The Movie Guru: New streaming offerings include ‘Once Upon a Snowman,’ ‘Over the Moon’ |

The Movie Guru: New streaming offerings include ‘Once Upon a Snowman,’ ‘Over the Moon’

4 films to check out on Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Apple TV

Though it’s only a short, "Once Upon a Snowman" on Disney+ is a sweet, fun visit with a character many people love.
Disney | Special to the Daily

‘Over the Moon’

Premiering on Netflix this Friday, Oct. 23, “Over the Moon” feels so much like old-school Disney you might feel you’ve accidentally fallen into a time warp. That, I’m sure, is due to Glen Keane, who you’ll remember from such classics as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and so many more. This is his first turn in the director’s chair, and he delivers the story of a little girl trying to fly to the moon with such a classic, deeply satisfying feel you’ll feel like you’ve found some lost Disney classic. There are a few moments that disturb that vibe — I know they got Phillipa Soo as a voice actress, but that does not mean there needs to be rap — but mostly it’s sweet, heartwarming and tender. When you add in the gorgeous animation, it’s a treat for the whole family.

Grade: Three and a half stars (out of four)

‘Once Upon A Snowman’

Though it’s only a short, Disney+’s newest offering is a sweet, fun visit with a character many people love. The mini-movie follows Olaf through the first few hours of his existence, referencing scenes from the original “Frozen” to show you exactly when everything is, and the juxtaposition actually answers a question or two that wasn’t addressed in the original film. Olaf is the real draw of the short, however, with a sort of innocent ridiculousness that drew several laughs out of me before the eight minutes were done. He also gets a few genuinely tender moments near the end, which gives the short just the right amount of weight.

Grade: Three and a half stars (out of four)

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’

If you liked the original “Borat” movie, then you’re going to like the one premiering this Friday on Amazon Prime. Yes, it’s been 14 years, and there are some days when the world has gotten so crazy that parody almost seems irrelevant. But Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat persona has always been good at making crazy situations even crazier, and he’s arrived back in America ready to make fools out of pretty much every Trump supporter he can find. The results are as crude as the first film, deeply awkward, occasionally disturbing and sometimes absolutely hilarious if this is your type of humor. Though there are some flat moments, and others that tip too far to the awkward and disturbing side of the equation, there are also some moments that throw today’s America into the kind of shocking relief that lingers far longer than the laughs.

Grade: Two and a half stars (out of four)

‘On the Rocks’

The latest from director Sofia Coppola, this Apple TV+ exclusive feels thinner than her usual work. Despite the slight nature of the plot and an ending that feels more like an afterthought than any kind of satisfying conclusion, it’s a treat to see Bill Murray and Rashida Jones play off each other. They have a wonderful, understated banter with one another, and though it’s not the healthiest father/daughter relationship, you can absolutely see why they’re so drawn to each other. It’s their relationship that makes the movie work, and though I wish they’d explored it a bit further, it’s still interesting to watch. If Murray and Jones ever decide to do anything else together, I’ll be the first in line to watch.  

Grade: Two stars (out of four)

Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at

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