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Parent reviews for An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong

Common Sense says

Tween mean girl meets her match in Chrissa.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 36 reviews
Parent Written byjmc1 August 18, 2013

Overall Good, may be upsetting to younger kids.

A caution for parents of kids who are sensitive or are very fearful of bullying: my child (just turned 7) was disturbed by the relentless cruelty of the mean girls. She appeared upset and frightened in the first 30+ minutes of the movie and we almost turned it off. Granted, she's sensitive and a bit of a worrier. However, she's had some experience with mean, coercive-type quasi-bullying in 1st grade, and feels confident about how to handle it. I thought the behavior depicted was a bit extreme for the target age group. I'm well aware that the bad behavior in the movie may be mild compared to some realities, but still, the incidents of real cruelty and intimidation, paired with fear and feelings of powerlessness Chrissa displays -- while realistic -- may be too strong or frightening for *some* kids under age 8 or 9 to process. I also didn't like the diving board thing later on, and that the teacher/coach knew something was amiss but seemed totally unaware of the bullying until things really heated up. The resolution was somewhat weak, the mean(est) girl was unrealistically rehabilitated by the end and didn't suffer any real consequences. I did like the emphasis on the courage of one girl who also stood up the the main bully, and the part about another girl with a secret that she felt made her vulnerable. And a certain teacher caught on and gave excellent, timely, sensitive advice - which was really good. The takeaway was positive and hopeful. Basically, it was a good movie, depicting acts of bravery, courage and friendship. Good jumping-off point for discussion, for parents to broach the subject with kids.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Consumerism
Adult Written bySerious Play fo... November 21, 2009
In the hands of the wrong 4th grader, this film is the ultimate ‘for dummies’ guidebook to power and popularity though bullying, manipulation, cruelty, fear, humiliation, and snobbery without empathy, regret, regard for others, or concern for consequences. If your daughter is a Queen Bee, a Sidekick, a Banker, or a Pleaser/Wannabee/Messaenger, be advised- this film could give them the tools to perfect the sophistication of their power strategy (Read Rosalind Wiseman’s “Queen Bees & Wanna Bees” to find out more). The most powerful, gut wrenching, impressionable moments of this film all revolve around the cruelty of the bullying and the success of the bully and her posse. In her book “Consuming Kids,” child psychology expert Susan Linn touches on the dangers of presenting material for children in which the destructive elements are more powerful than the positive elements. The most powerful messages that children take away from this movie concentrate on the immensity of a bully’s power to control, manipulate, and hurt those who get in her way. Even though the point of the movie is to discourage kids from giving in to bullying- the negative power emphasis means that this film has the potential to convey the message that going along with bullies is better than fighting against them and that being a bully is the best way to achieve popularity. While this film does portray a disturbingly honest look at the power of school bullies, the conflict resolution at the end is dangerously unrealistic. When Tara finally confides in parents and teachers about the bullying she is experiencing, the bully automatically looses her power over the entire school and Tara and the bully become friends. Bullies don’t just abdicate their thrones because someone tattled. This film reinforced all of the reasons why girls shouldn’t talk to their parents about bullying.
Parent of a 10 year old Written byThe Benevolent ... May 22, 2009
Adult Written bymarkandzita8qjz January 26, 2009

What is up with the makeup and wardrobe?

My girls and I enjoyed this movie (and message) however, the makeup and wardrobe choices were horrible! The girls (especially the bullies) looked like 7th graders but they were supposed to be 4th graders...BIG difference! I live in a very liberal part of California, and I'm very liberal myself, so I'm not being a prude. My girls are close to the ages of the girls in the movie so I feel I (we) can relate. 4th graders DO NOT have cell phones, nor do they have eyeliner, finely plucked eyebrows or perfectly styled hair. So if you're attempting to make a movie that speaks to real girls, this movie is very distracting in this area. My girls like fashion, cell phones and popular music...but even THEY thought the girls in this movie looked "creepish." I had to agree...
Parent of a 1, 3, 6, and 8 year old Written byChantel G. October 26, 2017

Anti-homeschoolers

We are a homeschooling family, in the movie that is about bullying they actually talk bad about homeschooling. So apparently being bullied in public school is wrong but saying homeschoolers are quitters and can’t keep up with their school work and have suffering grades is considered fine.
Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 25, 2009

great movie

there are some good rolemodels and some bad. and there is slight vilonce but still it is a great fun movie that teaches kids how to stand up to bullies.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 17 year old Written bypoptropica June 21, 2009
Adult Written bynobbsy June 2, 2013

Disturbing

I am a big fan of the historical American Girl Movies: Felicity, Samantha, Kitt Kittredge and especially Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front. I think they are great for kids, especially young girls, but I also enjoy watching them myself. Clarisa Stands Strong deals with the contemporary issue of bullying. Some parent reviewers believe that the movie is a must see for their young daughters while at least one other sees it as a dangerous "how to" manual for kids who wish to torment their classmates. All I can say is that I didn't enjoy watching the film. Whatever instructive value it might have was, for me, cancelled out by one disturbing scene after another. It was painful to watch Clarissa subjected to a seemingly endless series of cruel pranks and hurtful remarks while her clueless teacher did nothing. If I were a kid, in a family about to move to a new school district, I would be seriously apprehensive after watching this film. Even though everything turns out fine at the end, it is difficult to believe that the vicious little brats so devoted to torturing Clarissa, would suddenly become warm and affectionate classmates. I should also say that Sammi Hanratty did a terrific job in the role of Clarissa. She has a bright future ahead of her, I hope.
Parent of a 7 and 11 year old Written byfastraxsg December 16, 2011

#stop bullying start peace movie

It really helps girls see ONE CRYSTAL CLEAR MESSAGE: Bullying is NOT cool... Its like stepping into a world of a girl just trying to fit in. it really portrays the friendship problems of a girl.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bypoohpaula October 21, 2011

Zero tollerance = saving our children emotional scars.

This is a wonderful movie for both boys and girls. I believe the movies shows the dangers of bullying. Kids will get the messages from this movie. Many times our kids do not fully understand the difference between telling and tattling. tattling ( telling something about someone to get them in trouble. telling ( telling to get help for yourself or others). This movie can be used as a teaching tool to inform children about bullying. Bullying should not be a right of childhood passage. To combat this problem, I think we need to have a zero tolerance, and immediate consequences for aggressive behaviors. We need to have programs in school to educate our teachers, children about bullying.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 2, 4, 6, and 9 year old Written byduquoi January 10, 2009
Parent of a 8, 11, 14, and 16 year old Written by_Heidi_ October 14, 2010

Perfect family movie

Great family movie! Great message to everyone that watches it. It clearly teaches the lesson of bullying and standing up for someone. Highly recommended

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, and 15 year old Written byNerdy_Mamma January 10, 2010

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byuconncheerleader25 December 5, 2009

perfect for families

great movie and i can relate to both chrissa and gwen. gwen is alittle shy and built a wall around her just like me when i lost my first friend in the 9-11 attacks and i am like chrissa cause i can't stand when people bully others. my two favorite characters are chrissa and gwen.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written by[email protected] March 12, 2009

A MUST see for all parents of girls 6-12!

My girls and I watched this tonight. We don't watch TV, but only occasional movies most of which are American Girl. This movie is a MUST SEE for all parents of 6-12 y/o girls. If you get over the clothes that the mean girls wear (thankfully my girls wear uniforms!) then the rest is fantastic! I love the fact that the Mom is a doctor, drives a Prius, the Dad is an artist, and they live with the Grandmother who raises llamas! I realize the American Girl ending is a bit unrealistic, but, the movie is still wonderful.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byDiamond98 June 30, 2009

Bulling and educational stuff

This movie teaches about bulling and standing up proud and strong

This title contains:

Consumerism
Positive Messages
Positive role models