Sofia the First: The Floating Palace

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Sofia the First: The Floating Palace Movie Poster Image
Fun undersea mermaid adventure with a bit of peril.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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!

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4-year-old Written bymelmai March 4, 2015
Parent of a 1-year-old Written byloiseo October 6, 2014
Kid, 11 years old January 11, 2015

Fun with a twist

if you like the little mermaid the you will like this
It's really sweet this movie and even shows Ariel in it there's mermaids magic and princess but... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 24, 2017


This is a must watch fun movie!! I truly love it. Fit for any kid to watch!

What's the story?

SOFIA THE FIRST: THE FLOATING PALACE starts off with Sofia (Ariel Winter) and her royal family sailing on the seas on their ship, the Floating Palace, to a vacation destination called Merroway Cove. While playing on deck, Sofia spots a young mermaid who has been caught in a fishing net. Sofia helps her get untangled and discovers the mermaid, Oona (Kiernan Shipka), has an injured fin, but even more miraculously, Sofia's special amulet transforms her legs into a mermaid fin in order to help Oona. Thrilled to be a mermaid, Sofia decides to help Oona return to her underwater home. The two princesses plans are foiled, however, when sorcerer Cedric transforms into a sea creature and kidnaps princess Oona, while Sofia is stuck with Oona's mother mermaid Queen Emmaline (Jodi Benson), whose advisor thinks Sofia's family is responsible for the kidnapping.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Sofia is always willing to speak out and act bravely in order to help those she loves. Is she a good role model for young kids?

  • How do both sets of parents try to help their princess daughters? Discuss how one set might be human and the other mermaid, but they love their daughters just the same.

  • What did you think of Princess Ariel popping up in the movie? Were you excited to see a crossover between the movie mermaid and the Disney Jr. special? Why might Disney want to connect the two characters?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mermaids and princesses

Themes & Topics

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