A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the young detective at the heart of this third installment in the Roxy Hunter series is noticeably more mature here than in her two previous stories. She's still highly opinionated, guilty of disregarding rules (she makes some references to skipping school), and in a few instances does bully adults into doing her bidding -- but overall it's her self-reliance, resourcefulness, and dedication to a cause that will make an impression on her female tween fans.
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What's the story?
When the town newspaper offers a cash prize for the best local-interest story, Roxy Hunter (Aria Wallace) combs the town for something fascinating enough to write about. All of her leads come up dry -- until a mysterious mute amnesiac (Ashleigh Rains) shows up with no identity, no family, and no way to tell anyone where she's from. Hungry for a story, Roxy takes her home and vows to help her communicate, but not even she can imagine the truth behind the stranger's silence. As Roxy races against time to help her new friend, she unwittingly stumbles upon a sinister plot to disrupt the town's peaceful existence and must help her friend Max (Demetrius Joyette) expose the person behind it.
Is it any good?
Tween fans of this spunky young gumshoe will find plenty more to like in THE MYTH OF THE MERMAID, the latest installment of the TV movie series based on the books by Tracey West. Roxy is at her precocious best, always on the lookout for adventure and willing to meet challenges head-on. Tweens -- particularly girls -- will be thoroughly entertained by this story, which combines mythical lore, evil plots, suspenseful twists, and heroic efforts by Roxy and Max to once again upstage the adults around them.
Even better than its entertainment value is the fact that the movie presents its tween audience with a quality female lead in Roxy. She's still prone to breaking rules when they don't suit her (like skipping school to investigate a mystery), and parents may take issue with her ability to wear down adults' resolve by pestering them until they cave in to her requests. But it's her self-confidence, determination, and resourcefulness that tweens will remember at the movie's end. Need another reason to like her? This isn't a character whose face is splashed across every department store wall, so there's not a hint of merchandising in the movie or the character -- unless you count the books on which her adventures are based.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media portrays tweens. Which of Roxy's characteristics impressed you? How did you feel about her willingness to break the rules to get what she wanted? Do you think TV gives an accurate view of tween life? Why or why not? How does Roxy compare to some of the other girls you see in TV shows and movies? Are you drawn to her more or less than you are to other characters? Why?
- In theaters: July 18, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: October 14, 2008
- Cast: Aria Wallace, Demetrius Joyette, Robin Brule
- Director: Eleanor Lindo
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 19, 2019
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