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 Disney cartoon involves a major villain and his four sidekicks who battle against the three classic characters of Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. The movie is packed with cartoon violence, including fist fights, sword battles, and one scene where Mickey seems to die from drowning. At one point, when Goofy is on the verge of being thrown into the ocean to die, a shot of many skeletons under the water appears. An underlying theme is the romance between Princess Minnie and Mickey the Musketeer. In the end, each of the musketeers finds love and exchanges several exaggerated kisses with his partner. The female characters are pretty helpless, and the movie revolves around saving and kidnapping the princess and her lady-in-waiting.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Three young friends -- Mickey, Donald, and Goofy -- are destitute. After being protected from robbers by royal agents -- musketeers -- they dream of one day becoming like their heroes. Alas, they end up as janitors for the head of the musketeers, a nefarious fellow named Peg Leg Pete. He laughs at their dream of becoming soldiers, calling Donald a "coward," Goofy a "doofus," and Mickey "too small." But when Princess Minnie requests bodyguards, Pete decides to put the trio in charge of her protection, thinking that will make it easier to kidnap her in his attempt to become king. Much mayhem ensues, but the loyal and earnest trio perseveres, learning to be brave, use their brains, and help one another out. In the end, Pete's plan fails and the musketeers each find romance.
Is it any good?
The story follows the classic tale of a damsel in distress, which makes it both predictable and lacking in female empowerment messages. Despite this, the tale is action-packed (if too violent for younger kids) and colorful. Tons of little details and silly exploits will delight kids, like when Goofy runs so fast up the tower stairs he falls out the window, bounces off a horse, spins around a windmill, and lands back inside the tower.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the theme of the movie, which is the famous chant of the Three Musketeers: "All for one and one for all." What does this mean? How does this idea play out in the movie? How does the idea of "all for one" work in real life?
Talk about damsels in distress. Why are so many movies about male characters saving female characters? Can you think of other damsel-in-distress movies?
Can you imagine this movie if the genders were reversed -- Minnie saving Mickey? What elements would need to change to make that concept work, and why?
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