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 movie -- a sequel to the immensely popular The Cheetah Girls -- is more mature and much less hyper than the original. The characters have aged, and their flair for drama has taken a backseat to introspective decision making and goal setting, making them more realistic (and positive) role models. The girls face dilemmas about exploring new relationships (including a boy/girl one) without hurting existing friendships and striving for their own dreams while still contributing to a team effort. Parents play an integral role in guiding the girls over the bumpy road of adolescence.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It's the summer before their senior year of high school, and the singing quartet, the Cheetahs, plan to spend the next few months rehearsing. But Chanel (Adrienne Bailon) learns that she'll be going to Barcelona, Spain. Luckily, the Cheetahs find an ad for an amateur musical competition in Barcelona. Fearless leader Galleria (Raven-Symone) gets the group an audition, they make the cut, and Galleria's mom agrees to chaperone the trip. But foreign soil provides lots of distractions for the girls, who go their separate ways far too much for Galleria's liking. Recalling that her control-freak tendencies nearly ruined their friendship, she hangs back and waits for them to return for rehearsals. Unfortunately for Galleria, Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan) has a new love interest; Aquanetta (Kiely Williams) gets bitten by the fashion bug; and Chanel hits it off with a talented Spanish singer whose mom is bent on breaking up The Cheetah Girls.
Is it any good?
With the same talented cast, terrific new music, and a thoughtful storyline, Disney's sequel is even better than the first Cheetah Girls. This one is filled with positive messages about self-reliance, loyalty, and strength of character. Lessons about the perils of pre-judging people and the damaging effects of selfishness are intricately woven into the plot. Break-out song-and-dance scenes give the movie the feel of a musical and offer chances for all four singers to shine, which is a positive change from the original and underscores the girls' messages of fairness and respect.
And once again, the girls must strike a balance between their personal goals and those of the group. Their renewed respect for each other highlights the growing maturity that makes the Cheetahs even more likable this time around than they were in the original movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about maintaining friendships during life changes. How can existing relationships be affected by new people in your life? Have you ever been jealous over a friend's interest in someone else? Parents can also discuss the importance of setting goals and staying focused on your dreams. What are your hopes for the future? What steps will you take to get there?
- In theaters: August 24, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: November 28, 2006
- Cast: Adrienne Bailon, Raven Symone, Sabrina Bryan
- Director: Kenny Ortega
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, High School, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: all audiences
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