A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
We can't stop living just because we've lost something or someone. We're all connected as parts of the same infinite universe.
Positive Role Models
Main character and her best friend get caught shoplifting; consequences change their behavior. The ballet students in general model a great deal of perseverance and teamwork. They practice the same moves and choreography over and over until they get it right, and they all do their parts to provide the best performances possible.
The cast is mostly White with one or two people of color in the background. A minor speaking part and a nonspeaking part read as Asian. Sexuality isn't addressed but all attraction presented is heterosexual. Body types are all thin as might be expected in a ballet school. A couple of minor hints at disordered eating include apparent guilt over almost eating a cupcake and a teacher who says a dancer should be easy to lift because she's "a twig."
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Violence & Scariness
A slap in the face played for comedy. Some scariness when a pedestrian is fatally hit by a car. Nothing's shown directly and there's no gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One kiss. Some romantic dynamics in dance choreography. Freddy asks classmates and friends out on dates or suggests romance and is always rejected.
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"Crap," "butt," the middle-finger gesture, and "damn" in a soundtrack song.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Red Shoes: Next Step is a drama about a ballet student mourning the loss of her sister in a tragic car accident, and recovery from loss is a major theme. Mild language includes "crap," the middle-finger gesture, and "damn" in a soundtrack lyric. There's a slap in the face, and some scariness when a pedestrian is fatally hit by a car. Nothing's shown directly and there's no gore. One character is annoyingly persistent with romantic overtures, and there's one kiss. A couple of minor hints at disordered eating include apparent guilt over almost eating a cupcake and a teacher who says a dancer should be easy to lift because she's "a twig." The main character and her best friend get caught shoplifting, and there are consequences that change their behavior. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Unfortunately, the script, acting, and dancing aren't enough to hold all but the most avid ballet fan's attention. The Red Shoes: Next Step simply moves from one overworked cliché to the next, not providing nearly enough context or explanations and leaving plenty of plot holes behind. The actors don't really seem to connect to their characters and don't provide a way for the viewers to connect, either. Exhausting rehearsal sequences go on for too long and are too similar to add interest or build drama.
That being said, the final performance sequence provides refreshing new costumes and not-seen-before sequences to possibly interest ballet fans, but for the rest of us, it's too little, too late.
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.