“Crater” is the latest original film to be released directly onto Disney+, and it tells the story of Caleb Channing, who was raised in a mining colony on the moon and is about to be permanently relocated to an idyllic faraway planet following the death of his father. But before leaving, to fulfil his dad’s last wish, he and his three best friends, Dylan, Borney and Marcus, and a new arrival from Earth, Addison, hijack a rover for one final adventure on a journey to explore a mysterious crater.

The gang of kids here are all likeable; they’re all having fun, but care for one another, almost like brothers.  The addition of Addison to the story helps act as a guide, as the kids explain to her and ultimately us, what’s going on and how things work within this universe.

There are some fun adventure scenes in the film, especially involving a moonwalk that goes a little wrong and a meteor shower.   But the pacing is a little slow to begin with, which probably needed to be tighter for a kids/family film.     Through a series of flashbacks, we find out about Caleb’s past and why his father wants him to visit the mysterious crater.  And this film has some serious undertones that gave the movie a little more substance, as the idea of futurist slavery wasn’t something I had expected to be a small plot point.

One of the really interesting aspects of this film, which younger audiences probably won’t grasp as much as older viewers, is how this film deals with the harsh realities of time, especially involving space travel and being put into cryostasis for decades.  Because this film doesn’t pull any punches with regards to the impact that this has on not just those who travel through space, but also for those left behind, the last few scenes in this film really had an emotional impact on me, maybe just being a little older and the harsh realities of losing those loved ones around you. It did hit a spot that I wasn’t expecting from a straight-to-video Disney film.

Unfortunately, one thing that is very noticeable about this film is that you can tell it was filmed during the pandemic, because its a very bare.  Most of the scenes only have the kids in them, and it feels very sparse.  There are only a handful of scenes that have other characters in them, though they come up with some creative ways of basically hiding every other person in the mining colony away.   While it doesn’t matter too much to the story, it does mean nothing feels lived in and rather sparse.

“Crater” is a surprisingly good family-friendly adventure film.  It’s not perfect, and I can’t help but feel had this been a theatrical release, the special effects budget would have been bigger, and it might have been a slightly more impressive film set in space, but it’s ok for a Disney+ streaming movie.   I came in with no expectations and enjoyed watching it.  It’s got some vibes of some classic films from the 80s but doesn’t have the same charm, but it’s an interesting take on the classic children’s adventure, that I think younger audiences will enjoy.  It’s probably not going to win any awards, but it’s an enjoyable streaming film that is worth checking out.

Rating – 3.5 Out Of 5.

“Crater” is out now on Disney+

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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