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What to watch with your kids: ‘Ernest & Celestine’ and more


Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia (TV-PG)

Charming sequel about friendship, art has occasional peril.

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia” is the sequel to the Oscar-nominated French animated movie “Ernest & Celestine.” Like the original, the movie follows unlikely best friends Ernest (voiced by Lambert Wilson in the original French and Andrew Kishino in the English dub), a bear, and Celestine (Pauline Brunner/Ashley Boettcher), a mouse. This time around, they end up resisting an unjust anti-music law in Ernest’s homeland.

Expect occasional insult language (“silly, ” “dumb,” “coward,” “you’re a pain”) and a few scary moments when law enforcement officials pursue the main characters and arrest Ernest and other musicians. In one scene, little Celestine is in danger — exposed to the snowy and windy elements — and both she and Ernest tumble down a mountain but are fine. The story centers on discrimination, but instead of species-based prejudice, it explores the suppression of the arts (in this case, music) and the unjust idea that kids must follow in their parents’ footsteps. Overall, it’s a celebration of friendship, family and art. (79 minutes)

Fact-based sports drama highlights the power of faith.

The Hill” is a Christian sports drama based on the true story of Rickey Hill (Colin Ford), who defied the odds to play baseball professionally. Faith is central to the story: Rickey’s father, Pastor Hill (Dennis Quaid), is a Southern Baptist pastor in small-town Texas in the 1960s, and the Bible is frequently quoted, interpreted and discussed. Characters often smoke and spit tobacco, and someone who’s drunk gets into a fistfight when he’s stopped from driving. Infrequent language includes words like “crap” and “damnedest,” as well as ableist insults (“gimp”).

Ricky is the target of bullying and gets hit hard with a baseball. Corporal punishment is threatened, and spousal abuse is indicated via a woman’s black eye. The main characters’ portrayals offer food for thought or discussion: Rickey demonstrates that while you may “only need faith the size of a mustard seed” to do the impossible, achievement requires perseverance. Pastor Hill may be a good man and loving father, but his arc also shows that parents need to be open to listening to their kids about the ways they’d like to be supported. (126 minutes)

Intense crashes in exhilarating game-based racing flick.

Gran Turismo” is director Neill Blomkamp’s exciting, fact-based action drama about gamer-turned-professional racecar driver Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe). While kids might use Jann’s true story to counter parental arguments against playing tons of video games, he’s clearly a positive role model: He exemplifies perseverance, gratitude and humility.

Expect to see intense crashes on the racetrack, including some scenes shown from a first-person point of view. Brand names (especially cars and alcohol) are everywhere, and champagne is positioned as a drink for winners. Characters kiss and use strong language (“bulls—,” “goddamn,” a use of “f— it,” etc.). There’s a strong message about success requiring commitment, and watching the movie’s events unfold might help kids believe that, with conviction, even their loftiest dream could come true. (135 minutes)

First female-led Star Wars series has sci-fi violence.

Ahsoka” is a series set in the Star Wars universe. Former Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), who originally debuted as an animated character in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” and her crew are on a mission to face the evil Grand Admiral Thrawn. Expect some sci-fi violence, including light saber battles, guns, explosions and hand-to-hand combat. The main characters in this series are female, a Star Wars first, and they demonstrate lots of courage and teamwork. (Eight roughly hour-long episodes)

Available on Disney Plus.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, shows, websites and books.

POST AUTHOR: Common Sense Media

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