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 enchanting fairy tale has some sad and scary scenes that might be disturbing for very young or sensitive kids. Maria loses her father early in the movie, though the audience never actually meets him. Also, one family is portrayed as villainous, and they wear dark clothes and masks, and there are some brief battle scenes with Maria being chased. A magical, protective black dog has red eyes and transforms into a fierce lion when the enemies appear. Maria -- who's selfless and generous -- is a great role model for kids, and the movie has strongly positive messages about achieving your goals.
What's the story?
Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards), agirl ofgreat fortune and wealth, finds herself homeless and orphaned at the age of 13. The only inheritance Maria receives from her deceased father is a bookthat tellsthe legend ofMoonacre's famousMoon Princess. Forced to leave her home in London, Maria moves to the countryside of Moonacre Manorto live with an uncle she has never met. Maria's uncle, Sir Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd), is unfriendly and aloof until he notices Maria'suncanny relationship with the animals surrounding the castle. The horses flock to her, and the dog becomes her immediate companion. When the walls surrounding her mysteriously come to life, Maria quickly learns that she is the last Moon Princess and must save Moonacre from an ancient curse. It's upto her to uniteher family with its rivals, theDe Noirs, before the 5,000th moon rises.
Is it any good?
This is a beautiful and enchanting tale about a little princess whose selfless actions save an entire kingdom. When Maria takes it upon herself to unite her family with their centuries-old adversaries, the De Noir family, she's pleasantly surprised to find some unlikely characters coming to her aid. With the many magical creatures lurking throughout the castle, you start to wonder whether the castle itself might be magical: walls change form, trap doors appear, and white horses turn into unicorns.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the battle between the Merryweathers and the De Noirs. Is their disagreement only about a string of pearls? What do you think the pearls represent? How does your family handle disagreements?
When looking at the role that men and women play in this film, what differences do you notice? Do males or females seem to be more villainous than the others? Does the film perpetuate any stereotypes?
Do you think that father De Noir lacks sincerity in the end, or does he truly learn a lesson? And who do you think is most responsible for Maria's kind-hearted nature?
- In theaters: August 12, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: September 21, 2010
- Cast: Dakota Blue Richards, Ioan Gruffudd, Natascha McElhone, Tim Curry
- Director: Gabor Csupo
- Studio: Entertainment One
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Book Characters
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild peril and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.