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The Naked Brothers Band: Polar Bears
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 full-length feature from the Naked Brothers Band, comprising tweens and young teens, is heavy on romance and flirtation that some families may feel inappropriate for their kids of the same age. While the characters are altruistic in their efforts to raise money to help save the endangered polar bears and assist their friends in post-Katrina New Orleans, the message is heavy handed and takes a back seat to the romantic machinations of the band members. Straightforward footage of New Orleans' continued devastation may require some discussion and explanation for younger kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE NAKED BROTHERS BAND: POLAR BEARS, members of the band featured on the Nickelodeon show of the same name travel by bus to New Orleans to stage a charity concert to help the polar bears, spurred on by Alex (Alex Wolff) after he inadvertently views An Inconvenient Truth. While in New Orleans, the bandmates bunk down with family friends displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Miscommunication between the band and a vindictive mob of reporters, not to mention between romantically minded friends, plague the kids and call their good intentions into question.
Is it any good?
While shallow, this movie can be credited for its effort to focus young fans' attention on global warming and the ongoing plight of the people of New Orleans. (Explanations of just how kids can benefit these causes are skimpy, though.) The young brothers who star in the show, Alex and Nat Wolff (Nat Wolff), write and perform the songs in the movie with endearing sincerity, capably backed by their young cast/bandmates. The treatment of the band by an aggressive press corps may make for interesting family conversation about the limits to privacy and media objectivity.
But in the end the main story is romance between tweens, and that may make some families uncomfortable. Boys and girls alike are shown posturing to attract the attention of the opposite sex, and when the dust finally settles there's kissing and hugging that seems overly mature. Perhaps it's a function of the fact that there is virtually no reliable adult supervision around the "megastar" kids who travel in a luxury bus and don't appear to attend regular school. When one character says she will hold off on love "until I'm 13," the adult audience will heave a sigh of relief.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Alex's sudden obsession with polar bears and saving the environment. What are the things that you do as a family to help the Earth? Which of Alex's suggestions seem far-fetched, and which could you try? Families can also talk about the level of affection on display between the characters; how does that compare to your own family's expectations for behavior with members of the opposite sex?
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