Rags

  • Review Date: May 25, 2012
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2012

Common Sense Media says

Sweet modern fairytale shows off singing talents of stars.
  • Review Date: May 25, 2012
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2012

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie aims to entertain rather than to educate, but the story is rich in positive messages about following your dreams, being true to your values, and looking past appearances.

Positive messages

Themes of overcoming adversity and finding your inner voice are strong throughout the story. Charlie and Kadee's friendship transcends racial, socioeconomic, and status boundaries and illustrates the importance of seeing past appearances in people. Kadee's image -- even down to a fictionalized romantic relationship -- is designed to make her more appealing to fans, but she fights to be able to reveal her true self to the world.

Positive role models

Adults aren't always out for kids' best interests, but in one case, a teen's character growth positively influences her father's level of respect for her. Kadee and Charlie are great models of self-confidence and a positive outlook, and both reap the benefits of these qualities.

Violence & scariness

Brothers engage in some rough-housing, but no one gets hurt.

Sexy stuff

Shy flirting between teens, which culminates in a couple of kisses. A main character reluctantly fakes a romance with a teen heartthrob to create headlines and sell records.

Language

One instance each of "stupid" and "butt."

Consumerism

The story is designed to showcase its music, and the soundtrack (plus three bonus songs) is available for download. Retail names like Harry Winston and references to websites like MTV's are used within context of the movie and don't disrupt it.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rags has strong messages about friendship, self-confidence, and overcoming adversity, and its clean content makes those lessons accessible to a range of ages. The story raises some good discussion points about celebrities' status and how their public images differ from their private lifestyles. Heavy marketing and a cast of familiar Nickelodeon stars -- including How to Rock's Max Schneider, Drake and Josh's Drake Bell, and Victorious's Avan Jogia -- make this a must-see among existing tween viewers, and they won't be disappointed by the funny, heartwarming story ably handled by the talented crew. That said, it's obvious that the movie is designed to showcase the vocal talents of its young cast . . . and possibly to promote the movie's soundtrack.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Rags stars Max Schneider as Charlie Prince, an orphaned teen doomed to a hard-knock life under the thumb of his controlling stepfather, Arthur (Robert Moloney), who lives to promote the mediocre careers of his spoiled sons, Andrew (Keenan Tracey) and Lloyd (Burkely Duffield). Charlie dreams of being a singer, but big breaks are hard to come by in the Big Apple. Vocal megastar Kadee Worth (Keke Palmer) seems to have the world on a string, but she gets little satisfaction from her predesigned career and an image that's nothing like her true personality. When a chance encounter brings these two dreamers together, they find unexpected inspiration in their friendship, encouraging each to find a new inner voice and the courage to share it with the world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The traditional Cinderella tale gets a gender twist in this sappy-sweet story about a downtrodden young man who battles the odds to have a chance at his own fairytale ending. There are some fun parallels between the classic version of the story and Rags -- loyal friends who sew a glittering ensemble for the ball, bickering step-siblings whose vanity makes Charlie's humble nature even more gleaming, and even a strict midnight curfew with dire consequences -- but its fresh-faced cast ensures it's anything but a trite remake. Predictable? Yes. A bit cheesy? Perhaps, but the wholesome story makes for feel-good family viewing.

Of course, when all is said and done, music is a big part of this movie, and in today's media climate, that means that a soundtrack isn't far behind. While the story is strong enough to rival the musical numbers for viewers' affection, it's not a stretch to think that the movie is crafted to highlight the components of a lucrative CD accompaniment. This is nothing new to kids who are familiar with the likes of Wizards of Waverly Place, iCarly, and any other series populated by vocally talented actors, but be forewarned that your little fans may be asking for a soundtrack next.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media influences our view of celebrities. What kinds of things have you read or seen about your favorite TV or music stars? Does this information ever change your impression of them? Should we always believe what we see and hear in the news?

  • Kids: What barriers stand between Charlie and Kadee and their dreams? Who in their lives act as mentors to them? How do role models help us accomplish our goals? What are the rewards of finally reaching our goals?

  • Were you familiar with any of the stars in this movie before you watched it? If so, did knowing them beforehand affect your decision to tune in? What are some other ways in which TV, music, and other influences change our preferences and buying habits?

Movie details

DVD release date:August 28, 2012
Cast:Drake Bell, Keke Palmer, Max Schneider
Director:Billie Woodruff
Studio:Nickelodeon
Genre:Musical
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
Run time:88 minutes

This review of Rags was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old June 25, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

A Great Cinderella Twist ;^)

I think this is a really good movie and I can see a lot of relations to Cinderella. The more times I see it, the more connections I find. I like how in this movie, Cinderella's a boy and there's Princess Charming. Positive Messages: Believe in yourself and don't let anyone stop you from conquering your goals. Positive Role Models: Charlie Prince (Max Schneider) teaches children that you can do anything you set your mind to. Shaun (Drake Bell) is constantly trying to help him with that. Kadee Worth (Keke Palmer) doesn't like all the clothes and makeup and songs that she's forced to sing. "Love You, Hate You" is the name of one of the songs she sings. "I love you so much, I hate you so bad, and lyrics like that, but Kadee doesn't like it. Violence: Charlie climbs a pole that falls back and he has to jump on the windowsill, but that's not very violent or scary (except for Charlie). Sex: A couple kisses and in one scene where Kadee does a music video, she's shown wearing heavy makeup and a onesie she can barely move in, complete with super high wedges she has to dance in. A guy takes his shirt off and asks Kadee to sign it, but he's not a super gorgeous hunk or anything--in fact, he needs to work out. So the shirtlessness wasn't really a problem as the guy wasn't cute. Language: One "butt" you can barely hear, not even really referring to the body part ("Get your butt up here!") Consumerism: References to MTV, but nothing more. Drinking and drugs: Diego puts a tiny umbrella in something that looks like a martini, but who knows. Overall: This story is quite cute and good for girls and boys ages 7 1/2 and up.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old Written bykjworm May 30, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Disappointed

To be honest with you, I am a little disappointed in this movie. It seems that all the kids movies today are about being famous or singing. It does have positive messages though.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old Written bygem34545723 June 3, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

RAGS

The nickoledon movie rags is a very good movie that shows and teaches kids that whatever you do you can do anything as long as you go for it. It was also a really good twist on cinderella.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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