A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this DVD will be mildly entertaining for young girls and includes good role models for friendships, but is short on plot and substance. Good teamwork is shown, as is the lesson that practice and positive thinking are keys to overcoming new challenges. There's only one boy to be found, but the animated characters include friends from different racial backgrounds.
What's the story?
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: ROCKABERRY ROLL is told in flashback, as Strawberry Shortcake (voiced by Sarah Heinke) and her talking cat Custard remember two episodes in which the animated star's band, Strawberry Jam, met challenges and overcame them. In the first, Strawberry Shortcake forms the band with a group of friends who must first learn to work together before they can make beautiful music and win at an American Idol-style judged competition. Snippets on wind, percussion, and string instruments show up in the dialog, helping to up the informational value of the first segment. In the second, a new band member has to learn the virtues of practice and dealing with frustration in order to play as well as the rest of her band mates.
Is it any good?
It seems a little sad to see Strawberry Shortcake and her sweet friends now vamping in a singing competition and hoping not to be eliminated by the talent show judges. (The Simon Cowell role is played by Strawberry Shortcake's own cat.) When Huckleberry Pie begins his rap over the band's final song, it's really time to kiss old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake goodbye.
However, even with the updated surroundings and situation, Strawberry Shortcake remains at heart a generous, kind role model who tries to encourage her friends and make the best of bad situations. Pervasive imagery of ponies, butterflies, kittens, and puppies -- not to mention adorable Strawberry Shortcake and her friends -- will lend appeal for little girls aged 3-6, but the thin plot and lack of strong boy characters prevent it from speaking to a wider audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of making music out of anything around you -- a great activity for the next rainy day. Have you ever felt frustrated learning new skills, like Peppermint Fizz? How did you feel when you succeeded? Do you think you would have been as proud if the skills had come to you more easily?
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