Happen's Kid Film Critics is a small group of 8-12 year olds who meet once a month at Happen's Make It to watch a movie, talk about its themes, and write their reviews on their own Happen's Kid Critics notepad. Each session is led by Cincinnati film critic TT Stern-Enzi who helps guide the kid critics as they compose their thoughts in their written reviews. See our most recent reviews below and keep an eye out for reviews from our teen group coming soon. If you're interested in having your child take part in Happen's Kids Critics please contact us at info@happeninc.org. Thanks.

FEBRUARY 20, 2016

THE BRADY KIDS

The Complete Animated Series

 

Happen's Kid Critics offer their esteemed opinions on The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series. The release marks the first time the classic cartoon from 1972 has ever appeared on DVD. The show, which graced the small screen during the run of the live-action family sit-com, focused on the exploits of the six Brady children and their collection of animal friends. The original cast members gave voice to their animated counterparts, but the series was best known for its groovy appeal along with its ability to send the siblings on any number of outrageous and down-right loony adventures, which included special guests like Superman, the Lone Ranger, and Wonder Woman, who made her first animated appearance ever on the show. The real question is, does the series hold up for contemporary audiences, and that is what the Kid Critics are here to tell you.

-TT Stern-Enzi

 

Families will bond over this series because it will remind them of there childhood.  It may not be as good as the original Brady Bunch series, but it will surely bring back memories.  

- Henry

 

 I didn't like the picture that much.  I love how they made the songs.  I liked the adventures.  I liked the jokes.  I liked the pandas, Ping and Pong.  

- Cole

 

I thought that majority of the jokes were cheesy and obvious, and it was very cartoonish, even for a cartoon.  I found the characters perennially cheerful voices very annoying and it lacked subtle nuances or anything beneath the thin surface of bad jokes and irrelevant, nonsensical singing.  The plots also didn't make much sense, they seemed more like a series of anecdotes than one big storyline, especially in the first two episodes, and they just sort of plodded along.  They didn't really have exciting bits, and it was hard to take the characters seriously (even when they were being serious ) because they smiling , literally , all the time.  Although all the things I just complained about, I guess, are to be expected, because in 1972, there was very little else in the way of good cartoons for kids.  

- Eliza 

 

Compared to the Brady Bunch, it was not the same in my opinion.  It's super good! 

 - Oscar 

JANUARY 21, 2016

Extraordinary Tales

 

After months of reviewing horror comedy mash-ups (Abbot & Costello encountering classic movie monsters) and short television movie adaptations from a contemporary master of the form (Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes), Extraordinary Tales offers the chance to delve into the work of the legendary Edgar Allan Poe, using a mesmerizing mix of animation styles and the vocal talents of A-list performers like Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Guillermo Del Toro, and Julian Sands. This new DVD/Blu-Ray release from GKids and Cinedigm arrives courtesy of the producers of the Oscar nominated animated features Ernest & Celestine and Song of the Sea and Happen's Kid Critics are here to tell you if this anthology will leave your hearts cold with fear. Prepare for creepy re-imaginings of The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar.

 

-TT Stern-Enzi

 

This breathtaking animated film focuses on the dazzling stories from Edgar Allen Poe.  Mixed with violence and grim stories, this film is a remarkable glance at his work. 

- Henry 

 

The tales that Poe made were quite unusual, but also very clever.  The artwork and music were really good. 

- Cole 

 

Extraordinary Tales brings Edgar Allen Poe’s best stories to life using different mediums and narrators.  I’ve never been one for horror, but these retellings definitely make it a thrill to watch.  I am torn between scared, awed and deeply respectful for Edgar Allen Poe.  Extraordinary Tales has completely blown me away. 

- ­­Luci 

 

I loved the way they changed the graphics with each story.  The tales were slightly predictable and hard to understand.  I recommend this for people who love dark and creepy (not scary) stories. 

- Maxwell ­

 

This movie really captured the Edger Allen Poe aspect of the story they were copying off of. 

- Gwen

DECEMBER 20, 2015

Nightmares and Dreamscapes: Stories from Stephen King

"The End of the Whole Mess"

 

This month, the Happen's Kid Critics get a second look at one of the primary names in horror - Stephen King - thanks to this 2006 TNT mini-series adaptation of Nightmares and Dreamscapes his short story collection. As most adult readers (as well as film and television audiences) know, King is the living master of supernatural and psychological horror, with a role call of novels (Carrie, Cujo, The Shining, and Misery to name a few) that have become cultural touchstones as a result of a plethora of adaptations. To introduce the Kid Critics to our latest installment in this series, I posed a couple of key questions. The first, if you could change any one thing about the world, what would it be? And the follow-up question was, what would be the negative consequences of your proposed change? "The End of the Whole Mess" presents the story of filmmaker Howard Fornoy (Ron Livingston) who documents the tragic journey of his genius-level younger brother Robert (Henry Thomas), after he attempts to use his great intellect to solve a major global and societal challenge. The critics tackled this "Mess" with sharp insight.

-TT Stern-Enzi

 

Different from all the monster horror, this film focuses on the horrors that some people may be living. It points out all the problems of today and puts them into a long, depressing, boring mess. The film focuses so much on the messages it forgets to make it interesting for the audience.

-Henry

 

 “ The End of the Whole Mess” centers on humanity’s flaws and how the greatest danger is often the one that lies within human nature. The story centers on two brothers, one a genius, the other a prodigious filmmaker who grew up amongst a world of violence, pain and cruelty, and who work together to create world peace, unaware of the consequences it will bring about. The actors, soundtrack, and visual effects all work together to make you feel like everybody is doomed. Nevertheless, I found the movie worth watching and I came away from it depressed but glad that someone out there knows that happy endings aren’t always satisfying. 

-Eliza

 

This film is interesting and dark. It makes you think about humanity on a more personal level - for example with all the violence and war now what would happen if it all ended and what the consequences be. While gloomy and morose, the film is also about hope and love between the two brothers, with guilt playing a part as well. 

-Luci

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