Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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Rated: PG

Release Date: November 1, 2019

Director: Aaron Woodley

Stars: Anjelica Huston, James Franco, Jeremy Renner

Plot: A small arctic fox dreams of becoming a sled dog, but his size isn't the only thing standing in his way



Clint Says: Don't even bother



Somebody needs to check on the health and well-being of all of the actors that worked on this flick. The only reason I can figure out why they would agree to do this movie after reading the screenplay, is that they are either being blackmailed or held captive somewhere. (Okay, probably not, but still this movie is THAT bad).


This is the dictionary definition of a Hollywood cash grab. The studio decided they could put out an animated flick, no matter what the story was about, and make a couple of million bucks. There is no passion behind this project. It looks and feels like it was put together in a executive board room with zero considerations for anything other than the bottom line.


The story is astonishingly underwhelming. To the point that I kept waiting for some big twist to happen that never came. It just plays out in this slow and unbearable way. By 40 minutes into the screening literally every kid in the theater was bored. Half of them weren't even watching by then. The only person in the theater having any fun at all was the 5 year old that kept running away from his mom.


Also, note to Hollywood casting directors. Do not, under any circumstances, ever cast Heidi Klum to do voice work. Seriously, her character would have been better if it had been voiced by the new intern that has never been in a recording studio. (And cheaper, too). You could tell that she was reading her lines word for word. It was painful.


Throw on top of that a useless villain with no real reason for ding what he is doing and a bunch of super-preachy adult political crap and this one ends up on the bottom of the 2019 movie pile. I'm guessing this one has a really good shot at making my 10 worst list this year.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: September 27, 2019

Director: Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman

Stars: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard

Plot: A girl finds a Yeti hiding near her house and goes on a journey to return him to his home



Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now



I love it when DreamWorks comes out with a new animated film because I know they are going to raise the bar once again. They did it with SHREK, they did it with HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, and they did it with TROLLS.


And now they've done it again with ABOMINABLE.


This film is fun and exciting. I was pulled into the story right from the start and stayed interested throughout the whole film. The kids I was with were even more enthralled than I was. They were leaning forward and bouncing on the edge of their seats with excitement.


It is magical in story-line and in the visuals on-screen. I was fascinated by how crisp, clean, and detailed the animation was. Even the smallest details were visible and beautiful. And when Everest the Yeti does his magic the whole screen jumps to life. At times I didn't even know where to look because I wanted to see all of it at once.


The story is pretty formulaic, but that is okay. This is a movie made for kids around the age of 8-10. They haven't seen this story play out dozens of times like adults have. But even as an adult, and knowing where the story was going, I was still happy to be on the journey with the characters.


The kids will find this film to be exciting, magical, adventurous, and suspenseful. Parents will find it to be the same.


This movie should have it's name changed from ABOMINABLE to ADORABLE. Take the whole family and enjoy.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: August 13, 2019

Director: Thurop Van Orman

Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader

Plot: The birds and pigs must work together when a new threat promises to take out both of their islands




Clint Says: Wait for the digital release



This is one of those times where Hollywood should have walked away when it had the chance. The first ANGRY BIRDS movie was a lot of fun, and funny. This one feels like nothing more than a poorly written cash grab. I saw it in a theater with a bunch of kids and their parents. I might as well have been in a library with how quiet the place was.


I guess on the one hand, maybe that means the kids were captivated enough by the movie to sit quiet and still for 100 minutes, but it also means that all of the comedy landed flat. There wasn't a single moment where I heard crowd laughter.


It's slow-paced, barely funny, and annoyingly similar to the first film in look and story.


There is nothing innovative, special, or unique about this movie. It offers nothing that makes it worth spending your money to see it in theaters. Just wait for the digital release. That way, when your kids get bored with it, you can turn it off and not feel bad about wasting all of that money.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: June 21, 2019

Director: Josh Cooley

Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale

Plot: Woody and his friends must do everything they can to find and return Forky, Bonnie's favorite toy, to her



Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now



It's hard to believe, but it has been nine years since the last TOY STORY film hit the big screen.


It was worth the wait.


This new film is another classic in what could be considered one of the best kids' movie franchises ever. It's not the best of the four, but it will be for some people.


Perhaps the best part of this movie is the addition of the new characters. Of course we have Forky, voiced by the hilarious Tony Hale. He is central to the plot and gives us a fun new take on learning that he is a toy. We also get to meet Duke Caboom, Canadian Stuntman, played by Keanu Reeves. To say that Keanu is on a hot streak right now would be an understatement. And he proves it once again by voicing a bit character that steals every scene he is in. Finally, we are introduced to Ducky and Bunny, voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Their impromptu banter is fantastically funny and steals the whole movie.


While the story may seem similar to the other films, (one character gets lost and the rest have to rescue them), this one feels and is different. There is some pretty amazing character development going on for a kids' movie, as well as some pretty deep philosophical thoughts, but it all plays well for the younger crowd.


As with the former TOY STORY films this one will have you laughing until your jaw hurts, but it will also have you crying into your bucket of popcorn. And I'm not talking happy little tears during a sentimental moment. No, I'm talking three-tissue, ugly sobbing. So come prepared.


If you are looking for something to do with the kids this week, this has to be your #1 choice. You don't want to miss out on one of the best movies of the Summer, and possibly the best animated film of the year. 

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Rated: PG

Release Date: June 7, 2019

Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Stars: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Harrison Ford

Plot: The dogs have a kid in the house now and are doing everything they can to protect him



Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters



Here is all you need to know about this movie. My young daughter is a much harsher movie critic than I am. I loved this film and so did she. Therefore this may be one of the greatest movies ever made.


Okay, that's taking it too far, but it is a very good movie.


There are two greatest things about this film, First, it is laugh out loud funny. There are tons of jokes and sight gags for kids and adults. Several times during the screening I attended the entire crowd was laughing. Even my hard to please child was doubled over with laughter on a couple of occasions.


Second, it is mercifully short for parents. The running time is listed at 86 minutes. And because the pacing is fast and even, the time flies by. I never felt like I was bored. The short time also has another benefit. I didn't see a steady stream of parents chasing after their kids on the way to the bathroom. It seems we may have scientifically proven that young children can watch an 86 minute long film without needing a potty break as long as the movie is really good.


This sequel was also much less dark than the first one. You may recall the first film had several pretty scary and suspenseful moments for younger kids. This one still has some of that, but overall it is much more lighthearted and fun.


If you are looking for a good reason to get the kids out of the house for a couple of hours this is a great way to spend the time. You'll laugh a lot and you won't feel like you've wasted your time or money.


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Rated: PG

Release Date: May 3, 2019

Director: Kelly Asbury

Stars: Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae

Plot: Several misfit toys go on an adventure to find children to love them, but the perfect toys are trying to keep the misfits from being found



Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee



What do you get when you put together a huge list of A-list actors and musicians, a unique animation style, and a bunch of factory-reject fuzzy dolls? You get an okay movie with some great songs.


Kelly Clarkson leads the way as the rejected doll that refuses to give up hope that she will, one day, be held in the arms of a child that needs her. She, along with her band of misfits, set out to make her dream a reality. 


The film is targeted to children about 6-8 years old, and it does very little to try to keep the adults entertained. Throughout the entire movie I heard kids laughing, but very few adults were reacting to it. So, if you are planning on taking your kids to see this, you might want to have something else to do for yourself.


The animation is interesting, it isn't complicated or groundbreaking, but it is eye-catching because the scenery is made out of quilt work and cardboard. It almost feels like you are watching a young child build an imaginary world out of the things they have in their room. It gives the film a simple and innocent feel. 


The best part of the movie is the music. Almost every song is super catchy and fun. And since they are sung by people like Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monae, and Nick Jonas they sound amazing. The one time Blake Shelton sings leaves a lot to be desired, thankfully his part is short.


This is not a great animated movie by any standard, but it will entertain the younger kids for 90 minutes. You won't be mad that you spent the money to see it in theaters, but you'll be a lot happier with the savings if you wait for the digital release.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: April 12, 2019

Director: Chris Butler

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldana

Plot: An adventurer finds Bigfoot and promises to take him to his cousins on the other side of the world



Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters



I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. I went into it with an open mind like I always do, but this film gave me way more than I was expecting. It is fantastically funny from start to finish. If you are a fan of literal humor, this is a must-see movie for you.


Yes, this is a movie targeted to young children, but there are so many jokes designed to keep parents interested all throughout. If you go with your kids they will be asking you why you are laughing at certain things. Good luck trying to give them an acceptable answer.


The plot is fairly simple, and the bad guy is one-dimensional, but that is all forgivable since it is a kids' movie. It is also a fun and heartwarming road trip flick. It's got great character arcs, surprising plot twists, and very good pacing. There was never a time where I was bored.


If you are looking for a fun, funny, family film you should give this one a shot. It may surprise you as well.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: March 15, 2019

Director: None (Dylan Brown was fired)

Stars: Sofia Mali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson

Plot: A young girl creates an imaginary park, but when she finds out it has become real she has to help the cast of characters living there save it



Clint Says: Wait for the digital release



About 14 months before the release of this film the studio fired its director because of misconduct allegations. They never bothered to replace him.


Even with directors, there are so few movies worth paying the price to see in theaters. Now imagine trying to make a good movie without a captain. It's virtually impossible. Sure, they had a staff of high level executives working to make the decisions, but you need someone to break the ties and make the tough decisions. That is what a good director does.


Needless to say, this movie is pretty much a hot mess. Thankfully it is only 80 minutes long so you don't have to endure too much of it. The pacing is all over the place, there is a whole weird thing going on with the main character's mom that will probably need a lot of careful explanations to curious children, and the action in the park is limited to about 20 minutes. It almost feels like it's over before it starts, but then there is still another 20 minutes to go.


The bottom line though is will the kids like it? Probably. Is it going to become one of their favorites? No. Is it worth the price of several tickets and concessions? Definitely not.


There are a lot of kids' movies coming out in the next few months. Many of which will be better than this one. Save your money for things like DUMBO. And if your kids really want to see this one, rent it when it comes out digitally in a few months, but my guess is that everyone will have forgotten about it by then.


Rated: PG

Release Date: February 22, 2019

Director: Dean DeBlois

Stars: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett

Plot: Everything and everyone in Berk is in danger, so Hiccup must become the leader they need and find a place for them to live in peace



Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now



The first film in this franchise was so spectacular, the animation was so far ahead of it's time, that I never thought they would be able to capture the magic in a sequel. Then they did.


And now, they have managed to do it again.


Once again, the story is fantastic and compelling, the action is fast-paced and entertaining, the animation is still better than most animated films, and it is emotionally deep while still being a light-hearted kids' film.


Very rarely does an animated film evoke a wide range of emotions, but this one will make you feel all sorts of things. It is full of laughs, but if you can make it through the entire film without shedding a tear you might want to check your pulse.


The only thing that keeps this movie from being nearly perfect is an annoying plot hole associated with a villain that isn't nearly as well developed as the other characters. The villain is really smart, but his reasoning and execution are flawed.


If you saw the first two films in this franchise and liked them, you will be really happy with this third and final installment. If you haven't seen the other films yet, I highly recommend you binge all of them this weekend.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: February 8, 2019

Director: Mike Mitchell

Stars: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish

Plot: Emmet must go on a daring adventure to the Sistar System to save his friends from invaders



Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters



The Lego movie franchise is easily one of the best movie franchises of all time. So far, every film has been incredible. This one is no exception.


THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART is fantastically funny, irreverent, exciting, and interesting for kids and adults of all ages. Yes, it does feel a little bit too much like the first movie, but there are enough new characters and story lines to make it worth the price of admission.


Possibly the best part of this film is how it makes fun of itself and other major movie franchises. If you are a comic book movie fan you will have several opportunities to laugh while your children look at you like you are crazy.


If you are a fan of the first Lego film you should put this one on your list of must see films. There aren't a lot of family-friendly movies that are worth theater prices, but this one absolutely is.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Director: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

Stars: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson

Plot: Ralph comes up with a plan to find a replacement part on Vanellope's video game on the internet, but they've never seen anything like the internet before



Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters



If you liked the first WRECK IT RALPH film this one is a must-see. All of your favorite characters are back, and several more are added to the fun.


I was slightly worried for the first 15 to 20 minutes of the movie, because it starts pretty slow. But after that it turns into a fast-paced, funny, and entertaining ride all the way to the finish.


The best part of the movie is when Vanellope meets all of the Disney princesses. Their scenes are epic! Try your best to read all of their T-shirts, you'll be laughing for days. And the studio did it right by bringing in as many of the original voices for the princesses as possible. They bring the whole movie up a couple of notches.


There are a couple of suspenseful scenes that may be too much for the under seven crew. If you have younger kids that may be sensitive to scary images and high suspense, you may want to check it out first.


Overall, this is a great sequel in the franchise. It is another one your kids will want to see on the big screen and then own when it hits the shelves.


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Rated: PG

Release Date: November 9, 2018

Director: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson

Plot: A curmudgeonly loner hatches a plan to steal Christmas from a happy town



Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters



If you are one of the people who loves the Grinch cartoon from a few decades ago, but thinks it is outdated, and thinks the Jim Carey version is a bit over the top then this is the perfect blend for you. This is a fun, fanciful and exciting film with a lot of laughs and a lot of heart.


The animation is outstanding, the music is wonderful, and the story is compelling for both young and old. I never felt like the film was dragging or trying to find its way. It is well-paced all the way through.


For fans of the original book, I think you will really enjoy this version. It's much more true to the original story and tone than the live action film was. That's not to say this adaptation doesn't have a lot of slapstick comedy, because it does. Someone is always bonking something.


If you have a young child they are going to want to own this movie as soon as it hits store shelves. I was with an audience filled with small children and they all loved it. The laughter and excited chatter was non-stop. 


We may not have needed a new version of THE GRINCH, but if we do have to have one I'm glad this is the one we got, because it is well worth watching for the whole family.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: September 28, 2018

Director: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig

Stars: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common

Plot: A village of Yetis has their world turned upside down when one of their own sees the mythological creature, a human



Clint Says: Wait for the digital release




During the last 10-15 years animated movies have gone from simple kids' flicks to excellent films that can easily stand on the same level as some of the best live action films to ever hit the big screen. So, when an average animated film comes out it really stands out. Not in a good way.


SMALLFOOT is an average animated film.


The animation is okay, the story is species-flipped, but still formulaic and simplistic, the music is fun, but not great, and the characters are flat. My eight year old daughter thought it was okay, but hasn't mentioned a thing about it since we saw it several days ago. My six year old daughter told me it was boring and she didn't like it.


There are a lot of snow-bound animated flicks. On a scale from NORM OF THE NORTH to FROZEN I would have to say this is a lot closer to NORM than it needed to be and no where near as good as FROZEN is.


There are still a few more films for kids coming out this year. Save your money on this one and let's all hope that the others are better.


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Rated: PG

Release Date: July 27, 2018

Director: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail

Stars: Scott Menville, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Will Arnett

Plot: The Teen Titans are sure they can be considered real superheroes if they can get an arch nemesis and a movie made about them



Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now



If you are a fan of the TEEN TITANS GO! TV series this is a must-see movie. It is the movie you never knew you wanted, but now that it is here you realize how empty your life has been without this amazing film in your life.


It is crazy funny, irreverent, (but not to the point where it is no longer family-friendly), and goofy just like the TV show. But it also gives us so much more to love in this longer form. You will laugh until your sides hurt, and then you will want to see it again just to hear all of the lines you missed while you were laughing.


If you've never experienced the wonder and awe of TEEN TITANS GO! you should check out the TV show first. It will give you that much more appreciation when you see the movie.


Kids are going to love this, but parents will enjoy it just as much. It is a film that is totally worth your movie-going dollars. It is full of hilarious Easter eggs all throughout the film. There is so much to see, you'll need to see it a second time to catch all of the great gags.


NOTE: Make sure you stick around for all of the credits. There is an interesting scene that will make fans of the TEEN TITANS very happy.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: April 13, 2018

Director: Richard Lanni

Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Logan Lerman, Gerard Depardieu

Plot: Based on the true story of the most decorated dog in U.S. military history



Clint says: Save some money and see a matinee



This is an interesting film. On one hand I loved it and would highly recommend it. On the other, it's a film that covers a lot of dark subject matter that may not be appropriate for your children.


I took my 6 and 8 year old daughters. It was too much for the 6 year old. She loved the dog and the fun moments, but there were some images and events that she did not want to see. She spent a good portion of the movie covering her eyes or her ears. The 8 year old was fascinated by the film and ended up asking a lot of questions about war. It opened up some good and healthy discussions with her.


As for the movie, it is about as "G rated" as you can make a PG movie about war. There is no blood or death, nobody gets injured on screen, and there is essentially no hand-to-hand combat, even though some is implied.


The soldiers on both sides do look scary in their gas masks, but the masks are introduced in a way as to try not to make them scary for kids watching the film, but to show that they are needed for saving lives.


If you are looking for a funny, happy animated film this is not the movie for you or your family. It is a heartwarming, heroic tale, but it is a tale that happens in the middle of trench warfare. If your kids are younger you may want to check this one out first before you let them see it. If they are older, I recommend taking them and then talking through some of the deeper issues portrayed in this film.

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Rated: PG-13

Release Date: April 6, 2018

Director: Wes Anderson

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bill Murray

Plot: A boy tries to find his dog after his uncle bans all dogs from their city



Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee



If you are a Wes Anderson fan you are going to love this movie. It is one of his top works. If you can't stand films like THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, or MOONRISE KINGDOM then stay far away from this one. 


Wes Anderson films are quirky and have an acquired taste. They are works of art more than they are films. It's like walking into an art gallery and having the paintings start telling a story.


If you can handle the quirkiness, this movie is uniquely animated, funny, heartwarming, and compelling. It has a dry sense of humor that carries throughout the film. Each dog brings it's own element to the movie and when they are all put together it works like a puzzle to make a beautiful picture.


This movie isn't one for people who go to the movies once or twice a year and are thinking, "oh yea, a dog movie!" This is a film for people who know who Wes Anderson is when someone says, "It's a Wes Anderson film."


For me, this is my second favorite Wes Anderson film right behind THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: March 23, 2018

Director: John Stevenson

Stars: Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James McAvoy

Plot: Someone is stealing all of the garden gnomes in London, but Sherlock Gnomes is on the case



Clint Says: Wait for the digital release and make someone else rent it



There are few things more painful in the movie-going world than to have to sit through a "comedy" that isn't funny. I saw this in a theater with about 20 kids and their parents. There wasn't a single time that anybody laughed out loud. Not once.


"How can this be," you ask? "But, I saw the trailer and it was really funny," you say. Well, all of the funny stuff you saw in the trailer didn't make the final cut of the movie. None of it. Oh, and the big hype about all of the reworked Elton John songs? It was all hype. His songs are barely in the movie at all.


About the only good thing this movie has to offer are some good nods to the BBC version of SHERLOCK HOLMES. But that doesn't make it worth seeing in the slightest. Just skip this one. There are plenty of great movies for kids coming out soon.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: February 16, 2018

Director: Nick Park

Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams

Plot: A prehistoric tribe tries to save their home from falling victim to the Bronze Age



Clint Says: Wait for the DVD



If you are a fan of WALLACE AND GROMIT or CHICKEN RUN there is a really good chance you will like this movie. If you find those films to be boring, then go ahead and skip this one, too.


This film has moments of fun and comedy, but for the most part it is very formulaic. I spent half of the movie guessing the next line of dialogue and I was almost always correct. That said, it isn't a terrible movie, it's just predictable.


For those of you that are fans of English soccer, you will be treated to several Easter Egg moments during the big soccer match. For those of you that aren't soccer fans, you won't understand why the weird guy next to you is laughing so much, but you won't be lost either.


There are a couple of scenes that are pretty intense for younger kids, so be aware of that going into this movie with a family, but everyone over the age of seven or eight should have a good time.


I would recommend waiting for the digital release on this one. You'll get the same experience watching it at home as you would in the theater and you'll save $50.

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Rated: PG

Release Date: November 22, 2017

Director: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt

Plot: A young boy finds himself in the land of the dead and must bring his family together before he can return home



Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters



It has been several months since we've had an outstanding animated release. Thankfully, Disney/Pixar has come to our rescue with COCO. So, get ready to cheer, laugh, and clap your hands to the beat of this wild, one-of-a-kind tale.


This is a beautifully animated, magical tale that is fun, entertaining, and a wonderful cultural learning experience. It has a unique and interesting plot with some good twists and suspense along the way. It is also filled with hilarious physical comedy and beautiful music. 


This film is worth the time and money especially if you are looking for something to do with the kids over the Thanksgiving holiday. The great news is, parents will love this movie, too!


I would be shocked if COCO isn't a finalist for best animated feature. It's that good. 

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Rated: PG

Release Date: November 17, 2017

Director: Timothy Reckart

Stars: Steven Yeun, Keegan-Michael Key, Aidy Bryant, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi

Plot: The story of the birth of Jesus told through the eyes of the animals



Clint Says: Wait for the DVD



This is a fine film. It tells the story of the birth of Jesus in a unique, but (mostly) accurate way. There are a few creative liberties, but nothing that detracts from the biblical account. 


There is really nothing special about the animation or the characters that makes it worth spending the money to see this in theaters. It's not a bad film, it's just not something spectacular. My young daughters saw it with me and they both thought it was "okay". 


It has a few funny scenes and a few special moments, but nothing that is really memorable. It just feels like a middle of the road cartoon. 


The only thing I didn't like about the film was the music. There were several times where songs started playing and it felt like they had nothing to do with what was happening on screen at the time. And there were times where a song, with lyrics, was playing when it should have been an instrumental. There were several times where the music was distracting. 


There are a couple of incredible animated films that are about to hit theaters in the next few weeks. If you are on a movie budget then wait for one of those. If you have the extra cash and your kids really want to go see this film, you won't walk away disappointed, but you aren't going to be excited either.