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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing is a movie special tied to the series Dragons: Rescue Riders in which a new dragon bewitches the dragon population of Huttsgalor by singing to them. The story involves an excellent soundtrack and follows the personal evolution of Leyla as she discovers her own voice and builds the confidence to share it in an effort to help her friends. There are no real scares here; the "villain" is a gorgeous, soft-spoken dragon who's eventually revealed to be more lonely than evil, and the extent to which her powers hypnotize other dragons is shown only in their eyes turning purple. Fans of the series definitely will want to watch this movie, but newcomers to the characters will have no trouble jumping into the storyline here and enjoying this feel-good pick as well.
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What's the story?
In DRAGONS: RESCUE RIDERS: SECRETS OF THE SONGWING, trouble befalls the dragon residents of Huttsgalor when a Songwing beckons them to a distant island and hypnotizes them with her tuneful voice. When Rescue Riders Leyla (voiced by Brennley Brown) and Dak (Nicolas Cantu) and their dragon friends realize what the beautiful Melodia (Renee Elise Goldsberry) is doing, they set out to break her spell over their friends and free them from her grasp, but it's more difficult than they imagined. Only by teaming up with an unlikely partner and overcoming one of her greatest fears can Leyla hope to help her friends and, possibly, Melodia herself.
Is it any good?
As villains go, Melodia is a fairly benign presence in this feel-good series add-on. She's beautiful in a tropical-bird-dragon-combo kind of way, and her voice is so glorious that it's easy to imagine it could bewitch victims if she wanted it to. But she never comes across as even remotely evil, even when her true intentions are still in doubt, and as Leyla and Dak try everything to free their friends, viewers will find her increasingly sympathetic, which makes the heartwarming end that much sweeter.
Secrets of the Songwing opens with lovely music, and it never really stops as the story unfolds. Despite the fact that the movie suggests the music is used as a weapon of sorts, the songs are very good, and music also proves to be the Huttsgalor community's saving grace in a way. As Leyla comes to find and share her own voice, youngsters will recognize the importance of overcoming fears and cultivating talent in this sweet tale of kindness and courage.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not Melodia is a villain in Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing. Does she mean to harm her subjects? Is she scary? What drives her desire to control them? When the truth is revealed, how does knowing it help Leyla and Dak help her?
In what ways does Leyla demonstrate courage in this story? Is it difficult to overcome your own fears? How does it feel to do so? How does overcoming your fears benefit you?
Do you enjoy this story's music? Do you like to sing? How do different styles of music make you feel? How is music both a curse and a cure in this story?
- On DVD or streaming: July 24, 2020
- Cast: Renee Elise Goldsberry, Nicolas Cantu, Brennley Brown
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Girl Role Models
- Character strengths: Courage
- Run time: 46 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: August 28, 2021
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