Night at the Museum was truly the start of an unexpected franchise; I have fond memories of seeing the first one in theaters with my family around the holidays. It makes perfect sense that the latest film in the franchise comes to Disney+ just in time for the Christmas season. This time though, the franchise returns in animated form with stylish animation and a great voice cast; it would have been nice to have some of the original cast return to voice their characters, but the new cast does a nice job stepping into the roles.
Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again Review
The film picks up several years after the events of Secret of the Tomb and the Museum of Natural History has been struggling to find a new night guard. This is because Larry Daley (voiced by Zachary Levi) is running the Tokyo Museum and the exhibits want his son Nick (voiced by Joshua Bassett) to take over as the night guard for the summer. Nick is all grown up now as a senior in high school, trying to find self confidence as he takes on this new job.
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Zachary Levi and Joshua Bassett step into the roles of Larry and Nick Daley nicely, though it is weird hearing Larry’s voice not as Ben Stiller. Nick Daley didn’t have as big of a role in the original films, so it’s nice that they decided to give him the spotlight this time. He’s a very relatable character as a high school senior trying to find himself and his place in the world. He has to take some big steps in growing up when he accidentally releases Kahmunrah from the basement of the museum.
The supporting cast do a nice job filling in the exhibit roles, though the differences in the voices are a little jarring at first, especially Thomas Lennon as Teddy Roosevelt. This is nothing against Lennon’s performance, it just isn’t the late great Robin Williams. It’s the same with Steve Zahn and Jack Whitehall as Jedediah and Octavius; their performances are fine, it just isn’t Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan. Once you get past that though, you get used to them as the movie progresses.
Overall, I think putting Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again on Disney+ was the right move; it’s not a bad movie, but it wouldn’t have been a blockbuster hit, especially with Avatar: The Way of Water coming out next week. The story is simple and the villains are a little lackluster, but the quick 80 minute run time helps make up for that. This is definitely a movie that’s great for families and I hope they continue the Night at the Museum franchise in this animation style, hopefully with a new story to tell.