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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate, but there are regular references to scientific concepts that could spark interest and discussion -- gravity, solar energy, hydroponics.
The main takeaway is the value of embracing new experiences, having an open mind, and being brave enough to take risks. Also the importance of accepting people who are different to you.
Positive Role Models
Zenon is cheerful, brave, articulate, and confident. Although this is what gets her into trouble, it also helps her triumph in the end. She has a loving family and good friends who support each other and work as a team to defeat the villains. Mr Wyndham pretends to be a good guy but becomes more intimidating and then threatening.
Violence & Scariness
Brief moment of peril when a character discovers a space station is about to explode -- with their parents and friends still on it. The main villain displays threatening behavior.
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No swearing but two instances of "shut up."
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Products & Purchases
Volkswagen Beetle cars feature heavily in the movie, albeit they are driverless versions.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century is an entertaining made-for-TV Disney adventure with plenty of positive messages and a strong female lead. It is suitable for all ages but will appeal most to tweens since younger viewers might not follow the futuristic storyline -- and associated gags. Zenon (Kirsten Storms) is a positive role model, who is courageous, confident, and understands the importance of family, friendship, and teamwork. There is some tension and minor peril in the form of mildly sinister baddies and a short-lived risk of death and destruction -- including to Zenon's parents. Older kids might snigger at the dated special effects and the way 2049 is depicted -- some of the "futuristic" technology feels a tad clunky. Otherwise this is all about the fun factor with positive messages including the value of new experiences, embracing people's differences, and having the courage of your convictions. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's no surprise that this 1999 Disney yarn was made for TV, but despite its lack of sophistication it's full of energy with feisty characters and flamboyant settings. It also has plenty of entertaining ideas about what life could be like in 2049. While teenagers don't seem to have changed -- there's lots of sassy chat, garish clothes, romantic angst, and squealing over pop stars -- Zenon and her friends do have moments of maturity, and the sufficiently complex storyline gives viewers something to get their teeth into.
But despite solid messages around having confidence, learning to fit in, and stepping out of your comfort zone, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century is largely just a lot of fluff and fun. Having said that, there are some amusing predictions for the future -- will Chelsea Clinton actually become President? And why is everyone still driving Volkswagen Beetles?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.