SECRET KINGDOM, THE
(director/writer: Matt Drummond; editor: Joseph Morris; cast: Alyla Browne (Verity), Beth Champion (Ego), Alice Parkinson (Viviane Drawmer), Gabrielle Chan (The Shroud), Sam Everingham (Peter), Rowland Holmes (Ergo), Darius Williams (Pling-voice), (David Drawmer); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Matt Drummond/Megan Drummond; Saban Films; 2023-Australia)
“The kiddies will like it.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A children’s adventure fantasy film written and directed by Matt Drummond (“My Pet Dinosaur”/”Dinosaur Island”). It pays tribute to the 1980s fantasy films for kids like The Goonies. Drummond is the Aussie visual effects supervisor turned writer/director.
It follows the 12-year-old Peter (Sam Everingham) and his bratty little sister Verity (Alyla Browne), youngsters who relocate to dad’s ancestral country house with their parents, Viviane (Alice Parkinson) and David (Christopher Gabardi).
The two kids are drawn into a fantasy realm by falling into an underground world beneath their bedroom floor. There they meet an army of armored pangolin who inform them Peter is destined to be king of the below, if he can only defeat the Shroud (Gabrielle Chan), a dark force with evil intentions.
The kids take up the challenge and are joined by Pling (Darius Williams-voice) as a guide, a cute shape-changing reptilian creature pangolin with a big heart.
They confront the robot people, solve riddles and discover what’s up with the Shroud’s reign of terror.
This kid film was made on a low-budget and its visuals are fine, even if no match for a big-budget Hollywood film.
This is a standard fare kid flick, something the kids might like better than their parents. I could take it or leave it. But the kiddies will like it.
REVIEWED ON 6/11/2023 GRADE: B-