Sofia the First: The Floating Palace

  • Review Date: April 8, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fun undersea mermaid adventure with a bit of peril.
  • Review Date: April 8, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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
Not applicable

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!

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

DVD release date:April 4, 2014
Cast:Ariel Winter, Sara Ramirez, Wayne Brady
Director:Jamie Mitchell
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Friendship, Ocean creatures
Run time:118 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Sofia the First: The Floating Palace was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 4 year old Written bymelmai March 4, 2015
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
Kid, 11 years old January 11, 2015
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

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 if your kid reacts to anything scary at all then they could get scared but it's really not that scary it's funny and has a talking rabbit I think it's fine for most toddlers and even pre teens
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 1 year old Written byloiseo October 6, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

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