The Secret Kingdom Review – Entertaining, Imaginative, Family Friendly

The Secret Kingdom, from Paramount and Saban Films, brings to the screen an engaging, captivating, and entertaining story told through a child's imagination, of coping with the loss of a loved one and the stress of moving.

The film begins with a voice over as a parchment hieroglyphic map appears on screen, through the images and animation we are told of a boy king, who in his 12th year suffers great loss, and his quest to overcome the swelling darkness that envelops him.

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On the ride to the new house, we see siblings Peter, played by Sam Everingham, and Verity, played by Alyla Browne, each sitting in the back seat. Verity, dressed in white appears ashen, pasty. Peter is afraid of new places and needs to refocus his mind before he can accomplish tasks.

We overhear Peter's parents, David, played by Christopher Gabardi, and Viviane, played by Alice Parkinson, talking about the house being foreclosed and "it's only been a year." We understand clearly that Peter is processing something, the stress his parents are undergoing, the move away from his friends and a tragedy that he hasn't yet processed.

On the first night in the new house, in what appears to be a real event, but is actually a dream, the two, Verity and Peter, fall though the floor down to the underworld. Suddenly, a garrison of pangolin, a scaly skinned mammal, with a very long nose, covered in armor, appear and after Peter shows them a trinket, an ancient piece of puzzle he bought early in an old antique shop, murmurs erupt as they recognize the trinket from the prophecy which declares him king.

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As with any magical journey, the quest is discovered through a series of tests against unknown enemies. For Peter and Verity, it is no different. To find their way home, and reset the clock, they must travel through the land of enchantment, which must be protected from an ancient enemy - the evil Shroud. They are given a traveling companion, Pling, the nephew and awestruck pangolin, who explains that the directions are versed in song, and it is his obligation to sing, a task that thrills only him.

As they embark on their quest to unite five mystical treasures and save the Kingdom, Peter and Verity must face epic challenges that will test their bravery to the limit. Throughout the journey, Peter encouraged by Verity discovers courage, and as they walk through the gauntlets he finds, to save her and himself, he will need to put his anxieties, fear, and worries aside.

As they get closer to the final challenge, where Peter must confront the formidable Shroud of fear, played by Gabrielle Chan, and we see that Verity is slowly becoming a stone statute, and to reset the clock, not only must he defeat this final foe, but he must, once and for all confront his fears.

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The Secret Kingdom, a thrilling and unforgettable fantasy adventure fit for the whole family! The underworld is a fascinating journey and the world, with stalagmites, and sky mountains, flying dragons, and odd creatures at every encounter, will inspire and charm.

The Secret Kingdom, a family friendly film, enchanting, and hopeful, opens in theaters, on VOD, On Demand on June 9, 2023. A must see!

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Country: UK.

Language: English.

Runtime: 98minutes.

Director: Matt Drummond.

Producer: Matt Drummond, Megan Drummond.

Writer: Matt Drummond.

Cast: Sam Everingham, Alyla Browne, Alice Parkinson, Chris Gabardi, Darius Williams, Beth Champion, Gabrielle Chan.

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