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Spider-Man, Gremlins and Ninjago: What THR’s Kid Critics Are Saying



As reviewed by Ava Pener-Bushgard, 9, Daughter of Degen Pener, THR Deputy Editor

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai

Courtesy of Max

I have never seen the Gremlins movie, but I know that gremlins smell bad and want to eat us. Just watching five minutes of Gremlins: Secrets of the MogwaiI think it is already a really good TV show.

The show is 25 percent happy, 25 percent sad, 25 percent funny, and 25 percent disgusting. The disgusting parts are when fingers come off. It’s about a kid, Sam (Izaac Wang), who says, “I have no faith in myself. I can’t do it.” He has to hide this gremlin named Gizmo, who is so cute, and return it to its home. He finds this girl, Elle (Gabrielle Nevaeh Green), and they go on a big adventure to find her home. He’s kind of like a goody-two-shoes and the girl is very “I don’t really listen.” At one point, the girl saves the boy’s life and he says, “What would I have done without you?” And she says, “You probably would have died.”

There’s a villain, Riley Greene (Matthew Rhys), who is mean, mean, mean. He opens his jaw and eats people. It’s gross. After he eats the boy’s grandfather, the boy says, “You ate my grandfather.” And the villain says, “No, actually I swallowed your grandfather.” And then the cute gremlin turns into mean gremlins if you break any of the rules about gremlins. The mean gremlins are honestly really rude.

At the end of one episode, I was like, “Oh. My. Gosh. I was not expecting that ending.” It’s also funny because one of the characters does a TikTok dance and some zombies seem like Minecraft characters, the way they jump. I could watch this repeatedly and wouldn’t get bored. Well, maybe on the third time watching it, it would get a little bit boring.

Lego Ninjago: Dragons Rising (June 1, Netflix)

As reviewed by Edgar Levin, 7, and Oskar Levin, 5, Sons of Jennifer Levin, THR Managing Editor

Lego Ninjago Dragons Rising

Lego Ninjago: Dragons Rising


Where are all the ninjas? They are nowhere to be found after The Merge made “merge-quakes” and brought together all the realms of Ninjago. Some people went missing, like the parents of Arin (Deven Mack), a boy who wants to be a ninja. He taught himself Spinjitzu, but he isn’t very good at it yet. He meets Sora (Sabrina Pitre) and they enter a mech race and end up saving a little dragon named Riyu from Rapton and his crew of bad guys, the Claws of Imperium.

Then Lloyd the Green Ninja (Sam Vincent) shows up and Arin begs him for ninja training. Lloyd starts to train Arin and Sora, but they find out Rapton (Giles Panton) and his boss, Ras (Brian Drummond), are catching dragons to drain their life force and turn it into power for Imperium. So Lloyd, Arin and Sora go to Imperium to save the dragons.

The show looks awesome, just as good as the last one Ninjago series. Riyu looks like a Pokémon, and the other dragons are great. We don’t like when Arin runs into a tree and accidentally punches himself in the face, but we like how Sora invents and builds things and has really cool powers. The bad guys really look bad. We don’t like that Rapton’s bottom teeth are gold and the top ones are white and chipped. And Ras has the head of a black lion and a weird beard. Ninjas Kai (Vincent Tong) and Nya (Kelly Metzger) show up, but we didn’t really miss the other ninjas. This show doesn’t have much of the original ninjas, but we think if you like it Ninjagoyou will still like it.

As reviewed by Mae Porter, 11, Daughter of Rick Porter, THR TV Writer

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


To be honest, I’m kind of speechless. I have barely any words to say, but what I would say is this movie, what I expected it to be was only half of what it actually was. Everything was breathtaking — the animation, the story. It has so much packed into it, but it’s balanced out so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s just a masterpiece, in my opinion.

[Plot summary by Dad: This picks up after Into the Spider-Verse, with Miles Morales having a better handle on his powers, but struggling to keep them a secret. Miles and Gwen, now part of the multiverse-policing Spider Society, must stop The Spot, a villain whose origin story lies in the first film’s collider explosion.]

I like how The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) was kind of a joke character, until he wasn’t. It was interesting, because while the villain is very scary, it’s not the main part of the story. Instead it was more about Miles (Shameik Moore), Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) and the other Spider-People and their actions.

The animation was already amazing in the first movie. It is definitely even better here. The fight scenes were really good Into the Spider-Verse, but they upped the quality a lot here. I liked all the jokes and how they were sometimes incorporated into serious or heartwarming scenes, but it didn’t feel too repetitive or annoying. It was pretty funky how Spider-Byte (Amandla Stenberg) was a side character, but ends up being a big reason for what will happen in the third movie. I would put Across the Spider-Verse up with Shrek 2 as one of the few sequels that’s almost better than the first.

This story first appeared in the June 7 issue of The News84Media magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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