Den Brother

 
Fun family comedy has sweet messages for kids.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie teaches viewers that honesty, fairness, good sportsmanship, and accountability are the building blocks to successful relationships.

Positive messages

The story demonstrates the importance of responsibility, respect, forgiveness, honesty, and keeping promises. Alex is forced to accept the consequences of his selfish behavior and must work to restore the trust of those around him. The movie briefly deals with some weightier issues -- like the death of a parent -- in a thoughtful manner.

Positive role models

Alex’s selfishness lands him in a heap of trouble with the people closest to him, and the experience makes him rethink his priorities and become a better family member, friend, and teammate. His dad reinforces the gravity of Alex's mistakes and their impact on others, and he inspires Alex to be thoughtful in how he repairs his relationships.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some flirting among teens, and one kiss on the cheek.

Language

One instance of “butt” and some name-calling like “jerk.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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?

TV details

Cast:G Hannelius, Hutch Dano, Kelsey Chow
Network:Disney Channel
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:NR

This review of Den Brother was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybkid August 13, 2010
age 5+
 
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written bybieber_fever55 August 22, 2010
age 11+
 

Snoozerrrr.

Typical feel-good Disney movie... really cheesy and kind of predictable. Definitely anyone older than 11 or so wouldn't like it, but really little kids will get excited at watching this wannabe girl scout troop find happiness in the main character's brother helping out. Of course, since it's Disney, none of this would happen in real life. No teen would go to this extent to make his sister happy. The only reason I rate it off isn't for it being appropriate or not, but just because it's kind of boring and might even loose young viewers.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old August 17, 2010
age 6+
 
It didn't suprise me that this one of these Disney Movies that are trying to change kids, so they don't grow up and make horrible life descions. But it ended up to be a boring movie that was very unrealistic. All the disney movies are unrealistic and the events would never happen in REAL life. On the bright side, there were pretty good role models.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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