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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby is the third movie in a series about Amber (Rose McIver), an American journalist who finds romance with Richard (Ben Lamb), the beloved young king of the fictional kingdom of Aldovia. In A Christmas Prince (2017), Amber and Richard meet. In A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018), Amber and Richard get married. In this movie, the royal baby is born, but not until a mystery is solved, a treaty is signed, and a villain revealed. Though family-friendly throughout, there's a bit of suspense and eerie potential jeopardy; nothing bad happens. In addition, there are references to ghosts, sorceresses, and a curse, and a car crashes into a snow bank. Adult characters participate in a champagne toast. Netflix provides a short prologue on the site so that new viewers (or those who may need a refresher) can catch up with the earlier events.
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What's the story?
All of Aldovia waits eagerly for the arrival of a new prince or princess in A CHRISTMAS PRINCE: THE ROYAL BABY. Queen Amber (Rose McIver) and King Richard (Ben Lamb), both delighted and a bit nervous, are doing all the right things to prepare. But before the happy event is expected, important guests are set to visit the kingdom. King Tai (Kevin Shen) and Queen Ming (Momo Yeung) of Penglia are arriving before Christmas to sign a centuries-old peace treaty that stabilizes the two countries' relationship. Every 100 years the treaty is renewed. If it's not signed by midnight on Christmas Eve, the kingdoms will be at war again. So when the treaty goes missing, and a budding romance between the king's cousin and Amber's best friend is threatened, the kingdom -- particularly Amber and Richard -- are on high alert. Will Amber's years as an investigative journalist aid in the search for the treaty? Will a legendary curse be unearthed? Don't fret ... it's a fairy tale, after all.
Is it any good?
In this Christmas sequel, Queen Amber is radiant, the holidays sparkle, and as always in Aldovia, love is in the air -- if only the ultra-predictable mystery didn't interrupt the festivities. Of course, it does. But the upside is that introducing the leaders of the Kingdom of Penglia, who still reside in a patriarchal world, gives Amber a chance to reassert her modernity, make lovely new friends, and cement her role in the castle. The filmmakers deserve kudos for maintaining high standards of production in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, the third offering in what now seems to be an "annual" series. Costumes, casting, sets, music, et al., live up to the standard set in the first two movies. The charm of the original, however -- especially when mistaken identity was at the center of the film -- gives way to a more routine narrative. Fans may not mind.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sequels to theatrical or streaming movies. What factor(s) lead a production company to create a sequel like A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby? If you have seen one or both of the earlier films, did this movie meet your expectations? Why or why not?
Think about Queen Amber's independence and assertiveness. How is she like other movie princesses? How is she different? What is important to her? How does Amber's behavior reflect the current cultural climate?
Why do you think all three of The Christmas Prince movies have been released at the end of the year? What do you think audiences are looking for at holiday time? How does this movie reflect the feelings of the season?
Be creative. If you were going to create a fourth movie about Amber and Richard in Aldovia, what story would you like to tell?
- On DVD or streaming: December 5, 2019
- Cast: Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, Alice Krige
- Director: John Schultz
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Brothers and Sisters, Holidays
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: December 17, 2019
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