The Pitch

Actually, the less said the better. Call it a princess movie and leave it at that.

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 6+ Common Sense Media: 6+

Content Advisories

Rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo. The skyscraper rooftop finale with a CGI dragon gets scary and loud. It is implied that men and women do grownup stuff with each other.

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06.25.13

Shouldn't be the first Disney princess movie they see

As with The Truman Show, a bit of fun is lost when you know the premise going in. (Good luck catching your kids unaware, however; they’re likely to have watched a trailer on another Disney disc, or to have glimpsed the movie’s cover art.) The movie rewards those familiar with Disney’s fairy tale princess canon (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), especially in its animated prologue—a compressed tale of meeting a prince, falling in love through song, and having royal wedding plans disrupted by an evil witch’s plot— and in its random cameos (Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, appears as Robert’s secretary). In the live-action realm, Amy Adams inhabits the role of Giselle with an otherworldly glow (this was the film that made her a star). James Marsden is also delightful, as the clueless Prince Edward. (The other actors fare... less well.) But despite the lip service paid to contemporary gender roles and some playful tweaking of the fairy tale princess tradition, the film is an homage, not a parody. Hearts melt, true love wins, and Giselle settles down as a designer of pretty dresses for girls. Parents hoping to subvert their daughters’ princess fascinations should look elsewhere. —Chris Ereneta

Edited & designed by Chris Ereneta. Suggestions, feedback, and rants welcome at watchwiththekids@gmail.com, @WatchWithKids, or on Facebook. More about this site.