Inspired by a true story, this family adventure features an all-star cast, including Don Johnson, Olympic-skating silver medalist Sasha Cohen, Lori Loughlin and Kay Panabaker. Life is a rough ride for awkward, friendless, 15-year-old Moondance (Panabaker). But when a Pinto pony named Checkers leaps into her life, Moondance pursues a dream she never knew she had. Convinced that Checkers has champion potential, she enters him in the Bow Valley Classic, and in the process learns only perseverance lands you in the winner's circle. Directed by Michael Damian, and featuring an irresistible soundtrack, Moondance Alexander is an uplifting story the whole family will enjoy.
A sweet family drama about a girl and her misunderstood horse, Moondance Alexander
focuses on a teenager who is longing to fit into a world where she is considered an oddball. Though Moondance (Kay Panabaker) is cute as a button, she's saddled with an unpopular name and that, apparently, is enough to make other 15-year-old girls dislike her. But when the spunky kid finds a mischievous runaway pinto, her life changes for the better. The horse's owner is played by a gravely voiced Don Johnson, who allows Moondance to work at his stable. In return, he will also train her to ride Checkers, who is her new best friend. Moondance is convinced that Checkers is a champion jumper in the making that just needs someone to believe in him. She believes. And by the end of the movie, the parable won't be lost on anyone that in bringing out the best in Checkers, Moondance also discovers her own worth. Directed by soap opera star Michael Damian, the film has a warm, but cheesy made-for-TV vibe. The movie is not without charm. But there are virtually no surprises here, and the viewer easily guesses what will happen way before it actually does. Panabaker, Johnson and Lori Loughlin (as Moondance's mom) are all wonderful in their roles. But figure skater Sasha Cohen is sorely miscast as Moondance's high-school nemesis. --Jae-Ha Kim