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Ruby Strangelove Young Witch

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Ruby Strangelove Young Witch Movie Poster Image
Offbeat fantasy tale has mild violence, bullying.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Positive messages are spoken throughout film, like "Believe in yourselves and you can do anything," "If your heart is true, you need never know regret" and "Reach out to your enemies." Ruby, her parents, and her friends are meant to embody these messages through their actions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Friends and family stick together. Dad always supports his daughter. Ruby stands up to class bullies on behalf of her friends. Ruby uses magic and ingenuity to save her mother from a parallel universe. Adults and kids alike can be bullies.

Violence & Scariness

Mother is taken by a woman wielding magic and held hostage by a man who intends to force her to marry him. The man kisses her hand repeatedly. Ruby accidentally freezes other kids. A metal structure falls on Scooter's hand. Children are lost in the woods. School bullies take Scooter's inhaler and tease Ruby about being abandoned by her mother. Sheriff kicks out the dad's taillight, forecloses on his house, and teases him about his missing wife. Ruby makes a man fall in a pothole. Bad guys, including a child, are sucked into the parallel universe. Clowns serve as guards.

Sexy Stuff

Mom and Dad kiss and hug.

Language

"Hell," "heck," "dweeb," "loser," "freak," "lame," "jerk," "loser," "sucks."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ruby Strangelove Young Witch will interest only the youngest viewers, but it might also confuse them. Young Ruby has just discovered her own nature as a witch and must save her mother in a complicated plot about a portal between parallel universes that has something to do with planets aligning. There's a plan among the local adults in town to sabotage Ruby and her father, though it's confusing what's motivating these once-friendly adults to turn on the Strangeloves. The disappearance of Ruby's mother when Ruby is a newborn, and her sequestering in a town guarded by adult male clowns, could prove a bit frightening to some. But the school bullies are pretty toothless and Ruby's handling of them on behalf of her "misfit" friends offers a good model for school-age children, as does the strong bond between Ruby and her dad. Some mild language includes "hell," "heck," "loser," "freak," "jerk," "loser," "sucks." A man who has sequestered Ruby's mother plans to force her to marry him and kisses her hand repeatedly.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bysgrace8 July 22, 2019

What's the story?

RUBY STRANGELOVE YOUNG WITCH discovers she has magical powers when she is 8 years old. Soon after, her mother (Twinnie Lee Moore), who disappeared when Ruby (Seanna Pereira) was a newborn, appears to her through a magical mirror to warn her of people who wish them evil and to ask for Ruby's help rescuing her from a parallel universe. The one night when the universes will align and a portal between them will open happens to fall on the evening of Ruby's school "Battle of the Bands." Ruby's natural musical talents will be put to the test that night against another band made up of the school bullies, and she'll need to save her mother and stand up for herself and her friends. In a small town where it's unclear who she can trust, Ruby has the unconditional support of her loving father (Ed Stoppard) and her best friend Scooter (Chenuse Aitchedji).

Is it any good?

Although the movie has mixed together all the correct ingredients and followed the usual recipe for its genre, the final dish just doesn't quite work. Something is off with Ruby Strangelove Young Witch, and while the youngest audiences might not notice, anyone older than the 8-old-year titular witch likely will. The story is ostensibly set in small-town America -- maybe the South, considering the sheriff's thick drawl. But the town looks like a movie set (the film was shot partly in Bulgaria), while detectable accents from the international cast also muddy the location. Meanwhile, the kingdom where the mother is being held against her will, a candy-colored parallel world filled with adult clowns and oddly-shaped furniture, looks like a children's TV show set and is neither funny nor creepy, it's just bizarre.

Pereira does her best as the young witch, and she appears to have a lovely singing voice, but her face doesn't always convey the right emotions for the scene (fault the director for that). As Ruby's mother, Moore is burdened with unnaturally stiff lines like "You can force me to smile, but you can never make me happy." Stoppard, playing Ruby's father, is credible in his role and helps keep the film afloat, and fans of veteran actor Stephen Rea might be curious to see his limited turn here as the bad guy. Even if they don't fully grasp the plan to rescue Ruby's mom, the youngest viewers may still appreciate Ruby's bravery, her spunky songs, the way she stands up to bullies, and the sweet relationship she has with her dad.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the portrayal of witches in Ruby Strangelove Young Witch. What kind of powers do Ruby and her mother wield? Do they fit with your idea of what a "witch" is?

  • What do you think of the depiction of the parallel universe where Ruby's mother is being held? Did it remind you of anyplace you've seen in other movies or shows?

  • Ruby and her friends deal with bullies at school. Have you ever experienced bullying? Did Ruby handle them well?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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