Peter (Sam Everingham) and Verity (Alyla Browne) are brother and sister and they couldn’t be more different. Being the younger of the two, Verity is care free and happy, although it could be said that age has brought about the heavy weight of responsibility as Peter feels anxious all the time.
Moving to a new house doesn’t help either and with Peter being left alone with his thoughts, it’s starting to feel a bit too much. Then one day Peter finds a crack in the floorboards and an object which thrusts the siblings into another world where pangolins live in a secret kingdom and they believe Peter and Verity are their monarchs.
Not only that, but Peter is given a task as their king to gather a group of puzzle pieces from all over their land so that they can finally defeat an evil only known as The Shroud.
The Secret Kingdom is a children’s adventure written and directed by Matt Drummond which serves as a love letter to childhood. Mixing together many different elements, Drummond has created a world, thanks to his background in visual effects, which may very well embody the childhood experience.
Whilst taking inspiration from things such as The Wizard of Oz and Labyrinth, The Secret Kingdom feels very familiar and yet manages to keep its own identity. Along the way Peter and Verity meet many different creatures as you may imagine in a film such as this and each one of them is a fantastic creation.
One of those is a couple called Ego and Ergo who children and parents are sure to warm to because of their relationship and the comic relief that they bring is charming.
Without setting itself in the modern day, The Secret Kingdom gives its audience a timeless feel with an ending that may bring about discussion from younger audience members, but is dealt with in a way that feels palatable to them. There’s one character to which their intentions are questioned and that’s never followed up satisfactorily, but otherwise The Secret Kingdom is an instant classic that children may revisit into adulthood with their own offspring.
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