Miraculous LADYBUG! If you have kids who love the masked hero I am sure you are more than aware that "Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie" hits Netflix July 28th. My girls love the show and were excited to see the movie, but is it OK for kids? How did the usually 24 minute episode fair when stretched into an over 90 minute long movie? Read my no-spoilers review to find out!
Disclaimer: I was provided early access to MIRACULOUS: LADYBUG & CAT NOIR, THE MOVIE for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie | A No-Spoilers Review
Miraculous: Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie features crisp and colorful animation that brings a fresh look to all of the characters fans of the franchise love (and love to hate).
The film both honors the well-loved series and departs from it, creating new twists and taking surprising turns.
But is Miraculous: Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie appropriate for young children or does it depart too far from the family-friendly series?
Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Miraculous Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie wouldn't exist.
Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie | The Plot
The plot is easy to follow. Two high schoolers are chosen to save Paris. They must work together as a team of superheroes, while keeping their identities a secret.
When I saw that the film was an origin story I was a little surprised, due to the series already having a two-part episode titled "Origins". While the movie follows some of the points touched in those episodes it also departs from it in ways I would have never expected.
This feels like a good time to make an important note. This is a standalone film. You do not have to have seen the series to understand and enjoy Miraculous: Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie.
The movie does a really good job at introducing our protagonists and our villains, giving enough backstory to fill new viewers in and does not leave them feeling like they have to go watch an entire series to *get* it.
The film does takes creative liberties throughout in order to give the movie a proper beginning, middle and end, which may leave fans of the series scratching their heads a bit.
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Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie | Musical Numbers
"Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie" includes original songs showcasing a different side of Marinette, Adrian and *gasps* Gabriel.
I enjoyed the addition of the songs, we've only previously heard our heroes sing in the "Santa Claws" episode of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.
One performance standouts for me above the rest however, and that is when our villain, Hawk Moth, takes center stage. He has an almost Dr. Facilier (the antagonist of Disney's Princess and the Frog) like moment with his musical number. I thought it was very well done.
Related: Super Mario Bros. Movie | No-Spoilers Review
Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie | The PG Rating
Miraculous: Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie is rated PG for action, some thematic elements and brief smoking.
There is one piece of language that stood out to me, a grumpy security guard states there will be "hell to pay". This caught me off guard as that line is very out of place and frankly, unnecessary.
In terms of action, the film's fight scenes are right on par with the television series.
Thematic elements is a purposefully vague term though I imagine it is because of some peril we see not only our main characters in but also our background, citizens of Paris characters. There is also talk about the death of a parent and the talk of being in love.
Scare wise, there is a scene with some skeletons and skulls that may be frightening for younger or more sensitive viewers.
Age recommendation: 6+
Ladybug & CatNor, The Movie | Final Thoughts
Much like Ladybug's yoyo, this movie had ups and downs for me.
There were elements from the series that I really wanted to see and frankly, expected to see that just weren't there. Example, CatNoir says the word "cataclysm" once in the entire movie. To someone who has never seen the series, that isn't a big deal. But to a fan of the show? That's a HUGE miss.
One departure that was a welcome sight was watching Marinette grow and become more confident in herself, without her Ladybug mask. I really enjoyed the montage sequence of Ladybug and CatNoir defeating akumatized villain after akumatized villain and then it cutting to Marinette sticking the landing after a jump off the balance beam. This confidence is not something we really see materialize in the series.
Marinette's growth in Miraculous: Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie is tremendous and inspiring.
Miraculous: Ladybug & CatNoir, The Movie is for fans old and new and will make for a great family movie night.
Stream it on Netflix, July 28th.