Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Planets Movie Review

Title: My Fantastic Field Trip to the Planets

Time: 70 Mins

Rating: Kids Say - Might Be Good (Mom says - Rent, Borrow, or Buy it Used)

Major Players:

Jake - Cayman Mitchell

Jake's Mom - Jennifer Wydra

Singing Ranger - Car'ynn Sims

Sun - Ed Cosico

Moon - Fred Gallo

Mercury - David Trim

Venus - Rena Wolf

Earth - Jennifer Wydra

Mars - Grant Rosen

Jupiter - Thomas Patrick

Saturn - Irene Ritter

Uranus - R. G. Clayton

Neptune - Michael Chanslor

Pluto - Jack Rein

Well, this movie is definitely different.

Jake missed the bus for a special field trip to the planetarium. He was very upset by this, of course. After his mom puts him to bed for the night, he travels by spaceship to all the planets as he searches for the moon.

Jake gets to meet each planet, starting with Mercury and working all the way down to Pluto. (Yes - in this movie, Pluto is still a planet. )

Each planet gets to tell Jake a little bit of information and then sing a song about itself.

The songs are rather entertaining for the kids. They are also well designed for the use of music to enhance content retention. The songs are short and easy to learn, so kids can sing them even when the movie isn't playing.

The final song is a walk through all the planets. It's a rather catchy tune - if you're five. (Adults will find this to be somewhat annoying.)


We watched this movie twice this morning. About halfway through the second viewing, Kira determined that she was done watching this. I'm hesitant to recommend this movie. It's a bit annoying from a parent's perspective. There's also the issue of Pluto no longer being considered a planet. I suppose this would be easy to explain, though.

Basically, Kira likes the movie. I didn't really care for the movie, but there is educational value. The movie gives specific detailed information about each planet. For example, Jupiter sings about his red storm. Saturn sings about her rings. Mercury sings about being first. The last three planets sing about being cold. It's pretty clever for helping kids remember small bits of information.

I do have to add one final note on this. The conversation between Jupiter and Saturn has a couple of sexual innuendos embedded. It is VERY discrete, so young children would never catch on. Saturn wants to be told she's pretty and Jupiter comments that she should tell him he's the biggest. It's a lame attempt at parental directed humor. I can understand the use of this type of writing in major movies where parents will be taking their children to the theater to watch lengthy films. It has no business in a child's educational video. That one little exchange just irritated my parental sensibilities.