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Cloud 9

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Cloud 9 Movie Poster Image
Positive role models, engaging story mark Disney winner.
  • G
  • 2014
  • 87 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie is meant to entertain, but it imparts some very valuable lessons in self-confidence and perseverance. Kids also learn a bit about the sport of snowboarding.

Positive Messages

The story's strong positive messages practically leap off the screen and are reinforced by dialogue that spells them out: "Appearances aren't everything. What's under the surface is more important," "It's about whether you believe in yourself," and "Nothing's impossible," to name a few. As Kayla's values evolve, viewers see the rewards of working hard and learning from mistakes, as well as the satisfaction of a job well done. Competitors trade insults targeting each other's skills and fashion sense, and some allow their hopes for victory to lead them to some bad choices that hurt others. Kayla learns the difference between symbiotic relationships and true friendship, and she's a better person for it. Inexplicably, one teen communicates entirely through texting on her phone.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Opposing parenting styles are represented in Nick's dad, who manipulates his son's affection for his own gain, and Kayla's parents, who don't always recognize her potential but ultimately encourage her to fight for her dreams. Even better, they force her to take personal responsibility for her mistakes, which winds up being a turning point for her. Will's mom is unconditionally supportive of him, even when he resists her attention. But there's no better model than Kayla, who faces a tough dose of reality with grace and turns it to her advantage through hard work and a can-do attitude. Other teens at times are selfish and cruel.

Violence & Scariness

There are lots of crashes and falls alongside the high-flying snowboarding stunts in the movie, but only one ends in an injury, which isn't shown but is said to have ended the boarder's career. What's more affecting are the perilous moments when a main character's fate hangs in the balance –- once during a sledding accident and once after an avalanche.

Sexy Stuff

A developing romance is innocent and sweet and results in one kiss.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cloud 9 is an engaging Disney movie that does an excellent job of illustrating the importance of believing in yourself and working hard to meet your goals. The main character starts off as shallow and self-centered but turns adversity into an opportunity to show the world (and herself) that she's made of stronger stuff, and, in so doing, she inspires others around her to make better decisions about their own actions. Also notable is her relationship with her parents, who make her face the repercussions of her own mistakes rather than taking an easier way out, which contributes to her improving attitude. Expect to hear some insults swapped among competitors, a few of which target the victim's appearance, but there's a fair portion of just desserts for those who deserve it in the end.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 3, and 5 year old Written byHeather.hm June 4, 2014
Adult Written byWill loves movies February 6, 2014

One of Disney Channel's best.

I had high expectations for this movie and it did not disappoint. I have become quite a fan of Dove Cameron from Disney new show "Liv and Maddie" and... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byEthanCH January 20, 2014


I was surprised. The Movie is actually really good. It shows to overcome your fears and it has great role models. Very good message.
Kid, 11 years old January 19, 2014



What's the story?

Kayla Morgan (Dove Cameron) is used to being in spotlight. After all, she's the long-running top female snowboarder in Summit Valley and the privileged daughter of the ski resort's owner, not to mention the girlfriend of the face of Swift Snowboards, Nick Swift (Mike C. Manning). But when a lapse in judgment gets Kayla in hot water, she's dropped from the Swift boarding team shortly before the much-anticipated Fire and Ice competition, dumped by Nick, and forced to work in the resort's dog kennel to pay for the damage she caused. Even worse, she gets an unexpected dose of reality about the boarding skills she always took for granted. Feeling like she's lost her identity, she turns for advice to her new coworker, Will Cloud (Luke Benward), who was the area's best boarder until a fall ended his career. Will agrees to train her for Fire and Ice, even teaching her the ultimate trick that nearly cost him his life, and in the process she begins to reconsider his own chances at the elusive championship.

Is it any good?

CLOUD 9 tells a great underdog story, pitting a ragtag team of overlooked hopefuls against a pompous group of favorites with questionable ethics. With each new hurdle Kayla and her friends have to overcome, you want even more to root for their success, both when they're on the half-pipe and, in the case of Will and Kayla, in each other's company. This being a clean-cut Disney movie, it's not hard to guess where the plot is headed, but the story is so neatly designed that doesn't take any of the enjoyment out of it. Factor in some pretty sweet high-flying stunts, and this is sure to be an all-around hit with kids.

Adults will take a particular liking to how Kayla's predicament plays out, starting with her parents' insistence that she (gasp!) take hands-on responsibility for her poor judgment and following with how the experience changes her priorities. Strong parental role models aren't always part of tween-targeted movies, but they are in this case; even if kids don't pick up on the finer details of this plot point, it still ties in nicely with the overall themes about good character and high personal standards. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to be left out. Kids: Have you ever felt that way? Does excluding others make some people feel more special? Why is this the case?

  • Kayla's experience is a lesson in the true meaning of friendship. What relationships do you value most? How do you know they're the ones you can count on? What efforts can you make to ensure that your friends can count on you?

  • Do you think Kayla's punishment (working in a dog kennel) fit her crime? What did the experience teach her? How did it compare to repercussions you've faced for making mistakes? What are the reasons behind the rules your parents have for you?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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