Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Charming Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Animated fairy tale with a twist has some scary scenes.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 18 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Children's imaginations may be stimulated by a new spin on classic fairy tales and some traditional gender role reversals.

Positive Messages

Women can be courageous, independent, strong. They can also be greedy and hungry for a "trophy boy." Men need love and friends too. A happy ending can also be seen as a happy beginning. True love is more important than riches.

Positive Role Models

Lenore is braver, smarter, and more physically capable than Prince Charming, whom she tells to "man up" in one scene. Charming finds courage within and is willing to sacrifice himself for the benefit of others. His father loves and cares for him. The princesses are mostly selfish and infantile. Lenore reforms from her life of thievery and pursuit of riches. Stereotypical gender roles are reversed. Some diversity in voice cast.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoon violence involving swords, bows and arrows, chases, fights, pushes, falls, threats. An evil witch issues curses, tries to hurt Lenore and Charming. A giant monster made of rocks fights Charming and attempts to crush him, throwing him against rocks and dropping him from great heights. A dream-like village of man-eating female creatures take Charming hostage. Lenore is held by a one-eyed Oracle. They plan to eat Lenore for breakfast, then attempt to kill the two when they escape. Charming goes so far as to put his neck in an executioner's noose to carry out his plan to save the village by sacrificing himself.

Sexy Stuff

Animated characters flirt and kiss. Charming charms women wherever he goes and they fall in love with him, angering their male partners. The princesses sing about their "trophy boy" and wanting a ring on their finger. Momentary glimpse of a near-naked man in a painting. Charming accidentally kisses the male executioner. After they wed, a couple jokes about stealing blankets and "eating for two."




References to a variety of princess tales could inspire viewers to seek out the original films, books, and merchandise related to them. Viewers could also be drawn to other works by the singers voicing characters here.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the menacing characters in Charming could frighten young viewers, particularly the surreal painted man-eating creatures, the one-eyed Oracle, an evil witch, and a giant rock monster. In a somewhat emotional scene, Charming comes close to execution by guillotine on his own accord. But otherwise, the cartoon violence is mostly played for fun, and the fairy tale twist is silly and good-natured enough for almost all ages. Female characters are voiced by pop stars Avril Lavigne (Snow White), Demi Lovato (Lenore), G.E.M. (Sleeping Beauty), and Ashley Tisdale (Cinderella). The princesses are portrayed as a little vapid, while their stories involving evil stepmothers and 100-year naps are gently mocked as "messed up." Traditional gender roles are reversed: Lenore is the brave and smart leader who saves the prince. There's some flirtation and kissing. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKattnipp January 20, 2021

This should NOT be rated G

I’m 19 and I was watching this with my boyfriend. In one of the opening scenes there’s a picture of the main character naked covering his parts which they zoom... Continue reading
Adult Written bynduns January 9, 2021

Surprisingly decent for Vanguard Animation

I'll admit, Vanguard Animation's films are guilty pleasures for me. I don't really consider any of them good, but I do enjoy them in their own ri... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bykotlc_rocks123 January 29, 2021

Great movie!

Ignore comments that say this is bad. First of all, lots of girl power, super strong female protagonist who defies the rules of society and fights evil. Beautif... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCat emily January 17, 2021

An okay movie

This movie is a very good movie for a family movie night but I don't suggest this movie for smaller kids. I watched it with my cousin and she got very scar... Continue reading

What's the story?

CHARMING, also known as Prince Philippe (Wilmer Valderrama), was blessed at birth with the ability to make any woman fall in love with him at first glance. But the blessing also came with a curse from the evil witch Nemeny Neverwish (Nia Vardalos), which meant that all love would disappear from their village upon Charming's 21st birthday unless he had kissed his true love. On the eve of that fateful day, Charming is engaged to not one but three princesses -- Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), Snow White (Avril Lavigne), and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.) -- yet he's not sure he's actually in love with any of them. When he meets petty thief Lenore (Demi Lovato), he thinks he feels love for the first time. Lenore is hired in secret to help Charming "run the gauntlet" and surpass three epic challenges, also part of overcoming the evil curse. She dresses as a man to throw Charming off, but the two forge a close bond on their adventures. Will that bond result in true love? Is it enough to save the village?

Is it any good?

Charming aims for goofy fun and works in part due to some sweet and self-effacing characterizations, especially the prince played by Wilmer Valderrama. His inner monologues are endearing, like when he wonders why there's an echo in his head or when he can't come up with a coherent line to use on a girl. His knees turn to "paella" when he's around Lenore, and his optimistic outlook makes him blissfully unaware of some of his own shortcomings.

Meanwhile, the less charming princesses are humorously traumatized by their pasts: Sleeping Beauty is practically narcoleptic, while Snow White and Cinderella are overly anxious and a little paranoid. Snow White bolts when someone innocently offers her an apple. When they break out into song, however, it feels more like a concession to casting than a requisite of the story. The musical numbers are inconsistent in the narrative, and the surreal scene in the man-eater village feels like it's from a different film, like maybe Coco, rather than this one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Charming reverses some of the usual storylines of classic fairy tales. What is the effect of making such changes? How did it make you feel that Lenore saved the prince in this story?

  • Other princesses make cameo appearances in the film. Who did you see?

  • What do you think was the inspiration for the depiction of the village of man-eating female creatures, who have painted bodies and bones hanging from strings?

  • Were any of the characters role models? If so, which ones?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love princesses

Themes & Topics

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