A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wish Upon a Unicorn is a kid-oriented comedy-fantasy designed to appeal to kids who may display skepticism about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but still want to enjoy and believe in the fantastic. Be aware that this family-centric story has a foundation in tragedy: Two young girls move from Chicago to the country with their dad after the death of their mother. A few mildly scary moments arise as a unicorn-napper tries to sacrifice and drink the blood of the mythical creature in his quest to gain eternal youth. Kids too young to see over the wheel and reach the gas pedal drive a truck off the road. No one is injured. Bullying at school. Language includes "hell," "crap," and "suck face," and two tweens kiss. Grandma Rose is caught sitting under a blanket kissing her boyfriend Bud. Young girls mention playing Spin the Bottle.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In WISH UPON A UNICORN, Emma (Summer Fontana) and her little sister Mia (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) have recently lost their mother. To make things worse, Dad (Jonathan Lajoie) has lost his Chicago job. They've moved to the country home where Mom grew up to live with Grandma Rose (Chloe Webb). Rose's goofy and joyful earth mother presence sets the tone for WISH UPON A UNICORN, in which the woods are the magical refuge of magical creatures, and those who believe can see what's really going on. Mia quickly spots a unicorn colt, names him Rocco, and discovers the good luck he brings. When Emma starts to believe, she can see him too, and the pair bring Rocco to school to fight a bully and generally improve the school experience. When local man Willie (Kevin J. O'Connor) gets wind of Rocco's presence, he ramps up his evil campaign to kidnap the animal, intending to ingest its blood and gain eternal youth and life. Can the girls and their grandma save Rocco?
Is it any good?
This movie is sweet and perfectly tailored to suit its target audience: kids looking for something good and decent to believe in. Dialogue is often smart and amusing. Mia notes that no one at school notices the unicorn because they are all staring at screens. "I weep for this generation," she quips.
If Wish Upon a Unicorn feels a bit loose with logic, no one enjoying this will mind. Chloe Webb is charming as Grandma Rose. When she falls ill and heads for the hospital, talking about being ready for death, it feels a bit unlikely that she can just pull out her tubes and leap into her overalls to help the girls rescue the unicorn. But Webb's good-humored energy makes it believable. They outsmart the unicorn-napper Willie and get the colt back to its uni-mom, at which point everyone seems relieved with this outcome, but it's unclear how this will keep Rocco safe from future danger. Never mind. Just go with the good vibes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how important it is to support family members and their individual goals. Why do you think Mia keeps stressing that even if her skeptical sister and father don't believe in unicorns, that they ought to try to believe in her and her wishes and dreams?
Grandma Rose says in Wish Upon a Unicorn that she's ready to go when her parts wear out without taking any extraordinary measures. What do you think about that attitude toward death?
Do you think it's comforting to believe in mythical creatures with magical powers? Do you think there's value in believing in things that are seemingly impossible? Why or why not?
- On DVD or streaming: September 15, 2020
- Cast: Chloe Webb, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Summer Fontana, Kevin J. O'Connor
- Director: Steve Bencich
- Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Thematic Elements, mild language, some violence, rude suggestive humor
- Last updated: September 29, 2020
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