Teens challenge stereotypes in lively Disney musical.
“Zombies” is a Disney movie about a community where teens inspire positive change by resisting prejudice and finding common ground when their high school integrates humans and zombies. There’s stereotyping on both sides of the divide for most of the story, as well as some mean-spirited exchanges between humans and zombies, often driven by adults. But the relationship that develops between a human girl, Addison (Meg Donnelly), and a zombie boy (Milo Manheim) has a big impact, inspiring their peers to set aside misconceptions and befriend each other. Parents will especially like the themes of self-esteem surrounding Addison’s struggle to let her true self show, and kids will love the catchy soundtrack and dance scenes. (120 minutes)
On the Disney Channel.
Naive pals’ city adventures yield “taste”-ful entertainment.
“Apple & Onion” is a cartoon buddy comedy set in a world populated by anthropomorphic food items. The stories — which follow naive friends Apple (voiced by George Gendi) and Onion (Richard Ayoade) — offer themes of friendship as they follow the pair through the process of meeting new characters and settling into their life in a big city. The plot is simple enough, but what really entertains is the show’s play on food qualities, matching personalities to physical characteristics of everything from pepperoni sticks and hamburgers to fruits and vegetables. An appealing animation style rounds out this pleasant show.
Fridays at 7 p.m. on Cartoon Network.
Violence, gore, peril in live-action manga adaptation.
“Fullmetal Alchemist” is a live-action, subtitled Japanese fantasy movie based on one of the best-selling manga (Japanese comic book series) of all time, which has also spawned two animated TV series, video games, audiobooks and more. It’s extremely violent, with everything intensified due to the fact that it’s live action rather than animation. Heroes are imperiled by villains who use all kinds of weapons (spears, knives, guns and more), along with evil mystical powers. Expect to see brutal hand-to-hand fighting, bloody deaths, terrifying monsters and grotesque humanoid creatures. Characters are stabbed, shot, impaled, burned, crushed and mutilated. There’s also some mild language (“damn,” “hell,” etc.). While the story does promote values including courage, loyalty, bravery, wisdom and compassion, this isn’t a kid-friendly manga like “Pokémon” or “Hamtoro”; it’s only intended for mature teens and adults. (134 minutes)
Via Netflix streaming.
Indie coming-of-age story has language and sex.
“Princess Cyd” is a story of family reconciliation and dealing with deep pain and personal growth, as observed in a maturing teenager and her never-married aunt. The girl, Cyd (Jessie Pinnick), has a fling with another girl she meets while visiting her Aunt Miranda (Rebecca Spence) in Chicago. Cyd also has a sexual encounter with a male friend of her aunt’s. There’s some nudity (including bare breasts), and a girl masturbates (while clothed). An aborted sexual assault is described, as is the murder-suicide of a youth and his mother. A teen smokes marijuana and adults drink alcohol. Language includes “f---” and “s---.” (96 minutes)
Via Netflix streaming.
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