A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The only positive message in the movie is that you should believe in yourself and encourage your friends.
Positive Role Models
Fay is a caring and encouraging aunt to Evelyn/Olivia. She is the reason Evelyn learns to do things for herself and take some responsibility, instead of just waiting for others to do everything for her.
Violence & Scariness
There is a lot of violence in the movie. Although at times it's comical, the entire plot is based on a group that wants to kidnap the princess. There's gun violence, and in one tense sequence, the villain points a gun and is about to shoot the girl he thinks is the princess, until he realizes who the princess is and then points the gun at her (and is about to shoot). The girls are also pushed and made to cry. In other scenes, the princess' guards chase two potential kidnappers away. A pony stops a villain and causes him enough injury for the cops to capture him.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Grown-ups flirt and eventually kiss briefly.
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Mild insults like "you insipid fool!" and "told you she couldn't skate!" and "cowardly dolt!"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this direct-to-DVD movie contains a shocking amount of violence for a movie billed as "family entertainment." The villains don't just want to kidnap the titular princess, they want to kill her, and at one point there's a loaded gun pointed and about to be discharged at two girls. No one is seriously injured, but the threat of murder is nothing to treat lightly and may upset younger viewers. Otherwise there's just a few insults and some mild flirting between two adults that leads to one chaste kiss. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.