A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fred 3: Camp Fred is the third movie centering on the character of Fred Figglehorn of YouTube fame, so if this is your kids' first introduction to the grating, high-pitched star, they may be inspired to backtrack through his previous movies and online clips. Happily, the content here is less objectionable than that of Fred's previous escapades, and there's only a smattering of his irritating, self-designed curse word, "gammit," in the dialogue. What's more, the storyline actually manages to impart some positive messages about self-confidence, teamwork, and respect for differences, all surprisingly spearheaded by Fred himself. There are some instances of bullying at the expense of Fred and his friends, but their ability to rise above it is what will stick with kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
YouTube star Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank) returns to the screen in FRED 3: CAMP FRED, a wacky journey through the hyper teen's first experience at summer camp. When his mom (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) deems Fred's idyllic choice of camps, Camp Superior, too pricey, she registers him instead for its dilapidated next-door neighbor, Camp Iwannapeepee. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, Fred resigns himself to six weeks of roughing it in extreme style, but he falls in with an endearing group of misfits who show him the ropes of surviving the summer. Inspired by his new friends, Fred signs up for the Summer Camp Games, an annual, traditionally one-sided battle against Camp Superior that turns out to be the ultimate face-off against his longtime nemesis, Kevin (Jake Weary).
Is it any good?
The third time's a charm for this scrawny, squeaky-voiced character, who rose from Internet fame to star in a wildly popular movie franchise. Whereas the previous Fred films stumbled over some parent-disapproved content, Camp Fred makes an impressive effort to stick to a storyline that parents won't just tolerate -- they may actually like it. Fred evolves from his typical outcast role to become a valued friend and eventually a team leader, all because of his unwillingness to give into pressure to change how he looks, acts, or (perhaps, regretfully) sounds. In so doing, he inspires his new friends to take more pride in their own uniqueness, too.
That's not to say Camp Fred dispenses with all of the, um, charm that's made Fred such a hit among tweens. He's still a little off his rocker, he still butts heads with his lethargic, man-crazy mom, and he's still prone to oversized tantrums when things don’t go his way. But, happily, shipping him off to summer camp seems to have worked small miracles on his demeanor, which is good news for the parents of his faithful fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Fred's character. Why do you think he's so popular among tweens? Is anything about his lifestyle realistic? Have you seen his previous movies and show? How does Fred 3 compare?
Tweens: What role does the Internet play in guiding our likes and dislikes? Would Fred have been such a hit if he had first shown up on TV rather than on YouTube? What are some disadvantages to our media-saturated culture?
Do you ever feel like a misfit? What makes you different from your friends? Do these qualities feel like a good thing or a disadvantage? When is it good to stand out from the crowd?
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