Tender tale about the power of family and imagination.
“Christopher Robin” stars Ewan McGregor as an overworked, grown-up version of the main character from A.A. Milne’s classic books. He has all but forgotten his animal pals, until one day Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) ends up in London, and a new adventure begins. This heartwarming, family-friendly story serves as a sequel of sorts to the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh tales and movies that have entertained generations. It’s about as clean and sweet as movies get these days, but there are brief, early scenes of Christopher Robin mourning his father’s death and fighting in World War II (guns and an explosion are seen, and wounds are implied). He also has a scary dream while knocked out after a fall, and there are a few tense sequences related to the animals’ fear of heffalumps and woozles. Expect lots of physical comedy involving the animals tripping and falling and wreaking minor havoc. There’s a strong theme of being grateful for your life/those you love, as well as the importance of play, friendship, imagination and parent-child relationships. (104 minutes)
Sweet animated animal tale has peril.
“Duck Duck Goose” is an animated adventure in which a headstrong, self-absorbed goose learns to help others, but not before he injures his wing, gets separated from his migrating flock, just manages to outrun a hungry cat and tries to ditch two lost ducklings he promised to take care of. Younger kids may worry during tense moments, but the peril is mostly mild and short-lived. Some name-calling; “My nuts froze,” says a squirrel referring to the previous winter and displaying an acorn. (92 minutes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
Campers conquer fears, make friends in fun reality reboot.
“Bug Juice: My Adventures at Camp” is a Disney reality-series reboot that is filmed on location at a kids’ summer camp and chronicles the residents’ experiences there. The show can be emotional in moments when viewers see campers wrestle with feelings about not fitting in, being afraid of a particular activity or feeling homesick. But those same moments often inspire the best in others, as peers and counselors step in to encourage, show compassion, befriend and otherwise model positive behavior. Campers’ experiences remind viewers of the benefits of being part of a community, as well as the often surprising results of stepping out of a comfort zone and trying something new. Expect that this series will make the summer camp experience — and Camp Waziyatah in particular — look very appealing to many kids who watch. (16 22-minute episodes)
Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on the Disney Channel; also available streaming.
Quirky toon mixes sweet themes with goofy adventures.
“Cupcake and Dino” is a quirky animated series about the hilarious experiences of mismatched siblings who do odd jobs around their unusual hometown. Like “Adventure Time,” the show plays on the unexpected for laughs — characters who look like pool toys and food items, small characters with oversize personalities, absurd plots, etc. — and it blends animation styles in appealing ways. Unusual monsters appear at times (for example, an oversize mustache that threatens the town), and there are moments of mild peril, but overall the content isn’t threatening. Expect occasional insults (“jerks,” “baby lips”) and an uneven but ultimately loyal relationship between naive Dino and his calculating brother, Cupcake. With some help, kids will recognize themes of self-confidence, friendship, and kindness in many of the show’s lighthearted stories. (13 23-minute episodes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
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