“The Secret Kingdom” is a fantasy story for the family with unique visuals and character designs. Yet you’ll feel like you’ve seen this story before.

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Director(s) Matt Drummond
Screenplay By Matt Drummond
Based On N/A
Date Released (Video On Demand) June 9th, 2023
Genre(s) Fantasy, Youth
Duration 1 hr, 38 mins
Content Rating PG
Noted Cast
Peter Sam Everingham
Verity Alyla Browne
Pling Darius Williams

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Film Summary

“The Secret Kingdom” feels like one of those foggy memories of a movie from your youth, where you remember a specific scene or character but are unsure if it really existed. Matt Drummond’s fantasy flick will most likely create the same nostalgic twang for kids in the future. This magical tale of kids finding a secret, whimsical world where they are unknowingly integral to a prophecy is a book you may have read or a film you may have seen, and while it’s comforting, it offers nothing new except pangolins.

Two siblings, Peter (Sam Everingham) and Verity (Alyla Browne), stumble upon a magical kingdom underneath their bedroom floor. While Verity is more excited and willing to go on an adventure, Peter doubts himself and quickly fears the unknown. An army of pangolins informs The brother and sister that their land is under attack by an evil entity known as The Shroud. Peter and Verity are tasked with saving the kingdom by finding five magical treasures through riddles, deadly creatures, and their inner strength.

the secret kingdom

“The Secret Kingdom” encases a straightforward story that children can quickly follow: kids are tasked with a mission, and they meet different creatures to help them on their mission. The story’s familiarity is equally comforting and predictable. While “The Secret Kingdom” is not bad or brainless entertainment for children, it doesn’t seem like a movie anyone in the family would intentionally seek unless they’re avid consumers of fantasy stories.

Things To Note

Why is “The Secret Kingdom” Rated PG?

  • Dialogue: N/A
  • Violence: Some scenes of children in peril
  • Sexual Content: N/A
  • Miscellaneous: Frightening creatures and an unexpected twist

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.


An apprehensive and nervous child that keeps having visions in his dreams. When he enters the Secret Kingdom, he’s told he is their king, yet Peter is doubtful of his capabilities.


An adventurous and welcoming child and the younger sister of Peter. Verity is Peter’s foil; she is quick to introduce herself to others and believes in the natural goodness of creatures.


A pangolin who serves as Peter and Verity’s guide through the Secret Kingdom. While Pling can also be reluctant to try new things with the siblings, he is loyal to them and wishes to prove himself to the other pangolins.

the secret kingdom 3


Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive) 

*Abrupt Ending and Twist May Take Some Explaining to Children* contains ending spoilers


Unique Character Design and Special Effects 

“The Secret Kingdom” does not have the budget of many theatrically released children’s films in the U.S. Yet the movie creates its own aesthetic that stays true to its grandiose storytelling with sunlight that reflects off the hairs of its pangolins or through menacing shadows that convey the evil of the Shroud. The different supporting characters and obstacles have peculiar and charming looks as if their design came from a forgotten fable.

Sincere Storytelling that Conveys Care for Its Characters

While filmmaking is an incredibly collaborative process, it can also be bogged down by too many opinions, and a movie can lose sight of its individuality. “The Secret Kingdom” feels personal and gentle and never mocks its premise or characters. Matt Drummond has shown excitement for this story world and its possibilities without pandering to any audience.

the secret kingdom 2 scaled

On The Fence

Familiarity of Story Can Be Dull and Comforting

Audiences know where “The Secret Kingdom” is going before it even arrives. While this can be true of many movies, kids might be entranced, but adults will quickly lose interest in this film. “The Secret Kingdom” is a warm movie and maybe one you play while wrapped in a blanket and next to the fireplace, but there’s no guarantee you’ll stay awake.

Abrupt Ending and Twist May Take Some Explaining to Children

Kids aren’t dumb. They’ll most likely understand that Peter’s sister Verity has died, but the movie portrays this message by making Verity still alive in the kingdom. “The Secret Kingdom” almost lands the message of letting a loved one go, but can potentially confuse its audience by stating Verity was dead all along yet also lives in this fantasy world in Peter’s imagination.

What is the secret kingdom? Is it an afterlife? Is it strictly in Peter’s head? What did these other characters symbolize? The film seems to leave a lot up for interpretation but also breaks its own storyworld rules in the process.

The secret kingdom 1
The Secret Kingdom (2023) – Movie Review and Summary (with Spoilers)
Matt Drummond's "The Secret Kingdom" is a passion projects that feels as if it should have been made fifteen years ago. While it offers a unique steampunk aesthetic, you can't help but feel deja vu while watching it.
Unique Character Design and Special Effects 
Sincere Storytelling that Conveys Care for Its Characters
Familiarity of Story Can Be Dull and Comforting
Abrupt Ending and Twist May Take Some Explaining to Children

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