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Bibi Blocksberg and the Secret of the Blue Owls

Movie review by
Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media
Bibi Blocksberg and the Secret of the Blue Owls Movie Poster Image
Dull witch sequel has mild violence, iffy wheelchair plot.
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 119 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Some examples of courage and empathy. Two iffy references to teen girls dieting.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bibi shows courage and empathy, but she also comes across as spoiled and rude. Elea is limited to sidekick, and her disability is used as an iffy plot device. Bibi's roommate is self-obsessed and body conscious. Male characters are generally sidelined and useless.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoonish violence includes choking, elbowing, kneeing, and being knocked to the floor. Character is knocked out after having a bag banged over their head. Character deliberately digs a high heeled shoe into another character's foot. A cat is regularly thrown around, kicked, and has its tail trapped in a door. Reference to a car crash, which resulted in the death of a child's parents and their paralysis. Character burns fingers. Moments of peril include characters falling down a chute and characters jumping out at each other. The sudden transformation of a character into an old person may scare some. A magic trick involves swords being placed through a box containing a person.

Sexy Stuff

Some discussion about love and attractiveness between teens. Kissing. Brief glimpse of underwear.

Language

Regular use of "damn." "Hell" and "God" used as exclamations.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Reference to having a drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bibi Blocksberg and the Secret of the Blue Owls is a dull German sequel with some cartoon violence but no blood or gore. Characters kick, elbow, and knee each other, and there are some jump-scares, but nothing too intense. In one scene, villain Rabia (Corinna Harfouch) is knocked out after having a bag hit on her head, and her cat is regularly thrown around and kicked. Central to the story is teen witch Bibi (Sidonie von Krosigk) looking for a "cure" to her friend Elea’s (Marie Luise Stahl) paralysis -- the result of a car accident that killed her parents. Though Bibi means well, the handling of Elea’s disability may bother some viewers. Two references to dieting are iffy, particularly as they involve teen girls. Language includes regular use of "damn"; "hell" and "God" are also used as exclamations. Bibi Blocksberg and the Secret of the Blue Owls is the second of two movies in the series, after Bibi Blocksberg.

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What's the story?

Teen witch Bibi Blocksberg (Sidonie von Krosigk) returns in BIBI BLOCKSBERG AND THE SECRET OF THE BLUE OWLS, the German-language sequel to Bibi Blocksberg. After failing her math exams, Bibi is sent to the Altenberg boarding school for the summer, much to her annoyance. Still, despite a jealous, image-obsessed roommate and a hapless headmaster, Bibi settles in, making friends with a girl named Elea who's paralyzed and in a wheelchair. After hearing that somewhere in the school there might be a powder with magical healing powers, Bibi makes it her mission to find the powder and help Elea walk again. Unfortunately for Bibi, someone else has their eyes on the powder -- her nemesis, Rabia (Corinna Harfouch), who's escaped from her five-year exile in the Scary Moor.

Is it any good?

This sequel lacks any of the charm of Bibi Blocksberg's first outing and has a central storyline that's borderline offensive. While Bibi was previously a courageous, if somewhat mischievous, lead character, she now comes across as spoiled and rude -- particularly to her mother, which is too bad, as their relationship was both heartwarming and integral to the original. But it's Bibi's quest to "cure" her friend Elea’s paralyzed legs that sits most uncomfortably. Bibi's heart may be in the right place, but the way the issue is handled is insensitive. One set piece that uses Elea's wheelchair as a prop feels particularly crass.

The movie touches on the fact that Bibi is now older -- Bibi and her friends are starting to have romantic relationships -- but these moments are fleeting, and we quickly return to the ponderous plot. The special effects have improved from the first movie, and Harfouch continues to have fun with the villainous Rabia. The boarding school setting gives the film even more of a Harry Potter feel. But while the first movie felt like a hat-tip to all things Potter, this just feels like a poor rip-off. Ultimately Bibi Blocksberg and the Secret of the Blue Owls is a disappointing follow-up to one that, although it wasn't great, was perfectly passable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the character of Elea in Bibi Blocksberg and the Secret of the Blue Owls. What do you think about the storyline about helping her walk again? How are characters with disabilities portrayed? Can you give any examples from other movies?

  • Talk about the movie's violence. Were these scenes realistic? Did the lack of blood and gore affect the impact?

  • How did this sequel compare to the first movie? What do you like, or don’t like, about movie series?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love magic and fantasy

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