Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider, as recommended by the Deseret News arts and entertainment department. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations or ratings are included.
Real-life explorers like the Apollo 11 crew and fictional explorers like Dora show the world the importance of determination and courage, and how to navigate life’s challenges. Here are five explorer films for families to consider.
In theaters: ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’
Nickelodeon’s animated television series “Dora the Explorer” comes to life in “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” Dora — who has been raised in the jungle by her parents — is sent to live with family in Los Angeles. While navigating the novelty of high school, Dora and three classmates are kidnapped by treasure hunters who think the young explorer can lead them to a lost city in the jungles of Peru. The teens are rescued by a family friend and the new group sets off to find Dora’s parents before the bad guys catch up in the exploration for the lost city. Josh Terry for the Deseret News gave the live-action film two stars out of four and said “there are some moments fans will get a kick out of,” but the film is “more appropriate for a TV network than a feature film.” The film is rated PG for action and some impolite humor.
Clark Planetarium IMAX: ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’
Explorers Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins light up the big screen this weekend at Clark Planetarium. Honoring the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, this 47-minute edit for IMAX theaters includes extended large-format scenes that are different from the full-length documentary, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The short film captures humankind’s first steps on the moon in 1969. It also includes newly-discovered, never-before-seen 70mm footage and audio recordings. The documentary is not rated.
Moana is a princess on a Polynesian island who dreams of being out on the ocean. When the islanders’ livelihood is threatened, Moana must decide whether to follow her father’s instructions or to venture out and save her people by enlisting the help of a demigod named Maui. Common Sense Media says the movie has great characters and music, and shares positive messages about empowerment and self-discovery, although some scenes where the characters encounter monsters and are chased by a giant crab could be scary for children. The website recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.
Netflix: ‘Lilo & Stitch’
The galaxy’s most wanted alien, Stitch, is exiled into space and crashes in Hawaii, where he is adopted by a young girl who is also a misfit. The two create havoc, but along the way, Stitch’s new family teaches him about belonging. The Dove Foundation awarded the animated film its “Dove Approved” seal for all ages, saying the film is one that appeals to “both young girls and boys” as it teaches the importance of family, and that it is a “clever fantasy with some strong messages about the importance of love for everyone.” The film is rated PG for mild sci-fi action.
Amazon Video: ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’
Discover a lost world alongside dreamer Milo Thatch, who leads a group of adventurers to Atlantis. After finding the Shepherd’s Journal, rumored to contain information about the location of Atlantis, Milo gathers a capable crew and sets off. The challenges they face are greater than imagined, and Milo finds out that not everyone’s intentions are as honorable as his. Common Sense Media warns parents that this film is more intense than other animated Disney films, as it contains scenes of mass destruction, gun violence and betrayal. The website recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.