Film review

Family Review: TOY STORY 4 is Worthy of What Came Before

By Trina Boice Reprinted with permission from Movie Review Mom.  WHAT'S TOY STORY 4 ABOUT? Our favorite toys are back together again in Toy Story 4, 24 years after the original Toy Story hit theaters to instant, raving fans. How does this franchise consistently pump out one fantastic film after another? Disney and Pixar’s magical formula has done it again. Former Chief Creator Director of Disney J ...[Read More]

INCREDIBLES 2 Family Movie Review

INCREDIBLES 2 Family Movie Review

By Michael Stanley WHAT’S THE INCREDIBLES 2 ABOUT? Picking up right where the The Incredibles (2004) left off, the super-powered Parr family struggle to fulfill their duty as superheroes in a world where superheroism remains illegal. Given a chance to work as an advocate for a superhero legalization movement, the mother Helen Parr decides to don the mask and tights of Elastigirl once more in order ...[Read More]

COCO Family Movie Review

COCO Family Movie Review

By Lindsi Neilson WHAT’S COCO ABOUT?  Miguel, a young boy who wants nothing more than to be a musician, finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead and has to team up with his ancestors to find a way back to the Land of the Living.   IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A) First thing about this movie: the animation will completely blow you away. Pixar goes above and beyond what they’ve already accomplis ...[Read More]

CARS 3 Family Movie Review

CARS 3 Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent or buy  Cars 3 here. WHAT’S CARS 3 ABOUT? After finding himself outpaced by younger racers, Lightning McQueen stages a comeback. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B) Rebounding from the abysmal Cars 2, this finale bring the story full circle to the things that made the underrated first film so meaningful: charm, heart, and inspiration. A few laugh-out- ...[Read More]

finding dory family movie review

FINDING DORY Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S FINDING DORY ABOUT? Forgetful fish Dory travels with friends Marlin and Nemo to California in search of her long-lost parents. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) Though lacking the novel originality of Finding Nemo, this is a worthy sequel that advances the story and grows the characters in satisfying ways. Thankfully, transitioning a supporting c ...[Read More]

Good Dinosaur

THE GOOD DINOSAUR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S THE GOOD DINOSAUR ABOUT? In an alternate timeline, the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs misses the Earth. Millions of years later, an evolved, intelligent Apatosaurus embarks on an adventure with a human child. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) Disney and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is one of the most visually-stunning films I’ve ever seen; that ...[Read More]


BRAVE Family Movie Review

BRAVE REVIEW (GRADE: B+) There is only one thing that keeps Brave, the new film from Disney-Pixar, from being a “grade-A” movie: it copies its main narrative device wholesale from another recent Disney movie (click here only if you want to know). This lack of originality distracts from Brave‘s quality and bogs down its second act a bit, but the film is ultimately redeemed by taki ...[Read More]

cars 2

CARS 2 Family Movie Review

 CARS 2 (Grade: C)     REVIEW: The first Cars film is, I think, unfairly maligned by critics and some Pixar fans who consider it to be one of the studio's lesser efforts. While I wasn't very impressed by it initially, repeat viewings for my master's thesis warmed me to its earnest morality, nostalgia for small-town America, and charming characters. This average sequel scraps most of what made the ...[Read More]

toy story 3

TOY STORY 3 Family Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) While there’s plenty to say about this third (and apparently final) film in the groundbreaking Toy Story series, if you at all enjoy movies, you’ve likely seen it or are planning to see it. Toy Story 3 continues the franchise tradition of tapping into the sense of wonder and imagination shared by adults and children. Like all of Pixar’s movies, th ...[Read More]

pixar gender

What Do Your Kids Learn About Gender from Disney-Pixar?

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) In 2010 I performed a rigorous content analysis of gender role portrayals in Pixar films. It was actually a lot of work, with the resulting thesis being published internationally. For advancing the research on gender portrayals in media it was selected for the Auburn University Dean's List of exemplary theses that year. If that sort of thing inter ...[Read More]