A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the characters' diva personas are likely to be copied by tween (and younger) viewers, which can lead to parental headaches over wardrobe, gotta-have gadgets, and attitude. While messages about self-respect, loyalty to friends and family, and accepting responsibility for choices are prominent throughout the movie, they're somewhat overshadowed by a barrage of cheetah-themed outfits and elaborately chic-ified teen lifestyles. Many scenes include strings of catch phrases ("ka-ching, ka-ching, bling, bling, bling" and "cheetahlicious") and body language (raised eyebrows, head gestures, and eye rolls) that are tolerable in the context of the movie but will become tiresome when copied by young fans.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
With their high school's talent show on the horizon, the hip-hopping Cheetah Girls are busy rehearsing songs, finalizing dance moves, and dreaming of their big break -- the recording session they'd earn by winning the contest. As the competition nears, the Cheetahs are discovered by local music producer Jackal Johnson (Vince Corazza), but their spirits are dampened when he plans to overhaul the diverse, girl-power image they're so proud of. Big problems arise among the foursome as Galleria becomes a dictator, making decisions for the group without consulting anyone. Eventually each Cheetah must decide whether to chase fame at all costs or to put the group's priorities first.
Is it any good?
THE CHEETAH GIRLS mixes harmonious vocals, energetic dance moves, and endearing characters, and tops it off with a hefty dose of values. All of it works to create this highly rated, fan-favorite original Disney movie. While the characters' sassy attitudes and uppity body language might have parents rolling their eyes, the overall package offers wholesome entertainment for tweens. The New York group consists of four precocious freshmen: extroverted drama queen Galleria (Raven-Symone) Latina diva Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), self-assured Texan transplant Aquanetta ("Aqua") (Kiely Williams), and level-headed dancing sensation Dorinda ("Do") (Sabrina Bryan) round out the group.
The Cheetah Girls hit a high note with songs that celebrate racial diversity ("we make up one big family though we don't look the same") and self-reliance ("I'd rather rescue myself"), and with group values of friendship, creativity, and education (when one member is struggling in school, they call a study session to help out). Family plays an important role in the movie as well. Galleria often turns to her parents for guidance, and they respond with compassionate lessons about respecting others' feelings and taking responsibility for your actions.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the drawbacks of achieving fame. What would the Cheetah Girls have to sacrifice to become famous singers? What if you were faced with a similar choice?
Why is being famous a goal for so many people? Does notoriety change people? How does it change the Cheetahs?
Do you consider the Cheetah Girls role models?
- In theaters: August 15, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: June 29, 2004
- Cast: Adrienne Bailon, Raven Symone, Sabrina Bryan
- Director: Oz Scott
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, High School, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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