IMDb > McKenna Shoots for the Stars (2012)
McKenna Shoots for the Stars
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McKenna Shoots for the Stars (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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McKenna Shoots for the Stars -- American Girl McKenna comes to life in this modern-day adventure about a determined gymnast who must focus on her strengths to overcome challenges and find a way to believe in herself again.
McKenna Shoots for the Stars -- Trailer for McKenna Shoots for the Stars


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Jessica O'Toole (teleplay)
Amy Rardin (teleplay)
View company contact information for McKenna Shoots for the Stars on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 July 2012 (USA) See more »
American Girl McKenna comes to life in this modern-day adventure about a determined gymnast who must focus on her strengths to overcome challenges and find a way to believe in herself again. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Fun and inspiring See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jade Pettyjohn ... McKenna Brooks

Kerris Dorsey ... Josie Myers

Nia Vardalos ... Mrs. Brooks

Ian Ziering ... Mr. Brooks

Ysa Penarejo ... Toulane Thomas

Cathy Rigby ... Isabelle Manning

Kally Berard ... Sierra Kuchinko

Talia Pura ... Grandma

Paula Rivera ... Mrs. Thomas

George Chiang ... Mr. Wu
Kadence Kendall Roach ... Maisey Brooks
Paiten Raine Roach ... Mara Brooks

Aisha Alfa ... Announcer

Will Woytowich ... Cowboy Bob

Abbey Thickson ... Impatient Girl Tutor
Emma Leipsic ... Megan Murphy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laura Cartlidge ... Gymnast (uncredited)

Stefanie Wiens ... School Librarian (uncredited)

Directed by
Vince Marcello 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mary Casanova  based on: The McKenna Stories by
Jessica O'Toole  teleplay
Amy Rardin  teleplay

Produced by
Ellen L. Brothers .... producer
Steven Brown .... executive producer
Debra Martin Chase .... producer
Erin Falligant .... co-producer
Gaylyn Fraiche .... executive producer
Ellen Rutter .... co-producer
Kim Todd .... co-producer
Original Music by
Tim Wynn  (as Timothy Michael Wynn)
Cinematography by
Jon Joffin (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Paul Millspaugh 
Production Design by
Craig Sandells 
Set Decoration by
Andrea Spakowski 
Costume Design by
Mary Partridge-Raynor  (as Mary Partridge)
Makeup Department
Daena Groleau .... assistant makeup artist
Ediena Hawkes .... assistant hair stylist
Travis Marszalek .... key hair stylist
Cindy Smith .... key makeup artist
Alisha Talbot .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Jeff Bessner .... post-production supervisor
Ellen Rutter .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roman Buchok .... first assistant director
Mimi Crowe .... third assistant director
Brad Medhurst .... second assistant director
Art Department
David Bezilla .... scenic artist
Nick Burns .... storyboard artist (as Nicholas Burns)
Steed Crandell .... scenic artist
Louis Gagne .... metal fabricator
Mary Esther Griffith .... key scenic artist
Scott Hadaller .... graphics
C. Summer Holmes .... lead dresser
Robert Kestler .... on-set dresser
Scott Layton .... set dresser
Brent Letain .... construction coordinator
Van McLean .... head carpenter
Kirby Schulz .... trainee
Kristin Shanski .... assistant property master
Robert Smith .... carpenter
Laura Souter .... art department coordinator
Katharina Stieffenhofer .... set buyer
Paul Wagner .... property master
Greg Warkentin .... set dresser
John Warkentin .... key greens
Lawrence Zglobicki .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Paolo Amati .... audio assistant
Richard Calistan .... adr editor (as Rich Calistan)
Steve Copley .... foley recordist
John Elliot .... foley artist
Joe Mancuso .... dialogue editor
Edgar Ozolins .... boom operator
Dino Schiavone .... production sound mixer
Dan Sexton .... sound effects editor
Dan Sexton .... sound supervisor
Brad Thornton .... sound re-recording mixer (as Brad Thorton)
Paul Williamson .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Ed Preston .... special effects coordinator
Wesley Reid .... special effects assistant
Visual Effects by
Kevin Chandoo .... additional visual effects
Bill Rude .... visual effects supervisor: Los Angeles
Michael Shand .... visual effects supervisor (as Mike Shand)
Brent Whitmore .... additional visual effects
Alia Ross .... stunt double: Toulane
Kristen Sawatzky .... stunt double: Josie
Dan Skene .... stunt coordinator (as Daniel Skene)
Kathryn White .... stunt double: McKenna
Camera and Electrical Department
Luke Campbell .... digital imaging technician
Andrew Coppin .... digital imaging technician
Todd Elyzen .... b camera operator
Miguel Fortier .... lighting crew
Allen Fraser .... stills photographer
Shane Gowler .... generator operator
Cynthia Greer .... second assistant b camera
Jesse Harris .... b-dolly grip
Ting Henson .... best boy lighting
Doug Kiddell .... rigging gaffer
Namowan Kirby .... lead grip
Marvin Klein .... lead lighting
Izak Mallin .... camera trainee
Matt Margolis .... best boy grip
Marty McInally .... a camera operator
Jeremy Milmine .... lighting crew
Mark Motoch .... generator operator
Robert L. O'Hara .... a-dolly grip (as Rob O'Hara)
Jos Oman .... first assistant a camera
Laird Pierce .... second assistant a camera
Rob Rowan .... gaffer
Rebecca Sandulak .... stills photographer
Julian Saray .... grip
Richard Sinclair .... first assistant b camera (as Rich Sinclair)
Clarke Stockton .... trainee
Noah Taylor .... trainee
John Westerlaken .... key grip
Casting Department
Shelly Anthis .... extras casting
Stephanie Gorin .... casting: Canada
Jim Heber .... casting: Canada
Elizabeth Lang .... casting: US (as Liz Lang)
Patty Majorczak-Connolly .... adr voice casting
Marcia Ross .... casting: US
Mark Sussman .... adr voice casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Katelynd Johnston .... costume buyer
M. Greer McMillan .... truck costumer
William Ng .... costume supervisor
Madeleine Stewart .... costume buyer
Soo Luen Tom .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Dax Brooks .... first assistant editor
Christian Carruthers .... post-production coordinator
Colin Moore .... colorist
Jodie Moore .... post-production coordinator (as Jodie Brown)
Rocky Polidoro .... on-line editor
Brett Trider .... colorist
Location Management
G. Thomas Arnold .... assistant location manager (as G. Tom Arnold)
Milt Bruchanski .... location scout (as Milton Bruchanski)
Cliff Ducharme .... key location production assistant
Cathie J. Edgar .... location manager
Rochelle Hykawy .... location production assistant
Tim Morgan .... location production assistant
Music Department
Robben Fenderson .... scoring assistant
Carly Robyn Green .... soundtrack
Julianne Jordan .... music supervisor
Marc Juenger .... drum programming
Will Kaplan .... supervising music editor
Patrick Kirst .... additional music: and production
Dave Lawrence .... music editor
Christopher Lennertz .... score producer
Christopher Lennertz .... themes
Jessica Neilson .... music coordinator
Zack Ryan .... additional music: and production
Drew Silverstein .... music coordinator
Drew Silverstein .... score coordinator
Anastasia Tajik .... scoring assistant
Philip White .... additional music: and production
Transportation Department
Denis Adams .... honeywagon driver
Lorne J. Allen .... driver
Douglas Arsenault .... driver (as Doug Arsenault)
Dale Bracken .... transportation captain
Stephen McGuire .... transportation captain (as Steve McGuire)
John Mysyk .... transportation coordinator
Mohammed Rana .... driver
Wayne Statkewich .... driver
Franklin Swark .... honeywagon driver
Other crew
Mackenzie Alexander .... photo double
Sydney Alexander .... photo double
Ivor Asham .... horse wrangler
Kelly Ashram .... horse wrangler (as Kelly Asham)
Pia Athayde .... production accountant
Daniel Bergeron .... assistant: to Vince Marcello
Mike Blyk .... horse wrangler (as Mike Belyk)
Megan Boswell .... creative consultant
Susan Boyajian .... voice actor
Tony Braga .... security coordinator
Laurel Bresnahan .... child welfare worker
Dave Cartman .... watchman (as David Cartman)
James Cronk .... security captain
Chris Dershko .... key craft service/first aid
Helene Desmarais .... gymnastic coach: and consultant
Mark Falgui .... chef
Jordan Fines .... head animal trainer
Chris Gabb .... office production assistant
Anastasia Geras .... accounting clerk
Jason Glesby .... watchman
Jodi Goldberg .... creative consultant
Patrick Gratton .... children coordinator
Fran Greenman .... creative consultant
Kerri Heppner .... assistant production coordinator
Amy Hryshko .... photo double
Robert Lagrou .... watchman
Jennifer Mauro .... stand-in
Andrea Mensforth .... assistant first aid: and craft service
Alanna Mills .... script supervisor
Amanda Misquez .... voice actor
Robert Norton .... legal services (as Robert A. Norton)
Corby Pearce .... chef
Becky Pelto .... first assistant accountant
Robert Persechino .... gymnastic coach: and consultant
Jorge Requena .... set production assistant
Kennedy Riehl .... stand-in
Bill Rude .... title designer
RoseAnna Schick .... unit publicist
Matthew Schimnowski .... assistant first aid: and craft service
Andrew Shaw .... sous chef
Joshua Stewart .... assistant: to Debra Martin Chase
Abbey Thickson .... stand-in
Raymond Vermetto .... horse wrangler
Heather Wiebe .... accounting clerk
Colleen Wowchuk .... production coordinator
Kenny Boyce .... thank you
Shari Hebert .... special thanks
Alex McLean .... special thanks
Jolene Schulz .... special thanks
Said Secerbegovic .... special thanks
Carole Vivier .... thank you

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
93 min
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

They goofed when McKenna was going to do her beam routine for the demonstration. They had a beam expander put on the beam and you could see it when she stepped up to the beam.See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofs Entrapment (1999)See more »
Lightning StrikesSee more »


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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Fun and inspiring, 16 July 2012
Author: vchimpanzee

McKenna Brooks is in the fourth grade but hopes to be an Olympic gymnast someday. She pushes herself really hard, and Coach Isabelle worries she's not ready for some of the moves she attempts. McKenna's best friend Toulane also aspires to be an Olympic gymnast because her older sister was hurt and lost her opportunity. Correction: Toulane's mother aspires for Toulane to be an Olympic gymnast, and Toulane can't tell her mother how she really feels. Meanwhile, McKenna is having trouble in school, and her parents expect her to improve her grades or no gymnastics. Her teacher Mr. Wu suggests Josie as a tutor. Josie is in a wheelchair, which gives the movie another opportunity for an inspiring story. But even though she is quite friendly and patient, her techniques make McKenna feel like a little child who has to start over. It will be a long road uphill, with plenty of obstacles to overcome.

This movie offers a lot of lessons about responsibility, determination, and the real meaning of friendship. It is kind of preachy but gets the message across with feel-good moments and plenty of humor.

Kerris Dorsey and Ysa Penarejo, as Josie and Toulane respectively, both do a reasonably good job acting, and both have their moments, but one can tell they are acting when they deliver dialogue. Dorsey does a very good job when it is her turn to be frightened, after Josie has been so strong and confident.

Nia Vardalos and Ian Ziering both do okay as McKenna's parents, but they're not quite up to the superior level one might hope for. Vardalos has more to do and does it better.

Jade Pettyjohn, however, becomes McKenna and does an outstanding job. She is so adorable and easy to like.

I didn't know Cathy Rigby could act, but I did not know which one was her. I figured she might be the coach, but she was so good.

The gymnasts also do an excellent job. In McKenna's case, we can't see her face and her hair is slightly different when she is doing her most difficult stunts, so I think we know what that means. It's hard to believe they're just kids. It's a beautiful thing to watch all these kids going through their routines--almost like Esther Williams without the water.

As would be expected for a movie targeting young girls, there's not a lot of music. There is a lot of what young girls think is music. But the movie does offer four exceptions to the rule. There is generic background music which is listenable for someone with my taste. And a song with the lyrics "Breathe in, breathe out" is sort of good. But two of the movie's funniest scenes have good music. One is a hilarious sequence where McKenna tries out different tutors. In another, Toulane behaves like a spy because of her jealousy when McKenna has secrets and other friends. In the library she uses her gymnastics skills to sneak around. The music resembles the "Mission: Impossible" theme.

The movie makes effective use of visual effects and editing, illustrating McKenna's problems with concentration, and dramatically showing her difficulty, through rapid-fire editing, taking a test when she can't remember anything.

This is a very good effort and one that is really worth seeing. There is no offensive content here. Just a few scary scenes, but this is appropriate for all ages.

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