A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Like the show, the movie teaches lessons about positive self-esteem, unconditional friendship, compassion to others and family. Kids see the characters overcome obstacles, ask for help, and work together to save the day.
Positive messages about embracing your unique talents, not fearing what you don't know, and working with people, even if they're new friends. There's also a strong message about not giving into fear or prejudice.
Positive Role Models
Sofia herself is an independent and spirited girl who cares deeply about helping others and protecting her family. She doesn't always know what to do, so she asks for help, asks questions, takes a stand, and tells the truth. She is brave and kind and loves her family. Oona also wants to help and get her mother to understand the humans mean no harm. The parents all want to look out for their kids.
Violence & Scariness
The mermaid queen Emmaline and her head advisor Plank are very critical of humans and create a storm to endanger the lives on Sofia's family ship, because they believe the mermaid princess Oona is being kept captive on it. Cedric kidnaps Oona but isn't as scary as Ursula the Sea Witch from Little Mermaid. But of course, no one ends up hurt.
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Products & Purchases
This is part of the Sofia the First universe which includes merchandise tie-ins to the popular TV show, such as dolls, apparel, and games.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sofia the First: The Floating Palace is the DVD edition of a feature-length Sofia special that aired on the Disney Channel in November 2013. The movie transforms Sofia into a mermaid who must help a mermaid princess with an injured tail. There's more peril and potentially scary scenes than in the show -- particularly when Oona is kidnapped and the mermaid queen sends a storm toward Sofia's family's royal ship. But ultimately this is a sweet adventure about friendship and generosity -- plus it features a cameo from Princess Ariel! To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Disney knows how to put on a show, and whether or not your young kids usually watch Sofia the First, they will understand and enjoy this feature-length undersea special. Sofia is a feisty main character who little ones will relate to -- she doesn't always want to do what her family is doing, and she sometimes thinks her siblings are annoying, but she's ultimately a brave and sweet girl who never shies away from doing what's right or asking for help, even if it's hard or scary at first. Sofia's relationship with Oona is a gentle reminder that being different doesn't mean kids can't be friends.
This particular tale has a lot going on: high-stakes adventure, family drama, friendship comedy, musical numbers, and even a cameo from the Little Mermaid herself, Ariel (also Benson). Kids familiar with the show may have already seen the special when it aired on the Disney Channel, and will be ready to accompany Sofia on her mermaid journey. Older kids and tweens siblings will not be as enthralled as pre-K-to-second grade audiences, but Sofia the First makes a fun family movie night for families with younger children.
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.