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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film goes some way toward discussing gender equality. There are short scenes in which a character practices French where some words may be learned.
The movie has a strong message of gender equality and girls succeeding in a male environment. It encourages individuality, dedication, and hard work, with an emphasis on sportsmanship, both in victory and defeat. Family is a strong theme and a source of encouragement and support.
Positive Role Models
The main character, Erica, is brave and dedicated, and works hard to succeed in the face of many obstacles. She is mostly polite and kind, though has to learn to control flashes of jealousy and anger, and the importance of maintaining academic studies and friendships. Many of the men involved in the drag racing scene -- from officials to competitors and their fathers -- display sexist attitudes that girls can't race and it would be embarrassing to lose to a girl. But this behavior is clearly marked as being wrong.
Violence & Scariness
There is a car crash, in which a young rider loses consciousness, receiving an oxygen mask and being airlifted to hospital via helicopter. A shoulder injury is sustained during school sports, which results in a red patch with broken skin. There is some teasing at school and at the racing track.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is mention of "hot boys" and the potential of dates is discussed.
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The words "butt" and "loser" are used.
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Products & Purchases
The concept of sponsorship is discussed in relation to racing and the unfairness of girls not being offered the same level of sponsorship as boys. Young characters desire new cars when their existing ones still work.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Right on Track is a Disney family sports drama -- based on a true story -- about two sisters who dream of becoming drag racers in a male-dominated environment. It tackles sexism both in the sporting world and outside. The movie stars Beverley Mitchell and Brie Larson as siblings Erica and Courtney respectively. There is a serious crash at one point, which results in Erica falling unconscious and being airlifted to hospital. The language is infrequent and doesn't get any more severe than "butt" and "loser." Sponsorship is discussed but only in terms of how the boy racers unfairly get more than the girl racers. The film encourages being yourself and reaching for your dreams, but also shows the importance of maintaining grades and friendships. In real life, the two sisters paved the way for more female drag racers and the movie has an uplifting tone likely to inspire younger viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on a real-life drag racing duo, this Disney TV movie has a strong feminist slant running throughout. Right on Track also adds some nice touches that bring the theme outside of the racing track, such as a friend telling another it's ok to ask a boy out, and a license plate that says: "This is not my boyfriend's truck." Racing scenes are filmed well, feeling speedy enough on camera, and both Mitchell and a young Larson seem natural with the physical aspects of the sport.
However, individual obstacles are overcome very quickly, so the movie never quite cranks up the dramatic tension, which leaves it feeling a little one-note. Even the crash doesn't bring with it any great consequences for Erica and her family, beyond her perseverance catching the eye of a sponsor. Formulaic, but well executed, the movie fits easily among similar Disney Channel sports films, such as Double Teamed and Go Figure. And although it doesn't stand out as a classic, its feminist message will likely do the intended job of inspiring younger viewers to reject non-inclusive traditions and go for their dreams.
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.