The Strawberry Shortcake Movie: Sky's the Limit Movie Poster Image

The Strawberry Shortcake Movie: Sky's the Limit

(i)

 

Uber-girly Strawberry and pals team up in mild adventure.
  • Review Date: September 24, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 69 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Teamwork, determination, friendship, believing in oneself, hard work, forgiveness -- all these noble messages are woven through the movie. But sometimes the emphasis on these positive messages leaves out the less pretty feelings that kids have. For example, even though Mr. Longface misled the girls on a long, treacherous journey, the girls don't get upset with him. Sure, forgiveness is a good thing, but it's also important to teach kids that it's OK to feel mad and tell people how you feel.

Positive role models

The intention is to show girls engaging in positive behaviors, like being helpful and supportive to one another. The movie is peppered with achievements -- designing a new berry juice fountain, using clues in nature to get the group un-lost, taking calculated risks for the greater good -- but all these things are counter-balanced by girly stereotypes. Their vocations involve food, hair, clothes, and dance. They constantly doubt their abilities until a friend urges them on. And their bodies are huge heads upon tiny little frames, which, while not sexualized like Bratz, portray unnatural and uniform body types.

Violence & scariness

A few mildly tense moments, like when Strawberry and her friends rescue Mr. Longface, who has fallen over a ledge.

Consumerism

Some might consider the movie to be an hour-long commercial for the dolls and accessories in the Strawberry Shortcake brand. The DVD comes with a $5 coupon for a Strawberry Shortcake toy. Before the movie begins, viewers see an advertisement for the Berry Cafe toy, as well as an AAA advertorial about seatbelt safety.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this optimistic, CGI-animated movie may stoke kids' desire for toys or other products associated with the Strawberry Shortcake brand. Also, the child-like characters many parents remember from childhood have been transformed into fashion-conscious, hair-flipping entrepreneurs, and may contribute to the tweenification of young girls.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Strawberry Shortcake and her dessert-themed friends enjoy life in Berry Bitty City until a storm causes a boulder to threaten the town, Strawberry's new cafe, and the town's water supply. The girls set off to find a solution to the town's problem, led by the well-intentioned but dishonest Mr. Longface. Along the way, they encounter many challenges, like getting lost, evading wild bunnies, and avoiding pointy thistles. A constant emphasis on team work, encouragement, determination, and believing in oneself gets the girls through their adventure safely.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

With the massive amount of cuteness packed into this film, most kids won't even notice that nothing of substance happens. Sure Berry Bitty City is threatened and the girls must find a way to save it, but the challenges are so mild and the girls' interactions -- though meant to be supportive -- are so generic and superficial, that in the end, despite a triumph of innovation, the successes and relationships feel limp. Also, despite platitudes like "Nothing is too difficult for us girls!", the pals' constantly fluttering hair, shrill squeals of excitement, and perpetual self doubts ("I'm not good at thinking things through.") seem to reinforce, rather than combat, stereotypes about girls.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about helping out friends. How did Strawberry and her friends help each other? Talk about the difference between practical help and emotional support.

  • Talk about lying. Why did Mr. Longface lie about the special stone? How would you have reacted if you'd been in the same situation as Strawberry and her friends? How did they treat Mr. Longface after they returned home?

  • Discuss the girls' appearance. How old do you think Strawberry and her friends are? What clues help you figure out their ages? If it's hard to tell how old they are, why do you think that is?

  • Families can talk about advertisements. What is the purpose of an ad? What kinds of ads are most effective? What's the difference between this movie and an advertisement?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 15, 2009
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship
Run time:69 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Strawberry Shortcake Movie: Sky's the Limit was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old November 17, 2013

All age movie

I think it is great for kids to learn, share, and interact with other children. ;)
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