Category Archives: kid-friendly

FILM REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Few can deny the timeless appeal of the original Mary Poppins. Led by the legendary Julie Andrews in her feature debut, the 1964 classic boasted a much-loved soundtrack by the Sherman brothers, some of the most memorable dance sequences ever seen on screen, and of course, animated dancing penguins. As portrayed in 2013’s Saving Mr Banks, Poppins’ creator, P.L. Travers, was pursued by Walt Disney for the rights to the film for over twenty years, and was not at all happy with the end product when it did eventually come to fruition. Travers rejected the concept for a film sequel in the 1980s, and acquiesced to the stage musical adaptation (which premiered in 2004, eight years after her death) on the grounds that no one from the original film – the Sherman Brothers in particular – be involved. Fast forward to 2018, a whopping fifty-four years since the original magic, and Poppins is back on screen. The sequel was approved by Travers’ estate but one can only assume she would not be thrilled; the penguins are back and they’re dancing on her grave. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

FILM REVIEW: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker ballet has long been a staple of children’s Christmas entertainment, offering a world of dolls, mice, and best of all, dancing sweets. With E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, acting as the original source material, the ballet is based on Alexander Dumas’ adaptation, The Story of the Nutcracker. With numerous ballet productions performed over the years, it’s a story that often differs in its retelling, with the Disney live action film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms the latest take on the classic. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Charming (2018)

Apparently the females have had their time to shine and it’s time to give some attention to the forgotten hero: Prince Charming. Charming, directed and written by Ross Venokur, begins with three vacuous princesses, Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), Snow White (Avril Lavigne) and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.) who are all betrothed to the same man, Prince Philippe Charming (Wilder Valderamma). As a baby he was cursed with so much charm that every woman in the kingdom falls head over heels in love with him on sight, much to the chagrin of the men in their lives. Being a good guy, Philippe gives attention to all, saving the three princesses and somehow becoming engaged to each one of them despite his lack of genuine interest. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Charming (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Wonder (2017)

Based on the novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio, Wonder focuses on Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a fifth-grader going to school for the first time after being home-schooled by his mother (Julia Roberts). Auggie has Treacher Collins’ syndrome and so, despite numerous surgeries, does not quite look like the other kids. At Beecher Prep he faces the shocked stares of his schoolmates and the bullying antics of some, but of course this is schmaltz 101 so we know he will triumph above it all. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Wonder (2017)