Parents' Guide to

Princess and the Pony

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Forgettable fish-out-of-water movie has disturbing scene.

Movie PG 2011 88 minutes
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This is a sometimes confusing, occasionally alarmingly violent, otherwise forgettable princess tale. A few aspects of this direct-to-DVD movie are the basic staples of the "fish out of water" movie: a sheltered character in disguise tries to pass in a regular American school, but her precocious book smarts and lack of common sense or social acceptability mark her an outsider. Said protagonist finds an unlikely friend (in this case, the titular carnival pony) and eventually proves herself worthy, not only of the "normal" kids' friendship, but of her crown. Audiences are familiar with these themes and will initially want to root for Evelyn/Olivia (she changes her name while hiding out with her aunt).

The problem here is that the production values are so cheap, the villains so over-the-top -- downright inappropriate during the climactic sequences -- and the princess' struggles to fit in is so tame that the whole story becomes eye-rollingly awful. Why would a fluffy piece of family entertainment include frightening scenes of not one but two 10-year-old girls with a gun waved at their face? There's nothing funny about two little girls crying and cowering in the face of a maniacal villain (no matter how ridiculous his mustache looks). By the time Princess Evelyn and the pony save the day, audiences will be glad to be done with this movie.

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