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Parents' Guide to

Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Darling royal tot is steeped in princess stereotypes.

Movie NR 2013 90 minutes
Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 3+

Wonderful movie!

A wonderful movie to kick off the perfect series! Our entire family enjoyed this movie and I highly recommend it to anyone with a little princess of their own.
age 2+

Age appropriate Sofia!

Yay for Disney! As a mom of two young girls everything out there right now is too grown up a six year old really doesnt need to watch a bunch of teenagers as role models. Sofia is adorable,age appropriate and full of family values... no boyfriends, no teenager behavior or violence at all. Thank you Disney junior!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Disney's lofty goals for Sofia the First are evident from the get-go in this charming tale, as it toes the line between outright racial diversity and political correctness. It also turns the tables on the stereotypical "evil stepmother" role, and casts a heroine who packs all of the princess-y traits viewers have come to expect into a smaller -- but no less adorable -- package. Clearly they nailed the basics in this darling tot with the voice of an angel who finds the courage to face her new challenges without losing herself in the process. As she manages to win over everyone around her right down to her jealous stepsister, Sofia reminds kids that strength of character and perseverance are the hallmarks to success in endeavors of every size and shape.

But this makes it all the more disappointing that the overall movie package doesn't live up to the gleaming example set by its star. Where Disney could have dropped at least some of the stereotypes and made Sofia even more of a relatable girl-next-door (especially considering her youth), it instead clad her in floor-length ball gowns for school; devoted time to watching her learn to dance, pour tea, and even wave like a princess; and closeted the integral character of her mother for much of the story, save for some trite advice and precious few encounters with her daughter and her new step-kids. And then there's that touchy issue of ethnicity, which casts some shadows on Disney's celebrated recent move toward diversity in princess characters like Mulan, Pocahantas, and Tiana.

Movie Details

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