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The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music Movie Poster Image
Sweet fairy tale romance, positive messages, mild action.
  • G
  • 2019
  • 82 minutes

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Promotes honesty, good manners, kindness, importance of apologizing, diversity, gratitude, and following one's dreams with determination. "In this world, the best thing to do is apologize." "You need a little crazy to make your dreams come true."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters are brave, compassionate, grateful, and work hard to achieve their goals. Featured characters, while often silly, are also ethical and well-meaning. Diversity is depicted positively.

Violence & Scariness

Mild action includes a chase with warriors using spears (no hits or injuries); a bow and arrow used to get a "drop of blood" from a willing dragon; a sorceress angrily throwing objects at an animal.

Sexy Stuff

Some sweet kisses.

Language
Consumerism

Another entry in the Swan Princess franchise, which includes dolls, media, merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music is the ninth in a series of The Swan Princess movies. Fairy tale romance is center stage in this entry; action is minimal. Kingdom of Music tells the story of an annual worldwide musical competition just before teen Princess Alise's coming out party, and, as in the original, an evil spell must be broken. In the spirit of diversity, the finalists in the music competition are from European, Asian, Indian, and Latin countries. Filled with music, innocent kisses, and the funny, sometimes wise animated characters who make up the world of Princess Odette and Prince Derek, it's a movie well-suited for kids who are comfortable with a few mild action sequences (a young princess chased by soldiers who throw spears to try to capture her; a bow and arrow used to get a drop of blood from a willing dragon; and a brief skirmish occurs between a sorceress and a flying squirrel.) No one is hurt.

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What's the story?

In THE SWAN PRINCESS: KINGDOM OF MUSIC, a music competition is being held just before a majestic coming out party for the Princess Alise (voiced by Bleau). Five finalists are arriving from all over the world. In the Empire of Cathy, Prince Li (Francis Huang) hopes to win and make his strict father proud. But unbeknownst to the prince, when his ship leaves for the competition, Mei Li (Stephanie Sheh), his sister, stows away, desperate for help. A spell has been cast over Mei Li's beloved Chen (Alex Chen), turning him into a dragon. She's hoping that Prince Derek (Yuri Lowenthal) and Princess Odette (Nina Herzog), who've broken their own curse, may have the answer. The kingdom is bustling with activity. The final contestants prepare. Princess Alise and Lucas (Grant Durazzo) are tentatively repairing a damaged relationship. Prince Derek and Princess Odette take on the challenge that Mei Li has brought to them. Things get dicey when Princess Alise embarks upon a love-hate relationship with the "insufferable" Prince Li and Lucas is threatened. Will the curse be defeated? Will Lucas keep the heart of his princess? And who will win the contest and sing at Princess Alise's coming out ball?

Is it any good?

A fanciful story with lots of rooting interest for its young royalty, along with witty dialogue and charmingly funny characters, make this movie a welcome entry in The Swan Princess franchise. And the music is surprisingly good for a direct-to-DVD endeavor. Once again, Princess Alise is the central character, but Princess Odette and Prince Derek play much more significant roles than they did in some of the earlier movies.

The two stories -- Princess Alise and the music competition and Mei Li and Chen's dragon curse -- are separate but mostly equal. Director Richard Rich, who has been at the helm for all nine of the movies, keeps the action flowing, the jokes coming, and the characters well-defined. The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music may be about affairs of the heart, but the females are spirited, competent, and enterprising, and that works.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of stories and movies about princesses. Given that female roles have evolved over the last decades and far more women are active in all aspects of our culture, is there still a place for princesses? In what way(s) are the princesses in The Swan Princess: Kingdom of Music positive role models? Who is your favorite princess?

  • Almost everyone likes stories about contests and competitions. What makes them so much fun to watch? Were the four losers of the music contest in this movie good sports? What does it mean to be a good sport?

  • Princess Alise states that apologizing is really hard. Why is it important to say you're sorry? What makes it so hard? Think about the toughest apology you've ever had to make. How did you feel afterward? 

Movie details

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