A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can learn about teamwork, the power of positive thinking, and the benefits of being resilient in the face of setbacks or losses.
People make mistakes. We can learn to forgive them and ourselves. It's good to be true to yourself and kind to others. Lying is bad. Winning shouldn't be the only goal of competing. It's a positive thing to express yourself and live in the moment.
Positive Role Models
JoJo is a kind, supportive, forgiving friend. She demonstrates resilience in starting her own dance team after she's kicked off another. She forgives her friends for lying to her, and she's unafraid to show her own unique style, even when a coach tells her she needs to hide it and fall in line. One dance coach is supportive and nurturing; the other is despotic, stemming from her own bad childhood memories of a cruel dance instructor. The Rubies make mistakes and learn from them.
The main cast is racially diverse, including adults and teenagers. Two male characters display stereotypically gay mannerisms. The setting is an anonymous U.S. suburb.
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Violence & Scariness
Teens tell stories of negative pressure on sports teams from coaches and parents. A coach yells at teen dancers.
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Products & Purchases
Ties into JoJo's brand, which spans online content and lots of merchandise. In the movie, she lives in a moderately wealthy suburb. Her room has a large walk-in closet. Nike, Adidas, TikTok are seen or mentioned.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The J Team ties into the larger JoJo Siwa brand, which spans online content and lots of merchandise. The film aims at a young audience with messages of positivity and being yourself belted out in snappy songs and dances. Additional messages about friendship and resilience are easy to understand. The cast is diverse. Two male characters display stereotypically gay mannerisms. Teenage characters are wholly focused on their sports teams; there's no sign of drinking, drugs, swearing, or sex in their lives. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are only positive messages in this film, and they will speak to child star JoJo's legion of social media followers. The teen actors put their hearts into the song and dance numbers of The J Team (though their lip synching leaves something to be desired), and who can critique the messages put forward here about being true to yourself and kind to others?
But this movie looks and feels like a stretched-out episode of a Nickelodeon show, complete with artificial settings and superficial characters and conflict. A bright spot is Campbell, who gives a campy performance with silly taunts like, "You are like human glitter!" and "You were out there looking like human jazz hands with a glitter manicure!"
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.