Writer/director Matt Drummond has served in the same capacities in his previous films, My Pet Dinosaur and Dinosaur Island, and has many credits working in Visual Effects. The Secret Kingdom is a fantasy/adventure this filmmaker has created with excellent visual effects that remind me (in a couple of scenes) of the clocks seen in the 2011 film Hugo with Ben Kingsley and a very young Chloë Grace Moretz. I am not the target age for the story about two children transported to a different world through the bedroom floor. I have no doubt pre-teen children and those under that age will be interested in the visual effects and perhaps the story of two children selected to journey to save a wonderland from an ancient enemy. It is certainly not a blockbuster compared to the bigger-budget films in theaters. Still, it will be a good source of entertainment for younger children when the summer heat is unbearable.

One of my favorite and attention-grabbing visual effects is the little “rollers” used at the film’s beginning to transport the children to the “other world” of creatures and more. Seeing how the filmmaker uses cylinder objects is very creative and exciting. While the film does contain a great experience visually, the story may appear repetitive to some viewers because of similarities to previous films, and the journey to find the several objects required in the report may seem never-ending, especially to a younger viewer. There will still be entertainment for viewers looking for options to those very loud films, and everything explodes.

Peter (Sam Everingham) and Verity (Alyla Browne) drive out with their parents, Viviane (Alice Parkinson) and David (Christopher Gabardi), to a family mansion that has seen its better days but is still quite majestic. Peter appears anxious about being there, and Verity seems upbeat. When the children are in one of the bedrooms, the security of the structure becomes questionable, and they appear to be plunged into an incredible world beneath the house. To their surprise, they are on a path to lead and help the creatures they meet. Despite the anxiety and concerns, they set out to see what truth lies beyond what they are told. These two actors are terrific, as well as the voice actors are for the creatures involved in this journey. They are impressive, portraying siblings.

MPAA Rating: PG. Runtime: 98 mins

The Secret Kingdom is available on VOD and On Demand this month from Saban Films.

Source: Saban Films

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