Five children’s movies to stream now | ET REALITY


Watch it on Disney+.

The concept of star-crossed lovers takes on new meaning in this Pixar creation about a hot (literally) girl named Ember Lumen (voiced by Leah Lewis) who meets Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie), an emotional softie made of water. They live in Element City, a place where fire, earth, air, and water reside despite being divided into four socioeconomic classes, each of which are taught to stick to their own kind. When Ember and Wade begin to fall in love, she does everything in her power to keep her distance. It doesn’t help that her proud father, Bernie (Ronnie del Carmen), tries hard to keep her daughter away from Wade. At first glance, the character animation may seem off-putting or even, dare I say, ugly. But once the story begins, kids should be swept away by the visual world created by director Peter Sohn and his team. The script, by Brenda Hsueh, John Hoberg, and Kat Likkel, plays out like any good romantic comedy should: You root for Ember and Wade to ignore the naysayers and risk everything for love. During the second viewing of the movie, my son, who was wearing headphones, shouted, “This is my favorite movie!” That’s coming from a kid who usually likes ninja fights more than romantic comedies.

Watch it on Netflix.

Adam Sandler, who plays a father bewildered by his teenage daughters, is light years away from the neurotic jeweler with a gambling addiction he played in “Uncut Gems.” Tweens with overprotective parents might recognize his portrayal of Danny Friedman, a boy who helplessly watches his 13-year-old daughter, Stacy (played by Sandler’s real daughter, Sunny Sandler), try to finally become popular by having a big bat mitzvah. . This is a family affair for the Sandler clan: his wife, Jackie, is in the film, as is his oldest daughter, Sadie. Idina Menzel plays Danny’s wife, Bree. The story is based on a 2005 novel by Fiona Rosenbloom about the friendship between Stacy and her best friend, Lydia (Samantha Lorraine), and what happens when that friendship falls apart (because of a cute boy, of course). Directed by Sammi Cohen (Hulu’s “Crush”) and written by Alison Peck (“UglyDolls”), it’s charming about friendship, family, and the drama (and comedy) that comes with growing up.

After writing and directing the first four “Spy Kids” films, beginning in 2001, Robert Rodriguez returns with this reboot of the franchise for a new generation. For “Spy Kids: Armageddon,” he shares writing and producing credit with his son Racer to tell the story of Tony (Connor Esterson) and Patty (Everly Carganilla), little siblings whose parents are James Bond-level secret agents, played by Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi. When an evil video game developer, Rey “The King” Kingston (Billy Magnussen), unleashes a virus that gives him the power to dominate the world, Tony and Patty must save their parents and the universe. Kids have fun exploring a “safe house” filled with spy suits and cool gadgets that many elementary school kids will miss. There are plenty of generational jokes about young people knowing more than their parents (at least when it comes to video games), and the fast-paced action should entertain those who dream of donning their own super-spy suit.

Check it out on Max.

We haven’t seen embattled foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) since 2019, when he first uttered the word “Shazam!” and transformed into the DC superhero of the same name (played by Zachary Levi). Director David F. Sandberg returns for the sequel, which has the same cheeky humor and quirky tone as the first installment, but this time the kids are older and are fighting the enraged daughters of Atlas: Hespera (Helen Mirren jokingly). with a pointy crown) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu). The daughters are hell-bent on revenge because they believe Shazam stole the power of the gods, and of course, they also want to control everyone on Earth. It’s up to Billy/Shazam and his foster friends Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), aka Captain Everypower (Adam Brody), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) to stop them. There’s also a secret third daughter of Atlas to keep viewers guessing, and plenty of all-out battle scenes mixed with humorous one-liners and blunt reactions. Djimon Hounsou is back as the ancient wizard who gave Billy his powers, and writers Henry Gayden (who co-wrote “Shazam!”) and Chris Morgan (the “Fast and Furious” franchise) do a good job of creating a teenager superhero who constantly fights against his own insecurities and anxieties, but always comes out ahead. However, it is the friendship between Billy, Freddy, Anthea and the others that holds the film together. That and the big old CG battle scenes.

If your little one isn’t into the whole superhero action thing, “Belle” might be a better choice. Oscar-nominated Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda (“Mirai”) wrote and directed this cyber-age version of the classic “Beauty and the Beast,” and the vibrant, fantastical (and at times disturbingly hyperreal) animation will leave viewers transfixed. appreciate Magnificent visual storytelling. Here, the fairy tale heroine is Suzu (voiced by Kaho Nakamura, who also sings the tunes), a lonely and painfully shy teenager who lives in a rural village with her widowed father. When she discovers a virtual world called U, which allows her to live through a pink-haired avatar named Belle, who has no problem singing songs on stage in front of millions, Suzu finally allows herself to escape the pain and insecurity that plagues her. in real life. . The beast here is the Dragon, a horned, caped creature who captures Belle’s heart, even as she tries her best to intimidate her and keep her true identity a secret. Hosoda’s gentle handling of teenage angst, the blissful terror of first crushes, and the insecurities we’ve all had to deal with at that age should resonate with older kids and teens. You’ll also probably recognize Suzu’s quiet excitement as she watches her increase her online following.

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