 6-year-old’s Lion King Review

Live action lion king kids review. Mother son photo in front of the Lion King poster.

Though I had a few gripes about the remake my son LOVES it. There were several times during the movie where he laughed out loud and that is a big indication to me how great a movie is. He said he likes it more than Aladdin (previously his 2nd favorite movie). And tied with Toy Story 4 as his favorite.

Q:What was your favorite part?

A: The fighting! The sad part was when his dad died.

Q: Did you think it was funny?

A: Yes! Like when… [spoiler redacted]

Q:Why did you like the movie so much?

A: Because Mufasa.

Q: Was he your favorite character?

A: Yes! And then Simba was, when he grew up.

Q: Was it scary?

A: A little. Was it different?

Q: Did you think it was different?

A: It was a little different.

Q: Did you like this Lion King more or the other one?

A: This one more! Because they looked real.

Q:Do you think your sisters will like the movie?

A: I don’t know.

Q:Do you want to see it again?

A:YES!

Final thoughts

As I walked out of my screening I overheard some people saying it was “Better than Dumbo.” I haven’t published that review yet friends but that’s not saying much. That said, I’m buying my tickets to see it opening night with the whole family. I honestly believe now that I know how similar it is to the original I will be able to sit back and enjoy it for what it is and take in the animation and slight differences more.

There were a few times where the crowd laughed and I’d missed a line because I was taking a note or answering a question from my son. Keep your ears perked during all of the scenes with Timon and Pumba because they definitely have the most new material. Go watch it in IMAX if you can because WOW.

Is the lion king scary for kids

Overall I did enjoy the movie but I wasn’t blown away. I know part of that is because my expectations were higher since it’s my favorite movie, plus it’s hard to follow after Aladdin. In my opinion that is the best live action remake they’ve done so far, and still the one to beat. But we will see Lion King again. I’m buying my tickets for opening night, July 18th (out everywhere on the 19th).

TL;DR

Go into it knowing that it’s pretty much the same movie with updated animation and you’ll love it.

When are you going to see it? Let us know what you think!!

Wondering if we have similar taste in movies? Here are some of our other Disney movie reviews:

Beauty and the Beast live action movie review

Incredibles 2 movie review

Wreck it Ralph 2 movie review

Wrinkle in Time movie review

Coco movie review

Zootopia movie review

Cinderella movie review

We kicked off our Summer Disney movie series with the 2019 live action version of Aladdin, next up is Toy Story 4.

When I first heard about a Toy Story 4 I rolled my eyes. Really? Another one? Toy Story 3 ended so well, and I didn’t see the point in another. The trailer threw me off. A spork toy? What? I did not anticipate the movie being very good. But I tried to go into it with an open mind. We’ve screened it twice now and plan to see it again this opening weekend. If that’s not indication enough of how good it is, let me go ahead and give you a spoiler-free review.

Toy story 4 movie poster

My Toy Story 4 Review

My kids and I had re-watched the first three movies recently in preparation for this movie. It’s not necessary but a refresher of the first one is helpful to understand some of the conversation points. There were huge strides in technological advancements between the first three movies and then again with this movie we see even more detail and sharpness with this fourth installment. I was doubtful going in, but came out having gone through a roller coaster of emotions with a wide variety of sounds coming out of my mouth: Laughter, gasps and sobs. I don’t know why I ever doubted Pixar.

Toy Story 3 was a good chapter ending for Any and Woody’s story. This is taking us along Woody’s journey after Andy. Something that really struck me during this movie though was Woody’s growth. As if we grew up together through the years. There were some hilarious parts of the movie where I felt empathetic to Woody’s struggles and they took me back to those days as a new parent.

My husband hasn’t seen it yet but I know he will be there not only for the story but the comedic relief. As with all Pixar movies, there’s plenty of subtle (and clean) adult humor. Key and Peele as Duck and Bunny, Keanu and Reeves as Duke Caboom were hilarious additions I didn’t know I needed.

Toy story 4 characters kids review

Via Walt Disney Studios

Bo Peep came back with a vengeance and really kicks butt in a way that makes sense. I was sad that the Jesse and Buzz romance took a total back seat in this movie, but both characters still had some great parts.

Does it Beat the Others?

After seeing Toy Story 4 the first time I felt it was my new favorite Toy Story movie. But after watching it a couple of times and going back and watching the first one I think the two are closer than I thought. Visually this one takes the cake. But the first one won my hear when I was 9-years-old and it’s not letting go. But nothing beats sitting in a theater with my kids that are about the same age I was when the first movie came out–And hearing their laughter and clapping throughout the movie.

This is a film your entire family will love. Go into it with an open mind, and maybe bring a pair of tissues.

Oh, and make sure you stay for some during and after-the-credits scenes. There’s even one at the very very end.

Is Toy Story 4 Scary?

If you’ve seen any of the trailers you’ve probably noticed the creepy The ventriloquist dolls. They are a bit startling and had my kids not been next to me I would have thought some of those scenes were scary for them. But neither of them were frightened. When I asked if they were scared they insisted they weren’t. Maybe it’s because part of my childhood consisted of my watching scary movies about a terrifying murderous toy with my dad. But my kids apparently don’t have fears connected to dolls.

Gabby gabby from toy story 4

via Walt Disney Studios

My son did scream out loud, laugh and cheer through the movie. But he never yelled “I’m scared.” It’s rated G, and is no where near as startling as scenes in Zootopia. If you watch the trailers you see a good portion of the creepy dummy scenes so maybe take a peek and decide if it might be too much for your kiddos. Theaters are big and louder that something you’d watch at home so those scenes could be a little intense for little ones. I say trust your inner voice (*wink*), my kids say go for it! But more on their reviews below.

Toy Story 4 Kids Review

My kids loved the movie so much, the first words out of my son’s mouth as we walked out was “I want to make a Forky.” This coming from a not very crafty kid. As soon as we got home they made their own Forkys with things around the house (we didn’t have any sporks so they used plastic forks).

When we watched Aladdin, though they both enjoyed the movie very much, I didn’t get much audible reaction out of them. I can tell a movie is REALLY good when I can hear a physical reaction from their seats.  Aladdin didn’t hold my son’s attention the entire movie (though he says it did, there were moments he was squirming in his seat or asking if it was almost over). He was glued to the screen this entire movie (I think a big part of this is because he’s already so familiar with the characters). If your kids are fans of Woody and the gang, they will love this too!

Biracial kids dressed up as buzz lightyear and Jesse

8-Year-Old Review of Toy Story 4

Q: Did you like the movie?
A: Yes

Q: How did you like Toy Story 4 compared to the other Toy Story movies?
A: It was better because they improved on their computer skills. And the story was good.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: [The beginning part with Forky] – (Edited to remove spoilers)

Q: Did the movie make you laugh?
A: A little

Q: Did you think it was scary?
A: No.

Q: Do you think that little kids will be scared?
A: There’s one part where there’s a doll called Vincent and he’s kinda creepy. Some kids might be like me and not be scared. But if your kids are maybe 3 or 4 and pretty brave and stuff I think this will be a good movie for them.

Q: Did you learn any lessons in this movie?
A: I learned a lesson about bullies. But that’s all I’m going to say so I don’t spoil it.

Q: What did you think of Bo Peep?
A: In one and two she was with them and three she’s gone and in four she comes back strong. She reminds me of Merida.

Q: Do you think girls will look up to her?
A: Yes, because she’s a good example that you can be strong.

Q: Do you want to see it again even though you’ve already seen it twice?
A: Yes!

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A:Surprisingly Bo.

6-Year-Old Review of Toy Story 4

biracial boy dressed up like Buzz Lightyear with a giant tub of popcorn before watching toy story 4

Q: Did you like the movie?
A: Yes

Q: Why did you like the movie? Because there was Forky in it.
A: Did you think the movie was a little bit scary? It was not scary at all.

Q: Do you think little kids would be scared?
A: No.

Q: Was the movie funny?
A: YES! At Aladdin I didn’t laugh at all. Maybe just a tiny bit. But I liked this WAY WAY WAY more.

Q:Do you want to see Toy Story 4 again?
A: Yes yes yes YES!

Q: What’s your favorite movie ever?
A: Toy Story 4. I like it far away from everything else.

Q: Do you like it more than Toy Story 1?
A: Yes, way more.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Rex! Second was Forky

Q: Do you think your friends will like it?
A: Yea.

Q: Anything else you want to say about the movie?
A: Mom, who do you think I like more? You or Toy Story 4?
Q: Which one?
A: BOTH!

Toy Story 4 opens everywhere June 21st. Go see it then come back and let us know what you think!

Next up in our Summer Disney Movie series:

  • Dumbo! A review of the 2019 live action movie as it hits digital and DVD.
  • The Lion King: The 2019 version roars into theaters on Lee Lee’s birthday. The original is my all-time favorite movie so I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.
  • Countdown to Disney+: Stay tuned for more!

Wondering if we have similar taste in movies? Here are some of our other Disney movie reviews:

 

If you’re a child of the 90s you get it. You’re one part thrilled and one part terrified of how Disney did with another live adaptation edition of our childhood favorites.

They’re serving them up like hot cakes and I can’t eat them all fast enough. Actually we nearly missed Dumbo but we saw that last weekend (super late review of that coming soon cause I know you still haven’t seen that one yet). Anyway, back to Aladdin.

Our family re-watched the animated version for movie night last week and I brought my two oldest kids to screen the new one with me. We hadn’t watched a full trailer and went in with no expectations (I’ve learned my lesson). We came out with… Well, here’s our spoiler-free review including their kids movie review.

Aladdin kids movie review safe for kids

Aladdin movie review

At the very beginning I was holding my breath and cringing through some of the opening. I literally had the thought “why did Disney go low budget on this?!” But the story brought me in and by the time we were meeting the Genie my mind had been changed completely.

Will Smith can’t replace Robin Williams but he didn’t try to. He added his own swagger to the Genie and in my opinion, he killed it.

Will Smith as Genie in Aladdin kids movie review safe for kids.
Walt Disney Studios

Director Guy Ritchie, took a story we know and love (I mean raise your hands if you know all of the lines to the animated version) and flipped it around, changed it up and added so many new things while keeping the same spirit we fell in love with. I honestly think they did this better than many of the other live adaptations we’ve seen, including Beauty and the Beast.

Aladdin had me laughing, cheering and crying tears of joy. And the one thing I went into this movie hoping and wishing for: Jasmine getting her own song. I got! And it wound up being my kids’ favorite part of the movie. Yes, soundtrack, we will own you.

A common theme I’m noticing in all of these Disney refreshes is the desire to frame our beloved princesses in a better light. Giving them more of a voice and personality. The same is true in this movie. Jasmine embodies more of the “girl power” we want our girls to look up to, without taking over the movie.

Jasmine talks with Aladdin, is Aladdin too scary for young kids?
Walt Disney Studios

I could dive in more, but I won’t because I want you to enjoy it as much as I did, and be surprised.

Oh and I lied, aside from Jasmine getting a song the other thing I really wanted was some Bollywood-style dancing and did they deliver? YES. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Is Aladdin scary for young kids?

Funny enough, my only gripe throughout the movie was feeling as though Jafar wasn’t really scary. But I think it makes this more realistic-looking version more appealing for families with young kids. As the movie began my 6-year-old son asked me “is this going to be really scary?”. But throughout the movie he never got frightened.

Walt Disney Studios

If you’ve seen the original you probably remember the giant cobra at the end. My son was really looking forward to that part, but I think he was also a little worried for it. That wound up being another part of the story that got switched up a bit but my son enjoyed the slightly less frightening alternative.

Further down below in Big T’s review you’ll get to see what he found scary but not surprising. Thankfully there are no foul words

Some parts were a little slow for him. And this version may have been a little more difficult for him to follow. There were a few times before Aladdin met the Genie that he asked me if the movie was almost over. And I was like no baby, we’re just getting started. But by the time Will Smith was singing, the rest kept his attention.

LIVE ADAPTATION VS ANIMATED VERSION

I think they did a great job keeping the main points across without feeling the need to rework the movie line by line. I was pleasantly surprised with how it came together. Some of our favorites lines were still there. The infamous “do you trust me” and we got several new gems.

I love how Aladdin and Jasmine got to know each other in the live adaptation better. And how we got some answers to their backstories. Overall there was just so much more meat to it.

It was as though I knew what to expect but still didn’t know what was going to happen and was so pleasantly surprised throughout the film.

Walt Disney Studios

I am a little embarrassed to say this but this is the first time I’m grappling with which version of the movie I liked more. Usually I leave feeling the animated movies are still far superior but Aladdin 2019 wiggled it way into my heart.

a note about COSTUMES

I need to take a moment to just give a shout out to the costume department. If they don’t win all the awards I will be so surprised. Jasmine’s wardrobe was absolutely breathtaking. I love that the signature blue made an appearance, but wasn’t all she wore. Each and every one of her dresses blew me away.

Walt Disney Studios

Alright so here’s what the kids thought.

ALADDIN KIDS movie REVIEW

Walt Disney Studios

Big T’s 6-year-old Aladdin review

Q: What did you think of the movie?

A: Good. Because the movie was good

Q: What was your favorite part?

A: When bad guys were chasing Aladdin.

Q: Do you think your friends would like the movie?

A: I don’t know

Q: Who was your favorite character?

A: The girl because her singing was more gooder.

Q: Better?

A: Yea, better.

Q: Were any parts too scary for kids?

A: Not too scary. But it was scary when he pushed him in the water. But that’s what he did in the other one.

Q: Which movie did you like more?

A: Both. But the other one has a giant snake. I want to watch the other one again because there’s a giant snake.

Q: Do you want to go see this one again?

A: Yes. Thursday. Not this Thursday but next Thursday.

Q: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?

A: I would wish that I could be a train conductor. I would wish that I could have a T-Rex.

Q: So it could eat you?

A: A nice T-Rex. And that I could have a nice snake.

Lil’ J’s 8-year-old review

Aladdin kids movie review live action

Q: What did you think of the movie?

A: Speechless

(There’s a pun here you’ll understand after you’ve seen the movie)

Q: What was your favorite part?

A: When Jasmine was singing.

Q: Did you think it was funny?

A: Yes. It was funny when Aladdin was dancing.

Q: Which version of Aladdin did you like more?

A: This one infinity times more because it has more parts in it and more songs and it’s a new version of Aladdin. It is funny. At the beginning the movie wasn’t that good and at the end it blew me away.

Q: Would you recommend to friends?

A: Yes because I love it, I want to see it again, every day. Best movie ever!

Q: What age do you think this movie good for?

A: 3 to anything. Not too boring for a 3 year old. I think a 1-2 year old wouldn’t understand it but I think a 3 year old may have some questions would be able to figure it out.

(Note from mom… You know your kids best. I’d put this more in the 5 and up range).

Walt Disney Studios

Final thoughts from Lil’ J

“I liked Jasmine because she’s sweet with a pinch of spice. She’s no longer going to be silent and she was being a good role model. She’s my new favorite Disney Princess.”

My Final Thoughts

And there you have it friends. An Aladdin kids movie review.

To my fellow 90s children, I say set everything you’re expecting aside and go in with an open mind. Take your kids and have fun. Then come back and let us know what you thought!

Not convinced check out the trailer and see what you think. And if you want some coloring and activity pages to get hyped for the film you can download some free Aladdin activity pages here.

Wondering if we have similar taste in movies? Here are some of our other Disney movie reviews:

Beauty and the Beast live action movie review

Incredibles 2 movie review

Wreck it Ralph 2 movie review

Wrinkle in Time movie review

Coco movie review

Zootopia movie review

Cinderella movie review

Aladdin kids movie review

Are you going to see it this weekend?

Ok so I braved a movie screening with three kids solo. Including our three month old baby. Thankfully our screening wasn’t jam packed and we came out unscathed. Also, because of the screening time of the movie my kids were the ONLY kids in the theater. So that made for an interesting experience.

Anyway. We all had varying opinions of the movie and today are giving you a spoiler-free review and answering some questions about if it’s scary or intense for little ones.

ralph breaks the internet kids review

Are Disney Sequels Making a Comeback?

I owe you a blog post I literally started years ago about my top 10 Disney sequels. I’m not talking Pixar sequels (those are really good) but good ‘ol Disney Animation sequels, most of which were direct to DVD. I was so anxious to see how Ralph Breaks the Internet (essentially Wreck it Ralph 2) would compare. And with Frozen 2 set to come out next year, this could be a Disney comeback trend.

I’m happy to say that Ralph Breaks the Internet is worth the theatrical release, and you should totally see it over the holidays. It’s a great family flick, and if you loved the original, you’ll likely enjoy this one too. As good as the original? Well, keep reading to see what we think.

What I thought

I was a little more distracted than usual at this screening. There are at least three parts of the film that got audience chuckles that went over my head either because my son was asking a question or I was trying to nurse my baby. But there are several other funny parts to laugh at. Especially the Disney Princess scene which you get glimpses of in the previews.

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

The new characters are great. I loved the new hip gamers, especially Shank. Sergeant Calhoun was my favorite character in the first one, and while we got to see her it isn’t nearly enough for me.

Admittedly Wreck it Ralph isn’t one of my favorite Disney movies to begin with, so I’m not blown away by the sequel. But there are some gems that made the movie for me. From an unexpected song, to so many social media references. It is entertaining and I’ll be looking for all of the easter eggs (hidden characters) for years and years I’m sure.

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

There were some funny parts, but a lot of the humor is for people who know and understand the internet (social media, ebay, etc) and a lot of that went over my kids’ heads. I feel like the first movie had more silly kid humor they would understand. Still, the film has a sweet message about friendship, insecurities and following your own path.

What makes or breaks movies most for me though are how much my children enjoy them.

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

Every time I looked over at Lil’ J (8 years) she was grinning from ear to ear. Loving every second. My son (5 years) loved whenever there was racing, and the climax near the end, but he lost interest multiple times and even asked me about three times if the movie was almost over.

Before you ask if it’s his age or personality let me add, he sat through Cars 3 and Incredibles 2 multiple times with barely a peep, so I think that speaks to something. It may seem like a slower or confusing movie for some younger kiddos.

Is it scary?

The only part that may be considered scary, or at least kinda creepy was my son’s favorite part and it involves overcoming the problem in the end. It’s not as scary or as creepy as the bug part with Turbo at the end of the first movie. My daughter gets easily creeped out and she thought the whole movie was great. As usual, use your discretion when taking your kids. Movies in theaters are are usually louder, darker and feel more intense.

What they thought

Big T

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

Did you like Ralph Breaks the Internet?: Yes
What was your favorite part?: I liked the BIG Wreck it Ralph!
Were you scared?: No
Did you think the movie was funny?: No.
Do you think the movie was scary?: No.
Would your baby sister be scared?: No.
What did you like about the movie?: I liked the racing. When they went REALLY fast!
Did you like Wreck it Ralph 1 or 2 more?: I liked 2 more because there’s a bigger Wreck it Ralph.
Would you friends like Wreck it Ralph 2?: I don’t know.
Do you want to see it again?: Yes

Lil’ J

ralph breaks the internet scary kids review

What did you think of the movie?: It was very good. It made me think of my friends and how I need to treat them.
Did you think it was funny?: Yes! The movie was very funny, one of the funniest movies I’ve watched.
What was your favorite part?: I loved when Vanellope met the Disney princesses.
What do you think about it compared to the first movie?: They had a new adventure!
Did you like it more?: Yes, because they were very different. They plugged in the internet and they explored it.
Who were your favorite characters?: Vanellope and Shank
Did you think it was scary? (SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD, SKIP TO THE NEXT Q IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW): Not at all. A little when they made a big Ralph monster. It wasn’t scary, but maybe for three and under I’d think it’s a little scary.
What else did you like about the movie?: It was about friendship being one of the most important things.
Would you recommend this movie?: Yes, because I think they’ll like it as much as I did.
Were you a big Wreck it Ralph fan?: Yes, it was one of my favorites. Ralph Breaks the internet is my new favorite because it was funny.
Do you want to see it again?: Yes! Of course! Why wouldn’t I?
What would you like to add?: I think ages 3 months to 100 could watch this. It was one of the best movies in the world.

So there you have it! Our honest review. Ralph Breaks the Internet wrecks into theaters nationwide Wednesday November 21st! We hope you’ll go see it too then come let us know what you think!

Ralph breaks the internet coloring pages

Images via Disney.

Alright, I have been writing a lot about my experience at the premiere and interviewing cast from the movie, but I know THIS is the post you have been waiting for. A Wrinkle in Time review.

Full disclosure. I always try my very best to give my full honest review despite being a huge Disney fan. Naturally I want to go on and on raving about this movie because of how connected I feel to the cast but I’m still going to give it to you straight (but spoiler-free).

I’ve now seen the movie three times. Once in a screening before interviewing the cast, once at the Red Carpet Premiere, and last night at another screening with my 7-year-old daughter. Hands down, the best experience was seeing it with her, because I got to watch her light up and really see it more from a child’s perspective. It’s not my favorite Disney movie, but right now, it’s hers. Actually, and I quote “It’s the best best best BEST movie EVER!” according to her, and it’ll forever have a special place in our home.

As adults we can be so cynical and harsh with judgements, but seeing it this time took me back to being a kid watching classic films like The Goonies, E.T. or The Neverending Story. I watch these now like “Was I high?” but as a kid. WOW! That was some magical stuff.

I absolutely believe A Wrinkle in Time will go down as a beautiful classic kids love like those–Except, maybe without the weird feeling of being on something.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Review, a 6-year-old would love this. 7-year old review

Disney

Movies based on books, especially classic books, are always up for steep criticism. As an adult, if you haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time, or haven’t read it in a long time I would suggest you check it out from the library or listen to it on audiobook to get up to speed. When it comes to kids and the book, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal if they aren’t familiar with the story because kids have big imaginations and can just go with it. But if your child likes to understand everything that’s going on and tends to ask a lot of questions during the movie (this is my daughter), he or she may enjoy it better knowing more about the story.

I was excited to read it with my kids so we could create venn diagrams and compare similarities and differences. We finished the book about three weeks ago and surprisingly she didn’t notice nearly as many differences as I did, but I’ll go into that later. First let me break down the film.

Summary

Meg Murry is a middle school student who just wants to fit in. She is the brilliant daughter of two world-renowned physicists. Four years ago, her father, Mr. Murry disappeared, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Meg’s little brother Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father. Together they embark on their quest across the universe to try to save him. Like the book, it takes you on an adventure through time and space and carries a thoughtful message of light vs dark, good versus evil and the hope that love can triumph.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Review, a 6-year-old would love this. 7-year old review

Disney

Ava DuVernay brought this books to life in a visually stunning adaptation I really enjoyed and my daughter LOVED. Even watching it through a third time I heard new things I’d missed before, noticed details I overlooked, and messages sunk in even deeper. I asked my daughter if she’ll want to buy this movie and she corrected me saying she wants to see it at the movies at least a few more times first, then yes, of course we’ll add it to our collection.

Oh, and the soundtrack is off the chain. I’ll be buying that too.

Important Messages and Morals

You guys, aside from watching her laugh and smile through the movie, my absolute favorite part were the conversations we had about the movie after. We had a conversation about bullies and how they sometimes treat people mean because of their own insecurities. From friendships, how to handle bullies, self worth, and good vs evil. She pulled things out of the movie and asked questions that made me realize how much she’s growing up.

The book and the movie are both excellent conversation starters about all of these things.

Book vs Movie

wrinkle in time homeschool unit study

Look, I always think the books are better. My daughter really enjoyed the book but she says she likes the movie more. I missed one particular character on a particular planet that was my personal favorite part of the book. But when I asked my daughter to compare the two she didn’t mention missing that. The story is brought to life in such a colorful way that makes me wonder what kid wouldn’t love it. Not to mention that Meg was rockin some curls and beautiful brown skin that had my daughter seeing herself up on the big screen.That fact alone was priceless to our family.

The Mrs. weren’t the old witch-looking ladies we imagined while reading the book, but beautiful beings each with their own personality, look and style.

Some of our favorite lines from the book were still in the movie, some parts I loved were missing, but the most important thing–The message, remained the same.

Is Wrinkle in Time Scary?

When a new Disney movie comes out a lot of parents want to know if it’s appropriate for their child’s age. Like most movies I’d say it’s not an age thing as much as a maturity thing, and what your children are already exposed to.

Like in the book there are a couple of scenes that may be a little frightening to kids. A couple characters with red eyes, a tornado storm, and there are a few scenes that are dark and loud, particularly when they reach IT at Central Central Intelligence. That could be scary for small children. My 4, almost 5-year-old son wouldn’t have been scared during that part but he likely would have been bored long before then not understanding the conversations or what was going on.

My daughter and I both think content wise, it’s best for kids 6 and up, but if you’ve got a kid who just loves movies by all means, bring them too!

Ok now let me get to my 7-year-old’s review.

Wrinkle in Time Review from a 7-year-old

I liked Wrinkle in Time a lot because it was magical and exciting. I think it’s the best movie ever because there are a lot of smart kids like Meg and Calvin and Charles Wallace. It made me feel like “woah, that’s cool!”

My favorite part was when they were flying. And there was a lot of cool dresses with the Mrs. Mrs. Whatsit was really fully. I don’t want to spoil it but besides Meg, she’s my favorite character because she’s really funny. The whole movie isn’t funny like The Lion King or something, there are a few funny parts, but it’s also serious and has some magical stuff and adventures.

The movie is about light fighting darkness.

It reminds me of Martin Luther King Jr. because he said hate can’t defeat hate, only love can do that. And that’s the same as darkness can’t defeat darkness, only light can do that. I think that was the moral of the story and also that you are fine however you are. And even though somebody looks different it doesn’t mean that they have a better life, it juts changes how you look. You might have it even worse than you used to.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Review, a 6-year-old would love this. 7-year old review

The first thing I noticed that was different than the book was that Calvin’s dad was the one yelling at him in the movie but in the book it was his mom. Oh yea, the twins weren’t in it, but they weren’t really in the book that much anyway. Sometimes movies are different than the books so that’s why I wasn’t expecting I knew what was going to happen. I was paying attention so I could notice the details that were different.

It wasn’t scary, it didn’t seem scary, some little kids may be scared by the storm because it’s loud. IT was more scary in the movie than the book, but it wasn’t too scary. I was really excited to see what was going to happen next.

6 to anything is a good age to see it. Cause they said 8 to anything and I thought I couldn’t watch it, and I don’t want others to think they can’t watch it, so I wanted to say younger but I also want them to understand it. I don’t think my brother would understand it because he’s half dinosaur. If you just love Disney movies and you think you’ll understand them, you should come to this movie.

Conclusion

Take your mature kids and enjoy watching this beautiful film through their eyes. Be ready for important conversations about brining goodness and light to the world, how our pain can make us stronger and that we should love ourselves the way we are.

Hope you found our review helpful. After you see it come back and let us know what you think!

A Wrinkle in Time hits theaters everywhere Friday March 9th.

Ok I’ve been slacking on my movie review game. We got busy with Thanksgiving and then we all got really sick so I didn’t get around to posting this. But Coco was a fantastic movie and definitely deserves it’s own review.

We went as a whole family to see it and though I’d only really watched one trailer I did get to screen the first 30 minutes of the film a couple months ago and that got me really excited for the movie. I thought my kids would enjoy it, but I wasn’t sure how much. My son is an avid Cars 3 watcher, my daughter is only watching the crappy Percy Jackson movies over and over right now. So who knows.

We didn’t get to screen the Olaf short, so I can’t say how that was, we’ll have to update this when we go see Coco again. But so far I haven’t heard the greatest things about it so maybe we didn’t miss much.

Ok so let’s dive into our Coco movie review.

Coco is a family film to celebrate families

Pixar movies rarely disappoint and Coco definitely is up there with some of the best. There were plenty of laughs for both kids and adults, and so much beauty and meaning, It also didn’t hurt that the movie totally keeps you on your toes with twists and turns you don’t expect. Add in the fact that the movie has a great moral to follow your passions and celebrate generations of family and love and you’ve got a home run in my book.

I was watching the movie I kept thinking LDS people, or others who are really into family history will especially love this movie. It ties in the importance of the living to remember their ancestors. Coco isn’t the name of the little boy who stars in the film, that’s Miguel. And Coco is his great-grandmother, who lives with them. The movie really made me stop and think how lucky my kids are to know their great-great grandpa, who will be 99 next month!

Rich in culture

I’ll admit I didn’t know much about Dia De Los Muertos going in to see this movie. I knew it meant day of the dead and that it was a day to celebrate ancestors. I knew it was mostly a Mexican celebration, but from my understanding many Latin countries and cultures have their own version and adaptations.

Coco laid out the celebration pretty openly, but not overly obvious. In other words, it didn’t take away from the story telling. A mom explained the ofrendas, and how the marigold petals are meant to help guide the spirits to their altars.  And that Dia De Los Muertos is the one night a year their ancestors can come from the Land of the Dead to visit them.

Beautiful culture was infused with the food, clothing, bright colors and music. Fun fact… All the guitar playing you see in the film is using real guitar chords and fingering.

Another point I’d make about the culture throughout the film… I’d be curious to hear opinions of people who have family from Mexico/ are from Mexico/ know the culture and/or language. Being in Texas we have a large Hispanic population and our audience was hooting and hollering, some at parts where I felt like maybe I missed a joke. Like the grandma who likes to hit people with the shoe, you may have seen clips of that in the previews. It was funny to me, but I’m sure people who are in on that inside joke would probably understand it more. There were also occasional Spanish phrases here and there woven in with English which I thought was pretty cool. With context you can still follow along. I mean, you don’t need years of Spanish lessons to know what cacas means.

Is Coco too scary for kids?

Both of mine say no. But the big colorful part Jaguar part eagle part ram part five other things alebrije might be frightening to some small kids. The skeletons are all friendly but could be startling at first for some little kids in a dark loud theater. We watched it in 3D and I never for a moment worried about my kids being scared. But if yours have seen Zootopia or The Good Dinosaur, or even Moana and were fine, I’d say they’ll do fine for this movie as well.

Kids Review

So you might be wondering if Coco is appropriate for a 4-year-old. My son sat and watched the entire movie without one complaint. The skeletons didn’t scare him. I didn’t notice him laughing much but it sometimes takes him watching a movie a couple times to give me a reaction. My daughter however, was laughing several times throughout, and that always warms my heart.

From 7-year-old Lil’ J: Coco is a good movie for families to see because it’s about family. Miguel goes into the dead world to discover why his family doesn’t like music. They just wanted to make shoes, boring old shoes.

I think my friends would like it because it’s funny. It’s not scary, I think it’s good for kids 4 and up because my brother liked it too.

My favorite part was when Miguel was explaining to his great grandma how he used to run slow and how he learned to use his arms and run faster. It’s really funny.

I would like to see it again! It’s my new favorite Disney movie.

From 4-year-old Big T: 

Q: Did you like the movie Coco?
A: Yea!
Q: Why?
A: Because I liked it!
Q: Is Coco a scary movie?
A: No, it’s not scary.

He’s still a man of few words but I imagine this will be another movie we have on repeat once (if ever) he tires of Cars 3 (because the rest of us already have).

Overall I loved the movie. My husband came with us too and enjoyed it. It’s personally not my favorite Disney Pixar film, I think a couple of the Toy Story movies and Finding Dory are still up there for me. But I’d say this is in my top 10 for sure, and I’m excited to see it again! So if you were on the fence about seeing this one, hop over! You won’t regret it.

Did you see Coco over Thanksgiving weekend? What did you think?

Read our other recent Disney movie reviews:

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

*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

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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