Monday, June 5, 2023

The Secret Kingdom (2023)

Movie Name/Year: The Secret Kingdom (2023)

Genre: Adventure, Family

Length: 1h 38min

Rating: PG

Production/DistributionSaban Films, Little Monster Productions, Hive Studios Australia, Pinnacle Films, Signature Entertainment

Director: Matt Drummond

Writer: Matt Drummond

Actors: Alyla Browne, Alice Parkinson, Christopher Gabardi, Sam Everingham, Darius Williams, Beth Champion, Gabrielle Chan, Rowland Holmes


Blurb from IMDb: Story of anxious Peter (12) and his sister Verity (9), taken underground by a garrison of armoured pangolin.



Selina’s Point of View:

I think back to what I said about The Secret Kingdom on my Top 20 list for June, and I believe I got it right.


The lower-budget qualities I mentioned were a factor. I’m not sure what the actual budget was, so I hesitated to call it low-budget, but there were qualities that hint The Secret Kingdom probably wasn’t a top-tier financial priority. A lot of the CGI was a bit on the janky side. 



The pangolins gave me some creepy uncanny valley vibes at first, though they did grow on me by the end. The way the dragon was created, though. It was every bit as problematic as the trailer suggested. Especially when in motion, the dragon never had a realistic feel.


CGI does not make or break a movie, though.


I was very clear in my Top 20 post that if the story was good enough, I wouldn’t care about the graphics. And I don’t. 



The story was very well told. It had the CGI and, unfortunately, a lot of the acting against it – but I was still drawn into every minute. I particularly loved the ending. Part of it was foreseeable – but that second twist came out of left field. I was caught so off-guard that I rewound the screener to see if they just didn’t foreshadow it. I was surprised to find it was all there.


Matt Drummond (Dinosaur Island, My Pet Dinosaur) used some great tricks to throw viewers off, and it worked. Well.


If you opt to watch The Secret Kingdom give the visuals a little leeway. Kids won’t care anyway, because the story will hold their attention and offer some very valuable lessons. 


The Secret Kingdom will be in Theaters and On Demand on Friday, June 9.


Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None

Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –7.8/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3/5
P.S. Short after-credit scene.

Movie Trailer:

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