What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cute but predictable comedy may seem corny to older tweens and teens, but its positive messages about integrity, accountability, and respect make it a worthwhile choice for younger kids. The main character struggles with the relatable issue of balancing individual pursuits with his responsibilities to his family, which should give parents and kids who tune in plenty to talk about afterward. The movie does briefly address the death of a parent, but it's done in a thoughtful way, and there's no other iffy stuff to speak of.
What's the story?
Life is sweet for teen hockey phenom Alex Pearson (Hutch Dano), whose team’s success practically guarantees him a coveted spot on the All-Star team ... and possibly the sought-after attention of his pretty classmate, Matisse (Kelsey Chow). But his plans come to a screeching halt when his showboating ways land him on suspension, his dad assigns him an overdue list of household chores, and he inadvertantly takes over his little sister’s Bumble Bee troop after their den mother moves away. None of this sits well with self-absorbed Alex, who sets to work scheming ways to get Emily (G Hannelius) and her friends to do his work, all under the guise of earning merit badges to qualify for an upcoming troop event. But when the truth about his intentions come out, Alex is forced to re-evaluate his priorities, even if it means setting aside his personal goals.
Is it any good?
DEN BROTHER is a sweet tale of personal growth and accountability emphasized by the heartwarming relationship between a teen and his adoring little sister. In other words, it’s a typical Disney-fied tale that will bombard young kids with sugary-sweet messages ... and be deemed corny by those only slightly older. Tweens will know that things don’t always work out in real life like they do on Disney’s screen, but littler kids won’t be bothered (and might just be inspired) by the movie’s idealized view of the world.
The movie does briefly touch on a few serious issues -- like the death of a parent and the impact of a father’s heavy work load -- but overall its tone is light and comedic, and its pace will keep kids interested throughout. In true Disney fashion, it’s devoid of any iffy content and an fun pick for family viewing time.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the show’s themes of responsibility and integrity. What do these concepts mean to you? How did the characters display these traits?
Kids: What are some of your life goals? Do you want to be the best at something? What level of dedication would it take to do that? What might you have to give up?
Parents and kids can discuss their own family’s rules about responsibility. Kids: What are some of your responsibilities at home? Which ones help your other family members? Why is it important to help each other?