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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M.: The Concert Experience is a movie intended for kids. The title performance was filmed in Omaha, Nebraska, JoJo's hometown, part of a 128-day tour that played in theaters, stadiums, and arenas sometimes sold out well in advance. The DVD also contains a behind-the-scenes documentary that tracks rehearsals, preparation, and the camaraderie of the ethnically diverse team. It's all wholesome, all the time: Costumes, songs, and choreography are sparkly and innocent. Positive images about striving for dreams, finding "your own specialness," and working hard are liberally planted through both the show and the docu. JoJo and her team are also marketing masters. The extensive JoJo brand includes clothes and accessories, toys, home decor, and concerts, as well as the DVDs and regular appearances on social media.
What's the story?
Building upon her appearances as a child on reality TV's Dance Moms and Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, and a booming run as a social media celebrity appearing on YouTube and JoJo Siwa Vlogs, JoJo Siwa, at 16, has become a sensation for little girls. In JOJO SIWA D.R.E.A.M.: THE CONCERT EXPERIENCE, she sings, she dances, she writes most of the songs, and she encourages "owning who you are" and striving for goals, all in just under an hour. The documentary, at 22 minutes in length, is more of the same, as JoJo confides in her fans, sharing what she's learned and what it takes to be a star with well-intentioned messages.
Is it any good?
To adoring audiences filled with girls as young as 3 or 4 and their beaming parents, JoJo Siwa is magical; her show is a well-packaged lovefest that introduces hero worship to kids. JoJo smiles, sings, and dances her way into their hearts. The teen star loves what she does; she's sincere and hardworking, striving to be a role model -- as well as empress of an expanding merchandising empire. Her audience never tires of singing along to the repetitive, bouncy songs with their generic messages. The dance numbers are high-energy, slick, and fun. JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M.: The Concert Experience reflects the ever widening trend of media stardom for people with a touch of talent and a major gift for building a brand. JoJo's fans will love this movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cross-marketing in the media. Why is it important to know how DVDs, social media, merchandise, and concert appearances are interconnected? How does each promote the others? How does your family deal with the onslaught of consumerism found in popular franchises?
Do you live in a community or city that hosts major musical entertainment? Have you ever seen a live concert? How do concert movies like JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M.: The Concert Experience provide experiences for much wider audiences? What is your favorite concert movie? Did you see it live or on-screen?
What valuable character strengths does JoJo exhibit? Pick one of those traits and show why it's important. How does she motivate the others on her team?
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