A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this tale of young hip hop singers/dancers is quite tame. One main character lies repeatedly to her father and there's some kissing between two young characters. Positive messages include pulling together as a team, dedication to artistry, and "it doesn't matter what we wear on the outside, but how good we dance, and who we are, and how we feel on the inside." Tweens who focus on the dancing and singing and not the lackluster story will enjoy this movie the most.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
With just two weeks to perfect a song-and-dance routine and film a music video, the dance group The Hip Hop Kidz and their young adult director, Sean, hit one roadblock after another as the clock counts down to showtime. On more than one occasion it seems like there's no chance they'll ever make the video in time to win a recording contract. All of the Hip Hop Kidz (who range in age from about 6 to 15) come from the inner city, except withdrawn rich girl, Allison, who is delivered to the urban dance studio via limo. The kids practice hard with little complaint, but a bomb drops when their dance space is shut down. Now, their only hope is to convince Allison to get access to the auditorium at her swanky high school. There's just one, big, problem: Allison has been lying to her disapproving father, who has no idea she's heading downtown for practice (lucky for Allison that her limo driver is willing to put his job on the line to help her).
Is it any good?
This clean, tween-appropriate hip hop story is a mediocre production with the very familiar "let's put on a show!" formula, a flat script, and so-so actors. But it's definitely boosted by great singing and dancing. The youngest kids are full of fire, adorable, and just plain fun to watch. There are many positive messages including working together as a team, solving problems, not giving up, dedication to artistry, and that it's not your clothes that will lead to great things, but your spirit, talent, and dedication.
Tweens interested in singing and dancing may enjoy this musical, and parents can relax knowing that the hip hop here is clean, innocent, and devoid of negative messages. But while the main message is "support the team," the storyline has Allison continuing to lie to her father. There's a great opportunity for Allison to come clean when her school principle becomes her ally -- but for whatever reason she doesn't ask her for help communicating with her father. Of course Allison is eventually caught, and dad goes from angry to understanding way too quickly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the kids dealt with each setback they faced, and how they pulled together as a team to achieve their dream of making a music video. Why did Allison feel like she needed to lie to her father? Instead of lying, how could Allison have convinced her father that the Hip Hop Kidz is a positive influence, and that hip hop isn't all about thugs and drugs?
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