A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy is a movie tie-in to the Disney series Sofia the First. The story shows how acting on negative impulses like jealousy and selfishness can have detrimental effects on relationships, particularly between siblings, and that such actions have consequences that can only be remedied by the original transgressor. There are some tense moments when the fate of the kingdom, and separately of Sofia and Amber, are in doubt, but they're well within the expectations set by the original series. Likewise, the story's villain schemes and plots, but she's not outright scary. In addition to the excellent messages about honesty and making good choices, viewers will enjoy a handful of new songs and the requisite happily ever after.
What's the story?
When Amber (voiced by Darcy Rose Byrnes) discovers that Sofia's (Ariel Winter) magical amulet allows her to talk to her animal friends and call on other princesses for help, she decides to try it out for herself. Unfortunately, forcing the magic curses Amber and conjures the evil Princess Ivy (Anna Camp), who steals the amulet, turns all of Enchancia black and white, and sets out to claim the kingdom for herself. As time runs out, Amber, Sofia, and Cedric (Jess Harnell) race to retrieve the necklace and break the curse before Enchancia is lost forever.
Is it any good?
Here's further evidence of Disney's remarkable skill in crafting characters and stories that blend quality entertainment and positive messages kids can relate to their own lives. The story begins with a familiar-sounding sibling spat caused by Amber's jealousy, follows her rationale behind defying Sofia's wishes, and explores the consequences of her actions, none of which are good. Similarly, it reminds kids that when you do something wrong, it's up to you to make them right, and that's not always as simple as apologizing. Because it's so easy even for young kids to see how her misdeed causes such mayhem, the lessons about honesty and respect for others become evident to them as well. Even the substory of Princess Ivy's background reflects this same theme, giving viewers yet another example of positive vs. negative relationships.
But The Curse of Princess Ivy isn't just about teaching your tots how to get along with others. It's also about adventure, and spunky Sofia always makes sure there's plenty of that to go around. The girls' pursuit of Princess Ivy and the amulet takes them far from Enchancia, where they meet new friends and even get some help from Rapunzel in their quest to save the kingdom. Along the way there are fun new songs, comical characters, and multiple opportunities for them to solve problems. All in all, this movie is a fun way to spend some shared screen time with your little ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Sofia's relationship with Amber. What issues cause strife between them? What examples of positive conflict resolution do you see at play?
What does Amber learn from Princess Ivy's example? Can a role model's bad behavior be just as educational as someone's good example?
Kids: Did you enjoy Rapunzel's part in the story? What purpose might it serve Disney to include other princesses in Sofia's story?
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