VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess Movie Poster Image
Engaging, faith-based retelling of a classic princess tale.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 48 minutes

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Strongly promotes the joys of reading and books. Presents some aspects of life in England at the turn of the 20th century.

Positive Messages

Secular messages: everyone deserves kindness, books offer wonderful adventures, there's much to be thankful for even when life is hard, and "a servant on the outside can be a princess on the inside." The story's basic religious message is repeated throughout in a variety of ways: The ability to love others and be kind to everyone comes from the knowledge that "God loves us no matter what and is with us always."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Young Sara Crewe is reliably cheerful, kind to everyone, generous even when she has almost nothing for herself, and refuses to lose sight of the beauties and gifts that life offers. In her bleakest moments, she turns to God for courage and solace and reminds herself never to give up. The one villain in the story -- a cold-hearted, insincere headmistress -- faces the consequences of her behavior.

Violence & Scariness

The main character loses a parent and is treated poorly.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

VeggieTales is a thriving franchise with toys, DVDs, merchandise, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, as in the source material (A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett), the lovable young heroine of VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess suffers the loss of a devoted parent and a radical change from the life of luxury and comfort she's known. But what could have been a sad, disheartening story isn't; the good-natured little girl relies on her faith, and all turns out well. The story, which will appeal to little kids most of all but isn't without charm for older ones and their parents, has many sound, well-illustrated messages and is more closely tied to religious teachings than some other VeggieTales offerings.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byamy_105 September 3, 2012

Great movie!

Great little movie! My 3-year-old daughter would watch it all day if she could!

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What's the story?

When Sara Crewe's (voiced by Anna Grace Stewart) soldier father delivers her to a well-regarded boarding school in England -- both to keep her safe and to provide her with a good education -- the little girl is sad but looking forward to her new adventure. She's lived the life of a princess in Africa, and, given her father's wealth and love, her future is bright. Sara's smile, kindness, and interest in everyone from the lowly to the charmed serve her well. But it isn't too long before Captain Crewe is killed and his fortune lost. Miss Minchin (Marin Miller), the snooty and greedy headmistress who's always found Sara's spirit threatening, is now overjoyed to send the young girl to live in the attic and be a servant to the others. Sara must now call upon all the resources at hand -- new friends, neighbors, and, most of all, her faith in God -- to overcome the misfortune that has followed her to her new home.

Is it any good?

Once again the VeggieTales folks have updated a classic with bright characters, wit, delightful music, and the standard fidelity to positive values and religious fundamentals. Sara Crewe and the entourage she meets in England -- which include some hilarious Frenchmen and an endearing Cockney-voiced servant girl -- make the messages in VEGGIETALES: THE PENNILESS PRINCESS go down easily. Girls especially will warm to this little princess.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the other girls in Miss Minchin's school learned from Sara. Do you think kids learn about behavior (both good and bad) from watching movies or television?

  • VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess often talks about being a "servant on the outside" and a "princess on the inside." What qualities, other than royalty and wealth, make someone a "princess on the inside"?

  • Many children's movies deal with orphans or kids who've lost a parent. Why do you think writers use this device? How does it add to the stories they tell?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animation

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