This French animated film isn't going to make any best-of lists, but its bright, colorful animation and SamSam's exciting life are likely to keep little ones engaged. SamSam is a sweetheart: He's kind, thoughtful, and dealing with issues that, we see, aren't really his fault. For instance, SamSam doesn't wet the bed; rather, an evil dictator bent against children releases wetting creatures under the covers while he sleeps. And it's the teddy bear that's not ready to let go of SamSam, not the other way around. Plus, our little hero -- which is exactly what he is, the littlest hero in the universe -- is desperate to find out his superpower (or, as adults might interpret it, what skill he's good at it). While that's definitely relatable, SamSam's life may also spark gasps of envy: He and his friends are allowed to zoom around the galaxy in their own saucers, with parental warnings but no supervision.
While SamSam may well appeal to the very young, it'll be a bigger challenge to hold adults' interest. It does have some throwaway zingers -- the kind where you look at your kid, laughing, and they look back at you blankly. (Two minions talk in the back about how spinach gives them gas, and high-spirited parents give up after being zapped by the gloom gun, saying, "let's go home and eat taco chips.") The movie's themes may be a little sophisticated for the littlest viewers: It can be challenging to talk in an age-appropriate way about empathy and prejudice with kids who are still trying to learn their shapes and colors. But it's never too early to learn how to be a good friend, and SamSam may help lay the foundation for deeper conversations in the future.