- Friday, May 17, 2024

Director John Krasinski’s star-studded movie “IF” follows a grieving tween named Bea who discovers the world is full of cast-off imaginary friends. “Thelma the Unicorn” has to lie to gain fame. But is the lie worth losing herself?

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Read on to get Plugged In on what’s beyond the movie titles and trailers for faith-filled and family-first reviews from Focus on the Family’s Plugged In.

IF – In Theaters

There’s something refreshingly lovely about a family-focused film that doesn’t choose to jump through the same old problematic hoops. 

“IF,” written and directed by actor John Krasinski, is one such film. It’s original and creative and sets something of a new gold standard for its brilliant blending of CGI and live-action characters. The film talks about navigating loss, remembering the good things of the past and finding your place in the world. At the same time, this pic lauds the love of family and the special connection between dads and daughters.

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Drawbacks? Well, God’s name is misused several times. And we get a couple of winking gags about “naked” fruit characters that might cause a parent to roll his or her eyes. 

But the biggest yellow flag here is perhaps the fact that the early chapters of the tale can be a little confusing for younger viewers. (It’s all made very clear by the conclusion in a few tearfully sweet moments.) That said, when those broad and silly imaginary friends are mixed with a few snacks, even the littler tykes will likely be a satisfied crew. 

Read the rest of the review here. Watch the trailer here.

Thelma The Unicorn – Streaming on Netflix

Thelma the Unicorn” is adapted from writer Aaron Blabey’s book of the same name. If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he’s the same person who authored “The Bad Guys.” And with the help of “Napoleon Dynamite” director Jared Hess, Thelma is charging out of the stable and onto Netflix’s stage. 

That reference to Blabey’s previous book, however, wasn’t just made in passing. There are elements of Thelma that will immediately remind viewers of that 2023 Plugged In Movie Award nominee. After all, the film does center around an animal who feels rejected by society and attempts to put on a façade in order to win the public over. Likewise, animals and humans live side-by-side and have normal conversations with one another. 

But while “Thelma the Unicorn” mirrors “The Bad Guys” with regard to its positive messages, this movie does have some different content issues that families will want to think about before watching. They include suggestively dancing men clothed in tight leotards, lyrics that reference evolution and a quiet nod to a same-gender couple raising a little girl. 

As for the overarching moral in both stories, it revolves around the theme of how we engage with societal stereotyping. “Thelma” teaches kids to judge not based on appearance but on character and merit.

Thelma herself might not be a unicorn, either as a pony or as a movie. So it’ll be up to families to determine if the positive messages she sings about outweigh that lack of proverbial unicorn dust.

Read the rest of the review here. Watch the trailer here.

Plugged In is a Focus on the Family publication designed to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Through our reviews, articles and discussions, we hope to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

Reviews written by Bob Hoose and Kennedy Unthank.

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