A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can learn about resiliency, self love, and the importance of facing and learning from life's challenges, including the death of a loved one, parental expectations, or a lack of self confidence.
Kids grow with positive affirmation and affection. They learn to make the most of every situation and to play fairly. Professional fulfillment doesn't always come from the flashiest careers. Rivalries can lead to bad behavior, like name-calling or playing dirty. "Sometimes it takes somebody else to help you see yourself." Teamwork is a theme.
Positive Role Models
The diverse group of camp kids supports each other and encourage their unique talents. Though they all feel like misfits, as a group they learn that "being weird" is what makes them "awesome," and they discover their own internal strength. The kids in a rival bunk resort to tricks and traps to win a competition, as well as some bullying behavior, but in the end their leader apologizes. The founder of the camp orchestrates a way for a former camper, now an adult, to put his life back together, including making amends with his past girlfriend. Kids want to make their parents proud, or at least not disappoint them, and they thrive on positive reinforcement.
Violence & Scariness
One camper bullies another by playing tricks on him. While practicing magic tricks, a boy gets a foam ball stuck in his throat, and another falls off a bench while wearing a straitjacket. A boy's father recently died, and the boy is still grappling with grief. A character's father passed away.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
It's revealed that two camp counselors were once a couple. The kids tease a boy about liking a girl, chanting "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" out loud. A boy and a girl are about to kiss when they're interrupted. Later she kisses him goodbye on the mouth.
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"Geek." "Noob." "Nerd" "Dweeb." "Dork." "Fart." "Dummy." "Lame-O."
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Products & Purchases
Lucky Charms. Uber. The Las Vegas Strip: Caesar's Palace, Treasure Island.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Nathan requires medications for his allergies, including Zyrtec and constant use of bug spray.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Magic Camp is a tween-friendly comedy starring Adam Devine that combines two childhood passions -- magic and camp -- in a story about encouraging kids and adults to work as a team and discover and value their unique talents. The kid characters (and some counselors) arrive at camp with baggage -- absent or deceased parents, a bad attitude, hundreds of allergies, frustrated dreams, etc. -- that make them feel like misfits or losers. But they find strength in each other, and that positive reinforcement promotes resiliency and courage. There's some heavier emotion, particularly in the character of camper Theo (Nathaniel Logan McIntyre), whose loving father passed away. But the film's overall tone is light. Violent content is minimal: Expect minor bullying and comedic incidents brought about while practicing magic tricks, such as getting a foam ball stuck in the throat or falling off a bench while wearing a straitjacket. Sexual content is limited to tween flirtation and a single, end-of-camp good-bye kiss. Language includes kids chanting "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" and taunting each other with insults like "geek," "noob," "nerd," "dweeb," "dork," "dummy," and "lame-O." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If you like actor Adam Devine, you'll like this movie. Magic Camp feels built around him: he's present in just about every scene and playing to type as the sweet and funny underdog (see his previous roles in Modern Family, Pitch Perfect, and Isn't It Romantic, for example). Devine's unthreatening style of self effacing humor is well-matched for a tween movie. Despite being down on his luck and resentful, his character is ultimately generous and optimistic, and Devine does a good job embodying those contradicting traits.
Magic Camp's storyline is predictable and some of its jokes fall a little flat, so it really is up to the actors to make the journey worthwhile. Jeffrey Tambor is entertaining if a bit subdued as the camp founder and magician-in-chief. The filmmakers did a solid job casting the diverse group of kids, whose stories are used to offer a range of valuable life lessons for younger viewers. Worth highlighting especially are Cole Sand as "mathemagician" Nathan and J.J. (Josie) Totah as Judd, the son of a famous magician whose real passion turns out to be costume design.
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.