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Parents' Guide to

Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Mild adventure has positive themes but simplifies history.

Movie G 2011 90 minutes
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Based on the Lois Gladys Leppard's The Mandie Series, MANDIE AND THE CHEROKEE TREASURE is a period piece set in the late 1800s that looks way too fresh and clean to feel authentic. The wigs are bad, the accents are worse, the acting is not particularly impressive, and everything feels a bit hokey and forced in an effort to create a quirky sendup of villains and heroes with a positive takeaway, to say nothing of the way African Americans and Native Americans are depicted in the film as happy, well-cared for, willing servants.

That said, it's a well-intentioned effort to create some wholesome family fare that shows kids trying to make good choices in a number of challenging contexts. Particular emphasis is given to weighing decisions and considering alternatives as the characters problem-solve their way out of a fix or two. Kids may enjoy the pioneering themes, Cherokee touches, adventurous calamity, and headstrong teen girl's desire to prove herself and save the day. Although the quality doesn't quite hit the mark and this will win no awards for accuracy, the film's overall focus on clear-headed thinking and anti-prejudice message may just be worth enduring an otherwise lackluster production.

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