A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Designed to entertain and encourage product tie-in rather than educate.
Although there are some positive messages they tend to be buried quite deep beneath a focus on fashion, consumerism, and celebrity. Nobody is perfect, but everyone has their strong points. Find the courage to be yourself and stick to what is important to you. Lies and selfish behavior ultimately don't pay off. It's more important to know you're doing the right thing than be seen to be doing the right thing.
Positive Role Models
The Shoppies place a lot of emphasis on glamour, success, and having the latest fashion and gadgets. They are easily influenced by social media and celebrities, one of whom is shown to construct a false positive image of herself and uses fans to do her bidding. The Shoppies also use selfish methods to push to the front of a line, which isn't punished in any way. Toward the end of the film they come to understand that fame and glamour is not everything and it is important to do good, even if they are not directly rewarded.
The main group of four Shoppies in the movie are all White and female, with almost identical slim body shapes and displaying their gender in very traditional and stereotypical ways -- long hair, dresses, wide eyes, pastel colors, and high-pitched voices. A few non-White characters are seen in the background, but are not given any part to play in the plot and feel very tokenized. A shy character has a stutter, which plays into stereotype. The only mild flirtation in the film is between two banana-shaped Shopkins, who are clearly assigned male and female -- with the male behaving stereotypically macho -- contributing to the hetero-normative lens.
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Violence & Scariness
In a film within the film, a character is kidnapped and tied to a tree. Huge dinosaur-shaped monsters cast scary shadows, roar, and may frighten some younger viewers. Characters are thrown to the ground and, at one point, trapped in an underground hole.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is some mild flirtation between two banana-shaped Shopkins, in which one character tries to act macho and impress the other.
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Some negative language includes name-calling such as "ugly" toward a monster, "twerps," "furball," "no-talent hack," and use of the word "crumbs."
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Products & Purchases
The entire franchise comes from an Australian toy company and is based around the concept of shopping. The movie ties into a huge merchandise range, including, dolls, books, games, and even cereal. The characters in the movie talk about fashion and all having the latest watch to match their favorite celebrity. Social media use, and how it can be used to promote yourself, is prominent.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shopkins: Wild is a simplistic candy-colored adventure connected to a wider toy franchise, heavily focused on tie-ins and driving demand. It follows four very stereotypical girls and their friends, who are items of shopping such as cake and lipstick, as they head on a charity mission on behalf of their favorite celebrity. The film goes some way to discussing the pitfalls of coveting fame and glamour and the importance of doing the right thing. But it also focuses a lot on fashion and having the right items. Social media is referenced frequently, particularly by a famous character who exploits it for her own gain. Some moments of mild threat involving monsters may be frightening for 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?
The focus here is on cuteness and candy colors over all else -- including a particularly coherent story. However, younger viewers of Shopkins: Wild may well be hooked by the adorable furry Shoppets and captivated by the stylish friendship group of Shoppies and their comedy sidekicks. Social media, having the latest gadgets, and being seen to do good deeds are all portrayed here, but barely unpacked, and new characters are introduced with more than a sniff of new product launches in their wake.
That said, there are some commendable messages, particularly toward the end. For example, finding the courage to stick to your morals and accepting that nobody is perfect, but that everyone has their strong points. However, the overly gendered characters, lack of diversity, and focus on fashion and desirable items leave the feeling that these positives were shoehorned in as an afterthought. It's a generic world built from the toy franchise up, with some catchy pop songs, simple humor, and just enough mild peril to keep younger kids engaged.
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.