Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Parent reviews for American Girl: Lea to the Rescue

Common Sense says

Action-packed jungle mystery has suspense, peril.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews
Adult Written byOtterfish June 18, 2016

Not like the others.

This movie was very different from Saige, McKenna and Grace. Lots of suspense and danger in the plot. It is not about kid's issues , but rather about real bad guys who kidnap Lea's grown brother in Brazil. Lea tries to rescue him by disobeying her mother and her babysitter. My girls age 8 and 10 were very scared since this is not the type of thing they usually watch. I tried to point out to my eight year old that while Lea is portrayed as the hero, there are several times in the movie where she could have been in mortal danger due to her choices. I mentioned her lying to her mother about her location and my daughter said "but it was an OK lie" because she eventually helps find her brother. IMO this film is not sending the right messages to our American girls.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bykthenderson June 24, 2016

Just Terrible. Avoid this film at ALL Costs.

This movie had so much potential, but missed the mark. Mainly by casting Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Lea. They should have cast someone with a little more depth, instead Lea comes across as self-centered, jealous, unemphatic, and without any understanding of consequences. The child in the movie is disobedient and defiant. Her babysitter has no control over her and is forced to follow the child's lead. American Girl is a brand that was founded on realism and historical accuracy. This is the worst of the American Girl movies, and most of the "adventure" would expose a real child to serious danger.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 9 year old Written byParent of 9 year old July 10, 2016

Too scary for American Girl

My 9 year old was up half the night after watching this movie because she was worried about poachers and bad guys. I hadn't read any reviews before she watched this. It's not like the other AG movies, which deal with common issues in a positive way. The plot of this movie was unreasonable and scary. Why were two young girls, 10 and about 20, chasing hardened criminals through the rainforest? There are enough difficult situations in our world. We don't need it in an AG movie. We do not recommend this movie.
Parent of a 8 year old Written byFlormoralesorozco June 24, 2016

Absolutely hate it don't waste your money!!!

I thinl the people who made this movie should spend more money on actors this movie is cheap you can see !!!!!!!it's cheap I really hate it I'm sorry I regret spending my money on buying this movie is bad I'm sorry I can say anything positive about this movie!!
Parent of a 4, 9, and 14 year old Written byMomFamilyLove June 28, 2016

Fun Movie!

My daughters (age 4 and 9) loved it! It keeped me, my husband and even my 14 year old son entertained! Such a fun movie! Though Lea made some very bad choices during the movie, she learned her lesson and after the movie, I talked with my daughters about making good choices and bad choices. All you need to do is talk with your daughters about that subject, and you are ready for a great family movie night!
Adult Written byAnnette D. May 23, 2018

Negative Overshadows Positive

My kids absolutely love animals, conservation, and we've generally liked American Girl; heck, I grew up loving their historical stuff, and still do, so with all of that factored in, this seemed like it might be a real hit for the kids and I to enjoy together. We rented it. I'm kinda glad we didn't buy it. Okay, for the positive: I do like seeing a strong, loving bond between siblings. That's definetly there. You see Lea applying herself at school projects; that's nice. I do appreciate the notions that poaching is bad, police are good helpers to seek when in need, conservation of the world's natural places, peoples, and animals are important, and elements such as that. The kids enjoyed glimpsing favorite animals, and there was a respectful look into an indigenous tribe, and a positive, respectful bond formed there. Most adults are portrayed as caring and well-meaning (bad guys aside). HOWEVER, some elements that aren't so good really take a lot away. This movie does display earnest, hard-trying adults (good!), but like a lot of kid media these days, unfortunately the lesson kinda stands that if you (a kid) has a differing idea about how to solve a problem and don't think the grown-ups are doing it right, well, you should argue and buck and do it your way anyway if you want the day saved, even if it directly goes everything you've been instructed--screw rules, screw safety, screw common decorum, manners, or adult wisdom. Lea is consistently argumentative, and defiant to the the point of dragging her caretaker who unable to rein her in, and herself, into real danger. She can be (okay, usually is) temperamental and unkind, including towards her brother's very nice girlfriend right off the bat (and then for a good while thereafter), simply because she (Lea) was feeling possessive of her brother and feared the idea of the young lady being a natural factor that could put some geographic between them. It would have been refershing to see her model a sense of welcome and natural sisterhoodly bonding with the woman, who would've certianly deserved it. Thankfully, the adults weren't portrayed as total bumbling fools, but the message to kids was certianly clear enough that if you want the day saved faster and better, the grown-ups just aren't capable of pulling it off witbout the kids busting in breaking every rule along the way, sneaking around, and getting bossy to get things accomplished. this is getting to be a really exhausting plot point in kid media these days! Being a snit to adults and tearing down your lovingly and wisely set boundries isn't heroism in day-to-day life. If there were passing moments of that in this movie, it may would have been more forgivable. However, a LOT of the protagonist's self and most of the plot is tied up in exactly that--it's truly to such an extent that it shadows over a lot of the good elements. Kids love looking up to heros they can identify with. I just Lea was one that I could easily give a blessing to do so. She could've been kinder instead of persistently quick to huff and argue, and I'm sure they still could have written a storyline where she played the role of a hero to the cause without being defiant to sound wisdom and dangerous left and right to do it. This movie had a lot of potential and so many elements that could've made it a lovable hit (animals! Conservation! Respecting other cultures!), but the fact that the hero and the way she ticked was so very unsavory really pulled the whole story away from all the good it stood for to quite an extent. I wish Lea had been scripted as the type of kid I'd love to see my kids bring home as a friend and wholly, or at mostly respect easily. As is, I find myself hoping they wont be taking any cues from her, and as the story's hero, that doesn't speak well of the overall takeaway of this. Not everyone needs to be perfect, and that includes Lea, but this really missed the mark by reinforcing terrible behavior by branding it as saving the day. In many American Girl movies, when a child does something wrong, it's gently plotted into a learning and growing point, often with loving help from adult role models and peers--good stuff! This one almost completly lacked that. There was a short dialouge at the end about needing to mind better, surely added to address some of these points, but it in no way resolved that it stood at the end of the day that ugly behavior created success. I really wanted to like this one and was expecting to enjoy it. I hate to admit that I find it more flawed than worthy of a nod.
Adult Written byValerie T. October 21, 2016

Not the regular American Girl movie

We've seen and fully enjoyed all the American Girl Movies. Not so with this one. The American Girl Leah featured in this movie is loud and abnoxious.
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byJulie St-F August 24, 2016

Even my 9 year-old was underwhelmed.

My daughters are 9 and 11, and both love the brand. Although the 11 year-old might not admit it in front of her friends. As a parent, I do too. The historical novels have been full of great stories that connected my daughter to some pieces of history not taught in school, but that are part of her heritage. The advice books are amazingly on point for 8 - 11 year olds. But I've always had a bit of a problem with the "Girl of the Year" series. While the BeForever girls have actual challenges to face, the "Girl of the Year" is almost always white, well-off and her life problems are well, not actual problems. I mean, "oh no, your mom is taking you to France for the first half of summer, poor baby!" Although they tried to give Lea a more serious problem to deal with, the way they handled it was completely unreal. I mean, that's fine. But what I've always enjoyed about AG is the realism. My biggest issue was the portrayal of the indigenous tribes. So, the Indigenous people in the book pretty much existed so Lea could learn a lesson, and what we learned about them barely went deeper than a bunch of stereotypes. They are so super-rare to encounter, but they befriend our heroine because she is, of course, super special! Their dress leaned more towards "Halloween costume" and less real. My 9 year-old summed it up best with, "It's not like it taught me anything about the rain forest or the tribes. That's stuff everyone already knows." Of course, you can buy, like everything Lea wears for both your girl and her $150 doll. But you already knew that.

This title contains:

Parent Written bySMNetwork June 20, 2016

Awesome Movie!

I loved it! I don't get why everybody's complaining about Lea's attitude. Personally, I think that there was more attitude in other movies. Unless you are a conservative and overprotective mom or dad and don't want your son/daughter to see only a tiny bit of attitude when you let them watch Disney Channel, then go see this!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models