The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! Movie Poster Image
Lots of peril and adventure in clever princess tale.
  • PG
  • 2016
  • 79 minutes

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate, but the movie offers some potentially new vocabulary words: "insidious," "pillaging," and "pathetic."

Positive Messages

Girl power is a big message. Alise thinks she can be pink, frilly, proper, and, when she feels like it, a pirate. "Something inside me longs to be free," she sings. The North Star is always there, like the love of your parents.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lucas is brave and resourceful. Alise shows courage, too, and loyalty. Lord Rogers is fun and witty. All of Alise's friends care about her safety. The royal guards work together to rescue Alise and Lord Rogers.

Violence & Scariness

Sustained peril intermixed with comedy might be too intense for the young kids this is intended for. A storm shipwrecks Alise and company on an island populated by hungry, flesh-eating monsters. Someone gets poked in the eye through a keyhole. Rogers delays being eaten when he treats the monsters as if they're competing chefs on a cooking show: "Why gobble me down raw when you could slow-roast me to perfection?"

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Scalawag."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! is the latest installment in the Swan Princess animated series. It features the young princess-in-training, Alise, who longs for adventure and fun as a break from lessons on curtsying and vowel pronunciation. Opting for adventure gets her into trouble on the high seas and shipwrecked onto an island where meat-deprived monster-carnivores stalk her and her shipmates. A hiding boy saves them, then reveals that he believes he has been abandoned by his parents. Scenes where one character roasts slowly over a low fire might be too intense for sensitive kids, even though the character being roasted is cracking jokes. Some positive messages about girl power, teamwork, and courage.

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What's the story?

THE SWAN PRINCESS: PRINCESS TOMORROW, PIRATE TODAY! features Princess Alise, who is happy to be a princess but doesn't want to live the prim, tiara-topped life her grandmother has in mind. She prefers a little adventure and, after escaping princess boot camp, heads for the sea, stylishly sporting an eye patch. She, Lord Rogers, and crew are promptly storm-tossed onto an island where man-eating Boggs are delighted at the prospect of dining on visitors seasoned with rosemary and tarragon. They are all saved by Lucas, a boy who ran away when his desperately poor parents decided that his best chance in life would come if they gave him up for adoption. Alise persuades him to come with her and her rescuers, assuring him that his parents must truly love him. A ghost of a flying squirrel guides them all to a happy and safe ending.

Is it any good?

This cleverly written Swan Princess installment will be amusing for watch-along parents, and their reassuring presence may be the perfect antidote to the peril the main characters are subject to. The humor is sophisticated. When Rogers prescribes some adventure for Alise, the highly formal queen assures him, "She'll get all the adventure she needs with a tight corset and ill-fitting shoes." Songs are funny and uplifting. Groups work politely and cooperatively together. Some jokes may go over the heads of children, including one about the destruction of Pompeii. The vocabulary is wonderfully wide-ranging: "insidious," "pillaging," and "pathetic."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to be in danger. Have you ever been afraid you were going to be hurt? What did you do?

  • How do the royal guards work together to rescue Alise and Lord Rogers? Have you had to work as a team before? What was the project? How did you do?

  • Lucas thinks his parents don't love him because they wanted to send him away. How do you think he feels when he realizes that everything they were doing was out of love for him?

  • Have you seen the other movies in this series? How does this movie compare to the others?

Movie details

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