Kids’ Movies Explained In Three Sentences For Confused Parents

Matt Brown
Dec 12, 2023 By Matt Brown
Originally Published on May 23, 2021
'Trolls' is an all time favourite among the kids as well as parents.

The first time I watched Trolls, I thought: “Arghhh! What’s going on? Why won’t they quieten down? Please! Make them stop!” 

The second time I watched Trolls, I thought: “Arghhh! Not this again. What’s that? Ah.. oh… ha, that was quite funny.”
The third time I watched Trolls, I thought: “You know what? This is actually quite clever. When can we watch the spin-off series?”

Kids’s films are like that, aren’t they? What at first seems to parents like a brash mess will eventually show its true colours (to put it in Trolls terms). But it can take several repeat viewings to get to that point. 

To help you decide whether you want to invest the hours, we’ve summarised some of the most popular animated films into three sentences… and then just one sentence. Warning: may contain spoilers.



Orphaned princess Elsa of Arendelle can do lots of freezy cold ice magic thanks to a curse, but must lock herself away to protect her sister Anna. The pair reunite for Elsa’s coming-of-age coronation, only for Elsa to go dangerously icy in public.

She let’s it all go, and self-exiles in an ice palace, from which she eventually re-emerges to save Anna and turf out some duplicitous schemers who’ve usurped her throne.

In one sentence: A&E learn to handle responsibilities while building things out of snow.

Frozen 2

Elsa hears a mysterious voice, which lures her gang north with an insanely well-written song that will stay in your head for years. Anna destroys the dam unleashing a giant wall of water -- but it’s OK because Elsa can do some more freezy cold ice magic to stop it flattening their home.   

In one sentence: Same as ‘Frozen,’ but with more family history research.

Hotel Transylvania

Count Dracula no longer sucks blood, and now runs a hotel for monsters from his Transylvanian castle. He is manically protective of his daughter Mavis, who looks and acts 18 but is actually 118 years old. Mavis falls in love (‘finds her zing’) with a human called Johnny, whom Drac at first despises but comes to respect. 

In one sentence: Anyone can fit in, and Dracula does NOT say blah, blah, blah.


Those little yellow pill-shaped creatures you’ve seen all over the adverts and in toy stores originated in the Despicable Me movies, to which this is a kind of prequel. The Minions always seek out the most evil masters, yet never do anything that is truly nasty or morally dubious (this is a kids’ movie after all).

They spend most of the film in Swingin’ 60s London, hanging out with a supervillain who manages to replace Queen Elizabeth II.

In one sentence: The-opposite-of-mellow yellow.


The movie 'Moana' was a huge hit among both kids as well as parents


The titular girl wants to break free of her insular island home and explore the oceans just like her ancestors. When the island starts dying, Moana thinks she can cure it by returning a jewel (the heart of Te Fiti) to a goddess, who is also somehow an island.

She’s helped along by demi-god Maui who has the best darn theme song you ever heard.

In one sentence: Disney’s finest hour.


Everyone is an animal with some kind of problem. They all enter a singing contest whose popularity might just save a threatened music hall. It eventually works, but not before you’ve blubbed through the ‘Hallelujah’ scene and the ‘Golden Slumbers’ montage.

In one sentence: Anthropomorphic musical that rewards repeat viewing.

Spider-man: Into The Spiderverse

Teenager Miles Morales gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gains his own powers, only to witness the death of the original Spider-Man. An inter-dimensional portal brings together yet further spider-beings from alternative universes, including a world-weary spiderman, a spiderwoman, an anime spidergirl, a spiderpig called Peter Porker, and a Spider-Man Noir voiced by Nicolas Cage.

It shouldn’t work, but it really, really does.

In one sentence: It’s Spider-Man but not as you know him.


Yes, it’s based on the big-haired dolls that’ve been around since your grandparents were in nappies - but only loosely. The film follows Poppy and Branch as they attempt to rescue their fellow trolls from the clutches of the giant troll-eating bergens.

The wafer-thin plot is more than made up for by superb characterisation, witty one-liners and a soundtrack that features the best ever cover version of ‘The Sound Of Silence.’

In one sentence: Who knew happiness could be so much fun?

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Written by Matt Brown

Bachelor of Science specializing in Chemistry, Master of Research specializing in Biomolecular Sciences

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Matt BrownBachelor of Science specializing in Chemistry, Master of Research specializing in Biomolecular Sciences

With a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a Master's in Residency specializing in Biomolecular Sciences and roots in the Midlands, Matt has developed a passion for writing about London. As a former editor and prolific contributor to, he has authored several books exploring the city's hidden gems. In addition to his work, Matt enjoys spending time with his two preschool-aged children.

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