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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate, but it does include some strong messages about gratitude, respect, and friendship.
Tweens discover that superficial ambitions (cute clothes and popularity, for instance) don’t bring the same happiness found in good friends and a supportive family. Communication is a strong theme, and Abby proves its power when she works out her differences with a longtime adversary.
Positive Role Models
Abby’s parents are loving and caring, despite her insistence that they don’t understand her. Abby’s experience teaches her to appreciate the fortune in her life and to give back to those she’s taken for granted.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
One brief kiss between teens.
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No cursing, but some use of “shut up” and “I hate you.”
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Disney TV movie is a positive choice for tweens, who won't be able to help picking up on its messages about appreciating things like a loving family and loyal friends. There's no iffy content to speak of, making it an age-appropriate choice for all but very young kids -- but tweens will reap the most benefit from tuning in. Abby's journey through her possible near future offers an eye-opening (if slightly exaggerated) glimpse of where selfish endeavors and misguided priorities can take a person, giving parents a prime opportunity to chat with their tweens about their own desires for their futures. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With its gentle reminders about the value of self-respect, good friends, and a supportive family, 16 WISHES has a lot to offer tweens. Just as valuable are its clear cautions against superficial happiness (i.e., donning designer clothes, hobnobbing with celebs, and catching the eye of a hunky classmate). Abby's glimpse at the troubles that her selfishness can cause is a good caution against the same behavior, and hopefully tweens will think twice about their own priorities as a result.
With parents' help, this funny, feel-good movie can do more good than just entertain your kids -- be sure to chat with them afterward about their impression of its messages and how it makes them feel and think about their own hopes and dreams.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate