IMDb > McKenna Shoots for the Stars (2012)

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)
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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. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
For kids I'd give this a much better rating, but for the adult that is reading this... 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
Music Department
Robben Fenderson .... scoring assistant
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
G. Thomas Arnold .... assistant location manager (as G. Tom Arnold)
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
Milt Bruchanski .... location scout (as Milton Bruchanski)
Dave Cartman .... watchman (as David Cartman)
James Cronk .... security captain
Chris Dershko .... key craft service/first aid
Helene Desmarais .... gymnastic coach: and consultant
Cliff Ducharme .... key location production assistant
Cathie J. Edgar .... location manager
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
Rochelle Hykawy .... location production assistant
Robert Lagrou .... watchman
Jennifer Mauro .... stand-in
Andrea Mensforth .... assistant first aid: and craft service
Alanna Mills .... script supervisor
Amanda Misquez .... voice actor
Tim Morgan .... location production assistant
Robert A. Norton .... legal services
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:

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Movie Connections:
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For kids I'd give this a much better rating, but for the adult that is reading this..., 14 February 2015
Author: Adam Foidart from Winnipeg

Criticizing "McKenna Shoots for the Stars" is kind of like criticizing a junior high play: you feel bad for doing it but unless your kids are involved, you really have to wonder if there's a reason why you should be watching. As I write these words, I feel like a bully, picking on someone small and defenseless but the bottom line is that the movie isn't very well written or acted and while there are some sweet things about it, the picture is so harmless that it becomes bland after a while. The story follows aspiring gymnast McKenna Brooks (Jade Pettyjohn) who injures herself while practicing a difficult routine. McKenna was struggling with her studies due to her busy schedule so her parents (Ian Ziering as Mr. Brooks and Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Brooks) get her a tutor. If she can improve her grades, she can get back into the competition once her ankle heals. McKenna really resents having to be tutored by Josie (Kerris Dorsey) and hides her after-school study session from her best friend Toulane (Ysa Penarejo). As she starts becoming friends with Josie, she and Toulane start to drift apart. Meanwhile, there's always the fear that even if she gets back to her old self, McKenna won't be able to make the big competition.

This was a made-for TV movie based on a doll that's meant to teach little girls some wholesome lessons about self-esteem and overcoming odds and in that sense, yeah the movie is fine. There's not really a bad guy in this movie, the problems are realistic and everyone watching will learn some nice lessons about not jumping to conclusions, being yourself, fulfilling your dreams, learning to ask for help and more. There are no lame love plots (something that should hardly ever appear in a children's film where everyone is a pre-teen) and it's kind of hard not to be won over by at least one of the stories of the girls taking a leap of faith and succeeding. Particularly effective for me was the sub-plot following Josie, who is in a wheelchair and dreams of riding a horse. What makes me vote negatively for this movie is the acting; it just isn't that good. Even the seasoned actors like Nia Vardalos aren't really giving it their all. I also cringed at some of the dialog, which is written to feel very artificial, not at all sounding like anything any 9-year-olds I know would say.

I could have gotten over all of these flaws because children don't notice bad acting (I can attest to that, some of my favorite movies as a kid feature unbearably wooden performances) and wouldn't give a second thought to the writing. The biggest flaw for me is that the film doesn't really have any bite to it. It just wraps itself up really clean, has humor that might make adults chuckle once in a while but is really only meant for little girls and feels like an after-school special. It's completely harmless and you might even learn something, but unless your little Princess demands that you sit down and watch this with her, there's no reason to.

Some people will say that I should consider the audience for this film and to them, I'll say this: Of course little girls will like McKenna's adventure. They'll probably love it and watch it over and over while brushing their McKenna doll's hair. But at a certain point, children will like anything they can follow and somewhat relate to, and they don't have the kind of exposure to see the flaws in movies. If I had a daughter of course I'd let her watch this but I'm not a little girl and I don't want to pretend that I am. I'm going to assume that you can read this review and tell for yourself if this is something you would want to see so I don't have to feel bad about giving this movie a 2 / 5. I can't do that and not feel a little bit guilty unfortunately, but even if it was playing on TV or you could rent it for free from the children's section of your local video store, you have no business watching this if you're an adult. I'm really sorry, crew of "McKenna shoots for the stars". I wish everyone involved the best but I have to be honest here and tell you that if you make a sequel, I'd watch it (because I am compelled to watch anything I set my hands on) but this film here, is just not that good. (On DVD, March 7, 2014)

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