Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy
By Monique Jones,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sweet film about friendship, grief has comic violence.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Friendship includes wanting the best for your friends and helping them with their challenges in life. Grief is a complicated set of emotions that requires communication and bonding between family members in order for it to not become toxic. Grief can tear families apart, but it can also bring families together. Understanding the world around you and those you come in contact with requires empathy and curiosity.
Positive Role Models
Hung grieves for his mother and seeks companionship. He gains a friend when Maika crash-lands on Earth. Hung befriends Maika and, through their friendship, Hung and his father, Thanh, are able to understand each other better. Hung is also a very smart, curious boy with an interest in science, engineering, and space.
Made in Vietnam; cast and filmmakers are all Vietnamese. There does appear to be some colorism in play, since prominent female characters are lighter skinned and look more "stereotypically" East Asian, despite the fact that there are a variety of skin tones among Southeast Asian people. Still, the film offers valuable representation for Vietnamese American viewers, since Asian actors are underrepresented in Hollywood films.
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Violence & Scariness
A child is grieving his mother's death. Violence played as comic includes henchpeople being hit on the head, Maika attacking baddies in self-defense, and a knife falling into someone's shoulder.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Suggested nudity when Maika arrives on Earth. Hung's friend moons one of the henchmen.
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Language includes "dammit," "ass," and "crazy" (used in a potentially ableist way).
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Products & Purchases
Vietjet Air mascot and a children's drink brand are shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy is a Vietnamese family action-adventure about a child who's grieving his mother's death when he unexpectedly finds a friend in an alien girl. It has some comic violence (people being hit on the head or with a knife, someone attacking baddies in self-defense, etc.) as well as moments of implied or suggested nonsexual child nudity. There's also brief smoking, rude humor, and some minor language ("dammit," "ass"). Themes include courage, curiosity, and empathy, and the film addresses grief, making it clear that grief is a complicated set of emotions that requires communication and bonding between family members in order for it to not become toxic.
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Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy
Based on 1 parent review
EXCELLENT MOVIE! WE ALL LOVE IT!
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What's the Story?
MAIKA: THE GIRL FROM ANOTHER GALAXY follows Hung (Phu Truong Lai), a young boy who's grieving his mother's death. After his friend moves away, Hung wishes for his mother's presence during a meteor shower. At that moment, a spaceship crash lands, and Hung meets Maika (Diep Anh Chu), a young alien who needs help getting back home. Hung and Maika's friendship gains the attention of an Elon Musk-type billionaire who wants to use Maika to get to outer space. While trying to help Maika, Hung and his father, Thanh (Ngoc Tuong), also finally come to terms with each other and help each other deal with their grief.
Is It Any Good?
This charming, heartfelt film taps into the complicated emotional issues that come with grief, especially childhood grief. While there are some moments in Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy that could be tighter -- such as some of the bits with the two comic-relief baddies -- the film's focus on friendship and courage helps it excel.
Several characters, including Hung, also have an interest in STEM and inventing, which could inspire younger viewers to create and explore. The young stars of the film are spectacular, especially Lai, who deftly plays the ups and downs of grief, grounding the storyline. As Maika, Chu displays strength, curiosity, and kindness, making you instantly root for her. Overall, Maika is a fun film that families will love.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about childhood grief. How are Hung and his father handling their grief in Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy? Is there a right or wrong way to grieve?
How does Maika's friendship help Hung?
How does Hung's curiosity help him keep Maika safe? How does Hung show courage?
Why is Hung interested in space?
- In theaters: June 3, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: September 6, 2022
- Cast: Phu Truong Lai, Diep Anh Chu, Tin Tin, Ngoc Tuong, Kim Nha
- Director: Ham Tran
- Studio: Well Go USA
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Space and Aliens
- Character Strengths: Courage, Curiosity, Empathy
- Run time: 105 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: violence, rude humor, thematic elements, language and brief smoking
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: January 10, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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