A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The 3Tails Movie: A Mermaid Adventure is a feature-length film based on a YouTube series starring three teenage girls playing mermaids. There's also a product company, the 2Tails, that makes and sells mermaid tails that match the ones worn by the girls in the movie. There's minor profanity ("crap" is used twice) and some mild suspense when the girls are kidnapped by someone hoping to harness their mermaid power, which may be scary for very young kids. The movie preaches about the importance of keeping the ocean clean and explains how pollution affects the ocean's ecosystem. There are also some positive messages about using your special talents for good and helping others, but the message gets a bit muddied when (SPOILER ALERT) the girls protect the man who orchestrated their kidnapping but condemn the woman who did the dirty work. Viewers who haven't seen the YouTube show may also have trouble following the plot, since some characters and plot points assume you've seen the show. But Friends fans will get a kick out of Janice's (Maggie Wheeler) cameo as Maria the housekeeper.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Emily (Natasha Garretón) feels like someone is watching her and starts getting secret notes and messages claiming that someone knows who she really is. But does someone really know that she and her friends Jackie (Sofia Garretón) and Selena (Marlena Lerner) can turn into mermaids? As the girls try to figure out who may know their secret, they find themselves kidnapped by someone looking to harness their mermaid powers. But is this person looking to hurt the girls? Or is it just a misguided attempt to help someone he loves?
Is it any good?
Though fans of the 3Tails YouTube series may be excited to see more of these finned friends, viewers who haven't seen the series will probably be left floundering. There are characters who are never explained (it's assumed we know who they are), dangling plot points, and mysteries that never seem to be solved. There's also some painfully amateur effects and acting. It's admirable that a group of young teens -- and their parents -- created a YouTube series, a product company, and now a full-length movie, but unfortunately, it doesn't make for very good cinema.
Ocean lovers will no doubt enjoy the beautiful shots of sea life, and mermaid fans will love seeing the girls swim through pristine waters. But only die-hard fans of the show will probably enjoy this movie, and parents may not be too thrilled about the available product tie-ins.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the myth of mermaids. Why do you think mermaid stories are so popular?
The movie shows how plastic and other trash pollute the ocean. How can you help lessen pollution? Do you think you can make a difference?
Why do you think so many stars today get their start on YouTube? Why is it such a popular content platform?
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