A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this entertaining made-for-TV movie portrays a loving family and good values -- such as embracing your heritage -- it also has some violence in the form of martial arts fighting against an evil spirit. Aside from the Asian family at the center of the movie, there are no other minority lead characters. Wendy herself is a strong, relatable female lead.
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What's the story?
In Disney's original made-for-TV movie WENDY WU: HOMECOMING WARRIOR, headstrong, down-to-earth teen Wendy (Brenda Song) is running for homecoming queen against her popular archrival, Jessica (Ellen Woglom). Wendy's days are spent devising campaign strategies with her friends and baking cupcakes for potential student voters. But Wendy finds herself at a crossroads after she's visited by a Chinese monk named Shen (Shin Koyamada) who tells her that she's the descendent of a powerful female warrior and the only person who can stop an ancient evil spirit from destroying the world. After relenting to Shen's pressure, Wendy undergoes kung fu training while balancing her social life. But slowly, as she realizes the importance of heritage and priorities, she begins to lose interest in being homecoming queen and instead puts all her energies into getting rid of the evil spirit that challenges her at every turn.
Is it any good?
Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior has something for everyone. Parents will be pleased at the strong, loving partnership of Wendy's parents, while Shen and Wendy's deepening feelings will satisfy romantics. Finally, martial arts buffs will get their fill of expertly choreographed kung fu moves that saturate many scenes.
The characters are likeable and exhibit strong values (Wendy's grandmother lives with her parents and her brother), and in Wendy audiences will find a perfectly contemporary -- and relatable -- heroine. Wendy learns a valuable lesson when she must choose between upholding a family tradition and pursuing her dream of being homecoming queen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of learning about your background. Where are your kids' grandparents from? How did your family arrive in the United States? Another theme this movie explores is priorities. How can kids juggle school and extracurricular activities and make good time-management choices?
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