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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire is a 2016 YouTube Red concert movie starring BBC and YouTube sensations Dan and Phil performing to a packed Dolby Theater in Hollywood. The audience is almost entirely screaming tween girls, who are screaming not just due to having the kinds of crushes reserved in the past for boy bands or The Beatles, but also to Dan and Phil's positive messages on self esteem, remaining true to who you are, and that "it's ok to be weird." There is some innuendo, especially during a sketch involving the pair going camping, that makes the audience scream even louder. Cursing includes "Jesus" and "damn." During the advice section, the pair helps a gay tween girl find a way to express her crush to a friend of hers. There's also frequent reference made to YouTube -- Dan and Phil have over ten million subscribers to their channel -- and a song at the end that, while somewhat satirical, praises spending all of one's time on the internet. Overall, the concert movie captures the high energy of the performance, and the unmitigated frenzy the stars inspire amongst their many fans.
What's the story?
Dan Howell and Phil Lester present a live version of their enormously popular YouTube segments to a sold-out audience at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood in the summer of 2016 in THE AMAZING TOUR IS NOT ON FIRE. Early in the performance, Phil accidentally microwaves his laptop in the giant microwave behind them on the stage. As a result, they have "broken the internet." Without the internet, they must find new ways to amuse themselves and the audience. This leads to segments involving fan fiction, existential crises, camping, and a journey to the future in which they're senior citizens. Even as they do these skits, they continue to try to find a way to unbreak the internet, while encouraging their audience, through song and talk, to be true to themselves, and that it's "ok to be weird."
Is it any good?
This concert film is a frenzied and frantic live presentation of Dan and Phil's enormously popular YouTube videos -- videos so popular that this movie is a YouTube Red exclusive. In case you were unsure of who their fanbase was, this live audience is packed almost entirely with thousands of screaming tween and teen girls. Which isn't to say that tween and teen girls are the only ones who will enjoy this; there are some LOL moments for grown-ups too, including a moment when Phil makes fun of his "2007 MySpace haircut," and enough British dry humor to keep the oft-used messages of "be yourself" engaging.
The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire is not for everyone, but Dan and Phil clearly know their audience and reveal a deep empathy, even in the most absurd sketches; for instance, during the advice section in which they take questions sent in by the audience, they help a gay tween girl find a way to express her crush to a friend of hers. And they keep the action moving, which kids with shorter attention spans will appreciate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the audience reaction in The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire. Who were some other entertainers in the past that performed for audiences of screaming tween and teen girls?
In one segment, Dan and Phil answer questions from the audience and give advice on growing up, fitting in, and crushes. Did you think they gave good advice? Why or why not?
What would be the challenges in taking a popular internet program and presenting it in a live theater setting?
- On DVD or streaming: October 5, 2016
- Cast: Dan Howell, Phil Lester
- Director: Sam Campbell
- Studio: YouTubeRed
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Music and Sing-Along
- Character strengths: Integrity
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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