Parents' Guide to

Adventures of Pepper & Paula

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Cute tale of gunslinger and her dog has iffy female rivalry.

Movie PG 2015 90 minutes
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ADVENTURES OF PEPPER & PAULA has a premise kids will love: a gunslinger with cool tricks and an adorable dog by her side. The shows the ranch puts on are fun, and after each event Paula talks to kids about why practice makes perfect, mistakes are OK, and the only way to fail in life is by never trying in the first place.

Those are great messages for girls, but some of the subplots fleshing out the rest of the movie may not only fail to hold kids' attention but also seem to undermine the girl-power vibes. In large part, it's the focus on a rivalry between Paula and Lula Belle, a performer brought on sheerly for her sexiness and flirtation, that may foster stereotypes about female competition, and Paula's remarks throughout that Lula Belle is only there to "show some skin" may inadvertently teach girls to shame other girls for how they dress. It's a consistent-enough plot point to give pause to parents of very young kids, especially girls, who are subjected enough as it is to such negative images and messages.

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