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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strongly advocates reaching for goals with determination, passion, and a realistic assessment of opportunity. Be willing to move on from failure; accept small victories along the way. Values promoted: loyalty, empathy, courage, ethical behavior.
Positive Role Models
Central character has strong arc: overcomes self-doubt and initial reservations about her future by simply going forward with determination, patience, and a willingness to work hard. Setbacks, while difficult, seem to make her more resolute. She is a loyal and compassionate friend. Featured characters are also admirable and learn about their strengths and weaknesses. Ethnic diversity.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Reference to a character's putting nude photos of herself online.
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"Damn." A fart.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dance Academy: The Comeback is a feature film that brings back the characters and stories that appeared in three seasons on the award-winning Australian television series Dance Academy. The series, a critical success with a passionate fan-base, centered on talented students at the National Academy of Ballet in Sydney. Starring the same dancer-actors, the movie picks up 18 months after the students have graduated. They're on their way to adulthood, trying to make it in the dance world writ large. Central is Tara Webster, a star at the Academy, who suffered what appeared to be a career-ending injury as the series ended. Expect a few mature themes -- dealing with a life-threatening illness, the ups and downs of romantic relationships, and handling a challenging career path -- but overall the movie is a wholesome, insightful look at those "next steps" that define all of us. A few kisses, references to nude photos online, and a fart constitute the only "iffy" material. An anticipated delight for fans of the series, the movie also works beautifully as a stand-alone film. The movie is appropriate (and recommended) for mature tweens and up. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Beautiful dance sequences, engaging performances, and a familiar story told with heart and originality should win many new fans and please already-devoted followers of the Australian series. And Dance Academy: The Comeback manages to be relevant, contemporary, and wholesome at the same time. The production (costumes, set design, music, editing, and cinematography) is top-notch. New York as a setting has been used in countless films, but director Jeffrey Walker makes it as fresh and alive for his audience as it is for Tara when she visits for the very first time. There's some advantage to having watched these talented performers over the course of the series' three-season run, but newbies will catch up quickly. Enjoyable and moving, with positive messages and solid role models, the story takes us to some unexpected places as well. Highly recommended.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.